Whole Heap of Little Horse Links

A young Scottish showjumper who’s only been riding for three years has been sponsored by Euromillions lottery winners. (Horse and Hound) Meanwhile a nineteen-year-old started a millionaire’s fund of his own when he became the youngest ever winner of the showjumping CN International via Karen K. (Spruce Meadows) Corrective surgery for thoroughbred yearlings before auction. […]

The New Kings of Polo

Take eleven minutes out of your life to watch this short ESPN documentary on how a teenager from a deprived, crime-riddled West Philadelphia neighbourhood ended up being the US national schools polo champion and being asked to play for the Cornell University team. Ignore the trailer for the Hollywood film that bookends it and is […]

Polo Week: Love on the Polo Field

The Khamsa is made up of five narrative poems by the twelfth-century Persian poet Nizami, including the story of the lovers Shirin (an Armenian princess) and Khosrow (a Sassanian king), who meet playing polo. Of course, it all ends tragically, but the Armenian ladies’ team make a great entrance onto the pitch: “Seventy maidens like […]

Polo Week: The End of the Original Polo Pony?

The pastime of the royals, which originated in India’s North-east, is facing extinction in its birthplace. Unless urgent steps are taken to conserve Manipuri polo ponies, this magnificent breed of horses will be on its way to oblivion. Over the past few years, say sources in the state veterinary and animal husbandry department, the population […]

Polo Week: The Art of War

“May the heads of your enemies be your polo balls.” The Persian poet Hafiz (1320–1389) wishes Tamerlane the Great well. Quoted in “From Iran to All of Asia: The Origin and Diffusion of Polo,” by H E Chehabi and Allen Guttmann in Journal of the History of Sport, vol. 19, June–September 2002.

Polo Week: Luminous Balls and Bonds of Friendship

“Superficial observers regard the game as a mere amusement, and consider it mere play, but men of more exalted views see in it a means of learning promptitude and decision. Strong men learn, in playing the game, the art of riding, and the animals learn to perform feats of agility and to obey the reins. […]

Polo Week: Side-saddle Polo?

“there has been a craze for what I may term popular polo, and in 1898 I drew up a set of rules for ladies’ polo, which were published in the July number of the Ladies’ Field for that year. These rules were a modification of the Hurlingham Club Rules, and the principal alterations which I […]

Polo Week: The Imperial Polo Ritual

An account of a polo ritual in China under the Sung dynasty (960 – 1279 aD). The somewhat reserved and “civilised” Sung dynasty followed the T’ang dynasty, which was far more keen on actually playing polo. “The emperor arrived on horseback. … A eunuch opened a golden box, took out the vermillion-painted ball, and threw […]