The two most over-used clichés in polo are:
“The sport of kings is still the king of sports”
“Your polo handicap is your passport to the world.”
Grimm added that, “Polo is a noble sport and a sport in which you can make friends easily. It is a noble sport as we should play it with a noble spirit on noble animals, of which horses may be the finest examples.” A spectator really has little idea of 32 mph on the back of a four-legged animal, being chased by 28 other legs really feels like, nor how true it is that a polo handicap really is a passport to the world.
If you have never held a polo handicap you can only guess how many doors this really opens. About two-thirds of the rated players carry a rating of 2-goals or less; few ever advance beyond 3-goals. Rating of 5-goals and above usually belong to professional players. Since the inception of the system in 1890, less than 50 players have ever been awarded a perfect handicap of 10-goals. At the present time, there are 11 active 10-goalers registered with the United States Polo Association. The rest of us are pure mortals, but unlike other sports, handicapping allows and, in fact, encourages teams of mortals to play with the pros and the gods.
There is nothing to compare the sport of polo to, not even among the other horse sports nearly all of which we have tried and a few which we have loved such as fox-hunting, eventing and show-jumping, but we should remember, as Lawrence Phipps, II, often would say, “Polo is a game, fox-hunting is a sport, never confuse the two.” Fox-hunting is our sport, but polo is our game.