Polo in Australia was already played asperous and ready, on arenaceous paddocks out backcountry by farmers, both flush and not.
Over the accomplished few years, the “Geebung Polo Club” angel immortalised by Banjo Paterson has had a makeover, with the d evolving into a affairs activity played everywhere from Glenelg Bank in Adelaide to amid the accouterment in NSW’s Hunter Valley.
Replete with big cast names such as Land Rover, Alfa Romeo, Champagne Pommery, Stella Artois and Harrolds, additional affluence covering bales and helicopter transfers, the added urbanised face of polo has become an advancing highlight of the amusing calendar.
It alike attracts royalty. Princess Anne’s daughter, Zara Tindall, will comedy at the Pacific Fair Magic Millions polo day, captivated on the Gold Coast on Sunday, January 6, aing year. “I adulation that Magic Millions offers article for anybody – bodies advancing beeline from a day on the bank and others who are all dressed up, adequate the VIP marquee,” says Tindall.
Following on from the Gold Coast event, played at Doug Jennings Park a upmarket Main Beach, the polo amusing set will accept a boxy alarm to make: Polo by the Sea at Sydney’s Palm Bank is on Saturday, January 12, the aforementioned day as the Alfa Romeo Portsea Polo accident on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, which in 2018 admiring 6000 spectators. And already the affliction of the summer calefaction has eased off in Western Australia, Broome hosts its different Cable Bank Polo over the weekend of May 18 and 19, with the amateur on the sand.
These amusing contest advertise a simplified, action-packed adaptation of the sport, with beneath amateur and abate fields. Paul Roberts, arch of polo at all-around sports administration and business bureau TLA, says, “This gives the beholder a adventitious to see the horses and players abundant afterpiece and for abundant best periods.”
Like any added sport, polo has its covering players who are paid to play. “You allegation to ensure the d is blood-tingling and a comedy to accumulate the crowds entertained,” says Roberts.
Argentinian adept Nacho Figueras is set to arise at Magic Millions Polo in January, and added stars who accept played over the years accommodate top-ranked Australians Rob and Jack Archibald and Glen Gilmore, forth with England aggregation assembly Ollie Cudmore and James Harper.
The trend appear amusing contest broadens out the action from its celebrated arrangement of backcountry polo at one end of the spectrum and, at the other, the elitist polo played in England, the US and additionally Australia, which is apprenticed by affluent assemblage such as Thai billionaire Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and his ascendant King Power Foxes team.
“In the Australian polo world, there’s a big advance from everybody to accomplish the action both added attainable and cheaper so added bodies can adore it,” says amateur Rob Archibald. “The autograph was on bank that if it was branch bottomward the elitist road, it apparently wasn’t activity to survive.”
Archibald’s ancestors has a 75-year bequest of polo playing, forth with ancestry and training polo ponies on their acreage in the NSW Hunter Valley. He’s apparent both abandon of the game, accepting developed up in the Hunter and additionally played apple championship polo beyond at the accomplished levels.
“Historically, polo was played alone at clandestine backdrop or clubs about Australia, generally out of boondocks in actual rural destinations,” says Roberts. Think the Packer family’s Ellerston estate, north-east of Scone, NSW – added like a admixture than a property.
“With advance from brands and events, however, polo is now actuality played in aloft cities and some different places,” he says. “Polo now finds the people, rather than bodies accepting to acquisition it.”
Central to this change has been the addition of the Urban Polo circuit, founded in 2005 by Sydney advocate Janek Gazecki.
Polo ability accept been invented abounding centuries ago in age-old Persia (now Iran) but Australia has led the allegation in authoritative it added avant-garde and beholder friendly. “For it to become a accurate beholder sport, and a belvedere for applicant ball and exceptional brands, we had to accompany it into the 21st century,” says Gazecki, abacus that in the accomplished six years Urban Polo has injected aing to $500,000 into the polo community, including players, clubs and associations.
Now there are bristles Land Rover Polo in the Burghal contest captivated throughout anniversary year, including at Sydney’s Centennial Park on Saturday, November 17; Dorrington Park, six kilometres arctic of Brisbane’s burghal centre, on Saturday, November 24; and at Melbourne’s Albert Park on Saturday, December 1.
While some matches are played for charity, says Roberts, abounding are staged for business purposes. “The aim is to breach even, and it can generally booty several years to get to that point. But the advance in the acceptance of polo agency brands and organisers are blessed to booty the time to body the accident and the crowd.”
Traditional aggressive polo is usually played in autumn and spring, but the amusing matches booty abode over summer, capturing the spirit of the asinine division and including activities you wouldn’t see at tournaments, such as basal contest and Fashions on the Field, area the day’s best apparel are chosen.
Ticket prices for Polo in the Burghal alpha from about $86 for acceptance to an entry-level lounge at the Brisbane game, ascent to $5300 for accumulated covering amplitude to host up to 30 bodies in Sydney. For Magic Millions Polo, accepted acceptance starts at $35 per developed or $50 for a ancestors of four.
Polo has become added attainable for players, too. “It acclimated to be that you bare to own a cord of polo ponies, additional a barter and a farm, to comedy competitively but now you can appoint horses on a circadian basis,” says Roberts.
This agency there are now abounding players who accept developed up in the burghal and accept full-time jobs there, but comedy polo as a weekend hobby.
When it comes to a antagonism fashion, Australians accept had bisected a century-plus to apprentice how to dress. In 1965, British archetypal Jean Shrimpton accustomed at the Melbourne Cup in a minidress, sans stockings, gloves or hat. A antagonism appearance anarchy was sparked, and we’ve paid absorption anytime since.
Dressing for beholder polo, however, isn’t article we’re about as accustomed with.
Yes, we accept it’s added casual. And we all bethink the apotheosis of 1990 polo chic: the tan bespatter sundress commutual with a advanced border hat beat by Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman – a attending afresh mirrored by Meghan, Duchess of Sus, at a British polo match.
But for those who abide blurred on the specifics, what absolutely differentiates bathrobe for polo and the races?
“Effortlessness,” says Brisbane-based stylist Kimberly Gardner, who styled our polo shoot (above). “Racing is added over the top, but polo bathrobe is all about a affiliation amid the acreage and the spectators; befitting bathrobe aesthetic and elegant, but additionally comfortable.” As with racing, stylists tend to absorption adjoin assuming too abundant flesh.
Natalie Decorte, wife of Janek Gazecki and editor of polo affairs annual The Polo Project, recommends appropriate absorption to headwear. “Fascinators are acerb discouraged; article to accumulate the sun off is far added practical,” she says.
On the feet, “stilettos are a big no-no, unless you appetite to bore into the grass. Wedges, block heels or beautiful flats are a far bigger option.” Decorte is on the anticipation console for Fashions on the Acreage beyond the Urban Polo series, and looks for “understated apparel that still administer to angle out”.
Accessories should not be overdone. “Statement earrings with aces sunglasses and a sunhat or affectation are perfect,” she says. “Or a abundant chaplet with a low-neckline best dress.”
For men, Gazecki describes the archetypal Polo Ralph Lauren attending as “probably the truest estimation of polo wear. A anorak with a collared shirt, and a brace of shorts and baiter shoes on the bottom.”
Gardner advises befitting summer polo wardrobes light, alive in chiffon fabrics such as silk, linen and ablaze cotton. “Don’t balloon to assure adjoin the sun, say with a boater hat or headscarf captivated about a ponytail. Set it off with palazzo pants, soft-silhouette blouses and wedges.”
And don’t cull out aftermost season’s lace. Summer 2018-19 will be about colours and prints, with “a blow of western” in the anatomy of “cowboy hats, fringing and white western boots – the closing absolute for stomping divots”, says Gardner.
As for jewellery, Gardner says to accumulate it affected – and expensive. “An 18-carat white-gold ambit chaplet will fit in accurately with the polo crowd.”
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