Polo is a team ball game played on
horseback. It was played in Persia and India more than 2000 years
ago and is now popular in many parts of the world, including
America, Australia and the UK.
The game is played by two teams of four players, each of whom has a
handicap, based on goals. The total handicap of each
team is added together and the lower total number is deducted from the
higher to give the number of advantage goals allowed to the
The game is divided into chukkas,
each lasting seven
minutes with a three minute break between when riders change ponies. The
best polo ponies must be fast but sensible, and be able to turn and stop
quickly. They must also tolerate the polo stick and the ball
whizzing between their feet! Argentinian-bred ponies based on the
with the thoroughbred, Australian
stock horses and Quarter horse crosses make good polo ponies.
is played on a field 272 metres by 182 metres with a goal at each
end. The ball is small (max. 88mm diameter) and weighs no more
than 134 g. Ponies' legs are protected with boots or bandages and
their tails are plaited or encased in tape to prevent the polo stick
getting caught up.