Polo…also known as ‘hockey on horseback’
Did you know that the sport of polo is alive and active in Canada and the US? Polo, the game of Kings, is one of the oldest, fastest, roughest and more dangerous team sports played today. First played by nomadic warriors 2,500 years ago in Persia, Polo made the jump from Asia to the West in the 1800s.
Also known as “hockey on horseback”, Polo had jumped the pond to the United States and Canada. Polo was known to have a connection to the wealthy and the royal, but then interest in the sport quickly spread from New York to Texas and North to Canada (Alberta). British military and railway men brought the sport to Argentina where it quickly spread throughout South America. By the 1930s Meadow Brook Polo Club of Long Island, NY had crowds in excess of 30,000 spectators.
Horses thundering down a field, riders bumping and checking while striking a small ball with the precision of a Tiger Woods is a spectacle everyone should experience! At half time there is a divot stomp a la “Pretty Woman” starring Richard Gere and Julia Roberts … but watch what you step in!
Today, polo is played in dozens of countries by ranchers; farmers; students and horse lovers alike. I personally started playing in 2000. After a few too many falls, I decided it was time take lessons. A couple clinics in Canada (Ottawa & Montreal) and the US (Skaneateles and Saratoga, NY) paid off, I was not falling off quite as much. Halfway through my first season my teammates were tiring of lending me their ponies, so I acquired my first polo pony, “JJ”. After JJ, more polo ponies followed.
This wonderful sport has taken me to places I likely wouldn’t have seen otherwise. Including, Argentina, the U.K and all over North America. If you have a love for horses and speed, Polo might be the sport for you. Sports and business have much in common, teamwork being one that I value. Participating in a team orientated sport, like Polo, reminds me of the importance for all employees to interact with each other to achieve common goals and success.
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