Page last updated at 12:37 GMT, Thursday, 28 August 2008 13:37 UK

Beach polo returns for five years

Beach polo at Sandbanks
Thousands of people watched July's tournament for free

Beach polo will return to Dorset after the first tournament to be held in Europe was hailed a success.

Six teams of riders and horses battled it out in the inaugural British Beach Polo Championships in Sandbanks on 11 and 12 July.

The tournament will return to Poole for another five years after an agreement was reached with the council.

Next year's event will also feature an international match between teams representing England and the US.

Johnny Wheeler, from Sandpolo, said: "We are extremely excited at the prospect of bringing beach polo back to Poole.

"Sandbanks' fabulous beach is a great venue and we are very happy to be staging the championships in Poole until 2013."

Councillor Peter Adams, Poole council's cabinet portfolio holder for leisure and culture, said: "This year's event attracted a lot of local interest and promoted Sandbanks and Poole on the national stage.

"We hope the event goes from strength to strength over the next five years."

Beach polo events, a variation of arena polo, had only been held in Miami and Dubai before it was brought to Sandbanks.

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


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