Origins of polo

Polo is perhaps the oldest team sport and historians still debate the exact origins of the game. It is mentioned in Persian art and texts and was probably first played by nomadic warriors over two thousand years ago  but the first recorded tournament was in 600 B.C. (between the Turkomans and the Persians – the Turkomans were victorious). Played on horse back, in the Middle Ages  it was used in the training of cavalry across the East from Japan to Constantinople, and was played almost as a miniature battle. Polo has an illustrious history in Mongolia.

The name is supposed to have originated from the Tibetan “pholo” meaning “ball” or “ballgame”. It is since these origins in Persia that the game has often been associated with the rich and noble of society; the game was played by Kings, Princes and Queens in Persia. Polo has also been linked to the middle and upper classes in the more recent British past, especially with its origins in Britain being with the militia. This is also perhaps due to it being, as a game played on horseback and requiring at least two horses per game, an expensive hobby to maintain.

Mythology has polo sprouting up in various exotic terrains with no evidence of any communication between countries — a union of man and horse in play so potent in its identity, that it evolved into its own Jungian collective unconscious.

Historic UK