THERE are few sporting events now where you can park your car on the sidelines and enjoy a picnic, but that’s exactly what Downs Polo Club is encouraging spectators to do at this weekend’s Downs Shield tournament.

While the atmosphere off the field will be relaxed, club president Haydn O’Leary said he expects competitive polo, after a soggy start to the season.

“It should be a good standard – one thing on the Downs, it’s usually fairly open, free-flowing polo,” O’Leary said.

“The field’s the best it’s been in years. That’s one advantage of all the rain – it’s as good as any field in the state at the moment.”

He said the Downs Shield usually attracts around 12-14 teams, but only six have nominated this year, due to recent flooding and difficulties sourcing horses.

Polo at Clifton

The sport is enjoying strong support locally, with Downs Polo Club attracting several new players this year.

“We’re also lucky to have a few guys who’ve played professionally,” O’Leary said.

The Downs Shield signals the start of competitive polo at Clifton, with another three tournaments scheduled from mid-to-late July.

“We try to pull players from both south east Queensland and Goondiwindi/ Northern New South Wales,” O’Leary said.

The action starts at 10am this Saturday and Sunday, June 4th and 5th, with a canteen and bar operating all weekend.

For more information head to the Downs Polo Club Facebook page.

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