WATCH: Sandton Chronicle plays a bit of polo at Inanda Club

Ashtyn Mackenzie rides Jafika during the polo media experience. Photo: Nicholas Zaal

 

When one watches professional polo players galloping on their horses at full tilt, smashing a small white ball with long mallets with perfect accuracy, it is tempting to believe the sport is easy.

However polo is not so easy, but it is fun.

Inanda Club will host the annual Cell C Inanda Africa Cup Polo Tournament on 26 August, and decided to give members of the media a chance to experience the sport for themselves before the big day.

As several journalists and editors strapped their helmets on, polo manager Craig James explained how they ought to hold and swing a polo mallet.

Some journalists had never ridden a horse before, and many had not done so since they were children.

So James and his club riders helped everyone learn how to get on a horse, walk the horse and then even trot and canter.

After a brief practice of hitting a ball with the mallet, it was game on.

Players were divided into teams of three, with one accomplished rider in each team to keep the game moving, and soon short format chukkas were played.

Mallets were swung, polo balls flew, smiles abounded, and some cries of frustration and enjoyment rang out all morning.

Nhati Shabala of Inanda Club shows the beginners how it is done. Photo: Nicholas Zaal

Sandton Chronicle editor, Ashtyn Mackenzie enjoys the polo experience on her horse, Jafika. Photo: Nicholas Zaal

“I have a lot more respect for polo players than I did before, this is not so easy,” said Sandton Chronicle editor, Ashtyn Mackenzie, who had only had a pony ride when she was in nursery school.

“It was so much fun. The highlight for me was being able to control the horse, it felt like a Western being able to canter on a horse.”

Ben Mwale of the Gauteng Online Lifestyle Magazine had never ridden a horse before and described the experience as ‘very nice’.

“I learnt how to move forward, left and right and how to stop. To actually play polo and use different tricks with the mallet was amazing,” he said.

Sandton Chronicle sports editor, Nicholas Zaal will have a great memory to keep, thanks to Inanda Club.

Famous showjumper, Enos Mafokate gives polo a go for the first time. Photo: Nicholas Zaal

Share your thoughts on this story by emailing our editor on [email protected]

 

 

Inanda Club brings polo to the public through its Polo Academy

  AUTHOR
Nicholas Zaal

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