Page last updated at 16:32 GMT, Monday, 14 July 2008 17:32 UK

Hope for beach polo event in 2009

Beach polo at Sandbanks
The organisers want to keep the event free, if it returns next year

Organisers of Europe's first sand polo tournament have hailed the event in Dorset a success and are confident it will return next year.

Six teams of riders and horses battled it out in the inaugural British Beach Polo Championships in Sandbanks.

The two-day tournament, which started on Friday, saw thousands of spectators watch the action for free.

Johnny Wheeler, from Sandpolo, said negotiations on staging the event in Dorset next year will start this week.

He added: "Bearing in mind it was the first year, we've had some really positive feedback.

"It was a sell-out for both days with thousands of people watching for free. It really brought the community together."

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

Mr Wheeler said he hoped talks with the council this week would see the event return next year.

"We think it will get better and we want it here again next year, definitely with the free aspect," he added.

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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