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I am neither patrona nor ruthlessly talented ingénue, hence combining the worst features of both — incompetence and penury. Yet I am having a great time, when not in fear of my life. This fear is not confined to the physical; the ramifications of breaching polo etiquette are about as terrifying as a flying hoof in the face.

 My first match was disappointing; I spent it hovering on the peripheries, trying to look as though I was cannily anticipating a change in the direction of play.

 When it was over I galloped off the field in some semblance of horsemanship. Other players were curiously slow to join me. A few minutes later, a well-meaning lady took me aside and told me in no uncertain terms that I had just committed the most grievous offence possible: leaving the field without thanking each member of the opposing team.

"And you should never gallop off, you know. Most disrespectful." 

"To whom?" 

"Your pony! Only the most arrogant players do that." 

So there we are: I am not only talentless but arrogant with it. Perhaps I would be better off back in Turkey playing buskasi, a form of polo played with a dead goat and hooks instead of ball and mallets. A little messy by the sixth chukka but more affordable and delightfully Manolo-free. 

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Henry Welland
June 12th, 2011
8:06 PM
Most interesting article. If I were Abramovich I would certainly want to arrange it so that I could play in the cup final.

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