On he 11 of March 2023, it was time again to go pink. The Pink Polo event and Queen Sirikit’s cup is a most popular event that people look forward to attending year after year. This time, the female players were on the spot. Team Thai Polo with Caroline Link and her team-mates versus Milano.
Before the game started, there was a beautiful buffet prepared and even many of the dishes were pink. There were lots of vendors presenting and selling everything from pink poloshirts to pink bubbles.
It’s fascinating to watch the audience. Most guests, both women and men, really make an effort to be dressed up in pink. Believe it or not, but there are some people preparing their outfits a year ahead. There is one man, who always makes an incredible appearance and I was able to have a little chat with him. He told me that he’s a lonely man, who took over his parents plant school some years ago, he lives a normal, quite boring life and these Polo events are the highlights of his year. He makes all his outfits himself and this year he appeared as an almost perfect Maharaja.
This event also includes a fashion show presented on horses and a judge chooses the best and most fancy hat of course. It is surprising to see so many foreigners taking part in the polo events, many more than locals.
It’s a charged atmosphere, the horses are eager to start and the public expectant. It’s like a sea of pink when you look around, more than 50 shades of pink.
Both of the two girls’ teams played very well and Thai Polo won superior.
Since a few years, there is also a jumping competition before the polo matches start and this time Mr. Harald Link was one of the competitors. It was exciting to see that he and his horse took the log fences with bravour, but he didn’t win the cup. The first runner was a young, male competitor. One poor girl’s horse seemed to be in a bad mood, he kicked off his rider soon after the start and made a show by himself, jumping and running like a menace. The girl didn’t look too happy.
People often ask the polo riders if they think the horses like to be on the field. That’s a question we will never get a 100% right answer to, but normally, if a horse doesn’t like it, it shows it. A horse who is alert, and following his rider normally likes what he/she’s doing.
Animals are like us humans, they show emotions and you will soon find out if your horse will be a team player or not. It’s a hard game for both riders and horses and that’s the reason why you only ride one horse for only a few minutes and then you change to another.
Polo is an amazing sport to watch as well as a fantastic game to play. The polo field is the largest playing fields of any sport, 274 meters by 146 meters respectively. The time limit of a chukka is based on the estimated length of the time horses can comfortably endure vigorous exercise. Normally the polo matches are timed on the basis of four to six chukkas. Polo is a unisex sport, regardless of the gender, players who share the same level of handicap are regarded as equals. When you talk about polo horses, you usually refer to “ponies”.
Did you know that Polo was first seen as an Olympic sport during the Summer Games in 1900. The first known game was played in the year 600 B.C. between the Persians and Turkomans.
Many people like to refer to Polo as “hockey on horseback”.
This year, the newly appointed Argentinian ambassador to Thailand H.E. Mr. Gustavo Martino and his wife, were honoring the event with their presence. The Argentinian people are Polo lovers and most of the previous Argentinian ambassadors have always made a cross in their busy agendas to be able to join the Polo events.
The next Polo day will be the Beach Polo in Hua Hin, an April event. Here on the beach, the rules are a bit different and the play area less big.
It’s never too late to discover this old, fascinating sport.
See you in Hua Hin!