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Back in the saddle: Queenstown Polo's Jonathan Gabler's determined to gt some polo played

By CASS MARRETT

Queenstown Polo boss Jonathan Gabler says 2022 is his year.

After Covid quashed all the tournaments Gabler had planned for 2021, he’s determined to get some games off the ground on his Malaghans Road land.

Starting with the first round-robin tourney, on January 9, the team playing for Queenstown
comprises Garth and Andrew Mackenzie, Matt O’Sullivan and Gabler.

They’ll play against two Canterbury-based teams.

‘‘Several players coming down have represented New Zealand at an international level and the standard of play will be quite exciting,’’ Gabler says.

On the sidelines it’s a ticketed, family-focused, picnic-style event with spectators invited to
attend from 10.30am onwards.

Each match will take just under an hour, with teams competing for the Queenstown Polo Silver Cup.

In March, a second family-oriented tourney’s planned with four teams and a 5-bar equestrian showjumping challenge for local riders to compete in.

Gabler’s 85-hectare property comprises two 55,000 square metre polo fields, one of which
is currently planted with a multi-species crop to improve the soil.

He’s got big plans for the land, with conversations about hosting concerts, weddings and
other events.

Looking forward to March, 2023, the farm’s got approval from the New Zealand Polo Association to hold a sanctioned test match between NZ and Australia.

‘‘International-level polo does generally bring in a lot of crowds, wherever it’s played.

‘‘That that is really the appeal for us, and we’d love to make that happen.’’

cass.marrett@scene.co.nz