Aug 2, 2015

A Spot of Polo

We got invited to a fund-raising Polo match out there in the countryside where they pursue such pursuits. We were invited by a colleague of Nicole's who's a bit of a dashing Arabian type bloke, you know the type: successful, good-looking, probably rich, spending his time performing science for the good of Humanity, etc, etc, while having his photo taken for University of Queensland adverts and such like so you get off the train at Roma St and there he is looking all scientific and intelligent and handsome and purposeful and all that. You know the type.

And of course being an Arabian type bloke or at least from that part of the world, he can ride a horse, probably brought up with horses, who knows? He can probably survive in the desert for weeks on end, drilling for oil just for fun whilst taking breaks to gaze moodily over the infinite dunes while his Arabian stallion grazes at some tuft of grass he's dowsed for.

We toddled down to Beaudesert to watch him play Polo and generally feel invertedly snobby towards the polo-playing and -spectating types.

We had the type of arrangement that you could only get at a polo fixture where you have a space for your car next the field, you drive up, open up your car and either deploy a massive picnicking infrastructure with hampers full of provendered goodness, fine wines, honeyed almonds and the like with trestle tables and sun-tracking sun-shade equipment; or open up your boot and sit on the boot lid or on the ground in front, and watch some horses.

I'm sure you can imagine the option we took.

Due to some clerical oversight our name wasn't up on a sign the way that other parties' were, so we drove up and down the side of the field like numpties until we just chose a spot for ourselves and staked our claim.

The field itself, ringed by a short fence presumably there to prevent ball-related accidents (for the benefit of the naive, polo is a sport that involves balls) and to perform natural selection on horses' shin bones, was a hugely massive area with a couple of goals at either end, over which trampled an odd number of horses (between six and twelve), their hooves beating out a reasonable imitation of a stampede of horses, their riders barking distant and inscrutable one-liners, long mallets swinging like scythes (only vertically), a loudspoken commentary wafting across from the far pavilion on the other side.

At one end a coterie of trucks in which a herd of horses hung around, trying to get out of the sun. Every now and then some fresh blood would be extracted and a rider would get a new horse, his old one being led off in another direction for watering and cooling.

The beasts ran back and forth, mostly in the far distance. The ball rolled back and forth, mostly in the distance. The commentary rolled on and on, we walked around the pitch, visited the stables, met some horses, met some people. In the immortal words of Mr Colin Cliche, we had quite a nice time. It was "an experience."

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