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Polo a Win for the Local Economy

Oct 10, 2023

With Spring polo season in full swing more than 600 polo ponies have descended upon the Hawkesbury region, setting up their temporary residence for a few weeks. While this equestrian influx has been a source of great excitement for polo enthusiasts, it has also proven to be an extraordinary economic catalyst, injecting hundreds of thousands of dollars into the local economy within a mere 10 days.

The Hawkesbury tournaments, spanning several weeks, are jointly hosted by private and public clubs in the area, attracting Australia’s foremost polo players from all corners of the country. Over the past few weeks, the Richmond Lowlands have transformed into a polo mecca, showcasing the pinnacle of the sport, from junior divisions to the highest echelons of competition.

At the heart of this event are the prestigious Hector King and Dudley Cup tournaments. These fiercely contested competitions, featuring more than 12 ten-goal teams, undeniably stand as the largest and most competitive 10-goal tournaments in the nation.

With 36 teams vying for glory, these tournaments have not only been a showcase of exceptional polo talent but have also ignited an economic boom in the area. Windsor Polo Club Captain Adam Meally estimates that in the past 10 days more than $300,000 has been injected into the local economy. Local businesses, restaurants, pubs, and accommodation facilities have all reported a significant jump in business, thanks to the influx of horses and people in the Hawkesbury for the polo.

Local feed store Riverview produce is one such business experiencing a significant surge over the past few weeks. As an example, in July they sold three-quarters of a pallet of a particular horse feed. Last month they sold 13 pallets of the feed due to the polo. But it’s not just horse feed, sales of fruit and vegetables, dog feed and electric fences have also increased.

Australian coach and selector Anto White OAM, highlighted the event’s significance. 

“The impact of polo on the Hawkesbury cannot be overstated. We currently have around 36 teams here, comprising 144 polo players, along with their grooms, partners, and spectators. This brings over 300 individuals associated with the sport to our region,” White said.

“The economic injection is substantial, benefiting businesses such as feed stores and saddlery shops, restaurant and accomodation. It’s truly amazing what the Hawkesbury has done for polo, and conversely, what polo has done for the Hawkesbury by infusing so much into the local economy. It’s a win-win for everyone,” he said. 

The finals of the Hector King and Dudley Cup will be held at Windsor Polo Club on Sunday with spectators welcome to bring a picnic and watch the games.

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