A little bit garden party, a little bit a day at the races, Barnbougle Polo has become a staple in many people's calendars.
Barnbougle Golf Club unveiled its purpose-built polo field in 2015 ahead of the very first professional event in Tasmania, on the Australia Day long weekend.
The event has grown from its humble beginnings to an event that attracts tourists and locals from all across the island and the country. The polo offers a unique summer event that complements the higher-brow luxury golf course that is played at Barnbougle and its sister course Lost Farm, at Bridport. However, the event was unfortunately caught up in some controversy in 2018, when 16 polo ponies died while being transported via truck on the Spirit of Tasmania. The ponies had recently played in the polo event that year and were found dead on arrival in Victoria.
However, despite that unfortunate event, the polo remains a popular event in Tasmania's summer calendar - and it must remain so. It is a unique event to Tasmania, the brainchild of the Sattler family, who wanted to find a sport that complemented the golf clubs and gave back to the community and region of the North East.
Sattler family patriarch, Richard Sattler, has told this week of the struggles the family has with the event since sponsorship and transport costs for the horses has increased and some regular sponsors have withdrawn.
It would be a loss to the North East community but also Northern Tasmania and the state more broadly if the event continued to experience these funding issues. The best way for people to show their support is by showing up. However, the 2020 event appeared to have smaller numbers than previous years. While we don't know the exact crowd figures, our estimation is that there were less.
These unique events become drawcards in their own right, drawing people to the region from all over.
Tourism should not be underestimated for a state the size of Tasmania. So let's make sure these kinds of events are supported, they are because of the ingenuity of individuals and those people deserve our thanks.