Polo at Ranelagh

Polo at Ranelagh, 1914

The Ranelagh Club has been a great factor in the expansion of polo. It is not too much to say that when Ranelagh was reopened in 1894, the future of polo hung in the balance. When therefore the two grounds at Ranelagh were opened the opportunity was eagerly seized on. Many of the members of Hurlingham joined the Club, and in a very short time there were plenty of players at both.

The grounds were improved. The old ground was relaid, the new one enlarged, stabling was built, and the boxes engaged before the paint was dry on the doors. Then came the building of the pavilion, which has twice been enlarged and improved since. This pavilion was not, however, a mere luxury—it has had a great effect on the popularity of polo in London.

A game is indeed first of all for the players, but spectators too count for much in the prosperity of cricket, football, and polo. The taste for looking on at polo had to be created, and the Ranelagh pavilion, with its tea-rooms and its comforts, owes its success not so much to these luxurious additions as to the fact that it is by far the best place in London to see a match from. First class polo, if it is a genuine contest and not a mere exhibition game, is most attractive as a spectacle.

~ Polo, Past and Present, 1905


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