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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 lower-ranking team.

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 Criollo crossed with the thoroughbred, Australian stock horses and Quarter horse crosses make good polo ponies.

Polo 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.


Riding: the Game of Polo
Richard Hobson
- click on the picture to order it 
Or find more books on polo here.

Useful Links

POLO in the United Kingdom

Cirencester Park Polo Club

Hurlingham Polo Association

Australian Polo

The World Wide Web of Polo

PoloNet Argentina


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