To this day, the real origin of polo has not yet been defined. It is thought that it was played for the first time more than two thousand years ago by Central Asia nomadic warriors, who named it choygan, although the first historical record dates from the 6th century BC, when Persians and Turkmens played a match between themselves. By then, the practice of polo was intended to train the riders of the cavalry units. Particularly in Persia, now Iran, it became a national sport, being there where this sport started to be associated with nobility and royalty, after being played by high class, the military class and, above all, the royal family.
The game was formalized and extended to the West to Constantinople, to the East to Tibet, China and Japan, and to the South to Pakistan and India. The current name for which it is known comes from this expansion. It derives from ‘pulu’, which means ball in the Tibetan language.
In those civilizations, polo also became a hobby for royalty. For example, in China, the introduction of its practice was possibly due to the fact that the Iranian nobility was seeking asylum after the invasion of its empire by the Arabs. They found asylum in Oriental land. Thereby, the sport quickly became part of everyday life during the golden age of the classical Chinese culture, especially under the mandate of Ming-Hung, lover of equestrian activities.
Some centuries later, polo came in contact with Westerners, being Manipur, a state Northeast of India. This was the epicenter of that contact and the moment in which the English people leaving there, as a result of tea agribusiness, learned the local custom of playing polo with horses and elephants, founding the Silchar Polo Club in 1859. It is then when, according to historical records, a representative of the British government who established in that place, wrote a review about the sport. This contributed to its spreading in England, so that the sport of polo finally landed on the British Isles, celebrating the first match at Hounslow Heath in 1869.
Later, those enthusiastic English spread the sport of polo to the rest of the Western world, reaching Malta in 1868, Ireland in 1870, Argentina in 1872, Australia in 1874 and the United States in 1876.