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Polo – Just For The Elite?

There are certain sports which a reputation for appealing to certain sectors of the population only. Synchronised swimming is exclusively female, darts players are stereotypically beer bellied and tattooed, and if you buy into the stereotypes, polo players are all incredibly rich and posh. But is this true?

Getting into the Sport

Part of the image of polo as a sport for the very rich comes from the fact that most polo players own their own polo ponies, which in itself is a considerable expense. Not everyone who goes riding is interested in playing polo though, and with more and more stables offering the chance to ride and get involved in stable management without owning a horse, all equestrian sports are gaining in popularity. Every major city in the UK has a polo club, all of which are keen to get new people involved in the sport and the running of the club. Lessons are competitively priced when compared to other similar sports, at around £35 per hour when learning with a group.

Competing

Events such as the Cartier Polo event in Surrey are the most prestigious on the calendar, and the fact that royalty and the glitterati attend this event does nothing for the elite image. However, this sort of event can be compared to the Cup Final in football, and that doesn’t put off thousands of people getting out every Sunday morning for a kick about in the local park. Polo is a team sport and the clubs have an active social scene as well as the sporting side to the organisation. Polo is open to both men and women, and children as young as 7 can take part in special junior competitions. Working as part of a team, whatever the sport, is a life skill which can be very important in all aspects of life and career.

Kit

Owning your own horse is not cheap, and livery costs can run into thousands. For people involved in riding already, the extra kit needed for playing polo need not be expensive. Professional players will have special polo saddles and helmets in addition to their jodhpurs and Dubarry boots, but for most people playing on a casual basis a standard saddle and riding hat will be fine. The actual polo mallet only costs around £40, and shirts around the same. This is no more expensive than buying a new football shirt every time a team changes its colours.

Spectating

Whether it’s supporting your friends or family or just to enjoy the spectacle, a day out at the polo is enjoyable and fast moving. Polo is a simple game to pick up from a spectator’s point of view and is action packed and frenetic. A day at the polo would not be complete without a picnic and a few glasses of champagne, which makes it a popular social event. Dress codes are smart, and women would be advised to swap the stilettoes for sandals or Dubarry boots as heels can get stuck in soft turf.

Citations:

Trot2 offer a fantastic range of Dubarry boots which can be used for all types of Equestrian sport including polo.


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