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An invitational sporting event will come to Oahu in September — and, hold your horses, it’s not surfing

Players compete during last year’s Hawaii Invitational of Polo in Waimanalo.
(Hawaii Polo Life)

Surfing isn’t the only sport with a history in Hawaii. Polo has been around on the islands since the 1880s. Next month, world-class polo returns to Oahu with the Hawaii Invitational of Polo.

The event is set for Sept. 16 at the Honolulu Polo Club’s fields in Waimanalo, a town on the eastern side of the island, about 15 miles from Waikiki.

Professional polo players from around the world take part in last year’s invitational.
(Hawaii Polo Life)

The competition, similar to field hockey but played on horseback, will be held from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. It will feature professional polo players from around the globe.

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Cartier and the Kahala Hotel & Resort are sponsors of the event. Guests are encouraged to dress in their finery, just as they would for world-class polo matches such as the Queen’s Cup in Britain and the Dubai Gold Cup.

Tickets range from $25 for lawn seating to $250 for the VIP treatment.

Polo players attempt to score during a 2016 match on Oahu.
(Hawaii Polo Life)

The Hawaii Polo Club’s website notes that polo was introduced to the archipelago by an Australian cowboy who lived in India and had played the sport there. Hawaii’s cowboys, the paniolo, quickly embraced the game.

Polo is played nearly year-round in the islands. There are clubs on Maui and Kauai as well.

travel@latimes.com

Twitter: @latimestravel

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