Thursday, April 28, 2011


Polo season doesn't start until August but BA hosts a couple friendly exhibition matches in the off season. We saw Argentina play England right in our backyard. I have never seen a polo match before, only briefly in movies, so I first had to get acquainted with the rules. The concept is similar to soccer, get the ball and score, except of course the players are mounted on horses. The field is gigantic with two poles making a goal on each end on the object being to hit the ball between the goal posts, no matter how high in the air. There are four players to each team, each with a different position and responsibility. The game consists of six minute periods and during the breaks players and horses can swap. The final score was 13-8 Argentina.

Polo isn't nearly as exciting as sitting in the stand with crazy yelling fans at a soccer game but I have to say that hitting a tiny ball with a long skinny stick while sitting on top a horse and leading the horse in the right direction and with the right pace does not look easy. I was thoroughly impressed with how the players guided the horses with such power and composure, making it seem like the horse and their master were the same player.

Some people call polo the rich man's sport and after my observation I can understand why. The equipment, the field maintenance, the horse training and upkeep, and the time consumption must rack up a nice bill. This is not a sport that you can just call up your friends and say lets go play! Also the fans were much more orderly and their screams were pleasant. No horns or fireworks or pushing. The game has been around for a very long time, as far back as the B.C. era, so I can imagine kings and people of royalty sitting on their noble thrones watching!

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