I'm always looking for fun and different family activities for the weekend, and Houston has tons to offer. When I found out that Polo season was about to start in the city, I started looking for the how? When? And where? I had the opportunity to attend a match this Sunday, and I have to say that I enjoyed a great family afternoon.
Since I was young, I've loved everything that has to do with the equestrian world and enjoying a Polo match in Houston was a great opportunity to introduce my kids to a sport they had never seen.
Even though Polo is practiced in more than 70 countries around the world, only 13 play it competitively, and the US is one of them. So are Mexico and obviously Argentina and England.
The Houston Polo Club is one of the most important Clubs in the country and the world. It was opened in 1928 and has 26 acres of forest and gardens literally hidden between Memorial Drive and 610. I never would have imagined all that lies behind the "Dead End" sign I have driven by millions of times.
After you enter that narrow road surrounded by trees, you are greeted by the huge field, where in just a few moments, you'll witness a true spectacle. All the experience takes place in an open space with easy access not only to watch the match, but also to observe all the preparation needed for it.
A Polo match has 6 chukkers or periods of seven minutes each and the idea is basically the same one as in soccer but while riding a horse. The game is played between teams of four players and they'll try to shoot the ball between the two posts using their mallet. The riders change horse on each chukker due to the strain that is put on each horse since they break and go so abruptly during those long seven minutes. It's a real pleasure to be able to see the skill and agility with which each rider manoeuvres their horse.
For my kids, besides watching the game, what was really exciting was to be able to walk through the stables and see how each groom tacks up and prepares each and every one of the six horses the riders will need. I also had the opportunity to chat with an Argentinian referee, who explained to me the rules of the game he loves dearly, thanks to Argentina being one of the most dominant Polo teams in the world for the past few years.
During half time, the spectators have the opportunity to enter the field to do the traditional "Divot-stomping" in which they try to fix with their feet all the holes the horses hooves have left behind. A fun activity that lets you mingle with the rest of the crowd. A lovely detail is the free champagne glass all the adults are given during this activity.
If you are looking to do something different during the weekend, Yo Mariana truly recommend you to attend a Polo game. The season in Houston lasts from September 7th, to November the 9th.
You can buy your tickets at half price in Groupon.com and you can get the kid's tickets at a preferential rate online
Here are more photos of the match:
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