Over the years we’ve hosted many guests who have enjoyed their times at the polo school. Here are some of their comments.

If you’re ever in the Christchurch NZ area, message Mark Harris and/or check out http://polo.co.nz/. If you’re looking for accommodation, they also have a great B&B!

I spent about a week learning the basics of equestrian polo. I also watched the New Zealand Cup, which is a thoroughbred horse race held at Riccarton Park Racecourse and is one of the most popular racing events in New Zealand. Mark had a horse in the race, so I was able to be an “owner” for a day. In all, I had a very positive and “sweet as” experience. Needless to say: I’m hooked, and I wish I had planned for an extra week!

Michael Helm
November, 2014


It was at the NZ Polo School that I truly fell in love with polo. I had a few lessons back in Argentina where I have been living but never had I received such comprehensive and attentive instruction. Mark fine-tuned my swing to perfection and the progress I made in all aspects of the game during my week spent with him was unbelievable. Being able to practice and gain experience on many of Mark’s superb polo horses, on the polo field, in the arena or riding along the beautiful beach of Kairakai, makes it a unique polo schooling experience for riders of any level.

Polo aside, it was the beauty and tranquility of the farm that make it such a special place. Mark and Rusyl welcome you into their home like family, and are always cheerful and accommodating. You are made to feel very much at home in the family house full of beautiful family photos, polo trophies and a warm atmosphere. Drinking champagne with various guests, family and their friends after chukkas is, I know a favourite part for the farms regulars and new guests alike!

I can’t thank family Harris enough for the wonderful hospitality and all the care and consideration that they put into making my time both on and off horseback such a memorable occasion. 

Cassandra Langbein, Argentina
October, 2014



Mark, thank you so much for the week’s worth of polo lessons on Tim (the wooden horse) and Piha, the most beautiful, relaxed and well behaved mare. Your eye for detail and critique, your patience and ability to explain the techniques were outstanding. Most of all, I loved the way you made everything so much fun! Your personality shines through in your teaching, you made me feel very at ease and felt like I laughed for 7 days straight!

You have amazing facilities in such a beautiful area of the world and having access to stick & ball on the beach was such a treat. An unforgettable experience and one that I hope to replicate back in Christchurch with you very soon!

Rebecca Frank, WA, Australia


It is difficult to find a mentor like Mark, his patience and teaching ability make learning all aspects of the game easy and fun. It is fun to see the progress that you can make when you have an instructor such as Mark and the progress I made each day is a testimony to his skills. From the beginning I felt like a part of the family and made to feel welcome. Truly a great experience, I can’t wait to come back!
Got on fine with the foot mallet! They didn’t even look at it!
First week down at uni and it looks to be a fairly busy semester. I’m sure it won’t be as fun as polo!

Andrew Duver
Added July 2012

We visited the school in Nov 08 … I still credit my rapid rise from beginner to actual player to the few days we spent with Mark and the gang at your beautiful property, that opened my eyes to the requirements on the riding skills that were seriously lacking (in fact looking back it was bold to go to the school with the little riding I had under my belt) and the need for balance. I am now the Number 4 in the Mininnooka team in the C grade comp, and to date we have won three tournaments.
I also look back fondly on riding Maggie who would be my weapon of choice among all of the horses I have ridden across Australia and Argentina to date. That is the horse for me. I also have to comment on the general skill level of Mark as a coach. Having been taught by a few people now, and having plenty of advice, Mark’s mannerism and delivery of the lessons, tips and overall coaching is the best I have come across. Having a cool head when teaching beginners is something that is rare and I recommend the school to people based on that alone.
I have a long way to go, but I don’t aspire to be a Pro (a little late at 45) but I do aspire to get my handicap to 0 and to be very competitive.

David and Rebecca Tilbrook, Perth Polo Club Inc
Added May 2010

This is the best induction into polo that any beginner can ask for! Mark is highly knowledgeable about ALL aspects of the game and horses. His style of teaching takes you through the logic and reasoning behind the rules, the techniques of riding, form and wrist preservation while striking the ball, and match-play tips. This combined with his patient and motivating demeanour helped me make daily progress and enjoy every moment of my week with him. Stick and balling on Pegasus Bay is heavenly and a great place to work on one’s riding skills. The three horses that I rode during the week were the best trained and friendliest horses that I have come across and I wanted to take them back home with me. And finally coming back to the Harris home at the end of chukkas for meals around charming Rusyl’s table, full of bonhomie and genuine fun, made it a most memorable stay. I will be back for more lessons and chukkas on the Harris polo field! Many thanks for everything.

Vinod Kumar, Singapore
Added May 2010

Harris family you are UNFORGETTABLE! Seriously, thank you for everything, hopefully I will visit again.

Cleo Rowe-Setz, (Gap-Year Student) South Africa
Added May 2010

Our most heartfelt thanks for looking after Cleo so incredibly well … and for improving her polo! She has had the most wonderful time with you – something about the Harris household is special … I hope you will visit us here in SA one day and join us as our guests for a while …

Josie Rowe-Setz, South Africa
Added May 2010

An extremely enjoyable and relaxed stay here, both on and off the field, it exceeded all my (wildest!) expectations. Thanks again to both of you for everything! I really did have a wonderful time.

Simon Dollard, Melbourne, Australia
Added May 2010

Rusyl and Mark,
I just wanted to thank you for your time and effort in putting Rebecca and myself up at your wonderful facility in Rangiora. We had a wonderful time and even though we were there for only a few days, I have left with a better understanding of Polo and the ways that I can improve quickly.
We really enjoyed the company also; you have wonderful kids who you should be very proud of and they were very engaging.
The flight back reminded me every time that I moved, that I need to get Horse fit fast, ride in a bigger saddle and continue to learn to ride the bumps during the trot.
I will send you an update after my next few weeks of riding.

David Tilbrook, Perth, Australia
November 2008

Fantastic time, I would of course love to stay longer. Great ponies, great field, great teacher, healthy constitution for chukkas – exactly what I was looking for and of course sunshine, warm, incredible beach, lots of tasty food … only problem is not being able to stay longer, would love to return next winter. Many, many thanks.

Sinead Devine, Menlo Park, California
March 2008

Many thanks for a brilliant three weeks. We had great fun, enjoyed meeting everyone and the polo was fantastic. We particularly like how you customized things to fit our needs as this allowed us to work on particular aspects of our game, particularly the hitting which is much improved. We really got to work on the basics and will put our new skills to good use back in Europe. The fields were perfect. We particularly liked the New Zealand ponies. We already have two in our string and I guess we’ll be adding more soon! We also enjoyed your beautiful surroundings including the whales, dolphins and sealions at Kaikoura, the wildlife park at Orana, and all the things to do in Christchurch and little olde Rangiora. Many thanks for a wonderful time.

Anthony & Simone
Dec 07- Jan 08

Dear Mark and Rusyl
I feel awful not having emailed before but the time has whizzed by. It is so wonderful having Bess back and we are so impressed with her, not just the muscles but also the riding and determination and so grown up! You have done wonders for her and we are so grateful she obviously had the time of her life. Your place sounds fab we have seen all the photos. I do hope you all come to England this summer and come and stay with us we would love to meet you and hopefully return some if your kindness to Bess!
Love Lucy

Lucy Boggis-Rolfe

Bessie obviously had a wonderful time in New Zealand. She loved it and it was obviously enormously good for her. She said that you were a wonderful family to be with, that the place was fantastic and she enormously enjoyed the polo. All in all it was a huge success.
We have just heard that Bess has got a job working with a new polo club for a few months. It is perfect for her and I am sure it is because of what she learnt from you that she has been chosen.
Richard Boggis-Rolfe

Mark, I wanted to say a huge thank you for the wonderful opportunity you gave me to play in your Easter tournament. Thank you so much! I had a brilliant time and am totally inspired to play, play, play. I hope your lovely Pihar and Tarragon survived me unscathed and didn’t require too much remedial work from you! They were both wonderful and I felt very privileged to be riding them.

Yvonne Kaveney

Dear Rusyl and Mark
This note to say thank you so very much for having taken Gala and Thandi on board – they are ecstatic in their praise. I will be sending you a second daughter in three years, but if Gala has her way she will be back next year for the open you have invited her to … and once a year after that.
Rusyl you made it such a home from home that they did not even miss us … and they loved the way it all felt and worked out. Thank you for your care. Mark, you are I am told an amazing coach … and more than anything else, you have given Gala huge confidence. Thank you.
Be well and I hope to meet you some day to say thank you in person.

Josie Rowe-Setz

Dear Mark, Rusyl and family
I would just like to say thank you so much for everything that you did for me while I was staying … thank you for opening your house to Thandi and I and for providing the most amazing horses and just generally for doing everything that you did for me … the 24hr doctors, the bread eating extravaganza, the Fruit Loops etc … I really appreciate it, and I hope to be back soon! and hopefully we’ll win the Open when I come back… that would be great!
To all of you, thank you for accommodating me and putting up with all the rubbish that I know I probably caused … and spoke! as usual … oh well, we have landed safely here in Singapore and are now waiting for our connection to Beijing … will be sure to send you some postcards and pictures of the forbidden city etc!
Much love to you all,

Gala Rowe-Setz

Dear Mark and Rusyl
Thank you for a wonderful month. I have immensely enjoyed every second of living and breathing in polo heaven. I have nothing but praise for the fantastic setup you have. The accommodation was first class, Rusyl’s cooking sublime.
I have learned more about Polo in this month than I ever thought was possible. The horses I rode were all wonderful. Mark chose just the right combination in my string to challenge my game and riding ability without placing me outside my comfort zone. Mark’s ability to translate his knowledge into a teaching medium was outstanding. I feel lucky to have had such a wonderful exposure which encapsulated all facets of polo. Everything from,learning about horses, equipment and horse husbandry, riding some of the ‘greenies’, stick and balling on the beach, the afternoon chukkas, the tournament polo and afternoon ‘friendlies’ with some of the locals have helped improve my game exponentially. Thank you! I cannot wait to be back playing polo in the land of the long white cloud!

Douglas Martin, South Africa
6 December 2006

Thank you again for a fabulous 12 days or so living, breathing, and playing polo. Just what I needed. I could not believe how well I was hitting the ball … my all round general play has improved out of sight.

Gus Booth, Australia

Amy has arrived home safe and sound, full of New Zealand polo … she really enjoyed her stay with you as 20 miles down the road from Heathrow she asked me to take her back …

Michael and Leslie Bletsoe-Brown, of England, in a letter after the return home of their daughter

A fantastic week … I feel I have progressed leaps and bounds. The overall concept is fantastic … I had a fantastic time. The highlights (off the polo pitch) would be the evening meals. I thought the outdoor dinners were superb. It gave Annabel and I a chance to get to know all of you at a more personal level.

James Dee, Adelaide, Australia

The Harris’s hospitality was outstanding, the polo ponies fantastic … we look forward to a return visit.

Julie, Jennifer and Kendra Lawrence, Illinois, USA

Wonderful introduction to New Zealand. We’ll be back with a vengeance. Thank you for the faultless hospitality.
J. Stanek, England

The best people, the best polo, and best ponies! I cannot say in words how much you hospitality has meant to us.

Sophie Cook, England

Thank you for the great stay and excellent polo, laughs, food, horses, etc, etc.

O.J. Taylor, England.

What a great way to start a new millennium. Good horses, good friends and great company.

Jerry Kagan, USA

Thank you so much for everything, the hospitality, the polo, the friendship. You guys are one in a million.

James Neary, England

Thank you all so much for a wonderful holiday and honeymoon. We have enjoyed every minute (even the rainy bits) and have loved meeting the polo crowd at Sefton and Culverden.

Andy and Gillian Thom, Dubai

I cannot tell you how lovely it has been … I have learnt an incredible amount – far more than 15 years of school education. I cannot imagine not being here next season.

Camilla Hicks, England

Thank you very much for providing a truly once in a lifetime experience … there were a lot of long faces at the prospect of leaving New Zealand. To a man, all swore that we would return someday, and from a group that perhaps travels far too much and is jaded to the world. That is indeed a compliment.

J. Curtis Gwilliam, Washington DC

This was a great break from England. I loved every minute of it. I hope to see you all soon, maybe for my GAP year?

Sophie Stanek, England

I have learnt a huge amount. The task now is make it stick and apply it back home.

Peter Benn, England

Excellent food, fabulous company and polo – what more could you possibly ask for?

Tina and Brendon Fahey, Australia

Brilliant horses, want to take them all back; and brilliant place to stay.

Charlie Budget, England

The polo has been fantastic and the hospitality overwhelming.

John Welsh, England

I have reached my goal of improving my polo, but, more importantly, my horsemanship. This is all down to Mark.

Adrian Rands, England

We were knocked out by this country, this weather, this polo, and, above all, you guys!

Paula and Jeremy Cooke, England

I have learnt such a lot, not just about horses and polo, but also many valuable lessons in life. I am in denial that I am actually leaving.

Sarah Nicholson, England

Henry loved the polo and we enjoyed getting to know you.

Alice, Henry, Hugo, and Skye Rourke, of New South Wales, Australia

The most hospitable family in the world.

Tim and Gilly Walker, England

What a brilliant week … I could have asked for nothing more.

Gus Booth, Adelaide, Australia

Being able to play on such a great field, on brilliant horses, with a full stomach, was a real treat.

Ed Magor, England

You’ve increased my confidence on the field and given me the chance to play great polo. The horses have all been fab and you have such a wonderful setup … it has been the perfect start to my GAP year.

Amy Bletsoe-Brown, England

We couldn’t have fitted more polo into the week …

David, Roz and Hamish, of Kerrie, Australia