He’s only just chukka-d it in, but newly retired Melbourne Storm and Queensland State of Origin captain Billy Slater is already flying polo on to new fields of dreams.
The NRL legend has signed up to play polo at the Magic Millions on the Gold Coast in January.
“This might be a surprise to people who are used to seeing me in my football jersey but this is not a foreign environment to me,” Slater said.
“I have had two passions in life: NRL and horses. I have loved horses since I went trail riding with my grandfather as a kid.”
Before he took up football full-time Slater worked at the racecourse in Innisfail in Queensland and spent time riding trackwork for trainer Gai Waterhouse.
He and wife Nicole – who is also playing – met riding at gymkhanas as teenagers.
Now Slater has hung up his boots they have thrown their energy into their Slater Thoroughbreds breeding operation.
Their first yearling will be auctioned at Magic Millions.
“He is the first colt we have got to this stage and it will be pretty nerve-racking,” Slater said.
The Magic Millions Carnival launches on the Gold Coast today.
It begins with the polo on Sunday January 6 and culminates with the $10 million Race Day on January 12.