From some sunshine to snowfall

By Amy Shanks

Local man Dave Miller will switch a sweltering weekend of competition at the Hawke's Bay Open for a long plane ride to China to compete in a Snow Polo tournament in Tianjin.

Mr Miller spends six months of the year in England playing polo and the rest buying and training polo ponies in Porangahau.

He has also played for the New Zealand Polo team on and off and will represent the country at the inaugural Snow Polo World Cup invitational tournament from February 4 to 12.

"I got selected to play for New Zealand and don't know a lot about snow polo, so I'm going to learn more about it," Mr Miller said.

Twelve teams from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, England, France, Hong Kong SAR, India, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa and the USA will compete in what promises to be the largest snow polo tournament in the world.

The event will be held at China's Tianjin Goldin Metropolitan Polo Club, the country's most extensive polo facility.

Polo has only become a popular sport in China during the past couple of years and is marketed as an elite sport.

The major difference in snow polo is that instead of a white plastic ball, the ball is larger and bright orange so it is easier to spot on the snow.

Mr Miller is unable to compete in the four-day Hawke's Bay Open this weekend as he flies out today, but was there Thursday to watch a friend play on some of his polo ponies.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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