True pony breeds typically stand a maximum of 14.2 hands (58 inches, 147 cm). Polo ponies need to be trained so that they are not afraid to bump into other horses, and not to shy at the ball or at mallets swinging near their heads.
Thus, there are significant costs of ownership and time required for exercise and conditioning of a polo string. Today, polo ponies in competition often have their dock trimmed or shaved, and the skirt of the tail is braided and folded up against the tailbone.
Another aspect of the game is the quickness of the horses, galloping on for what can seem like a football field, turn on a moments notice, and get right into the center of the action, mallets-spinning, and not being phased. The riders are athletes to, playing an intricate game of lines with the ball and other players.
The actual definition of what constitutes a pony will depend on what horse organization you abide by. One side of the stick or tape will touch the flat ground, while the measured area of the device should reach and be read off at the highest part of the pony’s withers (bony protuberance at the top of the shoulder blade area running along the spine).
The hunter/jumper community divides ponies into these categories to make it more fair while competing over jumps. Instead of being a certain breed, polo ponies must meet certain physical and mental requirements.
Many of today’s American polo horses are at least partly of thoroughbred decent. Breeding has given the thoroughbred stamina to carry the rider over long distances at high speeds, fantastic qualities for the polo horse.
Ex-racehorses, typically thoroughbred, offer an alternative source of polo horses when breeding them is not an option. There are so many retired racehorses out there needing a new home and a new job, it would be unfortunate not to consider them as potential polo mounts.
You’re probably wondering why they’re called ‘ ponies if there are no height or breed restrictions in polo. Although they are called ponies ”, this is a reference to their agile type rather than their size.
Horses that have issues such as previous injuries or fears, that may potentially be dangerous to other players or ponies are banned from playing. Polo ponies need to be trained so that they are not afraid of the ball or mallet and not scared to bump into other horses.
Thus, there is a significant amount of time and effort required for exercise and conditioning of a polo horse. They are quick and agile, so they can turn and follow the ball through its many movements, therefore they need to be in good physical condition.
So no matter how much the horse’s purchase price is, from free to hundreds of thousand of dollars, remember that there are so many other financial factors to keep in mind. The sport originated from equestrian games played by nomadic Azerbaijani peoples.
Polo was at first a training game for cavalry units, usually the Persian king’s guard or other elite troops. A notable example is Saladin, who was known for being a skilled polo player which contributed to his cavalry training.
It is now popular around the world, with well over 100 member countries in the Federation of International Polo. The game is played by two opposing teams with the objective of scoring goals by using a long-handled wooden mallet to hit a small hard ball through the opposing team's goal.
Each team has four mounted riders, and the game usually lasts one to two hours, divided into periods called chukkas (or “checkers”). Arena polo has similar rules, and is played with three players per team.
The playing area is smaller, enclosed, and usually of compacted sand or fine aggregate, often indoors. Arena polo has more maneuvering due to space limitations, and uses an air inflated ball, slightly larger than the hard field polo ball.
Although the exact origins of the game are unknown, it most likely began as a simple game played by mounted Iranian nomads in Central Asia , with the current form originating in Iran (Persia) and spreading east and west. In time polo became a Persian national sport played extensively by the nobility.
During the period of the Parthia Empire (247 BC to 224 AD), the sport had great patronage under the kings and noblemen. According to the Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity, polo (known as cowman in Middle Persian, i.e. hogan), was a Persian ball game and an important pastime in the court of the Sasanian Empire (224–651).
It was also part of royal education for the Sassanian ruling class. Emperor Shakur II learned to play polo when he was seven years old in 316 AD.
Middle Ages and Early Modern era Valuable for training cavalry, the game was played from Constantinople to Japan by the Middle Ages. The game also spread south to Arabia and to India and Tibet.
Abbasid Baghdad had a large polo ground outside its walls, and one of the city's early 13th century gates, the Bad all Alba, was named after these nearby polo grounds. The game continued to be supported by Mongol rulers of Persia in the 13th century, as well as under the Safavid dynasty.
In the 17th century, Nash Japan Square in Isfahan was built as a polo field by King Abbas I. The game was also learned by the neighboring Byzantine Empire at an early date.
A tzykanisterion (stadium for playing tzykanion, the Byzantine name for polo) was built by emperor Theodosius II (r. 408–450) inside the Great Palace of Constantinople. Emperor Basil I (r. 867–886) excelled at it; Emperor Alexander (r. 912–913) died from exhaustion while playing and John I of Rebind (r. 1235–1238) died from a fatal injury during a game.
Tang dynasty Chinese courtiers on horseback playing a game of polo, 706 ADT he game spread to South Asia where it has had a strong presence in the north-western areas of present-day Pakistan (including Gil git, Chiral, Hung and Batista) since at least the 15th–16th century. The name polo is said to have been derived from the Baltic word “pull”, meaning ball.
Qutubuddin Abbey, the Turkic slave from Central Asia who later became the Sultan of Delhi in Northern India from 1206 to 1210, suffered an accidental death during a game of polo when his horse fell, and he was impaled on the pommel of his saddle. Polo likely travelled via the Silk Road to China where it was popular in the Tang dynasty capital of Chang'an, and also played by women, who wore male dress to do so; many Tang dynasty tomb figures of female players survive.
According to the Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity, the popularity of polo in Tang China was “bolstered, no doubt, by the presence of the Sassanian court in exile”. A polo -obsessed noblewoman was buried with her donkeys on 6 October 878 AD in Xi’an, China.
An archaic variation of polo, regionally referred to as burkas or okay, is still played in parts of Asia. It was the anglicized form of the last, referring to the wooden ball that was used, which was adopted by the sport in its slow spread to the west.
The first polo club was established in the town of Pilchard in Assam, India, in 1833. The origins of the game in Manipur are traced to early precursors of Sago Kanji.
Local rituals such as those connected to the Suzhou Marking, the winged-pony god of polo and the creation-ritual episodes of the Lie Harappa festival enacting the life of his son, Khoriphaba, the polo -playing god of sports. These may indicate an origin earlier than the historical records of Manipur.
Later, according to Chatham Mumbai, a royal chronicle of King Kana, who ruled Manipur much earlier than Honda Learn Pakhangba (33 AD) introduced sago kanji (kanji on horseback). However, it was the first Mughal emperor, Ba bur, who popularized the sport in India and ultimately made a significant influence on England.
The players are mounted on the indigenous Manipur pony, which stands less than 13 hands (52 inches, 132 cm). There are no goal posts, and a player scores simply by hitting the ball out of either end of the field.
Players strike the ball with the long side of the mallet head, not the end. Players protected their legs by attaching leather shields to their saddles and girths.
In Manipur, the game was played even by commoners who owned a pony. The kings of Manipur had a royal polo ground within the ramparts of their Langley Fort.
Here they played making kanji bung (literally, “inner polo ground”). Public games were held, as they are still today, at the Japan Kanji Bung (literally “Outer Polo Ground”), a polo ground just outside the Langley.
The history of this polo ground is contained in the royal chronicle Chatham Mumbai starting from AD 33. In 1862 the oldest polo club still in existence, Calcutta Polo Club, was established by two British soldiers, Hear and Captain Robert Stewart.
The establishment of polo clubs throughout England and Western Europe followed after the formal codification of rules. The 10th Hussars at Alder shot, Hands, introduced polo to England in 1834.
The game's governing body in the United Kingdom is the Hurling ham Polo Association, which drew up the first set of formal British rules in 1874, many of which are still in existence. The game was slow and methodical, with little passing between players and few set plays that required specific movements by participants without the ball.
Neither players nor horses were trained to play a fast, non-stop game. This form of polo lacked the aggressive methods and required fewer equestrian skills.
From the 1800s to the 1910s, a host of teams representing Indian principalities dominated the international polo scene. The pitch was made smaller and accommodated a huge audience.
The first event of the World Champions Polo League took place in Bhavnagar, Gujarat, with six teams and room for 10,000 spectators. Among them, David Sherman is credited with having organized the first formal polo game of the country in 1875, at Estonia El Degree, located in the province of Buenos Aires.
The sport spread quickly between the skillful gauchos, and several clubs opened in the following years in the towns of Vendor Puerto, Canada de Gómez, Quizzes, Flores and later (1888) Hurling ham. In the Olympic Games held in Paris in 1924 a team composed by Juan Miles, Enrique Padilla, Juan Nelson, Arturo Kenny, G. Brooke Taylor and A. Peña obtained the first gold medal for the country's Olympic history; this also occurred in Berlin 1936 with players Manuel Andrade, Andrés Gazette, Roberto Kavanaugh, Luis Duncan, Juan Nelson, Diego Kavanaugh, and Enrique Albert.
The game spread across the country, and Argentina is credited globally as the capital of polo ; Argentina is notably the country with the largest number ever of players in the world. Five teams were able to gather four 10 handicap players each, to make 40 handicap teams: Colonel Suárez, 1975, 1977–1979 (Alberto He guy, Juan Carlos Marriott, Alfredo Harriet and Horacio He guy); La España, 1989–1990 (Carlos Garcia, Gonzalo Pieces, Alfonso Pieces y Ernesto Trot Jr.); Indio's Chapaleufú, 1992–1993 (Bautista He guy, Gonzalo He guy, Horacio He guy Jr. and Marcos He guy); La Dolphins, 2009–2010 (Adolfo Cambial Jr., Lucas Monteverde, Mariano Aguirre y Bartolomé Casanova); Albertina, 2009 (Fecund Pieces, Gonzalo Pieces Jr., Pablo Mac Enough and Juan Martín Nero).
Polo player, with referee United States James Gordon Bennett Jr. on 16 May 1876 organized what was billed as the first polo match in the United States at Nickel's Riding Academy at 39th Street and Fifth Avenue in New York City. The historical record states that James Gordon Bennett established the Westchester Polo Club on 6 May 1876, and on 13 May 1876, the Jerome Park Racetrack in Westchester County (now Bronx County) was the site of the “first” American outdoor polo match.
H. L. Herbert, James Gordon Bennett and August Belmont financed the original New York Polo Grounds. Herbert stated in a 1913 article that they formed the Westchester Club after the “first” outdoor game was played on 13 May 1876.
This contradicts the historical record of the club being established before the Jerome Park game. There is ample evidence that the first to play polo in America were actually the English Texans.
The Galveston News reported on 2 May 1876 that Denison Texas had a polo club which was before James Gordon Bennett established his Westchester Club or attempted to play the “first” game. The Denison team sent a letter to James Gordon Bennett challenging him to a match.
The challenge was published 2 June 1876, in The Galveston Daily News. By the time the article came out on 2 June, the Denison Club had already received a letter from Bennett indicating the challenge was offered before the “first” games in New York.
There is also an urban legend that the first game of polo in America was played in Borne, Texas, at retired British officer Captain Glynn Pursuant's famous Balconies Ranch The Borne, Texas, legend also has plenty of evidence pointing to the fact that polo was played in Borne before James Gordon Bennett Jr. ever picked up a polo mallet. During the early part of the 20th century, under the leadership of Harry Payne Whitney, polo changed to become a high-speed sport in the United States, differing from the game in England, where it involved short passes to move the ball towards the opposition's goal.
Whitney and his teammates used the fast break, sending long passes downfield to riders who had broken away from the pack at a full gallop. Director Walter Cannon, Beth page, Long Island All tournaments and levels of play and players are organized within and between polo clubs, including membership, rules, safety, fields and arenas.
The rules of polo are written for the safety of both players and horses. A whistle is blown when an infraction occurs, and penalties are awarded.
A player can cross the line of the ball when it does not create a dangerous situation. Most infractions and penalties are related to players improperly crossing the line of the ball or the right of way.
The defending player has a variety of opportunities for his team to gain possession of the ball. A player may hook only if he is on the side where the swing is being made or directly behind an opponent.
Unsafe hooking is a foul that will result in a penalty shot being awarded. For example, it is a foul for a player to reach over an opponent's mount in an attempt to hook.
Two players following the line of the ball and riding one another off have the right of way over a single man coming from any direction. Like in hockey or basketball, fouls are potentially dangerous plays that infringe on the rules of the game.
There are degrees of dangerous and unfair play and penalty shots are awarded depending based on the severity of the foul and where the foul was committed on the polo field. White lines on the polo field indicate where the mid-field, sixty, forty and thirty yard penalties are taken.
Outdoor or field polo lasts about one and a half to two hours and consists of four to eight seven-minute chukkas, between or during which players change mounts. Play is continuous and is only stopped for rule infractions, broken tack (equipment) or injury to horse or player.
Arena polo has rules similar to the field version, and is less strenuous for the player. The major differences between the outdoor and indoor games are: speed (outdoor being faster), physicality/roughness (indoor/arena is more physical), ball size (indoor is larger), goal size (because the arena is smaller the goal is smaller), and some penalties.
Forms of arena polo include beach polo, played in many countries between teams of three riders on a sand surface, and cowboy polo, played almost exclusively in the western United States by teams of five riders on a dirt surface. The format of snow polo varies depending on the space available.
Each team generally consists of three players and a bright-coloured light plastic ball is preferred. A popular combination of the sports of polo and lacrosse is the game of lacrosse, which was developed in Australia in the late 1930s.
In the early 1900s in the United States, cars were used instead of horses in the sport of Auto polo. It uses parts of the polo rules but has its own specialities, as e.g. 'punitive sherries'.
The Hobby Horse variant started 1998 as a fun sport in south-western Germany and lead 2002 to the foundation of the First Kurfürstlich-Kurpfälzisch Polo -Club in Mannheim. Polo ponies waiting for the game to begins mounts used are called polo ponies ', although the term pony is purely traditional and the mount is actually a full-sized horse.
They range from 14.2 to 16 hands (58 to 64 inches, 147 to 163 cm) high at the withers, and weigh 900–1,100 pounds (410–500 kg). The polo pony is selected carefully for quick bursts of speed, stamina, agility and maneuverability.
Temperament is critical; the horse must remain responsive under pressure and not become excited or difficult to control. They are trained to be handled with one hand on the reins, and to respond to the rider's leg and weight cues for moving forward, turning and stopping.
A well-trained horse will carry its rider smoothly and swiftly to the ball and can account for 60 to 75 percent of the player's skill and net worth to his team. Polo pony training generally begins at age three and lasts from about six months to two years.
However, without any accidents, polo ponies may have the ability to play until they are 18 to 20 years of age. Each player must have more than one horse, to allow for tired mounts to be replaced by fresh ones between or even during chukkas.
A player's “string” of polo ponies may number two or three in Low Goal matches (with ponies being rested for at least a chukka before reuse), four or more for Medium Goal matches (at least one per chukka), and even more for the highest levels of competition. Polo helmet with face guard Polo player wearing knee pads, “riding off” an opponent rules for equipment vary in details between the hosting authorities, but are always for the safety of the players and mounts.
Mandatory equipment includes a protective helmet with chinstrap worn at all times by all players and mounted grooms. They must be to the locally accepted safety standard, PAS015 (UK), NO CSAE (USA).
The UK also recommends goggles, elbow pads and gum shields. White polo pants or trousers are worn during official play.
Polo gloves are commonly worn to protect from working the reins and mallet. Not permitted is any equipment that may harm horses, such as certain spurs or whips.
The modern outdoor polo ball is made of a high-impact plastic. Historically they have been made of bamboo, leather covered cork, hard rubber, and for many years' willow root.
Originally the British used a white painted leather covered cricket ball. The indoor and arena polo ball is leather-covered and inflated, and is about 4 1 2 inches (11 cm) in diameter.
In a bounce test from 9 feet (2.7 m) on concrete at 70 °F (21 °C), the rebound should be a minimum of 54 inches (140 cm) and a maximum of 64 inches (160 cm) at the inflation rate specified by the manufacturer. The polo mallet comprises a cane shaft with a rubber-wrapped grip, a webbed thong, called a sling, for wrapping around the thumb, and a wooden cigar-shaped head.
Composite materials are usually not preferred by top players because the shaft of composite mallets can't absorb vibrations as well as traditional cane mallets. The mallet head is generally made from a hardwood called tip, approximately 9 1 4 inches long.
The mallet head weighs from 160 g (5.6 oz) to 240 g (8.5 oz), depending on player preference and the type of wood used, and the shaft can vary in weight and flexibility depending on the player's preference. The weight of the mallet head is of important consideration for the more seasoned players.
However, some players prefer to use a single length of mallet regardless of the height of the horse. Either way, playing horses of differing heights requires some adjustment by the rider.
The ball is struck with the broad sides of the mallet head rather than its round and flat tips. Jumping (open front) or gallop boots are sometimes used along with the polo wraps for added protection.
The pony's mane is most often roached (hogged), and its tail is docked or braided so that it will not snag the rider's mallet. Polo is ridden with double reins for greater accuracy of signals.
If a gag bit is used, there will be a drop nose band in addition to the caves son, supporting the tie-down. Goals are posts which are set eight yards apart, centered at each end of the field.
During half-time of a match, spectators are invited to go onto the field to participate in a polo tradition called “divot stamping”, which was developed not only to help replace the mounds of earth (divots) that are torn up by the horses' hooves, but also to afford spectators the opportunity to walk about and socialize. Polo is played professionally in many countries, notably Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Dominican Republic, France, Germany, Iran, India, New Zealand, Mexico, Pakistan, Jamaica, Spain, South Africa, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States, and is now an active sport in 77 countries.
The World Polo Championship is held every three years by the Federation. Polo is unique among team sports in that amateur players, often the team patrons, routinely hire and play alongside the sport's top professionals.
Indonesia plays against Thailand in SEA Games Polo 2007 Polo has been played in Malaysia and Singapore, both of which are former British colonies, since being introduced to Malaya during the late 19th century. It was largely played by royalty and the political and business elite.
The 2007 tournament's gold medal was won by the Malaysian team, followed by Singapore with silver and Thailand with bronze while the 2017 tournament's gold medal was won by Malaysia, followed by Thailand with silver and Brunei with bronze. The traditional or 'free style' Polo or Pull of Northern Pakistan is still played avidly in its native region, and the annual Slander Polo Festival at Slander Top in Chiral District.
It is an internationally famed event attended by many enthusiasts from all over the world. The recent resurgence in south-east Asia has resulted in its popularity in cities such as Patty, Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta.
More recently, Jane Gaze and Australian professional Jack “UK” Bail lieu have organized polo matches in parks “around metropolitan Australia, backed by wealthy sponsors.” There are five polo clubs in Iran: Charge Frozen, Nowroozabad, Army Ground Forces, Anyone Hogan and Nestle Japan.
Iran possesses some of the best grass polo fields in the region. The country currently has over 100 registered players of which approximately 15% are women.
Historically, Kurdish and Persian Arabian horses were the most widely used for polo. Today Thoroughbreds are being increasingly used alongside the Kurdish and Persian Arabian horses.
Iranians still refer to the game of polo by its original Persian name of “Hogan”, which means mallet. Iranians still maintain some ancient rituals of the game in official polo matches.
Polo first began its Irish history in 1870 with the first official game played on Germantown Strand, Co. Death. Three years later the Ireland Polo Club was founded by Mr. Horace Rochford in the Phoenix Park.
Since then the sport has continued to grow with a further seven clubs opening around the country. The museum also displays a “night polo ball” with a rotating platform on which a candle is placed.
Cowboy polo uses rules similar to regular polo, but riders compete with western saddles, usually in a smaller arena, using an inflatable rubber medicine ball. Horse ball is a game played on horseback where a ball is handled and points are scored by shooting it through a high net.
Path was played in Argentina for centuries, but is much different from modern polo. Lacrosse is another game played on horseback, a cross between polo and lacrosse.
^ “Preview: The Sport of Kings”, CBS News, 5 April 2012 ^ Polo : the sport of kings that anyone can play”, The Telegraph, 29 April 2010 ^ “THE HISTORY OF POLO ". It can be safely assumed that it began as a simple folk game played by the nomadic tribes in Central Asia.
Westward and eastward expansion followed, to Byzantium and China, most likely along the trail of the Silk Road. Evolution of Sport in Asian Society: Past and Present.
In all probability polo developed from rough equestrian games played by the mounted nomadic peoples of Central Asia, both Iranian and Turkic. “Theodosius II: Rethinking the Roman Empire in Late Antiquity” Cambridge University Press.
^ Malcolm D. Whitman, Tennis: Origins and Mysteries, Published by Courier Dover Publications, 2004, ISBN 0-486-43357-9, p. 98. 72–73, 1999, British Museum Press, ISBN 0714114898 ; Medley, Margaret, T'ang Pottery and Porcelain, pp.
' Polo -obsessed' Chinese noblewoman buried with her donkey steed”. Evolution of Sport in Asian Society: Past and Present.
ISBN 0-313-31610-4 ^ Sports and Games of the 18th and 19th Centuries, Robert Credo, Manipur p. 25. ^ Sports and Games of the 18th and 19th Centuries, Robert Credo, pp.
Mr. Pooch's saddle turned throwing him into the ground when his horse gave him a severe kick, cutting a gash about five inches long across his head over the right ear. Will Lowe, Secretary of the Denison Polo Club, wrote James Gordon Bennett asking him if arrangements could be made for a match game between the Denison and New York Clubs.
Mr. Lowe received a letter from Mr. Bennett Monday, in which he says he will lay the matter before the club at the next meeting. There is little doubt the New York club will invite our boys to play them.
^ “Hurling ham Polo Association Rule Book 2018” (PDF). ^ Maharajah Sakai Man Singh II Museum: Night Polo Ball Archived 28 October 2014 at the Payback Machine.