Polo returns to Hagley Park

Polo with Christchurch Public hospital in the background

Polo made a great return to Christchurch’s Hagley Park on a fine and warm Sunday afternoon, and plenty of people turned out to see the final of the two-day tournament (earlier matches were held at the Christchurch Polo Grounds). Many came with their chairs or blankets, some with chilli bins, some with picnic baskets.

The Christchurch Hunt’s hounds were paraded prior to the start, followed by a quick sprint race between a polo pony and one of the sponsor’s cars (Armstrong Prestige). The car won, and then, with really unfortunate timing, a large branch in one of the lovely big trees lining a ditch came crashing down, sounding like firecrackers. This startled the horse, who dislodged his rider and disappeared back to the truck at great speed. However, nobody was hurt by the branch, the bolting pony or the fall.

After that drama, it was time to get down to the main attraction, the final of the polo, between the Louis team in green and the Frank Knight team in purple.  The game was tight, but in the end it was Frank Knight’s side who triumphed, four goals to three.