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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

These "Zebras" Actually Ride Horses...

The Stripe Shirts always judging people...
I'm told Polo originated in Persia and is a team sport played on horseback in which the object is to score as many goals against an opposing team as time will allow. Players score by driving a small white plastic ball into the opposing team's goal using a long-handled mallet. The game is played on a large grass field up to 300 yards in length, and each polo team consists of four riders and their mounts. The game is played on horses not ponies and are usually a combination of quarter horse and thoroughbred, though some handlers I've talk to say any breed can play well. Players change horses between game periods called, "chukkars." Due to the intensity and speed of the game, many players change horses after the second chukkar. All rules are designed to protect the safety of the horse and player and that's where this guy comes in. I'm not up to speed on all of the rules, but the umpire, only one to a game, seems rather judicious in his play calling and penalties and like all good refs, works hard to judge the play, but not so to negatively affect the game's rhythm.

I live in the town of Folsom, where they are many horses farms and polo fields. In fact, there's a large polo complex just right outside our sub division. I got involved through two different fund raisers for local charities and I donate a painting for auction to be invited to the games. It's a different kind of fun plus, the food is incredible!

Copyright/Ben Bensen III/ 2011