Polo in Barbados – a lively island pastime

Nothing beats an afternoon at a game of polo in the tropical surroundings of Barbados. Beautiful ladies in haute couture, led by a group of dashing men, gathered to watch the sport of royalty while sipping champagne amidst the sounds of hoof beats. There’s also afternoon tea, a fully stocked bar – or in Bajan parlance, a ‘hard bar’ – and often a delicious Bajan buffet. It really is an afternoon of cultural fun for the international group.

Once a local pastime enjoyed by a few enthusiasts, polo has now become an important and respected event on international sporting and social calendars. Not to be played by the faint of heart, polo is a very glamorous sport. Aside from club matches starting in January, there are 14 goals in the Columbia Emeralds Barbados Open in March this year, as well as visits from teams from South Africa, Argentina, USA and England.

The quality and features of Barbados Polo has improved over the years with much better facilities being offered. Apart from the Barbados Polo Club in Holders Hill, three new polo courses have opened at Waterhall, Lion Castle and Clifton, all offering stunning views of the Barbados countryside. The influx and recruitment of high-quality, high-handicapped overseas players has afforded local teams the opportunity to play alongside some of the highest quality polo players. Polo ponies have also improved significantly, most of them imported from well-known polo-breeding countries such as Argentina.

The Barbados polo season runs from January to April this year.

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