Move over cricket, the new Australian summer sport is Polo. Or at least it should be. Ever since I took a Polo lesson in 2017, I have a new appreciation for the game. It is more technical than you might realise. Not only do you have to balance on top of a horse while attempting to hit the ball with your mallet (taco), there are a few rules and techniques to grasp.
This summer the international game of Beach Polo came to the southern beach of Glenelg, a popular destination for tourists to cool off from the hot Adelaide summer. The foreshore, north of the jetty, was transformed into a Polo field complete with marquee tents for spectators.
While it was far from my Polo lesson in Buenos Aires, it was great to be able to watch the live action on home soil. Instead of four players a side, Beach Polo had three sat on top specially bred Polo horses. This year hosted international players amongst local South Australian players battling it out on the sand.
The number one priority in Polo is safety. Not just for the spectators to keep behind the barrier, but also for the players and their horses. If there is a risk of safety, then the game is stopped.
Polo is the world’s glamour sport. From fashion, celebrity spotting to social events. Beach Polo continues the glamour theme with hospitality tents set up for prime viewing. However, Beach Polo is a slight variation from Polo played on a grass field, as it is adopted to cater for play on sand.
Even if you do not watch Polo regularly, you are soon caught up in the excitement once the game begins. There is nothing more exhilarating than watching a fast paced Polo match in action. Especially with a cool glass of wine in hand and a cool sea breeze.