Known as “the sport of kings,” polo is arguably the oldest recorded team sport in known history, with the first matches being played in Persia over 2500 years ago. Polo and horse races were a popular sport in Kapi‘olani Park in Waikiki throughout the 1800s; and the Town and Country Stables at the edge of the park housed many lovely polo ponies and horses for riding and spectator enjoyment.
When World War II began, polo games ceased and did not open again until 1956 when Fred Dailey, an avid player, joined with several players from pre-war time, to form the Waikiki Polo Club.
Fred had arrived with his wife, Murph, in Hawai‘i in 1952 and built and opened the iconic Waikikian Hotel in 1956. The Waikikian was a major sponsor of polo in the 50s and early 60s and hosted all the visiting players and teams.
In the mid 1960s the stable operation was closed at Kapi‘olani Park and the polo field was moved to Mokule‘ia on O‘ahu’s North Shore. The club was re-named the Hawai‘i Polo Club; and the Waikikian continued to sponsor a polo team and host visiting players, including Great Britain’s Prince Charles.
When the Waikikian was sold in the late 1970s, the polo connection with a Waikiki hotel was lost until Fred’s son, Mike, assumed ownership of the old Driftwood Hotel in 1990. After a renovation, the hotel reopened as the Hawaii Polo Inn, a boutique hotel that took over the role as sponsor and home to visiting teams for Hawai‘i Polo Club.
After a second renovation in 2007/8, the hotel was re-named again as Equus Hotel, serving as headquarters and offices for the Hawaii Polo Club as well as its home in Waikiki, hosting a variety of visiting teams and players from around the world.
Equus Hotel is the only hotel in Waikiki that offers its guests a direct connection to the North Shore, home of the Hawai‘i Polo Club. Trail rides are offered on the beautiful, ocean-front property of the Club and even polo lessons as part of our “Sport of Kings” package (seasonal). Weddings and special events may be booked at the property as well.
During polo season, guests of Equus Hotel will be the lucky recipients of a pair of complimentary tickets to attend the polo matches on O‘ahu’s beautiful North Shore; and they may enjoy a chat with hotel owner Mike Dailey—and perhaps a few national and international polo players — during the weekly Manager’s Reception.
Equus Hotel is proud to offer guests who stay on a Sunday, complimentary Polo tickets with VIP seating at the event. The polo fields sit on a beautiful beach by the North Shore and VIP seating has a club bar. There is also food vendors on site each week to try some delicious Hawaiian cuisine.
Please contact the front desk during your stay for your complimentary tickets.
Book your oceanfront trail rides with Oahu Horse Back Rides. Unlike your typical landlocked ranch trail rides, experience unforgettable horseback rides along the breathtaking coast of Oahu’s North Shore by some of the island’s expert professionals! This amazing opportunity to ride some of the finest polo ponies offers an experience not found anywhere else in Hawaii!
Book your trail ride here today!