Pop-up polo came to Bundaberg today with glitz, glamour and exciting on-field action as enthusiastic spectators dressed to impress.
Riding high on Fluffy the mare, professional polo player and Queensland captain Ric McCarthy savoured the atmosphere.
“I am very excited to play for Queensland. The city of Bundaberg is amazing, and it's such a beautiful town and the beaches are very pretty and it’s a stunning place,” Ric said.
“It’s just lovely to be here to bring something new to the people of Bundaberg.
“I am not here long and it’s my first time in Bundaberg, but I will definitely be returning every year.”
Organised by Events Queensland, director Matt Turich said the response for the first event had been great.
“Honestly when you go into these greenfield sites you just want people to engage and experience it, and with word of mouth it will grow,” he said.
“And definitely with the number we have here today it will lead to a successful and repeat event.”
Bundaberg Region’s diversity on show
Matt said with Bundaberg’s diversity it had the right mix of agriculture and tourism that drew the polo event to the region.
“It really was the diversity of the region which brought us here and the business community has been amazing and adopted the concept,” Matt said.
Series ambassador and former Miss Universe Australia Kimberley Busteed said it was exciting to bring the series to Bundaberg for the first time.
“I love Bundaberg, my mum actually grew up in Bundaberg and went to North Bundaberg High and they have a house at Coral Cove so I have a strong connection to the area,” Kimberly said.
“I am so excited to be here and think it was so fitting to have Bundaberg as the second venue.
“Rockhampton was incredible, but there really is something so special about Bundy and I feel it every time that I visit.
“I love the main street it has a wonderful feel to it, and it’s a lovely friendly, pretty town.”
Kimberly said the stunning beaches at Bargara and Coral Cove were two of her favourite places to visit.
“I have a few girlfriends that have travelled up from Brisbane for this event today and it's their first time in Bundaberg and they are just blown away,” she said.
“We have events like this in the city but for this to be here, for Regional Queensland to experience such a high calibre event is really special and this year is just the beginning.
“It’s only going to get bigger and better from here on.”
Kimberley was tasked with judging fashions on the field at the Pop-up polo event and said with everyone dressed in their best it was going to be a difficult task for her.
“One of the other highlights of the day will be the man verses car race, where a horse gallops up and back against one of the Mercedes cars,” she said.
“The whole event really is one not to be missed.”
First Pop-Up Polo event well received
Bundaberg Regional Council supported the Pop-Up Polo event application in April.
Mayor Jack Dempsey said it was new and exciting, and was well received by the Bundaberg community.
“It’s great to see the support of the community out here today and obviously Bundaberg has embraced polo and come out to see these international professionals,” he said.
“It’s a beautiful day and just great to see everyone here waiting in anticipation for the spectacular event.”
Bundaberg Pop-up Polo was delivered by Events Queensland and supported by Urban Polo Australia and Bundaberg Regional Council.