First of all, how many of you knew that referees in polo matches rode horses? Of course, it makes sense NOW that you think about it, but I don’t recall ever giving it much thought. And the idea of an incident involving polo FANS is also news to us. Then again, in America we think of polo as only a sport of the very rich who might send a servant to complain about a call on the field or file a grievance with a US Senator at some point. But storm the field? Not likely. If there’s one thing we do know, where there are horses, there’s going to be horse poop.
Well, things are different in India (like you didn’t already know that) and this week a horse riding referee at the Rajasthan Polo Club got tired of the fans “hooting” at him (probably like booing, but sounds more like an owl) and decided to take take matters into his own hands by charging after them. The fans, of course, were unhappy with some of the referee’s calls and thought they should let him know. They apparently forgot that unlike a soccer or rugby referee, this guy is on top of a large horse and is carrying a long mallet, not a good combination unless you want to get beaten.
In the end no one was hurt, but we suspect enterprising polo fans will start bringing their own horses and mallets to the games, putting them on even footing with the referees. At least, that’s what I would do, although finding a seat for the horse might be difficult. I should shut up now and just let you watch the video below. (The video is complete with the standard interview with an old man & long time polo fan who claims in all his years he has never seen such a disgrace . . . and also talks about wearing an onion on his belt, which was the fashion at the time.)