Dog Friendly Polo in the Park Ottawa!

On a glorious Saturday afternoon, I watched Mom and Dad get all dressed up—and I mean dressed up, Dear Reader! Complete with hat, hand-painted silk summer dress, fancy LV bag, and shoes for Mom, and for Dad, fancy Italian shoes, hat, bowtie, vest, and pocket watch. They were going all out! This was unusual in that normally weekends are more dress down kinds of days for the bipeds.

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The bipeds ready to go!

I knew I was going to be included, too, when I was dressed up in my moustache harness by KOCouture, complete with Swarovski crystals. Dad had even cleaned the car into a shining black, sleek, beast.

Where, oh where, were we going?

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Where are we GOING???

I snuck a quick glance at the GPS on Dad’s phone and the jig was up! We were heading toward Wesley Clover Parks and that meant we were going to the second annual Polo in the Park fundraiser! I was SO excited. I sang the song of my people nearly the entire 20-minute drive there!

It’s rare for events like this to be open to pets. It’s a pet peeve of mine, especially in Ottawa where most outdoor events are not pet-friendly. It makes no sense to me at all. It often has to do with the strict rules the National Capital Commission (NCC) has put in place. But this event wasn’t on NCC land. Mom was delighted when she reached out on the organizer’s Fb page to ask if I could tag along; the answer was, “Yes, absolutely, dogs are most welcome!” WOOHOO!

We had such a fantastic time that we plan on going, weather permitting, every year now!

MontecristoTravel Dog Friendly Polo in the Park Ottawa

Walking the parking lot (and temp horse stables) to the entrance. with Dad!

And it’s an affordable outing too! Sure the VIP admission is $250 per person. And wow, did the big white VIP tent look fantastic, with its pretty flowers at the entrance, drinks being served by dressed-up waiters, tables all done up with table cloths and stuff, glorious hats on all the ladies, and food that smelled sooo good. It certainly was fancy!

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YOW is the Ottawa Airport CODE!! Here is one of Ottawa’s Fashion Bloggers Katie Hession of YOW City Style! Mom loved her outfit!

But, for the unbelievably reasonable price of $15 per person for general admission—dogs entered for free!—we happily bought our tickets, signed the draw ballot, and headed in.

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Getting out General Admission ticket.

The fundraiser is held in support of the Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health and the Therapeutic Riding Association of Ottawa–Carleton (TROtt). It’s a lovely partnership for two really good causes.

Oh, and did I feel posh! I think we looked really fabulous, all three of us, if I may say so myself!

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What do you think? yes? posh? Tip from Mom: WEDGE shoes are the best if you are going to wear heels to an event like this!

First we walked about a little to get the lay of the land. A map at the entrance and in the program helped us stroll casually over the 500-plus-acre property, located in the west end of Ottawa along Corkstown Road (take the 417 West). It’s a hotspot for horse shows and equestrian events, and I had NO idea we had this in Ottawa!

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I did I not know about all this?

We quickly noted where the bleachers were for the polo match because if the cheering was anything to go by, the first set had started! So we hustled a little and found a spot.

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ooooh look horses!!! Do you see the other dog?

I was grateful for Mom’s v-e-r-y w-i-d-e brim on her hat: it provided all the shade I needed. Although now and then she would move and OH my eyes!

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Thanks nice lady that took this for us!

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My eyes!!

But I had my sunglasses so I put them on and it helped with the glare.

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Now that is better! I think I could model for Doggles.

I had never seen a polo match before and I really enjoyed the way the commentator was actually giving us a polo 101 lesson while also following the game. Oh, Dear Reader, it was glorious! Those beautiful horses, their legs wrapped up for protection; the long mallets in the players’ hands swinging; the players’ long over-the-knee boots guiding the horses as if each player and horse had become one. I was mesmerized as I watched them gallop around the arena. And I was kind of loving the smell of horse in the air too!

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So much going on!

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Great day for it! Ottawa (red) versus Toronto (Blue).

After the sets were over for the first match (Ottawa against Toronto), we walked about and headed to the boutique tent set-up. So many pretty things for sale, from Aboriginal items and jewellery to fun statues and handmade wool shawls. There were some really nice things to look at. And I was welcomed into every tent without exception. Oh what fun!

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Everyone was welcoming!

Further in, across from the kids’ zone, we saw the little ponies that the kids could ride. (I did not ask if I could ride one.) Here I was an extra good boy and let the children come near me and pet me. I even got on my back and was all silly for them. NOT my usual modus operandi, but it was such a great day and we were all in a good mood. Plus, these kids were well behaved. Many of them are used to horses and dogs in their day-to-day lives, crouching to my level and approaching me from below. It was a nice change from the frenetic charge I often endure. sigh

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I can be good with kids. SEE??!!

Then Dad and I hung out for a while near the Ferraris. Oh yes! Dad chatted with one of the owners for a long time. I think a lot of day dreaming was going on in his mind. I totally disregarded the yellow “do not cross” tape and made my way to sniff each car until I found the perfect spot in the shade of one of the cars for a quick power nap. The security guard didn’t seem to mind.

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Yellow tape? what yellow tape?

Right next to the cars, we saw the largest covered picnic table ever! It had these fun carvings on each end. So we just HAD to take photos!

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You know we had to take this shot right? Racoons!

And then we headed toward the food trucks. Food trucks, people! They are the best! Dad got some delicious food from Angry Dragonz, one of our favourite food trucks in Ottawa.


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saying hi to the Angry Dragonz Chef!

And we finished everything off with a perfect iced coffee and iced chai latte from the BrewBar truck! Big kudos to them for having coconut milk as a non-dairy option! Yummy!

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Placing our order!

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Dad’s kind of “food” truck!

We found a spot in the shade under a tree and relaxed while Dad was nice enough to share his Angry Dragonz food. Thanks, Dad! And I got some water of course.

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I’ve had enough. Thank you!

Finally, we headed up to the totally awesome Vogue Mobile. Mom loved this concept so much! It’s a ladies fashion boutique (clothing and accessories) that is completely mobile. It’s brilliant really! And Lainie Towell, who runs it, is awesome! SO friendly and wow—her hat? Fabulous!

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The vogue mobile! If you see it at an Ottawa event GO!!

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Rocking it ladies!

Then we headed off to the other field where the dog agility was going to take place! But first there were Aboriginal dancing and throat singing! Very interesting sounds! My ears were twitching up a storm.

Finally we found a spot to settle down and watch the dog agility. Oh, Dear Reader, I had SO much fun watching my fellow canines jump, weave, scoot through tunnels, and cross a teeter-totter. They were so good! Some of the dogs were not much bigger them me. I am thinking this may be a fun way to get some activity during the long winter months if we can find an indoor place. I’m up for it! I wish I had been given a chance to try my paw at it!

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Some of these dogs were FAST!!

By 4:00, the event slowly drew to a close. We were surprised at how fast time had flown. Mom noticed a lady who was doing neck and shoulder massages for $10 for 10 minutes and decided that would be a great idea. If Mom’s moans are anything to go by, I think we will be seeing Maria of Peak Massage Therapy more often. She’s totally mobile and does house calls!

The winners of the hat contest and the draw were announced and prizes collected. The Ferraris drove away, the boutique tents slowly came down, and things were packed up. Sadly, we hadn’t tried the sandwich bar and honestly, we could have spent another hour just lounging about. But we had other commitments we had to attend to and so, with sun kissed bodies and grins from ear to ear, we slowly made our way back to the car.

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Stopping to make friends of all ages on the way! Note that moustache dress on the right. How Mom did not buy that to match my harness I do not know!

Dear Reader, 2016 has been a really great summer for pet-friendly activities in Ottawa. We had the first Ottawa Dog Festival, the Byward Barket that turned the Byward Market into a pet-friendly zone for a day—even allowing dogs to dine on patios! We had the afternoon tea at the Ottawa Ramada on the River, and our usual hikes and visits to Wakefield and Almonte. But I must admit, Dear Reader, our absolute favourite event this summer was, hands down, dog friendly Polo in the Park Ottawa. I can’t wait to go back next year and watch this fantastic event grow and grow. I have a feeling it will soon become the “go to” event of the summer for Ottawa.

51 Comments on “Dog Friendly Polo in the Park Ottawa!

    • Kelly Owens does amazing custom harnesses! For big and small and everything in the middle. She puts a lot of attention to detail and the workmanship is amazing. I have several now and love them all …. but yeah … this one is a fav! And don’t the bipeds clean up nice? I think so too.

  1. Wow what a magical day out this sounds. Horses, fast cars, fashion and pooches allowed sounds right up my street! I really enjoyed reading this post so much as it was so entertaining and very humorous. You all looked so smart and stylish too.

  2. Oh wow, it sounds like you all had a wonderful time. And of course, you looked fabulous! (Your humans did, too.) I’m glad to hear there are more and more dog-friendly events in your home city. Here in Seattle, there are lots of dog-friendly things to do, and I even worked at not one but two places where people were allowed to bring their dogs to the office! My cat, Siouxsie (may she frolic forever in the catnip-filled fields on the other side of the Bridge), also used to come to work with me. You should come and visit Seattle sometime; you’ll be welcome in lots of places … even some restaurants!

    • I REALLY wish I could go to the office with the bipeds. But no can do. They have government jobs and the Feds…. not pet friendly. Ah well. Doggy daycare isn’t bad at all. 🙂

      Events are starting to become more common. But Ottawa is still very slow to take up pet friendliness. For example; we have a huge ball for the local SPCA called “the fur ball” and every year people wonder that we don’t go. And every year we say the same thing “when it’s pet friendly we will”. 🙂 My bipeds are set on that! Bless them.

  3. What a spectacular event. My blog today is about polo as well-from a different perspective! What a well-behaved pup. I can’t imagine taking mine to an event like that. They would be crazy. My husband did bring our Golden to one of my horse shows last year. My normally calm dog was a little excitable. Horses and dogs together are one of life’s best things!

    • I wish the bipeds were not so allergic to horses. I think we’d have a lot more horse in our life if we could! But this worked out. Outside and with a nice breeze… the allergies were under control! Knowing we were going to a Polo match – I was introduced to the horses of a friend at her hobby farm first. Just so I wouldn’t be totally thrown. Was a good idea!

  4. Horses AND dogs? I’m am so there next year… book me a room in Ottawa. I’m also going to try and get to the market during Dog Fest next year. This year I was away elsewhere. Polo is amazingly challenging….

    • If you DO come to Ottawa we MUST meet up!! I recommend the Ramada on the River if you do come to Ottawa. It’s just a bit out of the centre but also quieter and insanely pet friendly! I wrote a review. 🙂

  5. It looks like such a fun day out! I loved seeing you in the sunnies…you would make a great model, your human parents should get on that quick smart!

    • I think I model enough for this blog! HA! seriously that camera is never out of sight. Ah well … the price of fame. hehehehe….

  6. What’s fabulous outing and for a good cause. Enjoyed seeing all of your photographs of your day ❤

  7. How absolutely glorious!! I love the photos and the looks on your faces – peaceful, happy and playful. It sounds like such a great event for a wonderful cause. Thank you for sharing and for getting involved – it’s great to see! I do have one question: what color are your dad’s shoes – they look really cool?

  8. That sounds like an awesome event! All three of you looked great and so happy together. I hope that more places will host pet-friendly events in your area. You certainly are a great dog ambassador which helps pave the way!

    • We try! sadly the bylaws in our region keep dog friendly events to a minimum. But with time…. and thank you. It’s nice to dress up from time to time.

  9. What a fun filled day, lots of things going on. You guys looked great, glad you enjoyed the games. We love polo too, they have it every weekend most of the Summer here. Great photos!
    Love & biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv

    • Mom use to live in London England for a few years and had gone to Ascot more than once so she had a good idea of how to dress up! Dad and I just followed her lead. 🙂 Thanks!

  10. So much fun in this post that I hardly know where to start! Yes, you all three look quite posh. How wonderful that the event was pet friendly and only $15!

    I sometimes hide under my mom’s hat, too. Though I’m a bit larger than you so sometimes my back end sticks out. And yes, food trucks are the best! We have them in our city, too. There’s even a dog treat food truck~

  11. What a fun day. I love Polo- so exciting- and usually go to annual charity events here north of Toronto. I am not sure if dogs are allowed but it would have been a little hot for Kilo, plus he gets anxious with big horses and strangers. You are a better traveller.

  12. It’s looks like a fantastic event. Mom is right about those wedges!!! I also noticed 2 things about their shoes…. Mom matched her handbag to her & Dad’s shoes! and If you got lost in the crowd, your Dad’s shoes would be like a pink beacon for you to find him! BOL!!!

  13. This looks amazing and so much fun!!! I love the tip about wedge shoes…no being stuck with your heels in the grass.

  14. Monte really knows how to dress up! 😉 All of his tiny clothes are always so adorable, he’s like a little rockstar! Especially with all the people lining up to pet him, haha! Living the dream! It looks like you had a wonderful day, so thank you for sharing your moments with us! 🙂

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