Three weeks ago when an email dropped into my inbox from Cool Hooves Polo inviting me to their MINT Polo academy, I wasn’t quite sure how to respond. My boyfriend helpfully added that he’d never known anyone who had ever played a game of polo, ever….obviously we’d been mixing in the wrong circles. So I figured I’d be the first. (Quite frankly it was the sort of opportunity that wasn’t going to come around again anytime soon)
Arriving at Putney Bridge tube destined for Hurlingham park, I began to have flashbacks of school hockey lessons and became incredibly conscious that the horse may leave the day without kneecaps and/or teeth. However this alternative Thursday afternoon activity was undoubtedly going to more enjoyable than work, so I persisted.
I felt in good company among a spectrum of people, some who were polo connoisseurs (and so presumably had just come along for the free biscuits) and others who had never even been in touching distance of a saddle.
After a brief initiation about the use of the mallet, which I am pretty certain I am holding incorrectly in every one of the photos, we were put straight on to our steed. In short, it was one of the most enjoyable afternoons of 2013 so far, and I only wish that it had lasted longer. I even scored a goal (read, nudged the ball the last two inches over the goal line after my team did the rest). Still, glory is sweet when your hand-eye coordination is as notoriously bad as mine.
By the end we had gathered quite an audience of children, who were presumably shocked to see a herd of horses charging around the grass where they normally play five-a-side.
So this June, I’ll be forgetting strawberries and cream. 2013 is all about polo and horses (granted this requires a decidedly bigger budget). But for the novice, MINT are hosting Polo in the Park on the 7th/8th/9th June for a real taste of the British summertime.