Fun fact! They do! So if you’re looking break out the Ralph Lauren and legit polo jerseys and head out for a match, you’re in luck because Houston continuously is throwing surprises at us.
The Houston Polo Club is nestled into Memorial Park. You’ve probably driven past it a million times. If you pay close attention you can see some groomed fields and goal posts peaking behind the bushes as you rushed down I-10. The fields are located right where 6-10 and I-10 meet and you access the park off Memorial Drive (8552 Memorial Drive, to be specific).
I went to a work party event on a Sunday afternoon to watch a polo match. Having played water polo for 8 years, and hearing the joke “But how do the horses swim?” a zillion times, it was enlightening to see the elusive sport happen in person. Spoiler: it’s nothing like water polo.
Before the match started, we got a quick crash course in the rules of polo and some fun facts about the sport, including:
- A polo field is 9 times the size of an American football field
- Each team consists of 4 players (can be male and female)
- Polo must be played right-handed
- Instead of quarters or periods, polo is played in four to six “chukkers,” and the game lasts about two hours
- Each player will bring one horse for each chukker and one to three “spare” horses that stand on the sidelines in case a player’s horse gets tired
I can only imagine how expensive it is to maintain 4+ horses just for a 2 hour game…. Jackie Kennedy played this sport. #americanroyalty.
Thanks to the work event, I enjoyed the match with champagne and little hors d’oeuvres (Ruth’s Chris caters). They encourage women to wear flats because to get through the parking lot / seating you walk on rough gravel and uneven grass. At half time, everyone got to walk onto the field – per tradition- and stomp the divots made by the horses. I think the divot stomping to selfie taking ratio on the field was about equal.
The game was surprisingly high scoring with a final score of 13-8. I expected it to be way more difficult to hit a tiny ball on a moving horse and aim it through goal posts.
If you’re interested in going, you can purchase tickets from the Houston Polo Club starting at $15. The Spring Season has matches on Sunday afternoons throughout May and June.