Polo organiser confirms return to Bundaberg
POP-UP polo will return to Bundaberg now that the council has agreed to cover the cost of field maintenance and promotion of the event.
Events Queensland director Matthew Turich confirmed the event will return with Bundaberg Regional Council's sponsorship, which would be worth about $25,000.
Bundaberg was the second regional Queensland city to trial the polo event, with Rockhampton showing growth in attendance in the two years the event was held there.
Mr Turich said Bundaberg was an "obvious choice" in polo's expansion to regional Queensland.
He said this was because of Bundaberg's connection to horse sports, and because of its many industries and tourism experiences.
"Events Queensland is continually experimenting with opportunities to improve this award-winning event and offer our guests bespoke experiences," Mr Turich said.
Bundaberg Region councillors voted in yesterday's ordinary council meeting to support the event through in-kind support.
Mayor Jack Dempsey said the organiser would make some adjustments to the event, but he expected the crowd at the Bundaberg Recreational Precinct to double in comparison to last year, which brought 1500 people.
He hoped to see international visitors drawn to Bundaberg to watch "the sport of kings and queens".
"It's certainly a great community event and it's great to see the enthusiasm of everybody involved," Cr Dempsey said.
"There's something there for everybody and it maintains many hours of entertainment and activity."
The match would continue to have a State of Origin theme with Blues taking on the Maroons.
Unsurprisingly, Cr Dempsey would cheer for Queensland.
During last year's Origin themed match, attendees figured out how the rules of the game worked, such as how the match was divided into six segments known as 'chuckers'.
Activities between the chuckers included the Fashions on the Field contest, as well as the traditional 'divot' stomp.
During last year's divot stomp, attendees Heather Harrowfield and Julie Thomson described what they were doing as "living the Pretty Woman dream".
They had brought boots to the polo match for the divot stomp, during which they stomped clods of dirt back into the ground, something they had learned how to do from the movie starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere.
Brisbane-based polo player Bingham Fitz-Henry said at the time it had been fun to play to a Bundaberg crowd.
"It's a smaller field, everybody is in clothes, everybody is a little tipsy and everybody seems to be enjoying it a little bit more," he said.