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Karkloof Polo Club

Karkloof Polo Club - Midlands & Battlefields, KwaZulu Natal © SA Polo Association

Karkloof Polo Club

The origins of the sport of polo, commonly mistaken to have started with British royalty, lie somewhere in Persia or China. The word "polo" is derived from the Indian language of Gugerati, more specifically the the word "pulu", meaning ball. There are a number of tapestries depicting the game, which date back to the fourth century. The game quickly made its way across the Asian continent, and it is a well known fact that the Mongol leader, Genghis Khan often used enemies' heads as practice balls.

The fast paced sport of Polo was introduced to South Africa by British cavalry regiments stationed in the Eastern Cape during the late 19th century. The British troops had learnt the game in India, and a short time later the first recorded tournament in South Africa took place at King Williamstown in 1885.

The Karkloof Polo Club was founded in 1897, and is one of the few, if not the only, polo club in Africa which boasts three playing fields. The club, set in magnificent surroundings, has a long and rich history. It was in 1886 that several brothers of the Shaw family played their version of a game they'd only heard about, cutting sticks from indigenous wood and shaping balls from willow and bamboo roots. Together with the Mackenzie brothers, the club was formed in 1897, and their descendants have produced many Springboks in its over one hundred years of existence.

The Karkloof Polo Club hosts a number of major events on the South African polo calendar, which include the SAPA Cup, the South African Championships, and a number of international matches, and the public are encouraged to spend the day watching the events.

For more information contact club Secretary Jan te Riele at (033) 330 2793
or 082 491 7998 , or send an email to jantr@mweb.co.za.

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