The Audi Czech Snow Polo Masters 2014 was recently held in Špindlerův Mlýn, Czech Republic. Polo in the snow is not something I have seen much of. When I first saw this I was intrigued! Polo played in the snow is on a smaller field (60 yards by 20 yards) and I had so many questions about how it differed to the polo I was used to seeing. I caught up with International polo player, Ameer Jumabhoy to find out more about this fascinating event.
TMHS: Tell me more of the match in Prague and how you came to be playing polo in the snow.
AJ: It was my first time playing snow polo and what an experience it was! Snow polo had always been on my bucket list and I was initially contacted by the organiser and founder of Gill Polo, Naveed Gill, on Facebook. At first I was a little skeptical because I was unaware of any polo being played in the Czech Republic, but after a friend traveled to play a tournament at Gill Polo last year and came back with very positive comments, that sealed the deal and I committed to going to the Czech Republic to play in the country’s first snow polo game.
TMHS: How different is playing polo in the snow to playing on dry ground? What are some of the stand out things you feel are different?
AJ: It is hugely different… almost like playing a completely different game! While the horse aspect was similar, the rules, type of ball and general gameplay was very different. For example, in an actual game of polo, we have huge spaces we can run into and control a ball that is smaller but heavier. In snow polo, the spaces are smaller and consequently, you have to turn a lot faster. However, the ball is very difficult to control as it is unpredictable; it is pretty much like a smaller beach ball.
TMHS: What was the highlight for you while you were there?
AJ: I always say that people make a massive difference to an experience and this sentiment was proved correct once again. I take away memories of new friends, passionate polo players and hospitable Czech people. I hope I have the chance to return to the country and play there again because I really fell in love with everything about the Czech Republic.
TMHS: What’s next for you in polo?
AJ: We start the next set of Malaysian tournaments this Saturday so I guess, as they say, there’s “no rest for the wicked!” The polo season is now packed within Southeast Asia for me but I am also considering offers to play elsewhere in Europe later in the summer.
Follow Ameer Jumabhoy on Instagram: @ameerjumabhoy
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