Barbados’ Polo Heritage

A highly competitive game of Polo.

A highly competitive game of Polo.

The Polo Season in Barbados is far more than a spectator sport for families and professionals. Rather, the increasingly popular sport , which was first played in 1884, is pivotal in relation to the country’s rich and diverse history. For instance, research shows that the British cavalry officers brought the sport from Great Britain. It was considered a game that suited the Barbadian lifestyle since horses were part of everyday life, and a number of wealthy plantation owners had their own stables. Back then, horses were the means of transport and communication across the land and they worked the land to help in cane harvest and sugar production.

Later, Polo was organized by the Polo Club which was founded in an ad-hoc but professional manner by the cavalry and the landlords. Polo playing continued until 1929 when the Polo Club was suspended for 10 years. Subsequently, the high energy sport restarted at the Garrison Savannah in 1939.The original polo clubhas overseen the development of three playing grounds in addition to the first one.

Today, the polo Seasons runs from January to May and the fields are at Holders, Lion Castle, Waterhall-Apes Hill and Clifton and matches always draw large crowds with children being especially delighted by the spectacle. Sometimes in awe at the skill of the riders as the players and their horses charge up and down the field to score points by hitting the ball into goal, it is evident why the sport continues to capture and maintain the interest of locals and visitors alike.

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