Polo and picnics

The Sport of Kings. Hockey on a horse. Equine Chess; however you describe it, polo is one of the oldest team sports in the world and Barnbougle Polo looks set to be a permanent fixture in the Tasmanian summer calendar.

Saturday 21st January will see the third, annual, high-goal polo match to be held at Barnbougle, just outside Bridport. With players from around Australia joining local players from The Creech, Piermont and Hobart Polo Club, this will be a day to remember.

If you are unfamiliar with polo, check out this quick guide to the rules from Hurlingham Polo.

Each team has four players and the higher the goals, the faster the pace. A chukka (period of play) lasts 7 minutes, which may not seem like much but with a pitch approximately 270m x 150m, the horses do some hard and fast yards so the players can score goals.

With each goal scored, the players swap ends and at the end of the chukka, the ponies (not horses!), will be swapped over to give them a rest. The importance of these horses is exceptional, writer Terry Conway describes them as being “75% of the game” whilst playing what is one of the fastest games in the world.

Style is an essential part of polo and that does not just mean your clothes! A stylish picnic is everything at the polo. Be inspired by some of the suggestions on Pinterest on how to display your delicious delights, remembering that the theme of the day is fresh, seasonal abundance.

You can pick up ripe, fresh, local summer fruits such as cherries, raspberries and apricots (Ferniehurst, Sheffield Berries, Westerway Raspberry Farm, Penna Valley) to snack upon throughout the afternoon.

Staying with the healthy and light approach and enjoy some hot smoked salmon (41 Degrees) and salad (Steve’s Vegies, Laos Fresh Farm, Tasmanian Natural Garlic & Tomatoes, Tamar Valley Hyrdoponics, Seven Springs Organic).

Give your salad an unusual and beautiful twist by adding some edible flowers from Old School Farm. Serve with fresh bread (Sandy’s Sourdough, Apiece, Manubread), butter (Tasmanian Butter Co.) and olive oil (Coronea Grove, Mt Direction, Lentara Grove).

For a totally Tasmanian afternoon tea as the final chukkas thunder past, bring out the cheese (Southern Sky, Elgaar, Coal River Farm) and crackers (Lentara Grove) with honey (Honey Tasmania, WestBee Honey), chutney (Vix Kitch, Rocky Gardens) nuts (Hazelbrae) and dips (Trio of Dips).

It wouldn’t be a real picnic without a sweet treat so pick up a chocolatey delight from Modo Mio to round the day off.

Stay hydrated with healthy kombucha (Avocado Moon) in between glasses of crisp, cold, sparkling, wines from Pipers Brook Vineyard that will be available on site. Don’t forget to keep things safe and ice cold with freezer packs and a Harvest cool bag.

Have a wonderful time at the polo, we would love to see your picnic pictures of this glamorous event.