In a couple of months time we'll be driving to the Normandy coast now and again to watch some polo. Every summer there is a delightful polo season in Deauville, the pitch is in the centre of the race course, so while we watch the horses charge up and down the polo ground, others are racing around us at high speed gallops.
Polo is one of those sports that you can appreciate just for the beauty of the accessories. A fine horse, obviously, the soft gleam of the leather saddle, the rider's boots and leg protections. The long wooden mallet and often a fringed Argentinian saddle rug.
This year, however for the first time, I'll be watching in a slightly different frame of mind. The eldest of my two darling daughters has discovered the joys of polo,. Obviously she's not a real player yet but she would like to play as much as possible during her coming gap year! Don't get me wrong, we're not millionaires with a string of polo ponies and a lorry load of gauchos to care for them. Polo has gone democratic!!! It's also increasingly open to women. Woo Hoo!
For years I've watched my daughters jump in competitions, play horseball, hack out alone and with friends, but here we're talking about a whole new ball game! (forgive the pun). Polo is a rough, exciting, macho sport, and the best opportunities for playing all seem to be on the other side of the world. So while the spare polo ponies look patiently on, I may not feel so calm inside.
But despite my qualms, I still love the game. It's an exciting sport, with it's glamorous side, it demands real ability as a rider and nerves of steel. If a sport becomes a passion and leads a young person to travel the world it's surely an all win situation!
photos polo contact worldwide;