After its appearance in Chicago, and on the way to a debut in China next year, beach polo returns to Miami Beach this weekend.
Thomas Kato first came across beach polo as a spectator five years ago on Miami Beach.
He was hooked.
“I thought it was the most amazing thing I’d ever seen,” said the businessman, who lives in Miami and New York. “I said, ‘I need to play in this game.’ And I said, ‘I don’t even know how to ride horses.’”
Over the past few years, he’s bought horses, found a polo pro and learned how to play the “sport of kings.” And the credit card processing company that he founded and oversees as CEO, Merchant Hub, has become a sponsor over the last few years.
That’s the kind of devotion that a network of polo aficionados, led by promoter Bruce Orosz, is hoping to create around the world.
Miami Beach Polo World Cup, which started with women’s matches on Thursday, marks its eighth year in Miami Beach with a new title sponsor (Maserati) and an expansion last fall to Chicago under its belt.