August 13, 2018

Take a polo lesson with Evrard de Spa

In Deauville, the world of polo meets every year in August at the center of the Deauville-La Touques racecourse for the Barrière Deauville Polo Cup. Matches on the beach, parades in the city, young hopefuls on shetland ponies, the Deauville International Polo Club has been enthusiastically introducing this sport to the general public for over a hundred years. The spirit of the polistas (polo players) has been firmly anchored in Deauville since the creation of the only polo school in Normandy, at the initiative of the Pôle International du Cheval Longines - Deauville and Evrard de Spa.

Polo lessons with Evrard de Spa at the Pôle International du Cheval Longines - Deauville
Polo in Deauville is a true love story. It's more than a hundred years of polo and a world-renowned tournament that every player dreams of winning at least once in his life.
Evrard de Spa
Evrard de Spa
Justine Jacquemot

Immersed in the equestrian world since his childhood, Evrard de Spa was first introduced to classical disciplines before turning to polo, which was then an obvious choice. With a DEJEPS (Diplôme d'Etat de la Jeunesse, de l'Education Populaire et du Sport) in polo*, he is a polo instructor and director of the polo school, where he teaches this Argentine sport in several formats, all year round in the Olympic arena of the Pôle International du Cheval Longines - Deauville and from May to September on the grass of the field located in the center of the Deauville-La Touques racecourse.

 *State diploma issued by the Ministry of Youth and Sports, created at the initiative of the French Polo Federation with the support of the National Riding School.

Introduction to polo Justine Jacquemot
Discovering polo Justine Jacquemot

An introduction to polo
for beginners

Contrary to popular belief, polo is not as difficult as it seems; that's why Evrard de Spa has integrated beginners' initiations into its teaching program to make polo accessible to everyone. Armed with a helmet and the inevitable mallet, participants learn the basic rules of polo on a wooden horse for two hours, including handling the mallet, approaching the ball, gestures and footwork. At the end of the session, we will play on horses to experience a training session in the conditions of a real match. And for players who want to ride, they have the choice to stay on foot.

A family discovery
to have fun with your tribe

A more fun and friendly version, the family polo discovery session is a real experience to live with your family and an excellent way to learn while having fun. Everyone can participate, adults and children, beginners and advanced riders. The tribe is taught the different techniques of the game before putting themselves in the shoes of a professional polo player and playing as one: an attacker, a defender, a defensive midfielder and an offensive midfielder, but no goalkeeper. With family or friends, there's nothing more fun than challenging each other on the field in a friendly manner. Or not.

Polo lessons Justine Jacquemot
Riding a horse like a gauchoJustine Jacquemot

A polo course
to improve your skills

In this course, Evrard de Spa brings his expertise to riders in search of the perfect gesture. Working on the gesture, accompanying the ball, precise forehand or backhand, trusting the horse, everything is in the search of the detail, but especially the good timing. The rider's performance is mainly focused on dexterity and speed; for this, it is necessary to have a good mastery of horsemanship and to be certified with at least a galop 4.

A private lesson
to ride like a gaucho

In contrast to traditional polo lessons, the polo school offers the opportunity to learn to ride like a gaucho. A symbol of rural life in Argentina, the gaucho is the Argentine cowboy who herds cattle in the South American pampas on his horse. During this lesson, no mallets, no groups; this private Argentine riding lesson is for one adventurous rider only, lucky to learn more about the history of the gaucho.


In pictures, meeting with Evrard de Spa on the field

The rules of polo

But before you get started, how is polo played? On a 275m long and 145m wide field, two teams of four riders try to send a plastic ball into the opponent's goal, using a mallet made of a hard wooden head placed at the end of a long bamboo stick. In a match, there are 4 or 6 periods (chukkas) of 7 minutes 30 each, interspersed with breaks of 3 minutes during which the rider changes horses. After each goal scored or "goal", the teams change sides on the field and the game resumes with a ball thrown in the center of the field. When to start playing polo? "As soon as you are old enough to hold a mallet and hit a ball," says Evrard.

Polo in Deauville


Contact us :
+33 (0)2 31 14 40 00

Our tourist information offices :

Residence de l'Horloge
Quai de l'Impératrice Eugénie
14800 Deauville
See the opening hours

Place Jean Mermoz
14640 Villers-sur-Mer
See the opening hours

32 bis avenue Michel d'Ornano
14910 Blonville-sur-Mer
See the opening hours

40 rue du General Leclerc
14113 Villerville
See the opening hours

20 Place Lemercier
14800 Touques
See the opening hours

Promenade Louis Delamare
(behind the first aid station)
14800 Tourgéville
See the opening hours