FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Questions answered by James Armstrong, Director of Polo Operations for Franklin Polo Academy.
Here are some common questions that I’m often asked as a professional polo player.
What should I wear to a polo match? I always tell people to dress comfortably for polo matches, you can dress up or down. Fancy hats and dresses to shorts and flip flops are acceptable. Here in Tennessee our summers are hot and humid, wear cool comfortable clothes.
(To find out more on what to wear to our polo matches, click here!)
How much do polo ponies (horses) cost? When I’m asked this question, I always answer it with a question. How much does a car cost? Just like cars, polo ponies can cost anywhere from $1000 to over $300,000. The price depends on many factors such as; its’ ability, its’ age, its’ health, physical features, breeding, experience, etc. For the beginner, I would recommend starting with an older reliable horse that has passed its' peak playing days, but is safe and knows the game well without the big price tag.
Is polo expensive? This very much depends on what level and where you want to play. Owning horses, a truck and trailer, equipment/tack, and the cost of feeding, maintaining and training polo horses takes considerable commitment and financial expense. Having said that, Franklin Polo Academy provides individuals the opportunity to experience and learn the sport without all the upfront cost of owning horses and all the equipment needed to play the game.
Do the horses ever get hurt? Just like any high intensity sport, there is the risk of injury to the athletes. Most players love their horses like anyone would love their pets. 95 percent of the rules in polo are in place to protect the player and horses from dangerous situations and ultimately injury. The horses wear leg protection and are exercised and trained daily to reach and maintain healthy fitness levels that condition them to endure the rigors of the sport.
Can I play polo left handed? No, the rules require that all players hold their mallet in their right hand. A left handed player would cause complications with the rules. There are many great players that are left-handed but learned to play with the mallet in their right hand!
What do I love most about the sport? This is a very difficult question for me to answer as there are so many attractive aspects to the sport. I love the horses, team spirit, the speed and the adrenaline rush of playing one of the fastest games in the world. In the later part of my career, I love the fact that my entire family can enjoy the sport with me. My wife plays and my boys enjoy flagging games and horsing around while we are playing.