Polo is currently played in 77 countries and was an Olympic sport from 1900-1936. It has gained recognition as a sport and is governed by the Federation of International Polo. It is played on an open field with a team of four riders and horses. Each team attempts to score points by driving a ball into the opposing team’s goal by hitting it with long handled mallets from atop their mounts.
A mere five minutes outside of Saratoga, one may view this sport at the Saratoga Polo Association. Matches run through September 1, 2013, and tickets may be purchased for a variety of prices from a $30 tailgate space to premium reserved clubhouse seating at $40 per ticket.
The pace is fast and the action is assured. Horse and rider compete to perform the skills that will allow their team to sail the ball into the opposing goal. Although the player’s mounts are called ‘ponies’, polo is played on full-sized horses, generally 14-16 hands high.
Pre-match, one can view the ponies at the players’ trailers. The grooms work diligently at this time to prepare the ponies for the match and here is where one can see them up-close.
Mid-way through the match spectators are invited out onto the field. No other sporting match invites the audience onto the field in the middle of the game. People can stretch their legs, socialize, and take part in the traditional “divot stamping” to replace the torn up sod.
Head over to Greenfield Center today and take part in the polo experience!