Even though some special pandemic protocols caused minor changes Jan. 2 at the Sarasota Polo Club in Lakewood Ranch, Sara Osten came upon an unexpected up-close moment on the new year's first day of polo.
The club had the polo players stay a bit farther off the sideline when they rode in the pregame parade. Usually, they get close and exchange a few high fives with the fans.
Also missing was the Clydesdales pulling a cart full of kids at halftime. The kids still got their ride, but a tractor was used to pull the cart.
Despite a few added protocols, Sarasota's Osten had her own thrill between the championship and consolation matches. Walking on the field, Osten had a conversation with player Alan Martinez of Organic Matters/North South Wealth Management, and was able to pet his horse, Scooby-Doo. Martinez, who was warming up for the consolation match, took the time to give the fan a moment to remember.
"I am so excited to be here," Osten said. "(Martinez) was so nice."
It was a day of competitive thrills as well. Florado/Sharp Printing won a high-scoring title match 10-8 over Hillcroft-Hawkwood.