WHEN ANNE and her husband lived in England, they were only a 20 minute drive to Cowdray Park, the home of British polo. Prince Philip began playing and competing there in the early 1950s, as did The Prince of Wales later on. These days, polo has moved on from being a sport principally played by wealthy gentlemen into one where most teams hired talented overseas professional players. Interestingly, Polo is an inexpensive and fun spectator sport – and you can enjoy it during the cooler months right here in the Valley! We have two polo clubs in Indio: the Empire Polo Club and the Eldorado Polo Club. The season lasts for about three months—January thru March. Polo is a dynamic equestrian sport which has been played for centuries throughout Asia and the Middle East. The West was introduced to the sport when the British colonized India. A game with talented players can be an impressive sight. Although the horses used in the sport are called polo ponies, they are really full-sized horses, where thoroughbreds are the traditional mounts, although other breeds may be used as well. In all cases, horses are selected for speed, agility, and obedience. Put together a picnic, and rendezvous with friends for Sunday tailgating. You are parked just at the edge of the pitch, and the play goes on right before you. Bring your own chairs, sun umbrellas and picnic fare. Dogs are welcome on a leash. Admission is free, although there is a small charge for parking. If tailgating isn’t your thing, consider reserving a VIP seat or table for the day. Champagne and cucumber sandwiches, anyone?
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