I'm an experienced corporate communicator and editor with an eye for interesting events and an attachment to my trusty Oxford dictionary.
How did one of the world's most ancient games recently become one of the hottest and fastest-growing sports on the planet? You can judge for yourself when polo comes to Brisbane, Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne, and Perth for Paspaley Polo In The City.
I have a number of theories about this and they all centre on the fact that polo is a game that can be enjoyed by both sexes. For the blokes there's all that great outdoorsy, testosterone-fuelled action, sweat, the possibility of injury, male bonding and the opportunity for a few beers during (if you're not actually playing) or after (if you are playing) the game. For the girls there are horses, handsome, buff polo players, sunshine, champagne, girl time and did I mention the handsome, buff polo players? Everyone is a winner.
Polo in the City aims to bring polo to the people, to erase the idea that polo is a game just for royalty, the rich and the "beautiful people". The focus is not just on the game itself, but on providing a full entertainment experience, including hospitality packages for individuals and the corporate world.
The most popular (and least expensive) hospitality option is Cooper's Bar, where you can mingle in a casual lounge bar setting and watch all the polo action, while you enjoy a DJ and food and drink from a cash bar. Private Corporate Marquees are available for a maximum of 30 people.
Doomben Racecourse Saturday 12 November 2011 Cooper's Bar - $55 per person. Tickets from Ticketmaster here. Private Corporate Marquee - $3300 (inc GST). Tickets here.
Sydney Centennial Park Saturday 19 November 2011 Tickets for Cooper's Bar and Private Corporate Marquee are Sold Out but you can still purchase limited tickets for "The Clubhouse", which has a lounge area, sheltered grandstand seating, fashion and polo action. Tickets are $220 per person, including food and drink service all day. They are available from Food Wine Sleep here.
Girls, you'll probably want to know a little about the sport so you can converse with a handsome Argentinian polo player if the opportunity arises. So here's a short Polo for Dummies to help you out.
Polo began in Persia, possibly as early as the 5th Century BC. It was picked up by the British during their colonial occupation of India, and then spread to South America and other parts of the world.. It is currently played in 77 countries, with professional leagues in 16 countries including Australia, Argentina, the United Kingdom, Switzerland and the United States. The game involves 6 periods of 7 minutes (commonly known as Chukkas). There are 4 players to a team (8 if you count the horses) and the team with the most goals wins. If you're really keen you can find out information about learning to play here.
You're going to need some horsey entertainment to bring you down slowly from that Melbourne Cup high, so get along to Polo In The City.