It might be known as the sport of kings – the world’s oldest team sport, the domain of people who travel by private plane. But just outside Hobart a few keen polo enthusiasts prove that anyone can play the world’s fastest and most rewarding horse sport.
Ever since seeing a game of polo for the first time I knew I had to try it! That game was USA versus England at Werribee Mansion just outside Melbourne in 2004. The speed and excitement of 8 players on the field travelling at a full gallop and sending a small white ball like a missile toward the goal posts captured my imagination and hasn’t let go since!
Soon after seeing that first game I set about learning to ride a horse while also learning to play polo, driving several hours after work each day to ‘polo country’ west of Melbourne. A few years of driving regularly for hours on end to pursue my passion wore thin and I began dreaming of moving back to my beloved home state of Tasmania where owning my own horses close to home would be much more practical.
That was four years ago. Now a small but growing group of Hobart based polo nuts are ‘stick and balling’ and playing ‘fun chukkas’ at every possible opportunity on a polo field only 15 minutes from the centre of Hobart. (10 minutes if you’re lucky with the lights)
We’ve had young, old, women and men. Those who have ridden all their life and those that have never so much as touched a horse all picking up a polo mallet and hitting the ball through the goal posts for the first time in their lives after only a few sessions on some of the quietest and most patient ‘polo ponies’ you’ll ever meet!
And we want to show those living in the big cities of ‘the mainland’ how easy and fun polo Tassie style can be. Islington Hotel are providing the opportunity to learn to play with Australian Polo Captain and full time professional player Andrew Williams. If you’ve ever dreamed of playing polo, doing it in Tasmania is certainly one of the most beautiful places to start!