Polo was first played in Quilpie in the mid 1920’s. To quote the Courier Mail 6 September 1949 edition:
“Twenty-four years ago, two men were camped in the bush outside Quilpie,650 miles west of Brisbane. They talked of their early days — of cattle and sheep, the country and the weather— and by some odd chance, of polo One of them thought it would be a good idea to arrange a polo match between some of the men on nearby station properties. And that was how the famous’ Quilpie Polo Carnival began.
‘The two men were Laurie Rutledge and Billy Hall. When they got in from the bush, they started the whips cracking and held their first exhibition game of polo in the clay pan.”
Sadly, the last polo carnival was played in Quilpie in the early 1990s and since then the sport in Quilpie has been in recess.
When Robert Teague, the manager of the famous Ellerston Onassis polo complex attended the 2017 Pride of the West, there was much discussion of Quilpie’s lost polo heritage and an offer was made to stage an exhibition of top class polo at Bulloo Park. Given the current synergy between polo and race clubs throughout Australia, Quilpie Diggers’ Race Club decided to host Ellerston Onassis Exhibition Polo on the weekend of 18 August, 2018.
The event will see eight of Australia’s best young players and forty of the best young horses leave the green fields of Ellerston near Scone to present top class polo in the red Quilpie dust, a spectacle sure to attract visitors from far and wide.