Page last updated at 14:44 GMT, Friday, 11 July 2008 15:44 UK

Beach hosting polo championships

Beach polo at Sandbanks
The organisers hope more people will become interested in the game

Top polo players from around the world have opened Europe's first beach tournament in the UK's most expensive seaside resort.

Six teams of riders and horses began their campaign in the inaugural British Beach Polo Championships in Sandbanks, Dorset, on Friday.

Beach polo events, a variation of arena polo, have only been held previously in Miami and Dubai.

The two-day tournament will feature six matches.

English champion Peter Webb said: "It's a new concept. This will be the first time they have played beach polo in England on this scale and at this level.

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"This will be top professionals coming to show their skills off and introduce polo to more people and show it is not an elitist game.

"They are going to see fast, hard riding. It's going to be exhilarating polo probably never seen before at this level in the world."

A temporary arena has been erected, surrounded on three sides by seating and corporate hospitality facilities.

Beach users will be able to watch the action free from a viewing area on one side of the arena.

The exclusive Sandbanks peninsular is the fourth most expensive place to live in the world with houses costing an average of almost 500,000.


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