Everyone can enjoy an afternoon watching a local equestrian polo club match if they live near Charlottesville. It’s a great local tradition that strongly supports our horse community and also provides the public with an opportunity to join the tailgating parties while appreciating the beauty of our Central VA area. Our equestrian polo matches are hosted in some of the region’s most gorgeous settings and can be enjoyed by the whole family.
For beginners, here are the basics of polo:
A polo match is organized around 4 to 6 periods known as chukkers. Somewhat like a soccer or football field, the game is played on a field with goal posts at each end, and the riders score points by hitting a ball between the posts. At the end of each chukker, the players change horses.
There are 4 players on each team, and each player has a particular position to play. As in basketball, each player has his/her man (or woman) to guard on the field. Polo horses are referred to as ponies, and they’re highly trained to reverse their direction quickly and to run quickly over short distances.
Each player is required to have a polo handicap (10 = best, down to minus 2) and the team’s handicap is the combination of each player’s handicap. Fouls are assessed in cases such as a player crosses dangerously in front of another player.
The public gets to participate in polo matches as well… at half-time they help stomp on the divots on the field. But perhaps some of the most impressive parts of Charlottesville polo matches are the elaborate tailgate parties hosted by the fans with linens, elaborate table decorations etc. A polo match in Central Virginia is a memorable event to be sure.