Nestled in the heart of Silverado Canyon, the Orange County Polo Club is set in a location so unique, it will leave you questioning how you could possibly be only thirty minutes from Newport Beach. A family affair thirty years in the making, the polo club recently found its permanent residence at Rancho Silverado Stables, where the Geiler family spent four years transforming the property into an inviting gathering place as well as a state-of-the-art polo facility.

Orange County Polo Club; photo © Armand Barragan

The Geiler family worked closely with interior designer Lithe Sebesta and landscape architect Tim Smith of Wynn-Smith Landscape Architecture, ensuring no detail was overlooked throughout the process. In particular, the clubhouse sets the tone of this modern yet rustic retreat, with its high ceilings, natural plaster walls, floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors that open onto the viewing deck, and custom brass bar. The equestrian influence is apparent throughout the space, and can be seen in meaningful details like the Simon St. James chandelier made of polo mallets from the founding members, as well as custom mirrors created from pieces of tack the family collected over the years. Artwork was also important to the Geilers, and they made sure that the Alice Gipps triptych of famous polo pony, Nicotina, would be featured prominently on the clubhouse walls, along with smaller vintage polo paintings and trophies. Throughout the property, OC Polo’s signature green color in particular makes frequent appearances and unifies the interiors with the outdoor landscape. However, within the clubhouse, the green, black and white color palette and pattern was kept to a minimum to showcase the beautiful cement tile from Cle Tile, along with other attractive architectural details.

Photo © Armand Barragan

While the Club was created with the sole intent of serving its members and continuing the Geiler family’s dedication to the sport of polo, it quickly became apparent that the property was too special to keep under wraps. After numerous inquiries and much interest, it was decided that the Orange County Polo Club would open to the public as an event venue. Enter Claiborne & Lime. A luxury hospitality company based in Santa Barbara, Los Angeles and Orange County, our high-end clientele, and particularly our experience and ties to the equestrian community, made it a perfect fit. From there, Jay’s Catering joined the team, bringing along their fifty plus years of experience serving the Orange County area. As a third generation, family-owned company committed to handcrafted food and exceptional service, Jay’s fit seamlessly into the mix.

Photo © Armand Barragan

Photo © Armand Barragan

The only polo club located in Orange County, it is one of the newest and most unique spaces available in the Orange County area. The club will offer guests one-of-a-kind polo experiences when they book their celebrations at the venue. Offerings range from an exhibition polo match, the perfect accompaniment to cocktail hour, to an intro to polo clinic or group lessons, where more adventurous visitors can saddle up and try their hand at the sport. The property’s picturesque views and rolling hills lend the perfect backdrop for weddings, celebrations and experiences for non-profit organizations, lifestyle brands, and private clients.

We sat down with Shelley Geiler, owner of the OC Polo Club, to learn more about the Geiler family’s history and love of the sport of polo, the inspiration behind the club and what drew them to the Rancho Silverado Stables property…

Read the rest of this article in our Fall ’19 Issue.