Jay Garnett (left) and Grant Lockhart at the Vancouver Polo Club’s open house in Delta on July 7, 2019. (Ryan-Alexander McLeod photo)

Delta-based Vancouver Polo Club ready to welcome new members

The club has over 50 horses, more than 12 designated for new players and beginners in its ‘pony pool’

By Ryan-Alexander McLeod for the North Delta Reporter

“Polo is really fun.”

That’s the message shared by anyone you talk to around the Vancouver Polo Club (VPC) grounds in Delta.

From humble beginnings in 2014, it didn’t take the club long to steady its footing and it’s now ready to welcome fresh faces, said membership chair Grant Lockhart.

So what is polo?

Take a pinch of golf, mix it with an ounce of cricket, stir in a healthy dose of rugby, then do all of them on horseback and you might get a little closer to understanding the sport of polo.

“I’ve personally never found anything quite like it,” Lockart said. “We want to make this accessible for anyone who wants to come out and try it.

“We’re in a place today that we haven’t been the last few years, we are ready for new members.”

The club has over 50 horses and more than a dozen of them are designated for new players and beginners in its “pony pool.”

“We are continuing to build so we can expand the sport and share our love for polo,” Lockhart said.

Club organizers Lockhart and Jay Garnett, board member in charge of marketing for the VPC, put bluntly just how humble the beginnings really were: “[It] started with an old rundown stable, knee deep in chicken [waste].”

“Polo was huge in the ’50s and ’60s in Vancouver but then with development being what it was and is, it moved out to Delta, not far from our current location here,” Garnett said.

The old field became overgrown, interest faded, but Garnett and his group decided they needed something fun to do.

“We weren’t going to do show jumping or anything like that, but we still wanted something to enjoy with our kids and the whole family,” he said.

Vancouver Polo Club membership chair Grant Lockhart with his horse Mafia at the Vancouver Polo Club’s open house in Delta on July 7, 2019. (Ryan-Alexander McLeod photo)

Checking over his horse named Mafia’s legs, Lockhart said showing up to the Vancouver Polo Club on a Sunday is more than just getting out and playing.

“It’s one of those sports where you come out early, you take your time and talk to your horse, groom them, check them over, make sure your tack (equipment) is ready,” he said. “You come here for the game and you stay sometimes until the wee hours having fun, enjoying a fire with friends.”

And that’s what the VPC is trying to cultivate. Lockhart said the feeling of being at the club is a cathartic release from the city grind unlike any other.

Not only that, but the club has three professional Argentinian polo players on staff to train players of all ages. The team is lead by polo pro, VPC manager and resident man-who-can’t-stop-smiling-while-talking-about-polo Nicolas Maciel.

Maciel has played since the age of 15 years old in his home of Argentina, where his father was a competitive player. Professional polo took Maciel all over the world and he’s now enjoying his home in Canada.

“I loved the horses, my father was a player and it was just the right thing to do to play polo,” he said.

“The adrenaline polo gives you is incredible. It’s a team sport with really friendly people and I just love to play.”

That love of the sport Maciel feels is evident in his teaching style and during the club’s open house on Sunday, July 7, his positive energy with each of the newcomers he trained was evident. Patience and his wide smile set learners at ease and proved just how far a little bit of practice can go for any skill level.

“If you are a decent rider, love horses and are willing to learn, we can teach you,” Maciel said. “Just have a little bit of patience and you can make it; kids, men, women, everyone can have fun playing polo. I want to make sure everyone is safe and having fun, once you have that, the skill will come.”

The Vancouver Polo Club offers five-lesson starter packages for $600, which includes equipment, a horse to ride and instruction from trained professionals.

Want to check out polo for yourself? Club players will be competing at this Saturday’s (July 13) Pacific Polo Cup, hosted at the Southland Riding Club in Vancouver (7025 Macdonald St.), from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more info on the club, visit vancouverpolo.com.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Vancouver Polo Club manager Nicolas Maciel teaches Valerie Cowie the sport of polo at the club’s open house in Delta on July 7, 2019. (Ryan-Alexander McLeod photo)

The view of the original club house at the Vancouver Polo Club open house in Delta on July 7, 2019. (Ryan-Alexander McLeod photo)

From bridles to saddles to mallets, the Vancouver Polo Club is fully equipped. (Ryan-Alexander McLeod photo)

Jay Garnett (left) and Grant Lockhart at the Vancouver Polo Club’s open house in Delta on July 7, 2019. (Ryan-Alexander McLeod photo)

Vancouver Polo Club membership chair Grant Lockhart with his horse Mafia at the Vancouver Polo Club’s open house in Delta on July 7, 2019. (Ryan-Alexander McLeod photo)

Jay Garnett (left) and Grant Lockhart, with a cameo from Puddles the dog, at the Vancouver Polo Club’s open house in Delta on July 7, 2019. (Ryan-Alexander McLeod photo)

Just Posted

Rollover crash in South Surrey

One person airlifted following incident near 40 Avenue and 160 Street

Surrey council approves modular housing projects for homeless after lengthy hearing

Vote comes after three-hour-long public hearing over supportive housing projects in Whalley, Guildford

Surrey mayor appoints his Safe Surrey Coalition to police transition committee

McCallum dissolved the city’s public safety committee last week in favour of the new committee

Another 250 units proposed for booming block in Clayton neighbourhood

New developments join list of projects popping up near new Salish Secondary, future community centre

PHOTOS: Beach day in White Rock

Summer heat brings locals and tourists to the beach

VIDEO: Young couple found dead in northern B.C. had been shot, police say

Chynna Noelle Deese of the U.S. and Lucas Robertson Fowler of Australia were found along Highway 97

Hazmat incident closes down Lower Mainland street

One person is believed to be dead, police said

VIDEO: Man found dead near B.C. teens’ truck could be linked to a double homicide

RCMP said they are looking for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, of Port Alberni

Latest plan is to fly trapped fish by helicopter over Big Bar slide

Multi-pronged plan set in motion to freesalmon blocked by landslide in the Fraser River

Family of missing B.C. senior with dementia frustrated with situation, heartened by community support

Nine days since Grace was last seen the question remains: ‘How can an 86-year-old just disappear?’

Unsealed record suggests U.S. man convicted of murdering Vancouver Island couple left DNA on zip tie in 1987

William Talbott is set to be sentenced Wednesday in the murders of Jay Cook and Tanya Van Cuylenborg

Okanagan Air Cadet challenges gender-exclusive haircut policy

Haircut regulation inspires challenge around gender identity

Pride flags stolen from Lower Mainland church

Went missing sometime Friday night, says Maple Ridge reverend

25 new wheelchair-accessible cabins open at Cultus Lake Provincial Park

Maple Bay Campground is now home to 25 new wheelchair friendly cabins, a first for BC Parks

Most Read

l -->