Polo in the Park: Quintessentially British

My Quintessentially British week started with an exclusive cosy chat with Stephen Mangan, quintessentially British actor who is currently voicing the quintessentially British character  of Postman Pat. Then I met Mr Twinings in person (yes you heard me, one of the famous tea family heir) and how best end my special week….  I went for a lesson of polo as a total novice in horse riding and polo. Guess what? Polo is the quintessentially British sport (despite coming from Argentina) with all Royals practising and raving about it.

Polo Girls for a day at Ham Polo Club (Richmond)

To make my polo experience more enjoyable I had my dear friend Mrs Eddie Catz Maria who scooped the trophy for Most Improved Player on the day for our London Mums team playing at Ham Polo Club. I didn’t certainly contributed to that for one bit.

My attention was on getting the horse to ride (or maybe rather walk) straight rather than eating grass or leaves from trees on the way. I simply did not want to kick the beautiful white horse called Fantasia I picked because I did not want to hurt her. I am not a horse rider despite my best efforts. The gorgeous Argentinian polo coach Martin Ramon (who happens to be a very successful polo player at Ham Polo Club as well) was there to help us all the way and very kindly kept my horse on track.  Check out photos from our Quintessentially British day on the Club Facebook page.

Polo is historically the oldest team sport and was probably first played by nomadic warriors over two thousand years ago. Used for training cavalry, the game was played from Constantinople to Japan in the Middle Ages. Tamerlane’s polo grounds can still be seen in Samarkand. The first recorded polo tournament was in 600 BC when the Turkomans beat the Persians in a public match.

polo girls for a day at ham polo club 2014 collage

In more recent history, in the mid 19th century an Irishman, Captain John Watson, of the British Cavalry 13th Hussars, created the first set of written rules for playing polo. In 1874 the Hurlingham Rules were created. They limited the number of players to five on a team and included the offside rule.

From 1900 to 1936, polo was an Olympic sport. In 1936 polo was officially dropped from the Olympic Games.

Currently, polo is played in more than 60 countries but the highest level of polo is played in Argentina, the United States of America, and England.

Polo in the Park this June will be a great opportunity for London families to experience this beautiful sport in a gorgeous location. Check out details of the event in our calendar.

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