Polo is as they say, the king of sports and the sport of kings! Its illustrious history dates back to 600 B.C. where it was first recorded as a pastime in what was known as Persia. The sport then spread to India where it was favoured by both royalty and the military. The game was first introduced as ‘pulu’ to the British in the mid 19th century and it was immediately greeted with great enthusiasm and imported back to the U.K.
The first polo club was established in 1859 in Silchar, India by Lieutenant Joseph Sherer who is now widely regarded as the father of polo, and it reached the United States in quick succession where the Westchester Polo Club was established in Newport, Rhode Island in The next country to be seduced by this extraordinary sport, which at its core is about the relationship that a player has with his horse, was Argentina when English ranchers introduced the game to the country and this perhaps was the turning point in the history of the sport, as it was discovered that breeding British horses with Argentinian ones produced the perfect polo ponies and Argentina today continues to be one of the strongest countries in the sport.
This summer in Switzerland, the venerable game will be celebrated with matches at both historic and younger polo clubs all over the country. Here are just some of the highlights of the summer season that kicks off with the 4th Polo Cup Ascona, sponsored by Hublot, that will be held at the old Ascona airport in southern Switzerland, from 12 to 14 July. Teams from all over the world, including India, Germany, the U.S.A., Italy, Hungary and Switzerland, will participate. The Polo Club Gstaad-Saanenland will also host a Hublot-sponsored tournament, the Hublot Gold Polo Club in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere from 15 to 18 August. The season ends with the prestigious Jaeger-LeCoultre Trophy at Geneva’s Polo Club de Veytay in its 24th edition that runs from 21 August to 1 September and entrance to the event will be free.
Don’t miss one of these heart-pounding matches, where beauty, grace and strength come together in a sportsmanly display of fair play on the largest field of all competitive sports. And be sure to join in on the time honoured half –time tradition: divot-stomping, which has spectators enter the field and quite literally stomp down all the tufts the horses’ hooves lifted up in the first half of the match!