Polo in the Park returns to Fulham next month, with several days of the fast action horsey sport. While Polo has a certain reputation as a sport for rich people, it’s really an exciting and very high-speed sport.
Your correspondent spent many summers watching Polo at Guards Polo Club in Windsor, haven rather fallen for it when he was a member of the St Johns’ Ambulance, and we provided necessary first aid cover on match days.
This event, Polo in the Park is a different sort of Polo though, being somewhat – dare I say it — American in tone, so the pitches are smaller and closer to the audience, the commentary tends to be somewhat boisterous, and most of the people seem to be there more for the drink than the sport.
The sport though is thrilling to watch — the principle is that whoever is following the line the ball is taking on the ground has the right of way unless someone barges them off course. That’s where the sports gets aggressive, with riders and polo ponies fighting to get the line and take a shot at the goal.
It’s also quite an egalitarian sport, as there’s a handicap system, so each team is ranked by the quality of their players, and the lower team is allocated goals in advance to even up the match. As a result, a low ranking team can play on an equal footing with a top team.
Polo in the Park runs from Friday 11th June to Sunday 13th June, and standard entry tickets are £17.25 for the Friday evening (5pm-9pm) or more if you want to visit for the whole day or the weekend.
Prices for adults:
- Friday – all day – £32.10
- Friday evening – £17.25
- Saturday all day – £48.15
- Sunday all day – £36.96
Book tickets from here.
There’s also a chance to win tickets if you don’t fancy paying – with 14 pairs of tickets up for grabs from here.
The competition closes at midnight on Monday 23rd May 2022, winners will be selected at random and contacted by Tuesday 24th May 2022
As an aside, looking at going to a polo match at one of the main grounds, I was looking at options, and it’s a lot harder to visit than when I was a young adult. Back then, I wandered up to Guards in Windsor Great Park, bought a day member badge for a couple of quid from a chap by the gate, grabbed a drink(s) in the bar and spent the afternoon watching polo, followed by wobbling back home.
These days, Guards is generally only open to paying members, which was far too expensive for me back then, or you can visit Ham club if you book a meal, which again would have priced me out of attending.
Seems a shame that classic polo is not accessible anymore to the fans with more enthusiasm than money.
Meanwhile, Polo in the Park will have to suffice.