The Victory Cup is a polo tournament—on overdrive! Spectators can learn more about this high-octane game, watch three matches, show off their most fabulous hats and accessories, stomp the divots and enjoy a full hot air balloon festival.

Oh, and there's food tastings, live music and entertainment for kids. The 15th annual Hudson Valley Hot Air Balloon Festival & Victory Cup Polo Match is hitting Patterson, New York, on Friday, Aug. 30 and Saturday, Aug. 31, to raise money for Purple Heart Homes. Click here for complete schedule and here for ticket information.

As the event website says:

In its 15th year, this event isn’t just a polo match; it’s a networking and social destination drawing thousands for each event. With events throughout the United States, The Victory Cup has become known as “America’s Polo Match!” Come on out and enjoy a gorgeous day of green grass, majestic horses, heart pounding polo, dozens of food and alcohol partners, and beautiful hot air balloons!

Which leads us to this question:

With all the excitement,

who is the real star of the Victory Cup?

Victory Cup

The Players: These athletes, in teams of four, strive to make as many goals as possible within two hours on a field roughly the size of nine football fields, according to the Museum of Polo. They have to be excellent riders, keep a cool head, and have a slim and agile physique, Gentleman's Journal states.

Victory Cup

The Ponies: They're not really ponies; they are full-sized horses "selected for quick bursts of speed, stamina, agility and maneuverability," the Museum of Polo explains. They are rotated out of the game as they tire but are trained to respond to commands from their rider's hands, legs and weight.

The Victory Cup

The Hot Air Balloons: They are absolutely fascinating from their bright, bold colors to the majestic way they float into the air. Weather permitting, visitors can expect glow and tethered rides from 4-8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and tethered rides from 7-10 a.m. Saturday.