Grand Champions Polo Club will host the inaugural Polo 150 launch match on Wednesday at 10 a.m.
By Sharon Robb
Several pros and amateurs will compete in the six-chukker regulation game to help promote next year’s celebration of the 150th anniversary (1869-2019) of the modern game of polo.
Retired British Forces Major Mark Cann is visiting the United States to help promote the 150th anniversary of the sport in 2019. Cann is the director of the United Kingdom Armed Forces Polo Association, the historical custodian of the sport.
“Next year is the 150th anniversary of polo, the modern game when Army officers got together and played a game,” Cann said. “They thought it was a great thing so the military and British wrote the rules. It very quickly spread and that was the beginning of modern polo.”
Cann and the United Kingdom Armed Forces Polo Association wanted to identify the milestone with a celebration of polo next year at various clubs throughout the world including the U.S.
“We want to raise a glass to the 150th anniversary,” Cann said. “We want to emphasize the amazing and positive things that have happened in polo over 150 years.”
Cann said among the sport’s high points are: “It’s the only contact sport where men and women can compete equally, it’s a wonderful leveler; a celebration of the horse; it’s an amazing sport for philanthropy and helping charities; it’s a wonderful community that actually helps each other and it attracts a lot of people.
“We want to say this is a milestone for the sport and do what you do and that’s play polo on the 150th anniversary,” Cann said.
“The Wednesday event is to launch the event, a test event to kick off the launch,” said Cann, a player for more than three decades who will also compete. “I am on this junket to whip up support. Melissa Ganzi has been great supporting us and Polo 150.”
Another similar Polo 150 event is set for this summer at Aspen Valley Polo Club, the sister club of Grand Champions Polo Club.