Here in Wellington, FL all things equestion are a major part of the lifestyle. I have not been to any of the horse shows that go on every week, but I have been to a couple of Polo games at the International Polo Club (IPC). Now I do get a little nervous with the horses, I don’t want to see any of them get hurt or the players for that matter! But I do have to say it is fun to watch.
Polo is played four on four where the field is the size of around three football fields; the ball is about softball sized. Now the tricky part is no matter what the polo mallet has to be played right handed, you are allowed to hit anyway as long as it stays in your right hand. You have six chucker’s (rounds) that are seven and a half minutes each. The goal, to ride the horse and hit the ball into the “field goal” which is much easier said than done.
All the players and horses have guards and padding for protection, each player also has at least three horses each; it could be more that they switch in and out during the duration of the game; most of the players literally just hop from one horse to the next without getting down which is something to see alone, this makes me feel a little bit better so this way the horses do not risk injury. Also if a player falls from the horse (which does happen) they will take the horse out of the game and have it examined for injury.
On Sundays you need to get tickets for the major games where everyone is dressed like it’s the Kentucky derby and they have a break called “stomping the divots” where you walk the field packing down the loose sod parts that came up during the game and they pass out champagne for the adults and little toys and /or ice cream for the kids or adults too. You can go for free during the week which is a much more laid back atmosphere. These games run all day and you pull your car right up to the edge of the field and tailgate.
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