With the start of May just around the corner the 2013 polo season is set to start and I must admit I’m getting quite excited at the thought of pelting up and down the polo field on my mares. Its going to be a interesting balancing act this year with Miss Finn in the picture. I’m imagining Sunday chukkas up at our field in Gympie with or without Buster depending on how he wants to play it. For a day of polo I’m guessing I’ll be trading a day of surfing for Buster – which works out fine. I thought I would share with you all where I first tasted polo and thus fell head over heels in love with the Sport of Kings.
It’s a small field tucked into the sleeve of the rolling green hills of the Sunshine Coast hinterland in Maleny. It’s known as Puddle Duck Farm and is a private property, owned by Joe Colreavy. If you can picture stone fences, grand ancient Fig trees, paddocks filled with grazing ponies and a field that overlooks the ancient Glass House Mountains.
Puddle Duck is the perfect platform for beginner polo players to gain their confidence on ponies that can play polo blind-folded. Owner, Joe Colreavy is a polo fanatic, and at 70, he still plays every weekend and very generously offers his horses to those wanting to stick and ball.
Its a hill billy affair where we gather on a Saturday at 2pm and play three-a-side, you’ll have more experienced players playing with beginners, and some how it works. It’s light hearted and social and is on every weekend throughout the year – weather dependant of course. The field is only a quarter of the size of a normal playing field but its flanked with boards which helps speed up play.
Polo can be extremely expensive and at the best of times has a ‘nose up in the air’ mentality but Puddle Duck Farm is far from that. Everyone is super friendly and happy to teach and encourage others to get into the sport. The best news is you don’t need three horses to play and you can bring a novice pony to the field. In the early days Dad and I turned up with our grey pony called Sapphire who had never see a polo mallet or ball in his life. After a couple of weeks he was tearing up and down the field like a pro’s pony – not quite we couldn’t stop him.
I now particularly love Puddle Duck for green horses, introducing them to the boisterous sport in a relaxed setting where they get familiar with turning, accelerating, stopping, pushing and line outs.
For those that are keen its free for your first Saturday to see if you like it, then you can lease a horse from Joe for a minimal amount. Check out their facebook page.
Finn and Dad’s dog Blue, a Australian Kelpie, getting to know each other on the back of the ute.
Finn hanging out at the polo field. If you look closely you can see Ruby Red Shoes, her toy bunny, who is never far from her clutches. Thankfully we have two back-up Ruby’s in the cupboard, just in case she gets forgotten on family outings.
On the left, I’m working my mare Arusi, look at that backdrop one of the Glasshouse Mountains. Dogs are welcome at this polo field.