The first beach polo matches to be played in Australia were played on Cable Beach in May 2010 in the Paspaley Beach Polo 2010 event. Producers Marilynne Paspaley AM and Garry Grbavac determined that the event would be more sustainable in such a remote location as a two-day tournament and proceeded to introduce this format in May 2011, when they also introduced the exotic Dinner under the Stars on Cable Beach to entertain the patrons and players and sponsors and their guest. This has now become a highlight of the annual weekend festivities, with seats at the table much sought after by players and spectators alike.
Following a gap year in 2012, the event returned as the Cable Beach Polo Tournament in 2013 and has continued to grow from year to year, attracting players and spectators from around the world.
Cable Beach Polo has been instrumental in stimulating the start-up of a number of beach polo matches in the southern hemisphere over the past few years. The first was an exhibition match in Porongahau in New Zealand, followed by the inaugural two-day Singapore Beach Polo Championship in 2016 and single day exhibition matches now being played in both Victoria and South Australia this year.
The advantage Cable Beach has over many of these other locations is the extraordinary sand quality of the playing field. The north-west of Western Australia is renowned for its massive tidal movement of up to 10 metres and more, the ebb and flow of which covers Cable Beach twice a day, sucking the air out of the sand and compacting it to a perfect playing surface as the tide pulls back out to the Indian Ocean. Photos of the event show the ideal conditions, with the polo ponies playing on the surface of the sand rather than sinking into it up to their hocks. It makes for a faster - and safer - playing surface and the players can show their skill as horsemen with their nimble, responsive ponies turning on a dime as they race after the ball.