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The fast-paced 'sport of kings' makes for a thrilling spectacle as well as some of the summer season's social highlights. Polo attracts an international crowd of horse-lovers from as far afield as Dubai and South America.
Britain's main polo season lasts from May to September, with indoor or arena polo played in winter. The sport - one of the world's oldest, dating back to at least 600 BC in Persia but adapted into its modern form in 19th-century India - has long had royal connections. Prince Philip was a key figure in its revival after the Second World War, Prince Charles has represented his country at polo, and his sons William and Harry are also keen players.
Played with giant mallets, polo can be dangerous. Outdoor games, which are faster than indoor ones, consist of up to eight seven-minute chukkas (from the Sanskrit chakra, meaning circle or wheel), between which players change mounts. There are four players on a team, each handicapped from -2 to 10; only about half a dozen players around the world hold the highest handicap of 10.