Polo – A Brief History of the Game

Fernando Arteaga, Miami

A Florida-based architect with over 25 years of experience, Fernando Arteaga has served as principal of HKS in Miami since 2019. In this role, he oversees the architecture and interior design of luxury resorts throughout the US, Europe, and Latin America. Outside his work in Miami, Fernando Arteaga enjoys various activities, including skiing, diving, and playing polo.

With origins dating back to at least 600 BC, polo is an ancient game that was first played by nomads in Central Asia. While polo has always been played for sport, the earliest versions of the game also provided training for war.

Polo’s popularity followed the Asian nomads’ migration to Persia (modern-day Iran), where its popularity among nobility and military men helped it become a national sport. The game eventually caught on in other areas of the world, including India, China, and Japan.

It was in India where the modern game of polo developed. By the mid-19th century, a polo club had been established in India and the game was beginning to catch on in England, Ireland, Australia, and Argentina. Polo reached the United States by way of New York in the late 19th century, and was soon being played throughout North America.

Today, polo is played in over 80 countries, and international tournaments are held worldwide. Major tournaments include the Federation of International Polo World Polo Championship, which will next be held in October 2022.

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