Polo & Livelihoods
The show on the field comprises the ride and the horse. But there are many others involved with the sport actively.
Polo is termed pricey! Professional players are in it for their livelihood. It is a co-dependent sport, wherein the rider slogs off the field and the patron, due to interest and passion for the sport, invests money and time on his team. As like any other sport, Polo requires investment. Polo is played for the love of the game. Players get a humble salary, irrespective of the high costs, but the champagne keeps flowing every Sunday!
Apart from players and patrons, there are many others who are dependent on the sport. There are roles ranging from groomers to equine fashion influencers that are also dependent on the sport.
For instance, breeders manage horses for their own use and for sale. Polo horses are rare and different from the normal ones and require specific breeding grounds; it is the job of the breeder to provide the best breeds for the players. The players require a different horse for every chukker making the breeder an integral part of the sport. There are breeding managers who work for owners of the breeding stables, and they are responsible for prepping the horses for mating and to keep track of records.
With the sport catching the eye of many, groomers are in high demand today. They are responsible for doing an array of tasks, like washing, brushing and tacking horses. Sometimes they even travel with the horses to keep them in proper care.
Apart from groomers, there are saddle makers. Saddles are important for the viability of the sport. As Winston Churchill says: “No hour in life is wasted that is spent on the saddle.” Thus, saddle is something that should be well made as it helps to distribute the weight of the rider accurately on the horse.
Rider agents manage the careers of riders. They do everything to provide for the riders for a salary. There are even photographers or videographers who depend on the equine sport for their earnings. They are required for recording rides for training and for reporting the sports event.
Farrier are termed as saviours of horses. They are responsible for fitting shoes to correct orthopedic issues and to keep the hooves properly trimmed for foot health. Braiders provide beautiful hairdos of the horses so that the riders can be at ease. They are very much in demand and get salaries at par with the trainers.
Apart from the above, there are others who earn money through the equine sports, like the equine dentists, bloodstock agents, alternative health practitioners, equine care providers, show managers, equine stable managers, equine transport providers and many more.