The spirit of sports has evolved parallel to human evolution. In the ancient times, there were very few sports activities available exclusively for the people belong to the royal class. Most of the contemporary sports have evolved in last three to four centuries. Polo is one such sport that was invented two-and-a-half millennium ago as a cavalry training exercise. Over the period, it gained popularity and became a traditional sport. Being one of the most expensive sports, Polo was popular among royalty in the ancient years. The sport has undergone a lot of changes, and modern polo was introduced in the mid-19th century in the north-eastern state of India.
History of Polo
The history of Polo dated back to 600 BC. The nomadic tribes of Central Asia played this game as a part of training for war. The sport was transported to Persia when these nomads migrated to the geographical region that is modern Iran. The nobility and military men of Persia played Polo, and gradually it became their national sport. Polo gained its popularity and spread across the borders from Constantinople in West to Tibet, China, Japan, and India in the east. Interestingly, Qutubuddin Aibak, the first emperor of the Slave dynasty of Delhi, died while playing polo in 1210.
The Most Expensive Game
Polo is the most expansive game as it requires a particular breed of horses called Polo ponies. These are not ponies, but a specific breed of horse species. The military services included this game in their sports activity as a part of cavalry training. In the ancient times, only the royal nobility had access to this game.
Traditions Related To Polo Game
There are several traditions related to the game of polo that make it elegant and stand apart from other sports.
Polo T-shirt is the uniform that polo players wear during the game. It was invented during the late 19th century to keep the collars flapping in the wind during the game.
Divot Stomping is the practice of stomping the small patches of grass i.e. divots torn up by the quick starts, stops, and turns of the ponies. These divots can be dangerous for the ponies, so the audiences walk on the grass to restore the field for the players and the horses.
Saber Champagne is a celebration of trophy presentation after the match where viewers, players, and sponsors come together on the field to congratulate the winners. Sabrage is an art of opening the champagne bottle by using a sword called a “Sabre.” This art originated in France in the time of the Napoleonic battles.
In the ancient times, polo was the game for nobility and the Royals only, but now with the increasing popularity, people are embracing this game. Being an expensive game, erstwhile only affluent people had access to this game. With the advent of polo clubs, the sport has spread its reach beyond the aristocrats. There are several Clubs in Polo playing countries that provide horses and training to the amateur players.