When in the desert a fun afternoon activity is to watch an Indio Polo Tournament. Polo is an equestrian sport that has been around since sometime between the 6th century BC to the 1st century AD. It was initially invented as a training game for the cavalry units of Persia (Iran), typically played by the king’s guard or other such elite troops.
While the reasoning behind the game has been changed, the game itself remains pretty much the same. Polo is played by moving the ball down the field (300 yards x 160 yards), and trying to hit it through the goal in order to score. As an equestrian team sport, it’s typically played outside with four players on each team. Each polo match takes about two hours, and is divided up into six timed periods referred to as chukkas. During half-time, spectators take part in divot stomping out on the field.
Well, that doesn’t sound too exciting…
No? Imagine you have to hit a ball that is flying at you at a speed of 110 miles per hour. You know it’s coming at you, and you can hear it ripping through the air, but you can barely see it.
You have to stay at a constant gallop, and get your pony to line up with the ball correctly. You need to aim just right, so you can either pass to a teammate, or carry the ball down the field to score a goal. All of this takes place while someone else is trying to knock you off your pony.It’s an intense, heart-racing game that locals and visitors both get excited about.
Where can I see this?
The Empire Polo Club, where the Indio Polo Tournament is held was established in 1987, is a huge part of the polo history of the California desert. The club puts together a fun polo season each year, filled with competitive tournaments, parties, and tons of opportunities to network and meet other people. These games are open to the public, and spectators are invited to attend matches throughout the season.
In fact, the Empire Polo Club, located in Indio, California, just hosted the 2016 Polochella event back on February 13th and 14th. This Indio Polo Tournament was put on as a benefit for the youth polo program that runs throughout the year at the Empire Polo Club. It was a huge success, and even brought in new spectators who had never before seen a polo tournament.
Fans and spectators looking to get their own taste of a polo tournament, but don’t want to have to wait an entire year, can head on over to see the Sunday Polo games that the Empire Polo Club puts on.
Sunday Polo Games in Indio, CA
These games take place during January 3rd through April 3rd, and are open to the general public. While there won’t be any games held on March 6th, there is still a bit of time to go see this heart-racing game for yourself.
Every Sunday, there are two games taking place – one at 12pm and one at 2pm. General admission to these games is free, though parking is $10 per car. There is also additional VIP seating available for those who wish to pay an additional fee. There is also plenty of food and beverage to enjoy while you watch the games.
If you’re looking for a spectator sport that remains thrilling and unpredictable from start to finish, the Indio Polo Tournaments are the games for you.