You may or may not have noticed that the polo season is drawing to a close - but that doesn’t mean that you can’t rock some beautiful, polo-stitch embellished pieces of horse tack for your horse or pony; or polo-stitch accessories for yourself and your trusty canine friend!
Before delving into the latest trend that is colourful polo-stitch tack and accessories, let’s look at the history of this very British sport. Although as we say, polo is often thought of as a British institution, the game actually originated in Persia, as the Iranian King’s cavalry training.
As mounted armies began to travel the world, polo, arguably the oldest recorded team sport, was adopted as a noble pastime by kings, sultans and emperors. However it did go onto be adopted by the Brits; as the nation’s military officers went on to introduce a faster-paced version of the game to UK soil having witnessed it in India in around 1869. In fact, a famous verse is inscribed on a stone tablet next to a polo ground in Gilgit, Pakistan that reads: "Let others play at other things. The king of games is still the game of kings."
Polo is now played in more than 60 countries worldwide, and is enjoyed by more than 50 million people each year internationally. It is said that Cowdray Park Polo Club is the home of British polo, where the 4th Viscount Michael Pearson founded his original polo club in 1910.
There are now over sixty clubs in Britain, and you can be up on a horse or pony within the hour, with no previous riding experience. Polo is refreshingly accessible for young people, with surprisingly competitively-priced lessons; and thanks to some inventive tournaments designed to reach out to new fans, it is becoming increasingly inclusive to people from all walks of life.
The aim of polo is to score as many goals as possible, and players do so by driving a ball into the opposing team’s goal, using a mallet; there are four players in a team. The term chukka - a period of time - is derived from the Indian word for circle or ’round’. Typically club matches are four chukkas long.
Polo ponies are often bedecked in gorgeous, colourful polo-stitch embroidered tack; the colours, created by Argentine crafts-people, were originally used to provide polo teams with their colours, but the style has become famous both on and off the pitch as fashion staple, most commonly in ladies’ and men’s belts.
Polo-stitch leatherware items, including ours, usually feature the iconic diamond ‘pampa’ pattern - these pampeano-style pieces are really fashion-forward items that are lovingly hand-finished.
This diamond pattern is a favourite design of ours here at Equicraft Ltd, as the pampa diamond is immediately recognisable the world over as a symbol of South American heritage.
For generations, the pampa diamond has been incorporated into the artwork of native South American people using brightly coloured threads; and we are now working with a talented artisan team to bring this heritage to our customers, at a fair price.
Check out our polo bridle, with its colourful noseband, browband and reins; it is super-smart and hardwearing. If you just want to add some interest to a headcollar, you can embrace the nod toward polo accessorising with Equicraft Ltd’s lovely polo headcollar. It has four stitched areas, and is an extremely useful headcollar for any horse or pony, as it has buckles on both the left and right side of the headcollar headpiece!
For yourself, check out a delightful polo belt from Equicraft Ltd; they really brighten up a pair of jeans, and quickly pull together an outfit.
For the canine in your life, our polo stitch dog collar and lead sets (pictured left).
These items are something very special - gorgeous leather, intricate detailing and a range of bright colours, to make your pooch stand out from the crowd.
(These feature a cross design, rather than the diamond pattern.)
(The belts and dog sets also make perfect Xmas gifts, of course!)