Polo is both the oldest and fastest team sport in the world. Traces of its earliest form date back to 2000 BC, and the sport was formally documented in 500 BC as a training exercise of the Persian cavalry. Over the centuries, polo was adopted by civilizations spanning from the Middle East to China and became known as “The Sport of Kings”. In the mid-19th century, British military officers stationed in India encountered the sport, formalized the rules of the game and popularized it upon returning to their native country.
Nowadays, polo is played professionally in 16 countries, including Argentina, England, Mexico and the United States. Polo is played in two predominant forms: outdoor (grass) and indoor (arena). The indoor variant is played by two teams of three per side on a football field-sized arena. Outdoor polo is played by teams of four on a grass field measuring 300 by 150 yards – the size of 9 football fields. Each game is divided into four or size 7 ½ minute periods called “chukkers” or “chukkas”. It is easy to transition between indoor and outdoor play, and the majority of our members enjoy playing both.
Although the regulation height of a “polo pony” was originally capped at 14.2 hands, modern day polo ponies can be horses of any size. The average height is roughly 15.1 hands. Most modern polo ponies are mostly Thoroughbred by breeding and are sometimes crossed with stock breeds such as the Quarter Horse or Criollo. Defining characteristics of a polo pony are speed, stamina, athleticism, intelligence and a love of the game.