Polo is a sport that requires a lot from not just the horse but the man as well. It has been described as a sport, not for the faint hearted and this is rightly so because playing this game takes more than just knowing how to ride a horse. Having the skill of Pelle, the genius of Tiger Woods with a little bit of Michael Jordan power in one can qualify as the traits needed to succeed in this sport. It is an age where extreme sports have taken root and polo is one that not only entertains the spectators but is equal as satisfying as it is challenging to the players as well. Having been born in Asia a couple of millennia ago as practice for soldiers before they went to battle, it has emerged over the years to be a great sport. Cavalry officers used to play to the amusement of Constantinople around the middle ages, and this is where it caught on.
In 1890, the USPA (United States Polo Association) was formed, and this made it possible to create rules as well as a platform to further make the sport famous. The founders of this association didn’t think that the sport would gain as much recognition as it did and by 1930, it had become one of the most favorite games among the Americans who did produce some legends in the game. It soon gained worldwide popularity and soon the Olympic Games took notice where it was played in front of more than 30000 fans at the Meadow Brook Polo Club on Long Island. The depression, as well as the second world war, stilled the momentum of the game a bit but as soon as they were over, the dominance of the match was back, and the United States could no longer claim sole dominance. With 16 polo clubs in Asia alone, 13 in Africa, which is a huge milestone for the continent considering the sport, wasn’t, started there that far back, 7 in New Zealand and Australia and 42 in Europe. However, The United States still leads with over 200 clubs.
The top rankings in the world of polo, however, have gone to Argentina for over 30 years now. This is certainly because there is a family in Buenos Aires known as the Graciadas that is known for the excellent breed of horses that they have and the kind of agility in athleticism that is unequaled so far. The Heguyas of Mexico as well is also known for this kind of exceptional athletic skills and a rare breed of horses that makes them almost unstoppable in the sport. Players travel all across the world with entire stables of ponies to compete which proves to show further that polo’s popularity worldwide is increasing. The fact that this is a sport that combines the brilliance of man and animal to achieve a particular goal at great lengths is what has made this sport popular in the world. It will continue to dominate, and nothing less can be expected now or in the future of Polo.
Thanks to Dr. Garo Kassabian for helping to make this site possible!