Polo in Hawaii

May 8, 2022 | General Information

Table of Contents
The Hawaiian islands have a fascinating history of polo that goes back to the reign of King David Kalākaua, the kingdom’s Merrie Monarch. The first polo match in Hawaii was held in 1880 in Palama, a neighborhood of Honolulu. The match was between British naval officers and local residents. It is unclear whether the British initially introduced the sport of Polo to the islands however because there is another story that an Australian cowboy visiting from India brought the game to Hawaii.

Whatever its actual origin, by the mid-20th century, each island had polo fields. Each was different and in a scenic location. Established in 1963, the world-renowned Hawaii Polo Club is located in Mokuleia on Oahu’s North Shore. The Honolulu Polo Club sits on 27 acres in Waimanalo with the beautiful Koolaus in the background. Organized in 1986 and originally known as the Waimanalo Polo Club, the first match was played in March 1987. Hawaii’s other polo clubs include: Kauai Polo Club in Kilauea; Maui Polo Club in Makawao; and the Mauna Kea Polo Club on the Waikii Ranch Polo Field on the Big Island.

The 2020 polo season at the Hawaii Polo Club opens in early April. Polo in Hawaii provides a unique experience for visitors. At the Hawaii Polo Club, for example, watching exciting polo matches can be combined with an oceanfront trail ride, even for people with no previous riding experience, or lessons on real working polo ponies. At the Maui Polo Club in Makawao, there are two different choices of beautiful fields to visit. In April-June, it’s the Manduke Baldwin Polo Arena; in September-November, the Kaonoulu Ranch Polo Field on Olinda Road. The Kaua‘i Polo Club, which begins its 13th season at the Anini Beach Polo Field, actually was started in 1887. Polo on Kauai has had its ups and downs over the years but now is back for a great season

Don’t forget that if you are planning to visit Oahu and have an interest in Polo you are in for a real treat because one of our great horseback riding companies called Hawaii Polo Oceanfront Trail Rides offers a variety of private and public trail rides along the ocean at its beautiful location at the Mokuleia Polo field. Remarkably it also offers Polo horse riding for beginners where you can learn the basics of the sport without even having any previous experience.