Some of the world’s finest polo players come head to head when Suffolk Agricultural Association hosts the county’s first International polo match day in Suffolk at Trinity Park, Ipswich, on Saturday 30th June.
In a packed one-day programme that promises fast and furious action up and down the 300 x 160 yard course, four-man teams from Australia and England will compete, as will teams from Norfolk and Suffolk in an exciting bi-county match.
Ratified by Hurlingham Polo Association (HPA), the governing body for polo, “International Polo in Suffolk” is a big family day out. Hailed as the “sport of kings”, and played by our own Royal family, the organisers promise there is nothing elitist about this event, but a chance to watch something different, an accredited Olympic sport that is rarely seen in the county.
David Woodd, chief executive of HPA said, ”Suffolk came to us with the idea and we said yes. This game against Australia will give us the chance to field some of our young up and coming England players and give them test match experience at a high level. Popularity of polo has grown a lot in the last ten years and more and more clubs are emerging which we want to encourage.”
Played as an Olympic sport between 1900-1939, polo is a tactical team sport played with four players per team on a pitch who are mounted on horses that can be of any size, but referred to as ponies.
The objective is to score the most goals using a long wooden mallet from horseback to hit the ball through the opposing team’s goal posts. Organisers promise that you don’t need to know all the rules to enjoy the speed, pace and glamour if it.
“Fill the car with friends and family, bring a picnic and drinks and it is just £20 per car to get through the gate and watch this amazing sport,” said Peter Over, honorary chair of the business development committee. “If you want to push the boat out and hire a table and have all the lavish corporate hospitality, or even make up a party of friends to celebrate a special occasion, our sponsor Bruisyard Hall is hosting a lavish VIP tent with a full days’ hospitality.
There are other hospitality packages with various menus and sponsorship opportunities, that are all available to book via the website www.internationalpolo.co.uk.
“There is very little opportunity to see polo in the region at this level and so close up. It is a remarkable game of strength, accuracy and speed and amazing to watch. If you’ve never seen it played you should experience it on this day,” said Peter.
As well as the polo matches, family entertainment and the half time tradition of spectators heading onto the playing field and ‘treading the divots’, there will also be a wide variety of trade stands stocking plenty of different foods as well as fashions, equine accessories and lots more.
Sponsored by Birketts, Hopkins Homes, Bruisyard Hall, Coutts, Adnams, Binders, gates open at 10am and tickets for International Polo in Suffolk cost from £20 per car. Find out all the information of who is playing and when, buy tickets, Members tickets, hospitality tables and see all the menu options at www.internationalpolo.co.uk