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While horse racing is still one of the most popular equine sports in the world, the attention is shifting to another sport that’s growing in popularity: polo. This is a team sport that’s played on horseback, and it’s becoming more popular in Australia’s capital cities. Like horse racing, the sport is also very popular with the social set. Before attending a match, learn about the history of this sport and its various facets. Here are some fun facts to get you started.

  1. One of the oldest sports in the world, polo has been around for thousands of years. The first game was ever held in the B.C., long before popular pastimes like baseball and football were invented.
  2. The origins of the sport can be traced back to 2,500 years. It was originally a cavalry training exercise. Despite the various changes that have occurred in the sport, it still remains similar to its historic roots.
  3. The playing fields for this sport are considered to be the biggest in terms of their length and width. They measure 300 yards by 160 yards, which is almost the same area as nine football fields.
  4. The modern version of the t-shirt was invented by Lewis Lacey during the 1920s. It was an unexpected fashion statement, and it quickly became very popular.
  5. During a match, the fans are often invested in a variety of activities, such as the divot-stomping. This activity is very important to the game, as it helps restore the field for the horses and the players.
  6. The length of the matches varies depending on the level they’re being played. These are characterized by intense action and are called chukkas.
  7. In The Great Gatsby, Tom Buchanon is based on Tommy Hitchcock, Jr., who was the best professional polo player in the US.
  8. Although the genders of players are not considered when it comes to playing polo, handicaps are considered the same for everyone. This means that regardless of their gender, anyone with the same level of handicap is considered equal.
  9. Although a pony is often associated with the sport, it’s actually a specific type of horse that’s bred for playing polo. This animal is usually a cross between a thoroughbred and a quarter horse.
  10. Right-hand play is considered to be an essential part of this sport for safety reasons, and it’s important that both the animals and humans are protected.