Polo at Lake Chiemsee
Playing Polo at Gut Ising
Gut Ising is home to one of Germany's largest centres for polo. The popular Argentinian professional polo player Carlito Velazquez runs the polo school here.
Here, anyone can experience, try out and learn the fastest ball game in the world in the hands of professionals.
At a glance
Our Polo Facilities:
- 2 fields, 1 training area
- Professional Argentinian trainer for women's and men's teams
- El Condor Polo School
- Special introductory courses – for groups as well
- International tournaments and championships
- South Germany's biggest polo club
If you would like to learn polo or join a taster course, it's easily possible to do so at the equestrian Hotel Gut Ising.
Please note that we have assigned instruction in the polo school to a selected independent partner. This service does therefore not form part of our in-house range of packages.
Training hours and dates for polo courses are arranged directly with our partner as required. Questions relating to liability and polo insurance can be dealt with in detail with the equestrian Hotel Gut Ising's partner organisation.
Poloschule Carlito Velazques
Ever since polo was established in Ising on Lake Chiemsee, the attractive polo horses (known affectionately by their riders as 'ponies') have been the favourites of many horse lovers.
What makes them so appealing is their incomparable nature. They are not only great athletes during the game, but are also easy to handle, can be ridden magnificently with one hand and, like 'western' horses, make ideal horses for leisure riding.
Many riders that are shy of enormous hot-blooded horses, quickly lose their fears with the endearing polo horses. And what's more, prices for polo horses that no longer take part in this "great sport " are extremely reasonable.
A polo horse may never be ridden for two successive chukkas, so it is only deployed, at most, twice during a match; meaning that a polo player usually has 3 - 4 horses on hand, deploying them strategically according to the ponies' individual qualities.
The horses, which reach speeds of up to 60 km/h, are a tournament player's main asset. This is taken into account in the rules, where the welfare of the horses has utmost priority. The legs and joints of the four-legged 'cracks' are thickly padded. Plaiting the tail prevents the player's stick getting caught in it when taking a swing.
A polo field is 274 m long and 182 m wide. The goals are 7.30 m wide and are bounded by posts made from willow trees. There is no crossbar, so the ball just needs to go between the posts at any height to count as a goal.
Each team consists of 4 players. Two players are responsible for the attack, the No. 3 is the captain, who organises the game, the No. 4 is the defender (also called 'back').
A game consists of 4 periods known as "chukkas". A chukka lasts 7 ½ minutes of effective playing time (although play is stopped in the event of fouls and the game can therefore last considerably longer). There are breaks between the chukkas of 3 minutes (5 minutes at half-time). At half-time, spectators are asked to join in the so-called "divot stomping", where turf that has been kicked up on the field is trodden back in.
The polo "stick", made from willow or bamboo, is about 1.30 m in length and ends in a "cigar", with which the ball is hit. Left-handed people can find it difficult: the stick must be held in the right hand. The ball weighs 130g and is made of bamboo or compressed plastic, has a diameter of 7- 8 cm and can reach a top speed of 250 km/h.
It is compulsory for each player to wear protective headgear, which is traditionally shaped like a tropical helmet. The benefits of knee protectors, made of thickly padded leather, are apparent when riding out, i.e edging off an opponent.
Similar to golf, each player is given a handicap. It is based on previous performance and ranges from minus 2 (beginners) up to plus 10, which is quite rare. The best German players have handicaps of around plus 5. The team handicap is calculated by adding the players' individual handicaps together.
Each game is observed by two umpires also on horseback. The senior umpire is the referee on the edge of the playing field.
There are four basic strokes: "offside" means on the right-hand side of the horse. The forward shot is called an 'offside forehand" and the backwards one an "offside backhand". Shots from the left-hand side of the pony are known as "nearside". Likewise there is a nearside forehand and nearside backhand. During the game, it can also be necessary to hit the ball from an angle under the neck of the pony ("under the neck") or almost acrobatically behind the pony ("round the tail").
Take a look at the players during the match: in order to bring their hips and shoulders into the correct position, it's not possible to sit - polo players stand most of the time in the stirrups.
are first and foremost aimed at safety and protection of the horses. If a bandage becomes undone, the game is stopped immediately. However, if a rider falls, the whistle is only blown if the player is visibly injured. The most important rule is "right of way". This means that a player following the path of his own shot may not be crossed or impeded by any other player - but he may be out ridden.
such as failing to observe "right of way", crossing the lines,"sandwiching" (jamming an opponent between two players in the team), striking the ball outside of the ball area, out riding head-on etc. are penalised immediately by giving the other team a free shot.