A prestigious game played in fabulous locations, polo requires a billiard table like playing surface, but one that is still resilient to withstanding horses’ hooves over the course of a season.
Grassform’s expertise in other sports turf areas holds us in good stead to design, construct and maintain your polo lawn or polo field.
Our full service ensures that all relevant drainage systems are put in place dependent on soil type, grass is seeded to provide an excellent coverage and a full Polo Pitch Maintenance Programme is put in place for the polo field. A specialised programme will ensure that the pitch is fully manageable and playable all through the season from May to September.
We can do all the groundworks for you or if you are doing the work yourselves why not hire some of our specialist Construction Machinery with or without a driver.
To see a selection of implements for hire please click here.
If you would like more information about our polo pitch construction services then please do call us today on 01277 353686.
Polo pitch construction is not for the faint hearted! Unless the land you own has good levels earthmoving an area the size of 5-6 football pitches is not to be undertaken lightly.
Polo can be played on ground that is not perfectly flat and can sometimes have surprising gradients. None-the-less, a polo lawn that is flat or has only slight general gradients is certainly preferable, especially if the standard of play expected is high.
Few polo fields are constructed in the purest sense of the word. Most polo lawns are created from local land that is ploughed and cultivated up before being sown with appropriate and carefully chosen grass seed. This may sound simple enough…but it is surprising just how easy even something like this can go wrong. For example, problems can result from inappropriate ploughing activity that brings stone to the surface during the cultivation stage which subsequently causes a hazard to ponies hooves and riders (should they fall off).
Site assessment is the important first step and this should identify potential problems as far as is possible in a variable material such as soil. In the stony soil scenario cultivation techniques should be very carefully chosen if bringing stone to the surface is to be avoided.
Site assessment should also identify the need for drainage and irrigation requirements. Land drainage may be needed on all, or part of, the polo lawn in order to ensure surface playing characteristics are manageable. It is essential that the pony has a good and predictable foothold.
Occasionally, a high profile client may require a difficult site to be developed for a polo lawn or polo lawns. These “money is no object” scenarios demand the ultimate in playing surface quality and may involve substantial earth movement, soil and rootzone importation and drainage & irrigation works to create the best of natural playing surfaces.
Whether it is a high quality new and total polo field reconstruction or a simple land re-cultivation it is very easy for mistakes to be made. Mistakes on the scale of a single polo lawn are expensive and therefore not to be tolerated or taken lightly. Unfortunately, the simpler jobs often seem to go wrong the most easily, because they are seen as simple and therefore potential pitfalls are overlooked. The attitude “we’ll just get the farmer to plough it and seed it” is full of all kinds of problems.
Even something as simple as grassing the surface is capable of creating expensive and long-term problems if done incorrectly. To the uninitiated grass is grass and seeding an area of a polo lawn is not cheap. The temptation therefore exists to use a cheap seed. If the work is carried out by a farmer or untrained turf professional, or advised on by an agricultural agronomist it is quite possible that the wrong type of grass may be used. This may demand far higher mowing frequencies and higher wear and tear on machinery as a consequence. Labour and depreciation of equipment can quickly leave a hole in the maintenance budget, especially in the longer growing seasons that seem to be the norm nowadays.
The right seed mix for any one site will be contingent on environmental conditions that prevail on that site. Chances are that a variety of grass species will be used to achieve a blend of characteristics in the polo lawn surface that contribute and enhance its playing quality. Use the wrong grass and the lawn may be virtually unmanageable, of poor quality and require unreasonable cutting frequency to maintain.
Aftercare and Maintenance
A polo lawn is a large area of land that requires a high standard of maintenance and must achieve certain desirable criteria. Planning and ensuring good quality workmanship is vital to the success of the project, especially if it looks very simple and straightforward.
Even after a construction project appears complete attention should be maintained on the establishment of the grounds. The immediate aftercare of the surface is of paramount importance and if not of good quality will dramatically affect the success of the project. The most crucial phase is the first three months but the first year is certainly the most important period.
Thanks to Noel MacKenzie of sportsturfconsulting.co.uk for writing this article.
Sports turf bred grasses grow a better quality sward that has many desirable attributes, these include:
- Low growth / tolerance to close mowing
- Slow re-growth
- Disease resistance
- Good recovery to damage
- Drought tolerance
- Wear tolerance, etc.