- Keegan Thomson
World cup event for western Sydney
2017 will be an exciting year for polo enthusiasts in western Sydney after the Sydney Polo Club was announced as the venue for the 2017 XI Federation of International Polo World Championships.
Georgia Higgins, one of the event's organisers, said the championships will an exciting spectacle for the region.
“We’ll have the eight best polo teams in the world, out of a pool of 86, coming to play in one of the world's best polo clubs,” Ms Higgins said.
“Already Australia has automatically qualified as have the team from Chile, who are this years champions,” she said.
Taking place over a number of weeks, the event will be held in the Richmond Lowlands and is the first time the championships will be held at a single club.
“Usually a whole-country is awarded the chance to host the championships but we’ve been lucky enough to be able to host the whole event,” Ms Higgins said.
“The venue at the club is world class,” she said. “At the Sydney Polo Club they have five 10-acre fields and the soil here is just incredible. It makes the conditions perfect.”
It is expected that there will be tens of thousands of international visitors to the event, in addition to this there will be a large team of horses at the event as well.
“We’re going to need more than 300 horses for the event,” Ms Higgins said. “The horses are coming from within Australia. Each player will get a number of horses each so we can keep the animals well rested.”
One curious thing about polo is that men and women play together in teams and against one and other.
“Polo isn’t a gendered sport, there isn’t a men’s and women’s comp, but instead it is based on handicaps, so men and women play together in a team,” Ms Higgins said.
The championship will also host a large number of stalls, family friendly markets and educational event.
The XI Federation of International Polo World Championships will take place over a number of weeks year from October 17 to 30.