Widely known as the Sport of Kings, polo is older than recorded history and yet, despite the ancient origins of this equine event, it is making its very popular mark on Christchurch later this month when the Armstrong Prestige Hagley Park Polo Classic returns to the city.
More than 2,500 attendees headed into the city for the first iteration of the Armstrong Prestige Hagley Park Polo last year and, in 2019, the Sunday 27 January event is expected to be even bigger and better than before. An exhilarating sport combining horsepower and athleticism, event spokesperson Sophie Gardner says polo players from around the country, and the world, will compete in the tournament with one aim – to lift the Hagley Park Polo Cup.
By holding the event in central Christchurch organisers hoped it would “draw a new audience”. “We encourage as many people as possible to come along and see what polo is about.” Sophie says last year’s event was a “fabulous day out”, filled with excitement, fashion, champagne and fast cars. Framed by the picturesque tree line of Hagley Park, the backdrop to the day is second to none.
This year Louis Champagne Bar is sponsoring the champagne and oyster garden. “With tickets from just $55 it is an affordable and wonderful excuse to enjoy the summer in the city,” Sophie says. Event organiser Jimmy Wood, who is one of New Zealand’s highest handicapped professionals, will play at the event alongside his two brothers Charlie and Henry Wood as well as their father, ex-professional, Roddy Wood.
Along with the local home-grown talent, professional polo players from England, Argentina and Australia, will also attend. Sophie says unlike last year the event is fully ticketed. “Last year there was a free general admission area but not this year so people need to buy their tickets online in advance.”
For those wanting a VIP experience, catered tables are available in the Armstrong Prestige clubhouse marquee. There is a family friendly option available as well.
For further information see Facebook. Tickets can be purchased from
Programme for the day:
11:30am: Gates open
12pm: Champagne reception in the vip Armstrong Prestige clubhouse
12:30pm: Subsidiary polo final (play offs for 3rd and 4th)
1:30pm: Hunt parade and family friendly entertainment, interactive foot mallet displays for children
2:30pm: Armstrong power vs horse power
2:45pm: Team parade
3pm: The Armstrong Prestige classic final
3:30pm: Half time divot stomping and fashion in the field
6pm: Official after party at Louis Champagne and Oyster Bar, 123 Victoria Street.