Hobby Horse Polo – Sports the Olympic Forgot

The following is an extract from my book – Sports the Olympics Forgot

The first Tehran championships were played in 1936 and were won by the Communist Party team, whose horses were painted bright red. Their captain Mahmoud Ghadiri was proud of what this showed: “We play as a team, we play the socialist way, helping each other and supporting one another when the going becomes tough; the other teams rely on individual brilliance but our teamwork always overcomes this; our organization is excellent and everyone keeps a level head and knows their place and their role within the team.”

The Shah decided to enter a team in the following year’s championship but they were knocked out in the first round by the Worker’s Revolutionary Party team who took advantage of the laziness of the Shah’s team, who often waited too long to hit the ball believing that their servant should hit the ball for them instead. The Worker’s party reached the final but lost to the Communist Party team, who were subsequently invited to meet Stalin in Moscow.

Stalin really appreciated the ideals of the game, taking a capitalist game for only the very rich and making it into a sport that everyone could play. He immediately ordered that each Soviet city should create a hobby horse polo league and start playing the anti-capitalist sport. He declined the opportunity to sit on a hobby horse but he did hit the apparatchik who made the suggestion with a croquet mallet.

Published by Julian Worker

Julian was born in Leicester, attended school in Yorkshire, and university in Liverpool. He has been to 94 countries and territories and intends to make the 100 when travel is easier. He writes travel books, murder / mysteries and absurd fiction. His sense of humour is distilled from The Marx Brothers, Monty Python, Fawlty Towers, and Midsomer Murders. His latest book is about a Buddhist cat who tries to help his squirrel friend fly further from a children's slide.

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