Continuing Tradition

Hawai’i has rich equestrian heritage, and none more intertwined within it’s history than that of the “Paniolo” or Hawaiian Cowboy. Originally Parker Ranch land, this area was the birthplace of this cultural phenomenon that swept the islands. Much of these traditions are carried on to this day through a local network of talented equestrians, and Polo is a sport that attracts a wonderful range of people diversely committed to continuing on the history.

The Sport of Kings in the Hawaiian Islands dates back to the late 1800’s, with the first game in all of Hawai’i played here on the Big Island on Christmas Day in 1886. From there the passion of Polo drifted to Maui, and on down the chain creating a tapestry of rich history behind the sport. As the culture of the Hawaiian Paniolo has grown and changed, the sport of Polo has come to meld and embody many of the qualities of those classic heroes.

Each year Waiki’i Polo aims to welcome local Paniolo, who still work the land as generations of their family did before them, to come play in the Annual Cowboy Cup. Clad in chaps and western saddles, these rough riding cowboys remind us that it is truly the skill of horsemanship that lies at the core of success in the sport of Polo. They certainly prove their worth and it makes for an exciting day at the Polo Field!