The night Polo came to Val d’Isere

17th January 2011

When I heard that Polo was coming to Val, I had visions of poor horses slipping and sliding all over the place, riders losing the ‘ball, puck, whatever it is called and just general mayhem. I couldn’t imagine how such a fast sport could be transferred from grass to snow.

So, I went to investigate and was pleasantly surprised. The pitch is dug out into the snow and then there is a layer of really soft snow on top. There are only three players per team, an attacker, a defender and a midfield player, (spot the difference) and the ball is more like a beach ball and brightly coloured.

Each period lasts 10 minutes at which time the horses are changed but not the rider. It’s fast and furious and the horses come off the pitch absolutely steaming and sweaty. Entertaining to watch and even if the sport is not for you, the riders are worth checking out!

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Judy X