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World Polo Championship draws crowds to Western Sydney

World Polo Championship draws crowds to Western Sydney
October 25, 2017

In what is being billed as the biggest event ever held in Western Sydney’s Hawkesbury region, the XI Federation of international Polo (FIP) World Polo Championship is currently being held at the Sydney Polo Club.

Up to 60,000 people - including international media, top polo riders and spectators - are attending the prestigious tournament’s nine days of action at the privately-owned Richmond Club.

Running from 21st to 29th October, eight nations including Australia are playing off in the 14 game tournament to be named world champions.

Having been announced earlier this year, final approval for event to be held was only forthcoming from the NSW Government's Planning Department at the beginning of this month.

Having taken into account, traffic and safety concerns, Executive Director, Key Sites and Industry Assessments, Anthea Sargeant approved the event under the NSW Major Events Act 2009.

Sargeant explained “it’s an exciting opportunity for Sydney and the Hawkesbury region as it’s the first time this major event will be held in NSW.

“As well as being a fun family day out for polo fans, the event will boost the local economy and continue to build the profile of NSW as a leading international sporting host state.”

In a statement, the Department advised "(we have) worked closely with the event organisers, the EPA, Roads and Maritime Services, NSW police and emergency services, as well as other government agencies including the Hawkesbury City Council to ensure all potential issues were considered and appropriately managed through a plan of management.”

Along with polo, there is jousting, show jumping, rodeo, sheep dog herding, dressage, vaulting, pony club and an art show.

The staging of the event coincides with a rise in interest in polo in Australia.

Australian Polo Federation Chairman Tim Clarke advised “it's been growing at about 10 to 15% per year for the last four or five years.”

For details go to www.sydneypolo.com

Images: Action at this week's XI FIP World Polo Championship being held at the Sydney Polo Club, Richmond, NSW. Images courtesy of Damian Briggs Photography.

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