Polo, the ultimate partnership of man and beast dates back almost beyond recorded history. Known as “The Sport of Kings”, it showcases the mind-blowing synergy and athletic talents of both horse and rider. It was between 600 BC and 100 AD when the sport was implemented as training practice for war time in central Asia, with as many as 100 men on each side. However, the modern game as we know it originated in Manipur, a north-eastern state of India. And, while I can’t say that I made the journey across the river Thames from Putney to Fulham purely for the action on the pitch at Polo in The Park last weekend, it was indeed a glorious spectacle, which saw many thousands of spectators basking in London’s summer sun.
The annual three-day polo tournament is one of the largest in Europe and brings together international teams from six cities in the historic headquarters of British polo. Two years ago, Test polo was played here for the first time since 1939 and the rules of the game were simplified with measures such as a reduced pitch size bringing the action closer to spectators on the side-lines. Unlike other matches I have attended over the years, these adjustments to the format make you feel as though you are on the pitch with the players. When I saw the line-up for the three days, I naturally made sure that I attended the Saturday Ladies’ Day. Alongside the talent on and off the pitch, there were some cracking watches on show. Here are just a few: