Daylesford is famed for its thriving arts scene, its gold rush-era history, hot springs and B&Bs.
It's more about revelling in bohemia than sipping Bollinger and driving Benzes. But that will change later this month when the country’s top polo players - and the accompanying social set - descend on the central Victorian town for the inaugural Daylesford Polo.
Not everyone is thrilled. The local literary festival director views it as a display of wealth for the elite that is out of step with the community.
"Daylesford is not Toorak," she says.
The tickets, ranging from $55 to $275 a head, aren't cheap, but all proceeds from the event will go to the charity TLC for Kids. The goal is to raise $100,000.
The event will be hosted at Mingela, a 400-hectare polo farm with a 275-metre long polo field at Drummond, 30 kilometres east of Daylesford.
Multi-millionaire young investor Tolga Kumova and his friend, professional polo player Ben Kay, bought the farm last September.
"I knew Ben loved the sport, he’s been playing for a long time," Mr Kumova says.
"He didn’t have a farm. So I was like, 'I’ll go halves with you.' So it was more for him, than me."
Its previous owner was Rupert Murdoch's nephew, David Calvert-Jones, who helped restart the Portsea Polo in 2004.
At Daylesford Polo on March 23, three games will be held in front of corporate marquees, DJs, Bentley cars, and food trucks.
Some locals say it's the wrong fit for a town known for the grassroots ChillOut LGBTI pride festival and the Words in Winter literary program.
Words in Winter director Maia Irell says she doubts many locals would want "to pony up $55 to $275 to watch the elite gallop around for half an hour".
"We love bringing people to this region with its rich cultural heritage, but displays of wealth such as these seem not in sync with the local community," Ms Irell says.
Hepburn Shire deputy mayor Kate Redwood says Daylesford is known for its progressive social values, but the polo was a private event and not taking council funds.
"As long as it’s lawful and peaceable and doesn’t disturb the neighbours, we’re happy for them to do whatever they like," Cr Redwood says.
Tina Banitska, founder and managing director of The Convent Gallery in Daylesford, is going to the polo, which she says could provide "another level of interest'' for visitors.
"It brings an intrigue to the town," Ms Banitska says.
"People say 'they're a little village', and suddenly we've got this event that the Queen has. It's a royal sport."
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- The Age