June 2018 - Royal Selangor Polo Club

Explorers Out and About Visit to the Royal Selangor Polo Club
June 11, 2018.

Fourteen Explorers met at the Royal Selangor Polo Club for a briefing on the history of the club, which is more than 100 years old. Now in its third location in Kuala Lumpur, the club has 350 members and stabling for 280-300 horses. Other Polo clubs are in Pahang, Johor, Ipoh, Kelantan, Perak and Singapore

Our host was Shaik Reismann, Polo Captain and member of Malaysia’s gold medal winning team in the last South East Asia Games. In fact he said that Malaysia has never lost a match in three years at the games.
Games are played, weather permitting, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday at 4:30 pm and the public is very welcome to watch matches at the club. 
Polo is played with four players and there are four to six  7 1/2 minute Chukkas in a game. The goal is to hit the ball over the goal line as many times as possible in the game, using a 50-53 inch long mallet. Penalties are assessed by the umpires if there are infractions that affect the safety of the horse or rider, though contact between the horses is allowed. Handicapping of the riders affects the team composition and a typical team at the RSPC will have a total of 10-12 handicap.
As the horse is 70% of the game, players need fresh horses for each Chukka. A player will typically ride four to six horses during a game due to the fast pace. Argentina supplies most of the polo ponies in the world. The average price of a polo pony can be $30,000 USD (with $10,000 USD shipping costs and $2,500 MYR stabling fee per month). A horse matures physically and mentally at about six years of age and can play for six to seven years.
The RSPC has a tack shop, riding school with riding arenas and also hosts the Riding For The Disabled Association Of Malaysia (RDA). Mr WO Muthasamy, chief instructor and national coordinator, told the group about the eighteen year history of Riding Therapy in Malaysia. The free, non-profit programme has had more than 2000 handicapped children from ages 5-13. Riders are taught dressage, gymkana and jumping on Tuesdays (Autism), Wednesdays (Cerebral Palsy) and Thursdays (Downs Syndrome). Volunteers are always needed and full training is provided.
Explorers then had a tour of the stable areas and saw many of the horses. We were also treated to a lesson on horse shoeing by the resident ferrier. We finished up the day with lunch at Alexis Restaurant in Great Eastern Mall

The members were very impressed with the facilities, friendliness and openness of the Club. Various levels of membership are available and polo matches are free and open to the public. If you are interested in watching a match and learning about the sport, check out the Royal Selangor Polo Club website where they list all upcoming events.



Pam Currie