Space Port? No, Sport of Kings!
So this is what a top notch polo facility looks like today. I was told that it is the largest polo facility in the world. There are 13 grass polo fields - you are looking across two of them in the image above. There are tack rooms too numerous to count and 2 "exercise fields" and a 5 story tall "tent" for private events. This is also the site for the Coachella Valley Music Festival, which is a notable event in itself. Spread over 2 weekends, the Festival draws 40,000 folks.
Rider and horse seem as one as this player is off and running. Individual fields are the equivalent of 3 football fields long and a 160 yards wide. The futuristic structure in the background (& in the image above) is where the big money sits. For $1,400 a season you can get your name on a plaque and the use of a "VIP Cabana" for 12 Sundays.
Teams are comprised of four riders and mounts. Total games can go two hours but they are broken down into 7 minute "Chukkas" or periods. At each Chukka break, horses are exchanged. It is not uncommon for players to bring 8 horses to a match. Didn't bring enough horses? You can rent one for $125 per Chukka.
Polo is not a sport for lefties. For safety reasons, all polo is played right handed.
Polo is Persian in origin and can be traced back to almost the 5th century BC.
For many hundreds of years the lion, seen above, was the featured royal emblem of Iran.
Riders use an English saddle (no pommel) and this guy provided a quick chuckle for me - he needed a little boost to climb onboard.