On a site where polo was played over 100 years ago, more than 1000 people gathered on The Commons, in Niagara On The Lake on Sept 8, 2018 to watch a fundraising match between teams from Toronto Polo Club, representing Toronto and Niagara on the Lake.
The site, while a little smaller than a professional polo pitch, was a perfect location for the fundraising event that benefited the Niagara Historical Society and Museum.
Polo is played with two teams of three to four players. The game is broken down to four seven minute stop-time “chukkers.” After each chukker the player changes to a new horse for the next session. Through offensive and defensive plays each player using a mallet tries to advance the ball down the field and through a goal to score a point.
It was the second time that Amy Klassen and museum curator Sarah Kaufman organized and ran the event. The first event was held in 2016 and raised more than $20,000. Klassan and Kaufman doubled their fundraising goal for this years event hoping to raise $40,000 or more.
Spectators were treated to two full games with the traditional “stomping of the divots” between the two games along with complimentary sparkling wine on the pitch. They were also treated to music by the Niagara Police Pipe and Drum band, a parade of vintage British sports cars and the popular “best hat” contest.
Monies raised will go to help in maintaining the museums collection and supporting their programs. As well the museum is looking at a larger expansion project down the road and this event is a start to preparing for larger fundraising efforts in the future.