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Polo at the Rodeo: The Sport of Kings hopes to become permanent RodeoHouston fixture

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RodeoHouston, polo at the rodeo, March 2013
Polo is an unexpected sight at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Photo by Adrienne Raquel
RodeoHouston, polo at the rodeo, March 2013
Singapore native Ameer Jumabhoy worked with RodeoHouston to put on a charity match at Reliant Arena.  Photo by Adrienne Raquel
RodeoHouston, polo at the rodeo, March 2013
Photo by Adrienne Raquel
RodeoHouston, polo at the rodeo, March 2013
Photo by Adrienne Raquel
RodeoHouston, polo at the rodeo, March 2013
RodeoHouston, polo at the rodeo, March 2013
RodeoHouston, polo at the rodeo, March 2013
RodeoHouston, polo at the rodeo, March 2013

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo showcases a variety of equestrian talent, from bareback riding and calf roping to barrel racing and horse showing, but polo — a horseback sport with an audience better known for wearing bow ties and fascinators than bolos and ten gallons — has never had its place in the spotlight. 

That is, until Ameer Jumabhoy played it at the Reliant Arena on Thursday afternoon. 

As part of his crusade to introduce the sport to a larger audience, the Singapore native and longtime polo player helped bring visibility to the match between La Sarita polo team (made up of Jumabhoy, Bill Mudra and Chad Bowman) and AF Pony Farm (Cody Woodfin, Victoria Greene and Miguele Silvestre), which was organized by RodeoHouston officials and the Houston Polo Club. 

Jumabhoy tells CultureMap that making polo a regular fixture at the rodeo — and playing a match on the dirt of Reliant Stadium — is part of his five-year plan. 

In the meantime, he will continue to participate in events outside of the stadium. Next up? A 1st Annual Charity Chukker on March 24 benefiting the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Houston, and a Horses & Hats event on Sept. 8 to raise scholarship funds for the Snowdrop Foundation. 

Got a great photo of a Houston happening or everyday occurrence? Send it to barbara@culturemap.com, along with details (who, what, where and why it's special). It might make our Pix of the Day.

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