On a blustery September evening 500 people came to Watergate Bay to watch the first ever polo match to be played on a beach in the UK. Ten years on it became firmly established in the Cornwall event calendar drawing crowds of over 10,000. It became a mid-summer festival spanning three days including family entertainment, food, drink and live music. A beach festival which brought a new sport to a new audience. But most importantly it was free to attend and accessible to everyone.
From the very first match, Polo on the Beach was always designed to break down the elitist barriers associated with polo, letting as many people as possible have a taste of the this dynamic, action-packed spectacle, capturing their imagination and inspiring them to try something new.
To allow us to deliver an authentic experience we worked closely with Andy Burgess and South West Polo. He gave us the opportunity to host exciting matches, which over the years attracted some of the country’s finest polo players.
What started as a single match grew to a full three-day beach festival. In 2012 Olympic silver medallist Mary King rode in a pre-match chukka, while 2013 saw a new weekend format. By 2014 we played three polo matches, as well as introducing Segway polo and a whole community element with a festival feel, entertainment on the beach and live music. An Argentinian asado and even a Sunday charity dog show.
None of which could have been possible without our sponsors which over the years included Aspall Cyder, Joules, GWR, Veuve Clicquot, Tarquins, Champagne Jaquart, Treleavens and Cornwall Farmers.
Our last match was in 2017. Since then we have taken a break. The tides have not been kind and we have been focusing on different projects. But we will always dream of polo horses galloping on the beach again…