Every year, the polo season in the UK attracts thousands of spectators, players, sponsors and enthusiasts to hundreds of matches up and down the country. But if you're new to the sport, or if you feel a bit out of the loop, it can be hard to know where to start, and what the highlights are of the busy season. Not to worry - here at pampeano, one of the world's leading suppliers of polo equipment and accessories, we have compiled a handy rundown of what to expect this polo season, in 2023. So read on, discover, and be inspired to attend one of these exciting events.
First of all, you need to know the basics of the polo season. When does the polo season run in the UK? The season generally runs from April to September, making the most of the good weather in Britain. This is when clubs will train, practice, and compete, at all levels from grassroots to international levels. There are countless polo matches across the country that invite spectators to come and watch, whether members or non-members, whether new-comers or aficionados. Read on for some good starting points if you're looking to attend some of the top events in the UK: otherwise, do look into the local clubs in your area, and see if you can see some local polo.
Now, for some of the highlights. Firstly, one of the most famous polo tournaments in the world: the Cartier Queen's Cup. This event runs from 23rd May to the 18th June, and has teams from all over the world competing for the prestigious prize. The Queen's Cup was named after the late Queen Elizabeth II, and has had a long history with the royal family. The Queen gave out the first cup in 1960, and continued giving out the honour for many years. Prince Phillip competed himself in the cup twice, and King Charles' team won in 1986. Members of the royal family will usually attend the tournament every year, so if you'd like to rub shoulders with the royals, this is certainly the place to be. The royals have even been spotted wearing some of our pampeano polo belts, so keep your eyes peeled for that - or grab yourself one before you go so you can fit in!
The main event when it comes to polo in the UK is without a doubt the British Open Polo Championship for the Cowdray Gold Cup. This runs from 27th June to the 23rd July this year, and takes place at Cowdray Park in the South Downs. This is probably the biggest polo tournament in Europe, with over 40 matches over the three weeks. The tournament is an incredible experience for spectators, not only watching some extremely high quality polo playing, but also enjoying the entertainment provided including demonstrations, shopping, street food, bars, and even hosting special events within the tournament like a Gin and Jazz evening and even an Ibiza Night. Set amongst an idyllic country house estate including some iconic Tudor ruins, it's hard to imagine a more quintessentially British polo event. With tickets available for individual events as well as season passes, it's not one to be missed for any polo fan.
If you'd like to get international, there are some fantastic polo tournaments across the globe that are incredible to see. Our favourites, of course, are all in Argentina - the birthplace of pampeano, and of the sport of polo as we know it today. The three biggest polo tournaments in Argentina are known as the Triple Crown: this is made up of Hurlingham Polo Open, Tortugas Polo Open, and Palermo Polo Open. However, if you're going over to support the UK, don't hold your breath - it's almost always Argentine clubs who take the Championship. But it's still worth it to go and soak in the atmosphere of polo matches in the home of polo itself.
If you like the sound of polo but don't want to make the journey out to these top events, you can always catch them on TV. But how can you watch polo on TV in the UK? In the modern world of internet television, the best way to watch the biggest polo games is via streaming. There is no one hub for streaming all the games, so you'll have to look into the best places to stream each match individually. The Cowdray Park Polo Club run their own live streaming service from their website, for which you pay for a pass and then can stream all the biggest games, like the Gold Cup, from your very own living room. Some other organisations, like the United States Polo Association, livestream the big games for free on YouTube; this year's England vs USA Westchester Cup was streamed there in March, which saw England defeat the Americans.
Of course, a big aspect of a day out at polo is the atmosphere, the dressing up, and the sense of occasion; but there's no reason you can't get dressed up with some friends and family and have your own polo party at home for your favourite tournament! When playing polo, a classic pampeano belt will be the perfect accessory to add to your look. Shop our range of pampeano belts on our website to find something just for you. Not only a polo accessory, the pampeano belt can be the perfect pairing with a summer dress or chinos and a shirt to wear on a polo day out this summer!
So, however you choose to watch the sport of kings, whether it be mingling with princes and princesses, jetting off to the home of polo, Argentina, or from the comfort of your own home, we hope you enjoy the polo season this year.