Polo ponies are usually a mixture between the English thoroughbred and the Argentinian Criollo. The blood of the thoroughbred gives speed and agility while the Criollo gives strength and stamina.
A polo match usually consists of 4 chukkas, each chukka lasting for about 7 minutes. (In tournaments more than 4 chukkas may be played).
There are two sides consisting of 4 players on each side. In each side there will be two attacking player and two defending players.
There are two sets of goal posts, one on either side of the polo field and the aim is to hit the ball in between the goal posts, much the same as in a football match.
Defenders are allowed to ride off which means pushing yourself and your horse against the man who has the ball in order to deter him from hitting it!
Anything that is considered dangerous to either horses or riders is considered a foul. If the mounted referee blows his whistle because he has seen a foul then the other side will be awarded a free hit at the goal posts. Depending on how severe the foul was, this free hit can be taken at either 30, 20 or 10 metres.