Polo season has started and the international players are happy to be back in New Zealand - where they can actually have crowds to see them play.
Stars Nina and John-Paul Clarkin and Ross Ainsley are all back from the UK season to call NZ home for the summer.
All three have been granted an exemption coming into NZ through owning animals in NZ, and tell Spy it is great to be back and through quarantine. The Ainsleys and Clarkin use New Zealand as a breeding and training ground for polo ponies. They say the NZ thoroughbred is the best in the world and after the Lexus Urban Polo in Auckland in March, their newest polo ponies are exported to the best fields in the world.
"The quarantine was worth it," Ainsley told Spy. "The highlight for me is the Lexus Urban Polo because it is fast-paced and a chance to show our polo ponies' best abilities up close and personal. It's a true celebration of the sport I love."
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All three left Auckland after the Urban Polo in March as the world went into lockdown, and they say they couldn't be happier to be back in NZ where the crowds are already signing up to come and see club polo throughout the country and up-and-comers are signing up to learn how to play the Sport of Kings.
Urban Polo will return to Hagley Park in Christchurch in February and the Auckland Domain in March.
Managing Director Simon Wilson said 2020 was the last event before lockdown. "And we're back. Bigger and better, with the new horsepower of Peroni, which has a natural tie to royalty joining the stable of sponsors."