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Polo season underway; is the economy affecting the sport?

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Aiken polo enthusiasts are feeling the impact of the economy. (September 13, 2010 / WRDW-TV)

News 12 at 6 o'clock / September 13, 2010

AIKEN, S.C.---Polo season is in full gear, but it takes a lot of money to play this sport. With the first polo tournament this weekend, some of the players are worried about how the economy is affecting the Sport of Kings.

Cecelia Cochran has been involved in polo for more than 10 years. She says the economy is changing the sport and the people who play it. "Polo consumes us," she said. "The economy has definitely hit it, because people don't have the extra money to spend on their hobbies. It sucks because I haven't been able to play that much. You have to think about money. It's just not there the way it used to be."

While some say the economy is impacting polo this year, others say it has a promising future. Charles Bosnick, president of the Aiken Polo Club says, "More people are coming to the tournaments. It's looking really good."

Rick Salter is an Aiken polo club member. Salter owns several horses and feels positive about the sport. "I think it's coming back. Aiken is a good place to watch polo. Good area, good people, good climate."

While the sport may be expensive, those involved in the world of polo says it's actually cheap to see a match. Salter hopes people will take advantage of the deals. "We have it for an inexpensive price and we are trying to keep it like that." But while some see the sport as rebounding from rough times, Cochran isn't so sure. "I feel bad for the people who rely on this, because it's their livelihood," she said. "It's changed. Their livelihood is pretty much gone."

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