Polo offers thrills for all: it is a game of great passion and requires a deep bond between rider and horse. It is also an essential part of the English social season and has strong ties to the Royal Family. Here’s our beginner’s guide…
All the dos and don’ts for this quintessentially English sporting event.
Do Wear sunglasses, white jeans and boots for local matches; silk and linen or a blazer for big occasions
Don’t Wear stilettos (you’ll sink in the grass at half time when the spectators are expected to tread in the divots)
Do Beware of the “steaming divot” – a fresh pile of manure
Don’t Forget that teams change ends every time someone scores
Do Say “What a ride-off!”
Do Surreptitiously ogle players Adolfo Cambiaso, Nacho Figueras, Facundo Pieres and Prince Harry
Do Eat a picnic by your car, except at Polo in the Park where you can’t bring in food or drink
Do Bring your children, your lawnchairs and your dog (on a lead)
Don’t Refer to the ponies as horses
Do Book tickets in advance for championship games or charity events
The Veuve Clicquot Gold Cup at Cowdray Park, Sussex
One of the highlights of the English Season. A host of celebrities, aristocrats and polo-lovers descend on the beautiful lawns of Cowdray Park to watch world-class polo and admire the views across the Cowdray Estate.
For the fourth year running, the hallowed turf of Hurlingham Park in Fulham will thunder with the hooves of polo ponies from 4-6 June for this Twenty20-inspired version of the sport, featuring “sin bins”, head cams and a large orange ball.
The Queen’s Cup at Guards Polo Club, Windsor
This high-goal tournament attracts the world’s leading players and is the highest handicap league competition in the UK.
Prince of Wales Trophy at Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club, Berkshire
The Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club, located just outside Windsor, is set within classic British countryside – and spectators can turn up to matches throughout the season. The Prince of Wales Trophy is the traditional opener to the bigger polo tournaments of the year.
The Warwickshire Cup
Founded in 1894, Cirencester Park is the oldest polo club in the UK and home to one of the most historic tournaments in the polo calendar, held this year on 24-31 July.
The Duke of Essex Polo Trophy
For the seventh year running, the prestigious Duke of Essex Polo Trophy will return to Gaynes Park Estate in Epping, on 14 July, bursting with exceptional VIP experiences, celebrities, socialites, first class sport and family entertainment.
The British Beach Polo Championships
Britain’s premier beach location plays host to polo’s finest in a festival of sport and music.
Learn to play
Lynt Polo Club www.lyntpoloclub.com
Brett Polo www.brettpolo.com
Ascot Park Polo Club www.polo.co.uk