Barrington Hills polo competition will continue, after all

barReports of a popular Barrington Hills polo tournament’s demise turned out to be exaggerated, after the village board voted Monday to extend The Kalaway Cup Polo Event’s special use permit for the next 20 years.

Earlier this month, a proposal to extend the permit failed to receive the votes it needed from the village’s zoning board, prompting concerns that the annual competition would end after this year. Barrington Hills Polo Club President John Rosene sent out a news release calling the vote “a tragedy,” and saying the event had been killed.

But village trustees, who hold final say over special use permits, unanimously approved the extension Monday night, after a half-hour discussion.

The vote came after Village Attorney Mary Dickson told trustees the village would not be liable for any injuries that occur during the tournament because the event is held on private property. She noted that Rosene even volunteered to have the village named as an additional insured party.

Under the special use permit, The Kalaway Cup Polo Event — a joint venture of the Barrington Hills Polo Club and the Riding Club of Barrington Hills — will be able to operate much as it has since 2005, as long as the owner of the land the event is held on consents.

As many as 2,000 people will be allowed to attend the event, under the permit’s terms. The competition typically is held in September at the Oakwood Farm Polo Field on Deepwood Road.

After the meeting, Rosene said he was happy the proposal passed, but added the process was “so painful.”

“This is why we didn’t want to keep coming back (for a permit),” Rosene said.