Polo will be played on Clapham Common in south London this summer as part of an antipodean cultural festival called Toast.
The nine year-old event as a celebration of New Zealand wine in the northern hemisphere — a ‘toast’ to New Zealand wine. But it now features dedicated Australian and South African days, staged over the last weekend in June. And this year, polo joins the bill.
The event kicks off on Friday 26 June with Toast South Africa, featuring a polo match between South Africa and Great Britain with star players South African Rod Gutridge and Brit Tarquin Southwell.
Saturday is New Zealand day, hosted by former All Black rugby legend Zinzan Brooke with the polo match between New Zealand and Great Britain starting at 1.30pm, featuring New Zealand player, Alex Parrot. Australia day is Sunday, with the polo match starting at the same time. World-renowned New Zealand polo player Peter Grace will commentate on the matches.
The public will be encouraged to get involved with “have a go” polo sessions and “learn to play” classes, and there are competitions for the fashionable or outlandishly dressed with prizes for the best dressed ladies, couples and groups.
Each day will also feature barbeque, food and wine delights typical of each country including springbok kebabs, Boerewors sausages, green-lip mussels, hokey pokey ice-cream, tim tams and violet crumbles. There are wine theatres, music and sports events in the Sports Zone, where you can for example test your Aussie Rules skills.
Tickets start from £15 — for more details visit www.toastfestivals.co.uk