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Volume 18 • Issue 1 • January/February 2013 • £6.50

Elation for Ellerstina Mariano Aguerre and the Pieres brothers win the Argentine Open

The FIP’s new president, Manipur polo and Brits in USA PT p1 cover JOS PJ.indd 1

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Contacts Publisher Margie Brett Editor John O’Sullivan


What’s inside...

January/ February 2013

Deputy editor Georgie May Junior editor Polly Bryan

52 Copa Potrillos, Pilar, Argentina

14 The big picture

55 Cotswold Vale Tournament, Longdole

Comment 16 Backchat with Clare Milford Haven

Lily Cox

18 Herbert Spencer’s Global view

Art editor

22 Your views: letters

Nicki Averill


PJ Seccombe Subscriptions Sarah Foster Accounts Philippa Hunt -

Tel: 01993 886885 Fax: 01993 882660

Youth polo

6 All the latest news

Advertising manager

Marketing & PR

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20 Umpire’s corner with Jason Dixon

24 Cover story: Interview with the FIP’s new president Dr Richard Caleel 28 Cover story: Polo in Manipur


56 SUPA Britain vs USA Arena Test

Knowledge 58 Know your game 60 Know your horse 62 Ones to watch

Sidelines 66 Gossip: Don’t be the last to know 68  Social: Polo Times party; Poverty Bay Open, New Zealand 70 Social: National Club Champs, RCBPC; Polo in Jodhpur

34  Cover story: The Argentine Open

72 Social: Paul Sweeney Memorial; Guards and Ham parties; International Cup

40  The International Cup – USA vs England, Florida

74 What’s on in February 82 Passions: John Bunn

42 The Townsend Cup, California 44 The HPA Club Champs, RCBPC 46 Home and abroad

Cover photograph: Ellerstina rejoice in their shock Argentine Open win. By Alice Gipps

Polo Times, January/February 2013 5

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from the Editor It’s hard to believe that we have waved goodbye to Santa Claus and mince pies for another year and that the first Polo Times issue of 2013 has already been put to bed. Where does the time go? Having said that, so much seems to have happened since our last issue. I have no problem admitting that I never believed that Ellerstina could beat the 40-goal dream team of La Dolfina in the Argentine Open final (I’m sure I’m not the only one!), but I was thrilled to be wrong. Alejandro Comero’s indepth report on page 34 is essential reading this month. I constantly hear people say that the winter is the off-season for polo in the UK but, looking through this issue, you really wouldn’t know it. Not only has the arena season been in full swing, but no fewer than four English teams (one men’s, one ladies’, one arena and one SUPA team!) have played internationals in the USA alone since we last went to press.

Government plans put Palermo polo in doubt THE FUTURE OF polo at the iconic Buenos Aires venue of Palermo looks to be in doubt after worrying plans of the Argentine government have come to light. Polo Times understands that Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’s controversial administration would like to remove the ownership of Palermo – venue for the Argentine Open – from the Army and reallocate it to a different sector of the government. This would almost certainly draw to an end Palermo’s time as a polo venue and the area would most likely be used for social housing. At present these plans are little more than rumour, but our sources in Argentina suggest that if Mrs Kirchner gets her way, things could move very quickly.

One piece of optimism for polo fans is that Mrs Kirchner – best known in the UK as the person who has brought the Falklands back on the political agenda – has not been able to push through every piece of legislation she has craved. Last year her administration tried to ban the importation of all foreign books and magazines into Argentina, but it ultimately had to admit defeat on this. Polo has been played at Palermo since 1928 and the venue is lovingly known as La Catedral del Polo in the polo world.

◗ See pages 34-38 for a report from December’s Argentine Open Photograph by James Mullan

The FIP has also elected a new president in the form of America’s Dr Richard Caleel (see page 24 for Herbert Spencer’s interview with him). I’d also like to point you in the direction of Chris Ashton’s feature on the history of polo in Manipur, which includes stunning pictures by Roslyn Sharp. It makes fascinating reading.


The new year does mean a few changes to Polo Times and I’m sure you’ll notice several as you flick through the magazine. Our new Club News page – dedicated to the latest UK club news – is on page 10-11. Do let us know what is going on at your club so that we can keep our readers up-to-date. Most exciting of all, though, is the launch of the Polo Times app later this month, which means that for the first time the magazine will be available on the iPad and all other tablet devices. This will be available free for all of our subscribers, so I hope you enjoy it! Happy new year to everyone,

The iconic grounds at Palermo in Buenos Aires could cease to host polo if rumours are true

Gaucho International this May

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Polo Times, January/February 2013

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GAUCHO HAS ANNOUNCED that it will be holding its third annual HPA Gaucho International Polo event on Tuesday 21 May. Held at the O2 Arena in London, this year’s event will feature two international arena matches – one of which will see England face Argentina. Jamie Morrison will captain the England side, while Nacho Figueras will lead the Argentina side. The other team members for both three-a-side teams

are yet to be confirmed. The teams for the second international match at the event will be announced in March. Sponsors Tanqueray will host a stage-side party and Indigo O2 will be hosting the Official Players After-Party. A new hospitality package will include the “Polo Express Clipper” – a 150 seat Thames Clipper Catamaran, which will sail guests from West London and Canary Wharf to the O2.

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England teams get set for internationals across the globe

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Back on home soil, England will take on the Rest of the British Isles in the Hickstead arena on Saturday 2 March. Nine-goaler Chris Hyde will captain the England side, which will be hoping to continue its run of success in this particular Test Match, having claimed the Bryan Morrison Trophy for the past five consecutive years. The Rest of the British Isles team will be captained by Jamie Morrison. The remaining players will be confirmed at a later date.

The HPA hopes to send a team to Argentina in April to play in the 22-goal Copa De Las Naciones. The tournament will be held at Palermo, Buenos Aires from 7-21 April. However, it is not yet confirmed whether England will be able to field a team as it will depend on the players with available horses. As with last year, due to the rising tensions over the Falkland Islands, England may have to play as a “Rest of the World” team again. Photograph by James Mullan

THE ENGLAND TEAM has a busy few months ahead of it, with various international matches taking place across the world. The first of five possible international appearances is the FIP Snow Polo World Cup in China from 25 January – 2 February. Five-goalers Oli Hipwood and George Meyrick and six-goaler James Harper will represent England at the snow polo tournament, held at the Tianjin Goldin Metropolitan Polo Club. Twelve nations are taking part, including defending champions Hong Kong, who again field a controversial side of two Argentines and one British player – John Fisher. England, who is fielding a completely different side to 2012, hopes to better last year’s performance, where the combination of Max Charlton, Chris Hyde and Jamie Le Hardy finished third. On 23 February England will take on Australia in Melbourne in an 18-20 goal Test Match. James Beim will captain the side and will be joined by four of the following short-listed players: Richard Le Poer, George Meyrick, Nina Clarkin, Sam Gardiner and Tom Beim. James Beim will then go on to captain England again at a second international against Australia at Windsor in April. James Harper, Tom Morley and Ed Hitchman are likely to represent the rest of the team.

James Beim will captain England when they face Australia in two separate Test Matches in February and April

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Aiming high RENA PLAYERS: Harold < AHodges and Jack Hyde had their arena handicaps raised in the mid-season handicap changes, from four to five goals and one to two goals respectively. See page 75 for the full list of changes

ENGLAND in the us: Oli < Hipwood, Max Charlton and

Seb Dawnay defeated the USA in the arena at Empire Polo Club in January, claiming the Townsend Cup. It is the first time that England has won an arena international on US soil

marriages: weddings have < been high on the agenda this

winter with Luke Tomlinson, Hilario Ulloa and Matt Lodder all getting married. See page 66 for more details

England ladies: Nina < Clarkin, Claire Donnelly, Sarah

Wiseman and Hazel Jackson defeated the USA Ladies at Grand Champions in Florida in November. See pages 40-41 to see a report from the tournament, where the England boys lost to the USA in the main match

Swinging low olfo cambiaso: = ad the 10-goaler missed three penalties in the last chukka of the Argentine Open, costing La Dolfina the title. See pages 3438 for the full report teams: entries = arena were down in the 15-goal

Kidd pleads with Ayala him have his ponies EIGHT PONIES OWNED by English four-goaler Jack Kidd were still being held by Inigo Zobel’s Ayala Polo Club in Spain as Polo Times went to press in late January. Although Kidd has been trying to cut a deal with the club, they refuse to let the ponies go until elusive patron Simon Welsh – who employed Kidd to captain his team during the 2012 Spanish season – pays his livery bill. Welsh, who is believed to be living in Switzerland, still owes Kidd vast sums of money. He is also in debt to Genesis band member and polo player Mike Rutherford. Despite several attempts to make contact with Welsh, the non-playing patron is yet to cough up the €300,000 that is understood to be owed to Rutherford and Kidd. Since the end of July, when Kidd upped and left Spain, his ponies have been impounded at Ayala. However, the Spanish club have allowed Welsh to take away his ponies under the agreement that he would take them back to Switzerland, sell them and settle the livery bill with the money he got for them. But since Welsh collected his ponies Ayala have not seen a penny and Kidd is paying the price. “Ayala claim that as soon as my ponies arrived on the yard they became the property of Simon Welsh,” Kidd said. “And until the livery bill is paid

ORGANISERS WERE FORCED to cancel the Klosters Snow Polo tournament, which was due to be held from 16-20 January, after last year’s event produced a significant financial loss and no

tomlinson: = ltheukeEngland player saw his Argentine handicap move down in the latest Argentine handicap changes. He moves down from eight goals to seven goals Action from last year’s snow polo event in Klosters

Polo Times, January/February 2013

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“These are my main string that I play in England without them my career is ruined” – Jack Kidd last January, for the Polo Masters Tour, employing Santa Maria Polo Club manager Santiago Torreguitar. He paid his bills and his players, so everything seemed in order.”

Klosters Snow Polo cancelled

section of the HPA National Club Championships in December – half the number of last year. Cold Smoke were the winners – see pages 4445 for the full report


they won’t let them go, despite them allowing Welsh to take his. As far as I’m concerned the contract is between Welsh and Ayala, it is not with me, so it is not right that they can hold my ponies ransom. “These are my main string of ponies that I play in England during the summer, so without them my polo career is ruined. Last August I was offered a contract with another patron but I couldn’t take it up as I didn’t have any ponies.” Kidd was approached by Welsh in Barbados at the beginning of last year, who asked him to head-up his team in Spain from May onwards and to coach his son Louis. “Simon Welsh had fielded a team with Craig McKinney in Spain during the 2011 season,” Kidd told Polo Times. “He also took a team to Megève

title sponsor could be found to support the 2013 event. The event is also unlikely to be held again in the future. Although some sponsorship had been acquired for this year’s event, which would have been sufficient to hold the tournament on the planned budget, it would not have been enough to settle outstanding bills from the 2012 tournament. The Alpine Polo Club, which organise the annual snow polo tournament, made a request to the local community in Klosters to cancel the majority of the 2012 invoices, but this request was rejected in mid-December. The tournament had grown in popularity since it began in January 2005, attracting a number of British and other international players. This year, Jonny Good was expected to make his debut at the event and Henry Brett and Seb Dawnay were also amongst the proposed line-up.

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to let back At the end of April Kidd moved into a villa with Welsh, right, and Rutherford and the season started well, with their Cancha II team – featuring Louis Welsh and two Spanish pros – winning their first tournament in May. However, alarm bells started to ring soon after when Welsh reportedly got into a fight with Craig McKinney and Santiago Torreguitar resulting in Cancha II being banned from Santa Maria Polo Club. “We were able to play at a few private clubs, including Ayala, but by mid-July, having not been paid for the three months I was there, I decided enough was enough and I moved back to England,” Kidd explained. “That was when I was told I wasn’t allowed to take the ponies with me. I wasn’t too worried to begin with as I genuinely believed Welsh would pay, but it has been six months and I am still in the same situation. The HPA have been helpful and David Woodd is going to

Last summer started on a high for Jack Kidd and Louis Welsh as they won their first tournament with Cancha II

write to the Spanish Federation but I have already been in touch with them and no one over there seems to be interested.” Kidd and Rutherford are said to be taking criminal proceedings against Welsh and still hope to be paid the money they are

owed. There was a written contract between Kidd and Welsh – although Kidd, like many players, believes that they are not worth the paper they are written on. w See the latest on

Team changes for 2013 Argentine high-goal season

Photograph by Royal Salute

SIX TEAMS HAVE been confirmed for the 2013 Argentine high-goal season. The La Dolfina and Ellerstina line-ups will remain the same,

Mariano Aguerre in action in the Argentine Open final

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although Adolfo Cambiaso’s La Dolfina will drop down to 39-goals, since David “Pelon” Stirling saw his handicap move down to nine goals in the latest Argentine handicap changes. Following Ellerstina’s triumph in the Argentine Open in December Mariano Aguerre has had his handicap moved back up to ten goals, putting Ellerstina up to a 39-goal team for this season. This is the third time in Aguerre’s career that he has moved from nine goals to ten goals – the first time was in 1998 and the second in 2005. Polito Pieres and Hilario Ulloa will join Alegria this year – Pieres moving from La Natividad and Ulloa from Pilará. Fred Mannix and Lucas Monteverde will make up the remainder of the team. Guillermo “Sapo” Caset moves from La Aguada to La Natividad, joining Ignacio Heguy, Rodrigo Ribeiro de Andrade and Bartolomé

“Lolo” Castagnola, who is understood to be retiring from high-goal after this year. Facundo Sola, who has risen from seven to eight goals, has been snapped by La Aguada. After his strong performance with Magual in 2012, Miguel, Ignacio and Javier Novillo Astrada were keen for him to join their side. Eduardo and Alejandro Novillo Astrada will be joined by Lucas James and Cristian Laprida on the La Aguada-Las Monjitas team – the sixth team to be confirmed for the 2013 season. British players had mixed joy in the Argentine handicap changes with Luke Tomlinson moving down from eight goals to seven goals and Ollie Cudmore moving up from four to five goals. w S  ee page 34 for our report from the Argentine Open final Polo Times, January/February 2013


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Club news

Club news in brief

◗ DRUIDS LODGE POLO CLUB is currently hosting a polo art exhibition by equestrian artist Kate Harding. The exhibition will run until 10 March and is open between 5-8pm on Thursdays and 10.30am to 2pm at weekends. Viewing outside these hours is by appointment only. For more information please visit or ◗ TOULSTON POLO CLUB will celebrate its 100th anniversary this year. The club was founded by William Riley-Smith at Tadcaster in 1913. To commemorate the centenary, a book about the history of the club will be published and launched at a reception on 25 April. The club’s annual Jubilee tournament, taking place this year on 16 June, will become the Centenary Tournament in 2013.

FORMER RCBPC POLO manager Louisa Dawnay will take up a new position of events director at Guards Polo Club in February. She will work closely with Guards chief executive Neil Hobday to organise and develop polo events and fixtures at Smith’s Lawn and internationally. Dawnay comes from a background of polo event organisation, having been polo manager at the Berkshire and having worked as polo director of the MINT Polo in the Park, the Gaucho International at the O2 and the recent Coutts Polo at the Palace in Abu Dhabi. She has also worked in polo consultancy, with clubs, brands and events. “I have always loved working on different projects with different people and I crave diversity,” said Dawnay. “Working for the juggernaut that is Guards will give me all that but under one roof. It is a great honour to have the job created with me in mind and something I couldn’t refuse. I am very excited to take up the role.”

In her new position, Dawnay aims to make Guards events about more than just polo, increasing the fun and giving everybody a great, family day out. “What is amazing about Guards is the traditional side to it with events like the Queen’s Cup. But although I am a fan of the VIP area, it’s important to remember that it only accounts for about 10 per cent of the people that attend these events. I want every person to come away having had a good, fun day out.”

Photograph by Lynn and Jim Bremner of

◗ ASCOT PARK WILL host the UK National Women’s Arena Polo Tournament on 16-17 February. Entries are open for teams of 0-4 goals, as well as from individual players who will be placed in appropriate teams. Ascot Park is able to provide horse hire for a range of level and preference. Hospitality and catering will be available throughout the weekend. For more information, contact or 01276 858 545.

Guards appoints events director

Right: Louisa Dawnay

New team at Rutland Polo Club RUTLAND POLO CLUB will have a new committee and management team for the 2013 season. Andrew Collie has taken over from Paul Girdham as club chairman, with Robert Boucher as vice-chairman. Henry Browne (pictured) has taken up the newlyformed position of general and polo manager.

“We have an exciting programme to put in place for 2013, with a new and varied fixture list, additional corporate sponsors, new polo training and social events,” said Browne. “We aim to encourage more visiting teams to come and play at Rutland and put some vibrancy back into the club.” Also new to the committee are secretary Camilla Ross-Wilson, Johnny Westherby and Simon Marlow-Thomas. John Tinsley and Edwin de Lisle remain as president and vice-president.

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Polo Times, January/February 2013

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Club news

Scottish club to close down STEWARTON POLO CLUB has been forced to close down due to a lack of planning permission for new facilities. Polo manager Karina Bowlby had planned to build 20 new stables, an all-weather arena and new facilities for the clubhouse including a members room and a dining room, but had her applications for planning permission rejected. “We tried very hard but the council just wouldn’t grant permission,” said Bowlby. “They even questioned why I needed the stables at all. We tried to withdraw the application and try again with more guidance but had no luck.” The new facilities were much needed for the 2013 season, especially after poor weather last

summer led to just three lessons being able to be held in one six-week period. “It is very sad that we have to close as we had 20 keen members and that number was rising,” said Bowlby. “We had the potential to become the biggest club in Scotland.” Bowlby founded the club in 2004 and it was originally based in Ayrshire until it moved to Westfield Farm near South Queensferry in 2009. Bowlby is an experienced sports coach who has trained the SUPA Young England polo team in the past. She will now focus on her company Mind Time Polo, providing peak performance consultancy for polo players.

Birmingham University victories THE UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM wiped the board in the Novice section of the University Challenge at Rugby Polo Club, taking the top three spots. The Novice final was a fiercely competitive match between the Birmingham I team of Imogen Norton, Henry Outtridge and Chris Milton and Birmingham II – Alexander Kaye, Louise Slope and Kian Gheissari – who eventually won 2-1. Birmingham III took third place after crushing Nottingham II on their way to the semifinals, before being beaten to a place in the final by Birmingham II. A total of 30 teams from six universities took part in the tournament. Harper Adams I were the winners of the Beginner section. Rugby Polo Club team won the Combined section.

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Novice winners Birmingham II with the trophy (L-R): Louise Slope, Kian Gheissari and Alexander Kaye,


Club news in brief w TWO CAMBRIDGE POLO clubs have undergone name changes for 2013. Haggis Farm Polo Club, which is located two miles from the centre of Cambridge, has now become Cambridge Polo Club. Frolic Farm, near the village of Lode, east of Cambridge, will now go by the name of Cambridge County Polo Club. The Cambridge and Newmarket Polo Club, also in Lode, is no longer active. w A NEW POLO club will open near Stokenchurch in Buckinghamshire in April. Eastwood Polo Club, founded by Andres Perez, has been granted provisional affiliation by the HPA. The private club will hold five low-goal tournaments next season. The schedules of nearby West Wycombe Polo Club and Lacey Green Polo Club have been considered, to avoid any clashes of dates. Perez, who has been a member of West Wycombe for eight years, plans to abide by his members interests as much as possible. “We will make sure we frequently ask members if any changes should be made and take into account their opinions on the running of the club,” he said. “Every penny we make will also be reinvested back into the club and the grounds.”

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News News in brief

w THERE WILL BE changes to this year’s Victor Ludorum tournaments in the UK. Beaufort’s Wichenford Bowl will be included in the 8-goal Victor Ludorum and the Eduardo Rojas Lanusse, held at RCBPC, will drop from 8-goal to become a fourth 6-goal Victor Ludorum tournament. Games in the 18-goal section will be played over five chukkas this season. w TICKETS ARE NOW on sale for the Arena Test Match at AEPC, Hickstead, which takes place on Saturday 2 March. England will take on the Rest of the British Isles in the 22-24 goal match. Tickets cost £5 and the postmatch lunch costs £45 – tables are available. To purchase tickets see w POLO TIMES IS now accepting payments via Paypal for subscriptions and classified advertising. To subscribe or place a classified see


Polo Times, January/February 2013

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THE ANNUAL BEACH polo event held at Watergate Bay in Cornwall has been expanded to a weekend-long format. In previous years, Polo on the Beach has been held on a weekday evening in September but this year it will be a two-day event held earlier in the year – from 18-19 May. Since its inaugural year in 2007, the event has attracted a growing number of spectators, with more than 4,000 people turning out for the sixth Veuve Clicquot Polo on the Beach last September. “Holding the event in May gives us the benefit of more daylight hours than September, so we can pack even more polo and entertainment into the two day format and put on more entertainment later into the evening,” said Will Ashworth of Watergate Bay Hotel. In 2012 Jamie Le Hardy and teammates Nick Clague and Tim Vaux were victorious representing

Joules. They defeated First Great Western featuring co-organiser Andy Burgess, Andrew Blake Thomas and James Harper. Photograph by Kirstin Prisk Photography

w THE HIGH-GOAL Gold Cup in Sotogrande, Spain, will be played at 22-goals this year, rather than 20-goals. This increase means that the Gold Cup, the pinnacle of the International Polo Tournament held at Santa Maria Polo Club every August, will now be played at the same level as the Queen’s Cup and the Gold Cup in England. This year, Land Rover will become title sponsors of the tournament.

Beach polo event expands

Polo on the Beach will take place over two days this year

Hay Hutch hits the polo world INVENTED TO TACKLE labour costs and keep hay in good condition, Hay Hutches have become a popular choice with the polo fraternity. The robust, industrial grade plastic hay feeders keep the haylage tidy and dry and can be filled at the owner’s convenience. Victoria Grace of Ascot Park Polo Club was one of the first polo players to purchase the feeders: “Hay Hutches provide a great way to feed ponies – tidy, efficient and portable.” Each large Hay Hutch will provide for four to six ponies. The company is offering a discount to Polo Times readers – quote “Polo” when ordering to receive five per cent off at

A Hay Hutch gets a lot of attention on an active polo yard

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Latest from the HPA HPA chief executive David Woodd rounds up the news from UK polo’s headquarters

Appointments for 2013 Standing Committees Chairmen of the Standing Committees for 2013 are as follows: Chairman’s Committee – Brig J A Wright, CBE Vice Chairman – D Jamison Handicap Committee – R Vere Nicoll Development Committee – S Tomlinson Umpire and Rules Committee – Lord Phillimore International Committee – J M Tinsley Finance and Grants Committee – J Haigh, MBE Disciplinary Committee – A Barlow Polo Welfare Committee – D Morley Arena Polo Committee – M B J Amoore Nominated Stewards Cirencester Park – K Dhillon and J Seddon-Brown Cowdray Park – D Jamison and C McCowan RCBPC – M Amoore and J Morrison Guards – J Green-Armytage and J Gottschalk CSPA ­– R Mason Additional Members of the Council Mrs T Hodges D Morley B Crisp Mrs C Tomlinson S Tomlinson R Vere Nicoll C Hanbury A Douglas-Nugent J Tinsley M Vestey R Graham Handicap Committee (Date due to retire) R Vere Nicoll (Chairman) R Graham A J Kent (2013) O Tuthill (2013) W Hine (2014) J Beim (2013) D Allen (2014) M Amoore (2015) P Fewster (2015) G Schwarzenbach (2015) Overseas Matches

Australia The HPA are sending England teams to play the following matches in Australia this winter: On 23 February a team will play an 18-20 goal Test Match in Melbourne. They will be captained by James Beim and the short list of players is Richard Le Poer, George Meyrick, Nina Clarkin, Sam Gardiner and Tom Beim. In April England has been invited to play an International against Australia at Windsor, Sydney. The shortlist for the team is James Beim (captain), James Harper, Tom Morley and Ed Hitchman. It is also hoped that an England 21 team will take part in a Colts tour in the Sydney area in April. Argentina It is hoped that an England team will take part in the 22-goal Copa de las Naciones from 7-21 April. The team has yet to be confirmed and will largely depend on which players are available with horses. Development South Africa The following group of six children have been selected to attend a one week training clinic in South Africa with Buster Mackenzie in February: Edward Banner-Eve, Tomas Brodie, Sebastian Hancock, Henry Letts, Jack Hyde and Terrence Lent. Argentina The following children will be taking part in an exchange programme to visit Marcus Uranga’s

family in Open Door, Argentina, in February: Charlie Townsend, Monty McGregor, Jasmine Stanhope-White and Luke Wiles. The following children will be taking part in an exchange programme to play in the AAP children’s tournament at Coronel Suarez, Argentina, in February: Will Penfold, Ollie Cork, Marcus Cork, Tom Townsend, Hugo Taylor and Thomas Coid. Horse passports A reminder to all members that under EU legislation all equines must hold a DEFRA (Department for Food Environment and Rural Affairs) approved passport. If you have recently bred, purchased or imported a pony that requires identifying and registering for the first time please apply for a passport application form and booklet from the HPA office. Those ponies that hold passport’s issued by other DEFRA approved PIO’s (Passport Issuing Organisations), e.g Weatherby’s or Pet ID Equine, should maintain their original passport and have their passports over-stamped by the HPA so that owners that are members of the HPA are entitled to the HPA’s third party insurance cover. The charges for HPA passport endorsement are as follows: Standard Charge (First Class Royal Mail) – £15.00 (excluding VAT) 3 day turn around (Registered Delivery) – £25.00 (excluding VAT) Overstamp of passport issued by DEFRA approved PIO – £5.00 (including VAT) Please note the standard rate for VAT is 20%

Membership subscriptions and fees for 2013

America Congratulations to Sebastian Dawnay, Oliver Hipwood and Max Charlton who beat America 11-10 in extra time for the Townsend Cup held at the Empire Polo Club, in California on Saturday 12 January.

Outdoor Type of Membership Full Associate Membership Temporary Associate Membership Junior Associate Membership Chukka Membership Country House Polo (No Handicap)

UK Resident £120 £95 £50 £95 £150

OSR £250 £95 £50 £150 £250

China A 16-goal team played in the China Snow Polo World Cup at the Metropolitan Polo Club on from 25 January – 2 February. The team was coached by Alan Kent and comprises: Oliver Hipwood (5) George Meyrick (5) James Harper (6)

Arena season 2013/2014 Type of Membership Full Membership Paid up Outdoor Member Temporary Associate Membership Junior Associate Membership Direct Non Playing Members

UK Resident £120 £70 £95 £50 £95

OSR £250 £70 £95 £50 £95

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A Salute to style VIPs at the Royal Salute Maharaja of Jodhpur Golden Jubilee Cup in India arrived at the polo grounds in some style in late December â&#x20AC;&#x201C; in a procession of vintage automobiles. The 10-goal tournament, which was played in the grounds of the Umaid Bhawan Palace, was held to celebrate the 60-year reign of the Maharaja of Jodhpur. The tournament included a series of special events, including a fashion show and a camel polo exhibition. This classic car show took place before the main final and the Maharaja himself took part. w For a match report from the event, see page 51, and for social pictures see page 70

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24/01/2013 11:52


Backchat with Clare Milford Haven

Passion for polo was the binding agent on an unforgettable jaunt to Mexico

Photograph by British Polo Day


t’s January, it’s raining, and I’ve got woman flu, which is exactly the same as man flu except women don’t pretend we’re about to die and we don’t have the luxury of going to bed, simply because no one will bother to look after us if we do. The fogginess in my brain is not helped by the fact that the last time I picked up a polo stick was over two months ago – in Mexico on one of British Polo Day’s more memorable jaunts across the globe, which featured their first ever all-female game. What was great and somewhat refreshing, was that polo was not the only feature of the trip. In fact we only played one game but it was one of the best polo tours I have ever been on. Brilliantly organised with military precision by ex-cavalry officers, Ben Vestey and Ed Olver, we blazed a trail through Mexico in a streamlined cavalcade of white Range Rovers, flying the flag and sampling the delights of everything from the purest tequila money can buy to ants eggs wrapped in tortillas, via a breathless altitude ascent of the Teotihuacan Pyramids. Our travelling caravan was an eclectic mix of personalities and professions but all sharing the same passion for polo – the binding agent that glued us together as a group and forged unforgettable friendships. The Mexicans were warm and generous, in particular the de Alba family who hosted the games at their beautiful club, Balvanera, in Queretaro. Irreplaceable Palermo Since Mexico I have been loosely following polo activity around the world via Facebook and 16

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Clare and her teammates prepare for their ascent of the Teotihuacan Pyramids during their British Polo Day trip to Mexico

particularly through friends who headed down to Argentina where, in spite of the precarious political situation, the polo community remains surprisingly unaffected in its protective bubble. As riots escalated in the major cities due to civil unrest, polo players resorted to money changing in the Chinese supermarkets before heading off on their Christmas holidays to Punta de’L’Este. For them, the most pressing problem remains the uncertainty

of whether the government will reclaim the legendary site at Palermo for residential development. If they did, where else would be able to hold the 20,000 spectators who flock to watch the Open from all corners of the world? What’s in a name? Back in the UK there doesn’t seem to be much going on about apart from the idle chat about the everelusive patron Simon Welsh, who

has spirited himself in and out of polo like a genie with the skill of a looting opportunist during the Tottenham Riots – leaving a similar trail of devastation behind him (see page 8). I sincerely hope that both Jack Kidd and Mike Rutherford finally get paid the money owed them by an individual, who more than lives up to his name. If you look up the verb “welshing” in the dictionary it is described as: “failing to honour a debt or obligation.” F

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17/01/2013 18:59


Global view with Herbert Spencer

Has polo gone too far in courting the Chinese to secure big bucks?


illions of dollars in “sponsorship” from a single entity in the Peoples’ Republic of China has given the chronically cash-starved Federation of International Polo (FIP) a new lease of life and brought in welcome funds for a number of national associations and their players. There are however aspects of the FIP’s marketing methods in China that should cause concern among the leaders of the federation and its major stakeholders. Sponsorship deals are usually quite straightforward commercial arrangements between sports bodies and corporate clients. In polo, typically, an association or club will grant a sponsor title rights to an event from which the sponsor derives promotion and marketing benefits. The sponsor pays the association or club a fee and that is the end of the matter. The FIP, however, has gone much further in accommodating and courting its new Asian angel to secure multi-million dollar funding, from disregarding Olympic-based nationality rules to creating an honorary post for its benefactor. The benefactor is Pan Sutong, head of Hong Kong based Goldin Properties Holdings Ltd., who is

Former FIP president Eduardo Huergo praised the growth of polo in China during the closing ceremony of October’s Super Nations Cup at the Goldin Metropolitan

grandiose hotel cum clubhouse, obviously aimed at tempting wealthy Chinese and foreign executives to invest in the development’s offices and luxury villas and apartments. With no Chinese players available, Goldin has hired foreign players to stage showy international events, including its 2011 Snow Polo Challenge played on an artificial, man-made

Photograph by John O’Sullivan

“As welcome as Chinese funding of polo is, was it right for the FIP to bend its rules?” using polo as a high-profile sport and social activity to promote Goldin’s gigantic business and residential development in Tianjin, south of Beijing. The company built the Tianjin Goldin Metropolitan Polo Club with a 18

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snow arena. In 2012 Goldin convinced the FIP to put its name to the Metropolitan’s snow polo event by creating the FIP Snow Polo World Cup Invitational. The word “Invitational” was included presumably to account for the

fact that Goldin was allowed to field a Hong Kong team of foreign players in contravention of the FIP’s IOC-based nationality rules. Later in 2012, the FIP agreed to run a 24-goal Super Nations Cup competition on grass at the Metropolitan. England, the US and Argentina sent properly constituted national teams, but again nationality rules were ignored to allow Goldin to enter a Hong Kong China team with pros from England, New Zealand, South Africa and Chile – not a Chinese player in sight. Meanwhile, to further accommodate Goldin, the FIP dropped the long-existing Hong Kong Polo Association from its membership list to make way for a new Hong Kong Polo Development & Promotion Federation. Its chairman is Pan

Sutong and other officers are Goldin executives. Then last December the federation included in its statutes and by-laws a new provision for the appointment of vice-presidents honoris causa – honorary vicepresidents -- for individuals who have made an “exceptional contribution” to the sport. No surprise when Pan Sutong was immediately appointed the FIP’s first ever Honorary Vice-President. All this has led to Goldin’s Metropolitan Polo Club signing a three-year contract with the FIP for the federation to organise events at the club through 2015. So the money is rolling in for the federation. National associations sending teams to compete at the Metropolitan are also benefiting significantly from big prize money on offer. As welcome as Chinese funding of polo is, was it right for the FIP to bend its rules and make new ones to accommodate its benefactor? I doubt whether any other sports governing body would have gone so far. The FIP’s willingness to ignore its nationality rule to secure funding makes a mockery of the concept of international competitions between national polo teams. The Chinese Equestrian Association, responsible for the country’s horse sports, will not have a team of foreign riders carrying the red flag of the Peoples’ Republic into the arena at the 2014 FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy or at the 2016 Olympics in Rio. The Chinese equestrian team will be all Chinese. Why should Chinese polo be any different? F w Read more from Herbert at

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17/01/2013 18:04


Umpire’s corner with Jason Dixon

My passage to India reveals differences in rule interpretation and playing style this severely at first, marching the penalty up the field, while convincing my fellow umpire that my interpretation was correct. (See more on this rule in the blue box, below)

The Royal Salute Maharaja of Jodhpur Golden Jubilee Cup was played against the stunning backdrop of the Umaid Bhawan Palace

Photograph by Royal Salute


orking as a polo umpire regularly involves travelling to new countries with the task of officiating matches in unfamiliar locations, involving players you have never met before. In December I had the opportunity to travel to New Delhi in India to umpire at the Army & Polo Riding Club and the Jaipur Polo Grounds. Teams were mainly ‘four-man’ and well balanced. With the exception of Samir Suhag, who is five goals, all other Indian players are four goals or below. They are generally army players or they are Rajastani horsemen who ride and play from a young age. There was one conventional Indian patron and international players included South Africa’s Tom de Bruin and Max Charlton and George Meyrick from the UK. The mix of players ensured a sharp contrast in expectations from the umpires. In each match I umpired alongside one of the Indian players, which quickly highlighted differences in the interpretation of 20

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the rules. I found Indian players to be very knowledgeable, though having had little training of umpiring, some on-field discussion was needed to form better understanding and consistency. In late December I was once again in India umpiring the Jodhpur Golden Jubilee Cup, sponsored by Royal Salute.

Differences in interpretation: The throw-in: No gap was being left between the teams so I instigated warnings and penalties in the early matches. This led to better separation of the teams in subsequent matches with quicker restarts and fewer melees. Hooking backhands: Some players were accustomed to hooking the backhand and found it difficult to readjust. However, eventually this did stop.

penalise entry to the right of way (ROW) on the attacking player’s nearside, which is a foul under HPA and USPA rules. I penalised

w Have you ever played, umpired of watched polo in India? Let us know your thoughts by emailing

Spotlight on the ROW Entering the ROW on the attacking (black) player’s nearside is a foul under HPA and USPA rules. However, the Indian players were interpreting the rule such that the foul was not blown until the white player had reached the LOB, as is shown in the diagram to the right.


✘ Point of foul under HPA and USPA rules

Point of foul using Indian interpretation


The 2012 HPA Blue Book states that: “The Right of Way (ROW) is taken to be approximately five feet wide, measured from the ball to the player’s nearside leg.” Rule 32 b (iii) It further states that:

The five feet ROW: Umpires were focusing on the cross and obstruction at the entry to the line of ball (LOB), but they did not

Slow whistle: Rather than blowing the whistle immediately when a foul occurs, as was happening when I arrived in India, it is sometimes better to wait for the outcome of the foul (as long as it is not dangerous to do so). If the fouled player gets a distinct advantage, play should continue. This can establish a good playing rhythm with fewer stoppages. F

approx 5 ft

“No player may cross or turn left or right across the ROW of an opposing player who is committed on the ROW except at such speed or distance that no risk of a collision or danger to either player is involved.” Rule 33a

16/01/2013 15:29

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17/01/2013 20:33


Your views

Letters Write to the editor in the following ways: w wT  he Editor, Polo Times,

Holbrook Farm, North Leigh, Oxon OX29 6PX

Arthur will be missed

Jan-Marie Kiesel Issing, Germany Editor’s note: Thank you for your kind words about both Arthur and Rege. We were also sad to see Arthur go. We hope you enjoy reading this month’s Umpire’s Corner by Jason Dixon – see page 20 22

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Use your head when buying a helmet Sir, I recently played for the England Ladies’ team in the USA in November. While playing at Grand Champions Polo Club in Florida, I had a nasty fall where my pony tripped over the boards, resulting in me being catapulted over its head – head first into the ground (see picture). I would like people to know about this as I really think it is important for players to invest in a proper standardised three-point harness helmet. Without my Casablanca helmet that I bought at the beginning of the season there is no way I would have walked away from the incident, let alone get back on to play the remaining two and a half chukkas of the game. When I returned to England, I had my neck and back x-rayed as I was still extremely sore from the fall. The hospital could not believe that I had not broken anything and said it was solely down to the quality and the protection that my hat had given me. I would like people to see this photo and read my story so that next time they go to buy a helmet they at least think about buying a safety helmet. From experience it really can save your life.

Photograph by Alex Pacheco

Sir, It’s with real regret that our polo playing family reads that Arthur Douglas-Nugent has finished writing Umpire’s Corner. We’ve all enjoyed it so much. It has been informative, interesting and often thoughtprovoking. The articles were also exquisitely written and so we hope that Arthur doesn’t put down his pen completely but continues to contribute to Polo Times in perhaps another capacity (or could we encourage Arthur to write a book!?!). Congratulations to Polo Times too for incorporating tips from Rege Ludwig in your magazine. Last issue’s contribution (Nov/ Dec 2012) on enjoyment in the sport really hit a spot with me. We’ve just come back form Imphal, Manipur, where Rege was present with a young team from Thailand. It was there, under the umbrella of overwhelming hospitality provided by the people of Manipur, that we were all able to play from the heart, bringing together the sport, the game and the enjoyment! Perhaps Manipur holds the key?

Letter of the month

Claire Donnelly, West Sussex Editor’s note: Claire, thank you for sharing your story with us and we’re glad to hear that you came through your crash unscathed. I hope our readers will heed your advice

The writer of the letter of the month wins a fashionable Polo Times umbrella

Getting the hump with polo out in Dubai Sir, Pippa Dwan and myself, members at Little Bentley Polo Club, recently swapped our usual polo ponies for a less than conventional game of camel polo in the Dubai desert. While I captained the Expatriates team, which was made up of five fellow lawyers and professionals currently residing in Dubai, Pippa captained the Tourists, who were made up of visiting family and friends. There were mixed abilities

on the field, from some regular polo players to total novice riders – but with the unwieldy camels acting as a great leveller (each camel requiring an experienced jockey to help steer), previous polo experience didn’t necessarily help. The camels, provided for the day by Gulf Ventures, were in fine shape, very friendly and at times quite speedy – although a lot more difficult to control than the average polo pony. With the

added difficulty of controlling the 70-inch mallet and what must be the equivalent to a 25 hands-high horse, it was a good job the ball was larger than a usual arena ball. The players soon adapted though and goals came in thick and fast. The match was closely fought but an expertly taken hat-trick of goals from novice player and ex-pat Jack Gardener was enough to ensure victory for the home side, 4-3. The match was played at the beautiful Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club and was a great success for the inaugural Dubai Camel Polo Legal Challenge Cup – hopefully the first of many.   Sam Outtridge Dubai

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Your views


Tweets worth re-tweeting

We follow them on twitter, to save you bothering: Stewarton Polo @ stewartonpolo – 29 Nov Farmer denied permit to build horse shelter. So he builds giant table & chairs which don’t need permit. Brilliant! (+ pic) Louisa Dawnay Polo @LouisaDawnay - 2 Dec Wishing instead of being huddled by the fire, I was enjoying south american sunshine watching the best polo in the world! #AbiertoDePalermo OJPolo @OJPolo - 7 Dec Horses done, snow falling; what better morning to be sat by the fire reading the latest @PoloTimes catching up all of the latest #polo news George Meyrick @GeorgeMeyrick - 16 Dec One day an English polo player will win the BBC Sports Personality Of The Year! #polopower Fran Farber @FranMFarber – 3 Jan Polo started today @sundaypolo. I Must buy a new hat! #Polo Notts Uni Polo Club @NottsUniPolo - 7 Jan Dreaming of polo trophies to get through revision.. Power through nupc members! Sebastian Dawnay @ playmakerpolo - 10 Jan My type of town, great sign. (+ pic)

“I’ve always said that playing the lottery is a waste of money, but if Cambiaso can miss three penalties in one chukka in the Argentine Open final at Palermo, anything can happen!”

Great festive family fun Sir, I have long enjoyed reading Polo Times and on several occasions before I have thought about writing to you, but I must admit that I have never actually got round to it. However, my family and I were so enthralled by your Christmas quiz (Nov/ Dec 2012) over the festive period that I felt inspired to get

in touch. I took on the role of quiz master and my children fought it out to get the most questions right, much to the amusement of my non-polo playing in-laws! Well done, I hope you do it again this year. Brian White Penn, Buckinghamshire

Setting the record straight about buying Irish ponies Sir, We await Polo Times every month and consider it an important part of keeping up to speed with what is going on in the polo world. However, we found Jamie Peel’s article in the November/December 2012 issue a little misleading. We have been based in Ireland and selling horses from here since 2003. We mainly sell to the UK, Spain, Portugal and Germany but also to Argentina and other countries. We feel the article was not badly written – the majority was informative and Jamie is entitled to his opinion. But it is

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the editor’s job to ensure that the articles are accurate. The opening paragraphs suggest that buying horses in Ireland is risky full stop, which is simply not true. Caveat emptor applies the world over and it is up to buyers to have adequate vettings carried out. I sell mainly to professionals who know the quality and the abundance of horses in Ireland. As you know Ireland is a leading producer of thoroughbreds worldwide. Of course there is a risk when buying horses in any country, so you must be aware of the risks and provide for

them accordingly. Your magazine will continue to be a monthly ritual in our house and I look forward to the next issue in the New Year. Alejo and Wendy Aita Tagle Co Kildare, Ireland Editor’s note: Thanks for your letter, but I’m sorry if you feel that the article implied that buying horses in Ireland is on the whole a risky business. This is certainly not what was intended, nor is it my opinion, or Jamie Peel’s opinion on the matter. Jamie was simply telling a true

story that happened to him and the point he really wanted to make was that, no matter where you are buying horses (in Ireland, in England, in Argentina, or at the sales) you have to take some precautions. Jamie did not comment on buying ponies in Ireland generally, but perhaps we could have added a sentence that made it clear that buying horses in Ireland can be a very rewarding process, but that, no matter where you are buying from, it is important to take precaution. I do hope that by printing your letter we will help to clarify this matter. Polo Times, January/February 2013


17/01/2013 19:07


Interview – New FIP president Dr Richard Caleel

Caleel reveals his presidential plans Herbert Spencer talks to the FIP’s new president ­Dr Richard Caleel about his background in polo and his plans for his two-year term in office

By Herbert Spencer

Photograph by Tony Ramirez, Images of Polo


here are few corners of the world that Dr Richard T Caleel has not visited as an eminent surgeon, amateur polo player or official of the Federation of International Polo (FIP). If “have passport, will travel” is one of the prerequisites for the post of president of the FIP, Richard is quite clearly the man for the job. Richard was unanimously elected president of the sport’s global body at its General Assembly in Buenos Aires last December. He plans to serve only one two-year term, but the 24 months of his presidency will be especially busy ones. “We have the 14th World Polo Cup coming up in 2014,” Richard says, “and, for the first time, polo exhibitions will be included in the 2014 FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy, which we hope will lead eventually to polo becoming a regular competitive discipline in the games. Both these events will require substantial organisation and funding, a difficult task in the current economic climate. “The FIP celebrated its 30th anniversary as I took office and, like all organisations, the federation has to change with the times. We now have new Statutes and By-Laws and I look forward to providing leadership for our many fine volunteers who are involved in administration of the sport around the world.” 24

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the off-shore islands of New Britain and New Ireland. I was their only doctor and did everything from extracting teeth to abdominal surgery.” While still a surgical resident, Richard met and married Annette Canalia, a Chicago fashion model. The couple celebrated their golden wedding anniversary last year. They had four children: Maria, Thomas, Giovanna and Richard. “There were no horse sports in previous Caleel generations,” Richard says, “but we all became avid riders: our sons and I concentrating on polo and Annette and our daughters as equestrians. It all came together one year when the six of us came to England and went hunting on Exmoor.” Annette was an accomplished international dressage rider, winning silver medals in the US and Canada. She retired from competition only last year. Maria and Giovanna competed in show jumping. Tragedy struck in 1988 when Maria, then a 21-year-old first year veterinary student, was stabbed at her Chicago apartment and died in hospital of internal bleeding from a single wound. – Dr Richard Caleel, new FIP president Her assailant has never been identified and the case is still including presidential appointments at home open. Richard and Annette have established and, from the Vatican, papal knighthoods for annual scholarships and awards in Maria’s u his volunteer work abroad, in India, Kenya and Papua New Guinea. “I did two six-week stints in Papua Right: New FIP president Dr Richard Caleel New Guinea, in 1976 and 1982,” he said, (right) with his predecessor Eduardo Huergo at December’s FIP General Assembly “working in small mission hospitals on I had met Richard and his charming wife Annette a number of times when we were attending FIP events, but knew little of his life until we recently re-established contact by telephone from Berkshire to Santa Barbara in California. Richard Thomas Caleel was born 16 September 1936 in Detroit, Michigan. His parents were Lebanese immigrants, from a farming family back in the French Levant. Caleel senior became an electrical engineer and Richard worked his way through college and medical school by taking on odd jobs between classes. After studying pre-med at Wayne State University in Detroit, he went on to medical school at Chicago’s Midwestern University, then served his internship in a public hospital back home in Detroit. “I spent the first 20 years in general surgery, then concentrated on cosmetic surgery for the next 25,” Richard said. He retired from medical practice in 2006. Richard’s long and distinguished medical career brought him numerous honours

“We have the 14th World Polo Cup coming up in 2014 and, for the first time, polo exhibitions will be included in the 2014 FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy”

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The Caleel family in their equestrian gear at their farm outside Chicago in the 1980s: Annette, Maria, Tom, Richard snr, Giovanna with young Richard jr standing in front

u memory at several universities. Richard first took up polo some 40 years ago at Oakbrook Polo Club in Chicago and he eventually achieved a one-goal handicap. At the height of his playing career he owned 28 ponies and competed all over the US, from Palm Beach, Florida to Palm Springs, California, often teaming up with his two sons. “I held a private pilot’s licence and owned a single-engine Piper followed by a twinengine Cessna,” he said. “At one stage I was flying almost weekly from Chicago to play in California.” Abroad, Richard has played in the Americas, Europe and Asia: Canada, Mexico, Jamaica, Argentina, Peru, Ireland, France, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Greece, India, Dr Caleel has played his polo all over the world. This picture shows his success at the Polo World Cup on Snow in St Moritz

26 Polo Times, January/February 2013

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Singapore, Australia and Brunei. Richard finally retired from the game in 2011. “I injured my back in 2010,” he explained. “I started playing again after treatment, but it didn’t work, so sadly I had to give it up.” In the sport’s administration, Richard is a governor-at-large in the US Polo Association (USPA) and was chairman of the USPA International Committee until he resigned following his election as the FIP’s president. “I first became involved with the FIP in the 1990s, encouraged by the thenpresident, Glen Holden,” Richard recalls. He was appointed as an FIP Ambassador and adds: “Because of my medical background, I was assigned to negotiate the FIP’s adherence to the code of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).” Subsequently he took on the role of representing the FIP in the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and in other

“We have to budget carefully and spend wisely to ensure that the federation serves all of its 87 members in developing polo around the world” – Dr Richard Caleel, new FIP president

Photograph by Tony Ramirez, Images of Polo

Dr Caleel marking Adolfo Cambiaso during an FIP Ambassadors Cup pro-am match in South Carolina

Dr Caleel with former HPA chairman Nicholas Colquhoun-Denvers and current HPA chairman John Wright

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international organisations such as the FEI. At the time of his election as president he was already a member of the federation’s Council of Administration. “The FIP has been fortunate, under my predecessor Eduardo Huergo, to increase its income substantially through contracts in China,” Richard says. “We now have to budget carefully and spend wisely to ensure that the federation serves all its 87 members in developing their polo and to encourage the establishment of the sport in other countries around the world. “One of my priorities during my presidency is to maintain a policy of transparency and good communications amongst our members and the wider polo community and to enhance the FIP’s standing in the eyes of the general public as the global governing body of our great sport.” F wT  here has been plenty of action over the Christmas period between England and Dr Caleel’s home country, the USA. See page 40 for the International Cup and page 42 for the Townsend Cup arena match Polo Times, January/February 2013 27

17/01/2013 16:32


Manipur: Genesis of the modern game

Manipur: Genesis of the modern game

“For some 2,000 years the game of sagolkangjei was central to Manipur’s national identity. This early version of polo was pivotal to the invention of the modern game”

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17/01/2013 17:18

Manipur: Genesis of the modern game


Chris Ashton assesses Manipur’s significant influence on the development of modern polo as the game in the north eastern Indian state suffers a worrying decline

By Chris Ashton in Manipur


ever underestimate the power of poetry. With the nom-de-plume Archangel (inspired by Rudyard Kipling’s story, The Maltese Cat featuring a posh British cavalry regimental team, The Archangels) in 2001 former HPA chairman Nicholas Colquhoun-Denvers, now deputy president of the Federation of International Polo (FIP), penned The Manipuri Gift. Read the last verse: The land of the Viceroys’ times has changed, And Great Britain is no longer so great But the gift freely given with an open heart Attests to a different fate. As armies shrink and forests fall And the past lies there in decay, The game that was once the province of Kings, Is now there for all to play.

Photographs by Roslyn Sharp

Spool fast forward to the last week of November 2012 when that same poet led a six-man polo squad calling itself England-Hurlingham, plus wives and girlfriends, to Imphal, capital of Manipur in India. Together with other low-goal teams representing France, Germany, Thailand and New Delhi, they contested a five-day low-goal international tournament hosted by the Manipur Horse Riding & Polo Association (MHRPA). The English polo-poet, whose poem featured in the MHRPA souvenir tournament booklet, was chief guest. The six teams were mounted on 11 to 13-hand Manipuri polo ponies which, in u England-Hurlingham’s Rupert Duff (red) and Manipur’s Sri Simol Singh fight for possession of the ball during a sagolkangjei exhibition game

Polo Times, January/February 2013

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Manipur: Genesis of the modern game

Photographs by Roslyn Sharp


Former HPA chairman Nicholas Colquhoun-Denvers and his wife Annie in the grandstand in Manipur

u the interests of fair play, were exchanged at half time. Familiar as they were with their diminutive ponies, the Manipur team ruled the roost, defeating the New Delhi team 15-5 in the final. A word about Manipur. Located in the northeastern corner of India and sharing an eastern border with Myanmar (formerly

England-Hurlingham’s Josh Woolley, who was 12 when he last rode a pony as small as a Manipuri

Burma), it spans 23,000 square kilometres. With some 2.3 million people, and the third smallest of India’s 25 states, it promotes itself, accurately, as the bridge between central India and the Orient. Every few weeks it hosts cultural festivals celebrating its performance arts, song and dance, sporting contests and martial arts, coupled with earthenware

“It is about time that polo players around the world give something back to those who gave our forefathers the game we all love so much” – Nicholas Colquhoun-Denvers

pottery and hand-woven cloth, all unknown to the wider world. According to the tournament organiser, Lt Col (rtd) Ranjit Singh, the kingdom of Manipur adopted its own version of polo, sagolkangjei, (literally, horse and stick) more than two millennia ago. Far from being simply a court pleasure, it became the sport of the subsistence farmers. Its cavalry in ancient times commanded the fear and respect of neighbouring kingdoms for their horsemanship and for the bravery, stamina and agility of Manipuri ponies. In the 19th century, British-ruled India extended relations to neighbouring kingdoms ruled by Indian princes. British army officers, in Manipur’s case represented by Captain Robert Pemberton in 1835 followed by William McCullock in 1840, were the first Britons to see and describe sagolkangjei. Two other British army officers, Captain Robert Stewart and Lieutenant Joseph Sherer then joined local British tea planters in impromptu games of sagolkangjei, before founding the world’s first modern polo club in the early 1860s in Calcutta. In 1869 cavalry teams play the first improvised game u

Manipur players and foreign guests contest a game of sagolkangjei


Polo Times, January/February 2013

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Manipur: Genesis of the modern game

An insight into Manipuri culture: a classical Manipur dance inspired by the Hindu god Lord Krishna


Many Manipur people trace their ancestry and traditions from Southern China or Southeast Asia

Polo Times, January/February 2013

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Manipur: Genesis of the modern game

Lt Col (rtd) Ranjit Singh introduces Lt General Ranbir Singh to the British team of Josh Woolley, Rupert Duff, Nicholas Colquhoun-Denvers and Christopher Townsend As this sign professes, the Manipuri Horse Riding and Polo Association (MHRPA) are very proud of the role they have played in the development of polo as a modern sport

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Photographs by Roslyn Sharp

Manipur: Genesis of the modern game

This local spectator encapsulates the passion shown by the Manipuri people for polo

u in England, following which the rules of modern polo were drafted and promoted to the world at large. In sum, Manipuri’s version of polo was pivotal to the invention of the modern game. For some 2,000 years sagolkangjei was central to Manipur’s national identity, until the mid-20th century when, unwillingly, it was absorbed into the newly independent state of India, after which its polo declined. Grassland pastures sustaining the pony were converted to rice and other cash crops. Those straying into cultivated land risked the wrath, even mutilation and death, by

A Manipur mare and foal at the stud established by the MHRPA

subsistence farmers indifferent to their plight. Increasingly a culture which had celebrated sagolkangjei as affirming of Manipuri manhood was supplanted by other sports. The dozens of active polo clubs it once supported are now reduced to ten representing some 300 players, each with two or three ponies. Central to the challenge of checking and reversing the very extinction of Manipur polo is the MHRPA – volunteers largely based in the capital, otherwise employed in commerce, industry, the professions and the Indian army. To encourage foreign teams to contest last

year’s tournament (the 6th such event since 1991), and to alert the attention of the global polo community to the plight of the Manipur pony, they enlisted Nicholas Colquhoun-Denvers. In his appeal to the global polo community he wrote: “It seemed to me that it was about time that the polo players around the world who have had so much enjoyment from the sport over the years should now give something back to those who gave our forefathers the game we all love so much.” F wF  or more from Manipur see page 47

The local Manipur team were the overall winners of the 6th Manipur international Tournament. Here the players pose with the trophy after their 15-5 victory over New Delhi

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Polo Times, January/February 2013


17/01/2013 17:19


The Argentine Open, Buenos Aires

Ellerstina shock La Dolfina to win Open Photograph by Sergio Llamera

Ellerstina played a perfect game of polo against the 40-goal La Dolfina â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;dream teamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; to produce one of the biggest surprises in modern polo history in the sixth straight Argentine Open final between the bitter rivals

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The Argentine Open, Buenos Aires

By Alejandro Comero in Buenos Aires

Ellerstina La Dolfina


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s the clock on the historic scoreboard at Palermo shows 6.33 in the last chukka, the final bell in the 119th Argentine Open final is about to ring. The ball goes behind after several minutes of overwhelming pressure from strong favourites La Dolfina who, against all the odds, find themselves two goals

The iconic skyline at Palermo on a sunny Argentine Open finals day in Buenos Aires

behind. Ellerstina’s Nico Pieres, the youngest player on the field at 20 years of age, is in charge of restarting the game, but the sense of occasion is so great that he is seen crying as the emotion paralyses him. Instead, his older brother Facundo, the team’s talisman, takes over the responsibility with a long shot down the boards, which runs down the clock. As the final bell sounded, Ellerstina’s Mariano Aguerre, a former La Dolfina player, is seen galloping like crazy through field one of La Catedral del Polo with his fists clenched in jubilation. On the sidelines almost 14,000 fans witnessed the memorable feat. Ellerstina, a 38-goal team made up of three brothers and their brother in law, had


achieved the unthinkable. They beat the 40goal La Dolfina dream team 12-10 and the emotion showed by the victorious players said it all. Ellerstina came into the final in indifferent form on the back of an extremely hardfought 18-14 victory over La Aguada. And given the expansive and flowing game played by La Dolfina in their comfortable victories over Magual (by eight goals), Pilará (by five goals) and Alegria (by twelve goals), it looked as if the boys in black faced an insurmountable challenge. However, on the day Ellerstina proved to have superior horsepower and team organisation, which allowed their undoubted talent to shine through. After seeing Hurlingham champions La Dolfina and Tortugas champions Ellerstina share the spoils in the first two Triple Crown finals of 2012, the Palermo crowd anticipated an improvement on the foul-filled 2011 u

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Photograph by Alice Gipps

Nico Pieres won his first Argentine Open title at the age of 20


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The Argentine Open, Buenos Aires

Argentine Open chukka-by-chukka... First chukka Pablo MacDonough opened the scoring for La Dolfina with a goal from the field, giving his team an early lead. But this was quickly answered by Ellerstina who began as they meant to go on, with Gonzalito Pieres scoring, followed swiftly by Nico Pieres, who put Ellerstina ahead 2-1 at the end of the opening chukka. Ellerstina 2, La Dolfina 1

Second chukka Facundo Pieres gave Ellerstina a 3-1 advantage early in the second chukka but La Dolfina came back with a vengeance. Two fouls by Ellerstina gave Adolfo Cambiaso the chance to tie up the scores, and he successfully converted both 30-yard penalties. Gonzalito put Ellerstina back in the lead with his second goal of the game but a foul in the goalmouth by Ellerstina gave Cambiaso the opportunity to level the scores to 4-4 with his third penalty of the chukka.

Third chukka The lead changed again with Cambiaso converting a 40-yard penalty to put La Dolfina ahead 5-4. But Ellerstina continued to chase. Facundo was on the end of a pass from Nico, and he brought the scores back up to 5-5 with another goal from the field. Ellerstina 5, La Dolfina 5

Fourth chukka Cambiaso put his team into the lead by 7-5, converting another penalty and also scoring from the field. But with less than two minutes to go of the first half, Facundo showed his talent with a superb neck shot through a crowd, finding the goal and cutting the deficit to just a single goal. La Dolfina were ahead, 7-6, at half-time but not by the margin that many would have expected. Ellerstina 6, La Dolfina 7

Fifth chukka The second half got off to an exciting start when Mariano Aguerre scored his only goal of the game in the opening minute, to bring Ellerstina level. Just two minutes later Facundo converted a 60-yard penalty, followed by another to take a 9-7 lead over the defending champions. Ellerstina 9, La Dolfina 7 36

Polo Times, January/February 2013

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Photograph by Tony Ramirez, Images of Polo

Ellerstina 4, La Dolfina 4

Mariano Aguerre (in black) assesses the scene as he races away from La Dolfina’s number four Juan Martin Nero

u Argentine Open, which was one of the most forgettable in recent times. They were not disappointed as from the first moments of the game Ellerstina set out their stall – defending solidly, while attacking with ruthless efficiency. In the first four chukkas Ellerstina scored six goals from their eight attempts, all of them from open play. By stark

their seven goals during the first half were from penalties as they forged a slender 7-6 lead at the midway point. Ellerstina’s measured approach to the match finally paid dividends in the fifth and sixth chukkas. As well as dominating possession, they began to have the edge at the throwin, which usually proves to be the Ellerstina

“This is the best achievement of my life. Winning with my three children and my son-in-law is priceless” – Gonzalo Pieres snr contrast, La Dolfina were unrecognisable from the team who had dominated the earlier rounds of the tournament. Their attacking play was contained by the tough Ellerstina defence, leaving Cambiaso’s boys trying to score from awkward shots from difficult angles. Four of

downfall against La Dolfina. Nico Pieres, in his second Argentine Open, played the best polo of his life at back, allowing Facundo Pieres to focus solely on finishing Ellerstina’s attacking movements. Before the game Cambiaso was asked if La

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The Argentine Open, Buenos Aires


Photograph by Tony Ramirez, Images of Polo

Argentine Open chukka-by-chukka... Sixth chukka

Within the first two minutes of the sixth chukka Gonzalito made an impressive 250 yard run to score from the field and increase Ellerstina’s lead. Facundo then made it 11-7 with a 30-yard penalty conversion. Cambiaso cut Ellerstina’s lead back to three goals by scoring from the field but then uncharacteristically missed a 30-yard penalty shot, leaving his 40-goal team trailing 11-8 at the end of the chukka. Ellerstina 11, La Dolfina 8

Seventh chukka

Ellerstina soon widened their lead once more, with another beautiful neck shot from Facundo within the first two minutes of the chukka. But this was answered by La Dolfina with Juan Martin Nero’s only goal of the game, followed by a successful penalty taken by Cambiaso. With just one chukka to go, Ellerstina were hanging on to a 12-10 lead and La Dolfina were now the ones doing the chasing, but it still could have been anybody’s game. Ellerstina 12, La Dolfina 10

Eighth chukka

The Argentine flag was proudly paraded on the Palermo field before the final started

Dolfina would make special tactical plans to cope with Facundo and his reaction was: “No, because we would also have to do the same for Gonzalito. He has been playing really well this year.” Cambiaso was right. Gonzalito, having moved to number two, where he played earlier in his Ellerstina career, controlled the midfield. Maybe overconfidence played its part in the second half as La Dolfina made a string of uncharacteristic errors, which allowed Ellerstina to race into an 11-7 lead in the sixth chukka. “We thought a lot about our defensive strategy,” reveals Ellerstina coach and substitute Alejandro Agote. “We got together every day the week before the final and agreed that we did have a chance, that it was not impossible for us to win. Our strategy worked more as the game went on.” As in Ellerstina’s previous Argentine Open

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victory in 2010, the importance of penalties once again proved critical. In 2010 Ellerstina scored four penalties, while La Dolfina scored just one, as the Pieres brothers and co won by a single goal, 14-13. Roll forward to 2012 and, while Cambiaso’s early effectiveness in front of goal kept La Dolfina in the game, he missed one 30 yard penalty and two 60 yard penalties in the final chukka, which ultimately proved disastrous for his side. When Cambiaso squares off against the Pieres family, there is always a feast of horsepower on display, and the 2012 Argentine Open was no exception. Rain in the lead up to the Tortugas final meant that both side’s preparation for that final were seriously hampered. However, rain played less of a factor in the lead up to the Argentine Open final as both teams turned up u

The final chukka was one of no goals but several surprises. Within 30 seconds of play Pelon Stirling was fouled by Gonzalito, but Cambiaso had the 60-yard penalty shot blocked. Trailing by two goals, La Dolfina attacked hard but when another Ellerstina foul gave Cambiaso the opportunity to score, the ten-goaler missed his second 30-yard penalty shot of the match. Things did not improve for La Dolfina when another 60-yard penalty by Cambiaso was blocked and cleared by Ellerstina. The pressure was mounting for the 40-goal dream team as the final minutes ticked by and when a last-chance shot by Nero went wide, Ellerstina took back possession of the ball as the final bell gave them their longed-for victory. Final score: Ellerstina 12, La Dolfina 10

Ellerstina and La Dolfina’s six Argentine Open finals in a row 2007 – La Dolfina beat Ellerstina, 16-15 2008 – Ellerstina beat La Dolfina, 13-12 2009 - La Dolfina beat Ellerstina,17-16 2010 - Ellerstina beat La Dolfina, 14-13 2011 - La Dolfina beat Ellerstina, 16-10 2012 – Ellerstina beat La Dolfina, 12-10 Polo Times, January/February 2013


17/01/2013 17:32


The Argentine Open, Buenos Aires

Analysis by Milo Fernandez Araujo

If you asked ten people a few days before the final, who would win the Argentine Open, maybe eight or nine would have said La Dolfina, including me. But fortunately for spectators, sometimes polo gives these kind of surprises. I think Ellerstina won the match because of three things. First of all Ellerstina greatly improved from their semi final and put their irregular form from the Hurlingham Open behind them. Nico Pieres understood that playing back meant playing with structure and being solid defensively. When people asked me if his poor performances earlier in the season surprised me, I said yes, but I was sure he was going to improve, and he did.

Photograph by Alice Gipps

Legendary Indios Chapaleufú II tengoaler and three-times champion of the Argentine Open, Milo Fernandez Araujo explains why psychology played an important role in the game of the year

The La Dolfina grooms watch the action unfold in front of the packed grandstand at Palermo on finals day

u with their ponies in top condition. At crucial points in the game it was Ellerstina’s ponies that proved to have the edge. Open Tarantula, played by Facundo, turned the La Dolfina defence with surprising ease, while Open Guillermina was chosen as the best mare after putting in an energy-filled performance, which saw her play for 11 minutes and 15 seconds. It took all of these factors – tactics, penalties Nico is the future of polo. Facundo focused and horse power – for Ellerstina to overthrow on offence and made good use of the long and La Dolfina and leave everyone at Palermo wide passes from his little brother. asking the same question: “Were La Dolfina The second reason that Ellerstina won was ever as good as we thought?” because the horses in their corner seemed to be The striking difference to the 2011 final, in the best condition. which La Dolfina won at a canter, 16-10, was Sometimes if ponies have not been prepared in the right way it is possible for them to suffer at there for all to see as Ellerstina discovered the key moments in high-goal competitions, but the key to beating the seemingly unbeatable the Ellerstina ponies were ready. team from Las Canuelas. “This is the best Finally, I think that La Dolfina played with achievement of my life,” said an emotional overconfidence. It is not easy to handle your Gonzalo Pieres senior after the match. emotions when you know you’re favourite, “Winning with my three children and my sonyour head is unconsciously relaxed, and that in-law Mariano is priceless. The fear of losing generated uncommon errors in La Dolfina’s by a humiliating difference made these boys players, such as Adolfito. I’ve seen him winning incredible games play with heart.” like this, but he is also a human being who Outside of the rebirth of Ellerstina, the makes mistakes, such as the 30-yard penalty 2012 Argentine season will be remembered he missed in the last chukka. In the near future for another leading protagonist – the rain. La Dolfina must learn to handle situations like From early October, storms pounded this because the margin between success and Argentina, leading to a string of tournament failure is decreasing year after year, and the postponements and leaving many famous season for them is measured in a single game: grounds under water for days on end. The big final in Palermo. And for Ellerstina, they will hope to repeat this Not even the Argentine Open was exempt fantastic achievement next year, strengthened from this as the final was moved back a day by the knowledge that it is possible to defeat after heavy rains fell in Buenos Aires on Friday La Dolfina in Palermo. They have consolidated December 7. It was a credit to the staff at as a team this year. It is an exciting time and Palermo that, despite this, the ground played the games between these two giants of polo very well and allowed for an absorbing final of will improve year by year, with the biggest attractive, passing polo. beneficiaries being the spectators. F As soon as the final bell rang out, the

“It is not easy to handle your emotions when you know you’re favourite”


Polo Times, January/February 2013

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corridors of Palermo were filled with rumours about possible team changes for next year. The most reliable information suggests that Hilario Ulloa and new nine-goaler Polito Pieres will join up with Freddy Mannix and Lucas Monteverde at Alegria, while Pancho Bensadon and Francisco de Narvaez look set to leave this year’s surprise package Pilará. The most interesting post-match decisions were made in the offices of the AAP handicapping committee, where La Dolfina’s David “Pelon” Stirling was reduced from ten goals to nine, while Ellerstina’s Mariano Aguerre was promoted to ten goals for the third time in his illustrious career. This leaves the two finalists, Ellerstina and La Dolfina, level on 39-goals. After the 2011 final the polo world thought they had witnessed the birth of an unbeatable new force, but La Dolfina’s shock defeat sets up 2013 as one of the most eagerly anticipated Argentine seasons in many years. F w For more about the breeding of the Argentine Open final’s top ponies see our new breeding column on page 60. u A  rgentine Open; 17 November to 9 December, 2012; Palermo, Buenos Aires Result: Ellerstina beat La Dolfina, 12-10 Principal sponsor: Movistar, Rolex, Royal Salute Handicap level: 34-40 Number of team entries: Eight Teams Ellerstina (38): Facundo Pieres 10; Gonzalito Pieres 10; Mariano Aguerre 9; Nico Pieres 9 La Dolfina (40): Adolfo Cambiaso 10; Pelon Stirling 10; Pablo MacDonough 10; Juan Martin Nero 10

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Photograph by Sergio Llamera

Gonzalito Pieres celebrates Ellerstinaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s shock victory

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17/01/2013 20:20


International Cup, Grand Champions Polo Club, Florida, USA

USA men prove to be Grand Champions as British ladies shine England won one game and lost another as American patrons Marc and Melissa Ganzi hosted two international matches at their Grand Champions Polo Club in November

Lily Cox reports from the USA

Photograph by Lily Cox

USA England


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here was a great round off to the autumn high-goal season in Florida, as the USA took on England in the International Cup at Marc and Melissa Ganzi’s Grand Champions Polo Club at the end of November. While England’s men failed to claim the title –


losing 8½-6 to the Americans – the England Ladies had a better day, defeating the USA Ladies by five goals. As match day arrived in Wellington, Florida, polo enthusiasts, spectators and sponsors rolled into the Ganzi’s club to witness the USA and England contest the International Cup for the first time. The cup is a smaller golden replica of the Westchester Cup, which was commissioned by John Oxley in 1982 as a trophy for his international tournament at Boca Raton Polo Club. It was then presented to the National Museum of Polo as a permanent exhibit. As the match raised funds for the museum, the Ganzi’s requested that the trophy be emblematic of the international.

The day began with the ladies’ match. The England team consisted of Hazel Jackson, Claire Donnelly, Sarah Wiseman and captain Nina Clarkin, while Sunny Hale, Melissa Ganzi, Gillian Johnston and Tiffany Busch represented the USA side. The Brits managed to secure an early lead which set them on course to victory. The scoreboard read 5 -1 by half-time and England proved to be untouchable in the second half and with just one goal by the Americans, England ran out the winners, 7-2. “We started out strong, stuck to our game plan and worked hard on the man,” Clarkin said following the game. “Everything went according to plan.”

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24/01/2013 12:49

International Cup, Grand Champions Polo Club, Florida, USA

Up next was the main event – the International Cup. An all-pro side of Tom Morley, Jack Richardson, Max Routledge and Richard LePoer flew out to the US to represent England, while the USA fielded a side that included high-goal patron Marc Ganzi. He was joined by Jeff Hall, Nic Roldan and Carlitos Gracida – the son of former Mexican 10-goaler Carlos Gracida. Starting with a

“It was a good game and the horses were great” – England’s Tom Morley

half-goal advantage due to handicap difference, the USA made a strong start and by half-time were ahead 4½-1. Despite determination and a much-improved second half by England, the USA managed to stay ahead of their opposition and claim an 8½-6 win. “We started off slowly and the Americans got the upper hand,” Morley commented. “But it was a good game and the horses were great – Marc and Melissa Ganzi were generous in lending them all to us. We’ve been really well

looked after here, it’s been a great trip.” The Ganzis warmly welcomed the British players to Wellington by hosting a pre-match dinner in the National Museum of Polo and Hall of Fame. The museum’s board of directors are keen to use Test Matches such as this one to help raise awareness about their work, while also promoting American involvement in international games. It is hoped that the International Cup will become an annual event. Grand Champions Polo Club has been running for almost six years and with two world class playing fields, it proved to be an excellent location for an international event. As well as the palm tree lined fields, the club is well equipped with two polo barns set on seven acres, each within a polo community that includes exercise tracks, polo fields, short work areas and a stick and ball field. In addition to this there are two polo farms set in a total of 200 acres, which include facilities such as turf and dirt training tracks, stud barns and lush pastures for the ponies. “We are always looking at ways to improve and grow Grand Champions Polo Club and have a strong team in place to achieve our goals,” Melissa said. Over the past year the


club opened its horizons and turned its focus to a polo school, which offers lessons, clinics and tournaments for all age groups and levels. One key factor that sets Grand Champions apart from other clubs is its flexible approach to tournament polo. Players can be fully mounted by the club while playing in medium and high goal tournaments, which, as Melissa Ganzi explains, is quite a rarity. She says: “There may be other places where individuals can just turn up and play polo, but it is rare to be able to do this and play tournaments such as the USPA North America Cup or the USPA National 20-Goal. At Grand Champions you are able to do exactly that!” F w See social pictures on page 72

u International Cup; 25 November 2012; Grand Champions, USA Result: USA beat England, 8½-6 Best playing pony: Smooth, played by Jeff Hall Teams USA (19): Marc Ganzi 1; Carlitos Gracida 3; Nic Roldan 8; Jeff Hall 7 England (20): Jack Richardson 4; Max Routledge 5; Tom Morley 6; Richard Le Poer 5

Grand Champions Polo Club owner and US patron Marc Ganzi (blue) and England’s Richard Le Poer in action in Florida

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24/01/2013 12:49


The Townsend Cup, Empire Polo Club, California

Photographs by Lynn and Jim Bremner of

England clinch historic Townsend Cup victory A well-prepared team of Seb Dawnay, Max Charlton and Oli Hipwood used the USPA arena rules to their advantage to secure England’s first win in an American arena England USA


11 10 hen England lost to the USA in the 2011 Townsend Cup in California, the differences in the arena rules under the

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US Polo Association (USPA) compared to the UK’s Hurlingham Polo Association (HPA) proved to be their downfall. This year, however, it was ironically a USPA rule that allowed England to score the vital goal in extra time to beat the USA 11-10, winning the Townsend Cup for the first time. When Seb Dawnay’s 15 yard penalty shot

went wide with two minutes remaining in the extra chukka, under HPA rules a defender from the US team would have had to have taken the next swing at the ball. USPA rules, though, allow open play after a missed penalty, and the ever-alert Oli Hipwood took advantage of this to latch onto the ball and score the winning goal.

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The Townsend Cup, Empire Polo Club, California


The England team of Dawnay, Hipwood and Max Charlton arrived at Empire Polo Club in California as underdogs, but returned to the UK having made history. Arena rivalry between England and the USA had fallen into a pattern in which the home side routinely won. England were the winners when the two teams last met, playing for the Bryan Morrison Trophy at the All England Polo Club at Hickstead in March 2012. But England had never before won an arena Test Match whilst playing under USPA rules and the Townsend Cup had been retained by the USA since it was first played for in 1923. The England team got off to a mixed start against the imposing USA side of Rob Yackley, Billy Sheldon and ten-goaler Tommy Biddle. Having exerted some early pressure on their rivals, captain Dawnay suffered a heavy fall into the goal, but luckily was able to continue playing and England finished the first chukka 4-2 ahead. Despite maintaining a narrow lead throughout the first half, strong offensive play by the USA in the third chukka brought the scores level to 10-10. The standard of polo in the final chukka was extremely high as Dawnay was accurate with

“Last time the rules caught us by surprise; this time we were ready” – Seb Dawnay his penalties and linked up well with Hipwood at the back. A late goal from Hipwood looked to have clinched the win, but when Biddle was allowed to retake a penalty and scored on his second attempt, the match went into extra time. This took the form of a full extra chukka, rather than the golden-goal (first goal wins) extra time played in the UK. It was at this crucial point in the match that the USPA rule, allowing play to continue after Dawnay’s missed penalty, helped England to clinch the win. “The change of rules actually helped us win the match,” said Dawnay. “Although we then had to defend hard for another two minutes of overtime, which wouldn’t have been the case in England. That was very nerve-racking, especially with the crowd cheering on the USA.” It was clear that this England team was much better prepared than the team of two years ago, and Dawnay explained how the fact

The England players and Michael Amoore proudly hold the Townsend Cup

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England’s Max Charlton rides off America’s arena star Tommy Biddle during the Townsend Cup clash in early January

that he played for the Townsend Cup in 2011 benefited his team this time around. “It really helped that I knew what differences to expect, such as the smaller, heavier ball, dirt surface and concrete arena walls,” he said. “Two years ago the rules caught us by surprise; this time we had practised playing by them in advance and it made all the difference.” Some discrepancies are caused by the fact that many of the USPA rules are not designed specifically for arena polo, and that is set to change. But nonetheless, England finally managed to topple their arena rivals on US turf and prove that actually, it doesn’t all depend on the rules. F

Game rating

• • • • • • • • • •

u John R Townsend Arena Challenge Cup; Saturday 12 January 2013; Empire Polo Club, California, USA Result: England beat USA, 11-10 Handicap level: 23-goal Chukka scores (England): 4-2, 7-6, 7-7, 10-10, 11-10 Teams England (22): Max Charlton 7; Oli Hipwood 7; Seb Dawnay 8 USA (23): Rob Yackley 6; Billy Sheldon 7; Tommy Biddle 10 Polo Times, January/February 2013


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HPA National Christmas Club Championships, RCBPC

Cold Smoke rises above the Eagles Michael Bickford scored the golden goal for his Cold Smoke team in the 15-goal final of the HPA National Christmas Club Championships in December, denying opponents Black Eagles, who won the 6-goal final, a double victory

Polly Bryan reports from Berkshire

Cold Smoke Black Eagles

20 19

T Cold Smoke’s Jamie Morrison and Black Eagles’s Chris Hyde in action


Polo Times, January/February 2013

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he first of this season’s two HPA National Club Championships took place before Christmas, and Michael Bickford got an early present when his Cold Smoke team came from behind to clinch a 20-19 victory over the Black Eagles in the 15-goal final. Fresh from a 22-20 victory over RCBPC Hedonism in the 6-goal final earlier that day, Black Eagles’s Jonathan Munro Ford and Howard Smith were joined by nine-goaler Chris Hyde in the 15-goal as they bid for a double victory. Hyde proved just why he is the highest-handicapped arena player in Britain:

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HPA National Christmas Club Championships, RCBPC

some impressively gutsy play, taking on anyone and working well with Smith, who was named most valuable player. Hyde received his reward in due course – his handicap was raised to two-goals in the mid-season arena handicap changes, which followed the championships. Also rewarded with a handicap raise were Alec and Ed Banner-Eve. The brothers played alongside Alan Ruzzaman for HPC Baileys Horse Feeds, who won the 6-goal subsidiary final 19-18 against Arron Shepherd’s Sport Lobster. They have risen to three and two-goal handicaps respectively. This January, the Berkshire will be hosting a second set of championships for the first time. The HPA National Club Championships, traditionally played in January, was brought forward to December in 2011 to get the arena season underway sooner. In 2012, the addition of a new 1-3-goal section warranted a second championships – the HPA National New Year Club Championships – when the 10-12 goal will also be played. The high-goal took

place before Christmas allowing those playing in snow polo tournaments abroad – which includes patrons Bickford and Munro Ford, as well as Morrison and Hyde – the chance to take part in both. F w Social photographs from the tournament can be seen on page 72 w To see the full list of mid-season arena handicap changes, please see page 75

u H  PA National Christmas Club Championships; 3-16 December 2012; RCBPC, Berkshire Result: Cold Smoke beat Black Eagles, 20-19 Handicap level: 13-15 goal Most valuable player: Chris Hyde

Photographs by Gillian Hughes

tearing around the arena and scoring 14 goals for his team, earning himself the most valuable player award. But this ultimately did not prove enough to clinch his side the win. Black Eagles had established a comfortable lead by half-time, but as Cold Smoke – also featuring Dean Lines and Jamie Morrison – turned up the heat in the second half, the gap began to narrow. The final chukka was anybody’s game as each team took it in turns to edge into the lead, only for their opponents to equalise again. Despite having trailed for much of the match, Cold Smoke had the upper hand just when it was needed, with Bickford scoring a goal moments before the final bell that sent the game into extra time. Another goal by the Cold Smoke patron within ten seconds of the fifth chukka denied Jonathan Munro Ford a second win for Black Eagles. Put to the test in the competition were the new arena rules, introduced by the HPA at the start of the season. The rules are intended to maintain a higher level of speed, but both


Final Teams Cold Smoke (15): Michael Bickford 3; Dean Lines 4; Jamie Morrison 8 Black Eagles (15): Jonathan Munro Ford 0; Howard Smith 6; Chris Hyde 9

“We started out slow – we were definitely Cold Start not Cold Smoke. But we kept our cool” – Michael Bickford the low and high-goal finals suffered from several bouts of fits and starts. Around half of the goals scored throughout the 15-goal were awarded on penalties, which at times seemed endless and prevented the game from flowing with just a matter of seconds between each one. Just three of the new two-point goals, awarded for a goal from outside the defenders 25-yard line, were scored across both finals. But nonetheless, the full grandstand of spectators was treated to two nail-biting and suspensive finals, and players’ thoughts were generally positive when it came to the new rules. “The rules are good: they do help to keep the play moving faster, which is really important in high-goal,” said Bickford. “We started out slow – we were definitely Cold Start not Cold Smoke. But we kept our cool and ended up playing well.” “The new rules make sense but it is hard for umpires to be consistent with rules such as riding off at the same speed,” said teammate Morrison. “This was a good game. All three of us really put the effort in and although we gave away several fouls we got a lot of goals in open play and it is always nice to do that.” Jack “Lightning” Hyde certainly proved that he is set to follow in his father’s footsteps during the 6-goal final against Hedonism earlier in the day. Despite a heavy fall into the side of the commentary box when his pony tripped over the ball, the 15-year-old showed

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Cold Smoke’s Michael Bickford (1) and Dean Lines celebrate their victory in the 15-goal final

Polo Times, January/February 2013


17/01/2013 16:19


Home and abroad

Australia – Paspaley Polo in the City

Gilmore and Baillieu lead Sydney to series win THE SEVENTH ANNUAL Paspaley Polo in the City series drew record numbers of spectators across five Australian state capitals: Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide and Brisbane, writes Sarah Martin. The series consisted of five games played across each of the venues over a five week period in late November and early December. Sydney were the overall winners of the league, winning both their home and away matches against Melbourne and Brisbane. The line-ups for each city team differed at each event, with Ruki Baillieu and Glen Gilmore captaining sides at every tournament. They both even had their turn at leading the Sydney team to victory – Baillieu at the Sydney event, playing alongside Kelvin Johnson, Ed Matthies and Sinclair Bell, and Gilmore at the Melbourne event, teaming up with Rob Archibald, Sam Baillieu and Anthony McIntosh. The increasing popularity of the series in all five cities means there is no doubt that founders Ruki Bailleu and Janek Gazecki have achieved what they set out to do, which was to increase polo’s popularity as a spectator sport and promote polo as a professional’s game. The attendance at the Perth event was triple that of 2011, with double the number

Sydney’s Ed Matthies (in blue) in pursuit of Brisbane’s Rick McCarthy at the Sydney event in November

of spectators in Adelaide. As in previous years, the Sydney event was first to sell out at a capacity of 3,500 and Melbourne attracted a 3,000 strong crowd with 55 corporate marquees. The series uses a spectator-friendly format, which includes playing on a smaller field of just 140 metres in length, plus the use of an inflatable ball and more lenient umpiring. A 6-goal pro-am exhibition match also preceded the main 15-goal professional game at each venue.

u R  esults Sydney (Centennial Park); 17 November 2012 Result: Sydney beat Brisbane, 11-9 Brisbane (Doomben); 24 November 2012 Result: Brisbane beat Perth, 10-8 Melbourne (Albert Park); 1 December 2012 Result: Sydney beat Melbourne, 9-6 Perth (Langley Park); 8 December 2012 Result: Perth beat Adelaide, 8-6 Adelaide (Victoria Park); 15 December 2012 Result: Adelaide beat Melbourne, 13-10

RCBPC and Ash Farm – Black Eagles success

Photograph by Gillian Hughes

Black Eagles clean up across the south claiming the Metropolitan and Paul Sweeney JONATHAN MUNRO FORD’S Black Eagles had an excellent start to the new year, with back-to-back victories in the arena. The team lifted the Metropolitan Trophy at the Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club (RCBPC) on Saturday 5 January before defending their Paul Sweeney Memorial Cup title at Ash Farm Polo Club the next day. Munro Ford teamed up with Peter Webb and Howard Smith to defeat Jason Purvis’s HP Polo team, which also featured Gavin Turner and Seb Dawnay, 13-11 to win the Metropolitan Trophy. The two teams met again the following day, when Black Eagles built on their success 46

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at the Berkshire, winning 23-16 to lift the Paul Sweeney Memorial Cup. Although the teams appeared evenly matched during the first chukka, Black Eagles pulled away in the second half, leaving HP Polo trailing by seven goals. Both teams went on to contest the 12-goal HPA National New Year Club Championship at RCBPC, which concludes on 2 February. w See page 72 for social photographs from the Paul Sweeney Memorial Trophy Black Eagles’s Peter Webb and HP’s Gavin Turner in action during the Paul Sweeney Memorial Cup at Ash Farm

17/01/2013 21:09

Home and abroad

Argentina - Copa Cámara de Diputados

Overtime joy for Las Overas


News in brief w A  rgentina – Mark and Emma Tomlinson played alongside each other on the winning team in the Copa Cuatro Tacos. The brother-and-sister combination teamed up with Nick Wiles and James Buchanan to play for La Quinta Antar, and narrowly defeated Miguelito’s, 8-7, in the final. The 14-16-goal tournament was held at the Tomlinson’s La Quinta polo farm in Pilar, near Buenos Aires. w Druids Lodge – Twelve teams have been taking part in the UberPolo University Challenge at Druids Lodge. As Polo Times went to press, the University of the West of England and the Cambridge Blues were topping their respective leagues, with neither team having lost a game. The final will take place on Friday 15 March, with the winning team receiving the Exeter Cup.

Photographs by Tony Ramirez, Images of Polo

Winners Las Overas lift the trophy: Valerio Zubiaurre, Salvador Ulloa, Francisco Elizalde and Alfredo Cappella

ARGENTINA’S POPULAR 30-GOAL tournament, the Copa Cámara de Diputados, concluded with a thrilling final in December, in which Las Overas defeated Cuatro Vientos, 13-12, in extra time. The tournament, which took place at Palermo, featured four British players –­ in action across two teams. Unfortunately none of the Brits made it to the final, with neither team qualifying beyond the group stages of the tournament. Luke and Mark Tomlinson teamed up with Mariano Uranga and Joao Paulo Ganon to make up the La Quinta Cuatro Tacos team. Charlie Hanbury was joined by James Beim on his El Remanso team, which also featured Milo Fernández Araujo and Alejandro Agote. Both teams began the tournament well, winning their opening matches against Jockey Club and La Alegria Centraleb respectively. But both teams lost their next two matches, failing to secure a place in the semi-finals. The final, which took place the day after the Argentine Open final, proved to be anything but an anti-climax. The two young teams were evenly-matched and hungry to win. Las Overas – Salvador Ulloa, Valerio Zubiaurre, Francisco Elizalde and Alfredo Cappella – dominated the first half of the match, with Cuatro Vientos trailing 7-4 by the end of the third chukka. But Cuatro Vientos made an impressive comeback in the fourth chukka to take a one-goal lead by

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half-time. By the seventh and final chukka the scores were level once more, and with the teams scoring two more goals apiece before the final bell, the game was forced into extra time. Las Overas took control from the throw-in and it was Zubiaurre who scored the golden goal to secure the win for his side. w S ee page 73 for social pictures from Argentina

w India – A Hurlingham England team took part in the Manipur International. Rupert Duff, Paul de Rivaz, Josh Woolley, Chris Townsend and Nicholas Colquhoun-Denvers played for England, with Townsend and Colquhoun-Denvers sharing chukkas. Despite defeating Germany with an impressive 9-0 score, they lost to the India A team 5-3 in the semi-finals and did not reach the final, which was won by India B (Manipur). The tournament is part of a campaign to save the Manipuri Pony breed from extinction. For a feature on the history of polo in Manipur see pages 28-32. wA  rgentina – Cowdray Park patron James Scott Hopkins led his Irongate team to an 11-10 victory over Sowniniec in the final of the Spring Cup at La Aguada Polo Club. Two British players also faced each other in the final of the 16-goal Ladies’ Cup. Hazel Jackson played for Kia who defeated Agua Fria, which featured Stephanie Haverhals, 5-4½. w India – The Yes Bank Indian Masters Polo concluded with a win for the Sahara Warriors, which featured British fivegoaler Max Charlton. He played alongside Samir Suhag, Adhiraj Singh and Siddhant Sharma and the team defeated defending champions Jindal Steel, 10-9, in the final at the Jaipur Polo Grounds, New Delhi.

Las Overas’s Salvador Ulloa in action during the final

Polo Times, January/February 2013


17/01/2013 19:02


Home and abroad

AEPC Hickstead – UberPolo Battle of the Sexes Challenge

Photograph by Tony Ramirez, Images of Polo

Boys dominate the Hickstead arena

Sarah Wiseman (left) and Nick Clague in pursuit of the ball in the Battle of the Sexes Challenge at AEPC

AEPC SAW OUT 2012 with a bang, putting the men and women head-to-head in the UberPolo Battle of the Sexes Challenge Match. With the boys team winning last year and the

girls the year before, bets were placed on what promised to be a tightly-fought match. The UberPolo Ladies’ side of Keira Bosley, Claire Donnelly and Sarah Wiseman started

the match with victory in mind. Making the most of their two-goal advantage, they left the boys 5-0 down after the first chukka. It wasn’t until the third chukka that the Hickstead men’s team – Chas Taylor, John Bunn and Nick Clague – took hold of the match and, with a few fouls conceded by the ladies, the boys got back in the game, pulling back to within one goal at 10-9. The boys started the final chukka with flair and quickly took the lead. A twopoint goal and a couple of penalties gave them a 14-10 advantage. However, with just one minute on the clock, Wiseman scored a twopoint goal to level the scores at 15-15. Both teams attacked hard in the last 20 seconds, and despite a great backhand save by Bosley, the girls conceded a foul and Bunn stepped up to convert the penalty seconds before the bell, giving the boys their second consecutive win. w The UberPolo Ladies’ Tournament, which was due to run alongside the Battle of the Sexes match, was re-scheduled for 27 January

New Zealand – Poverty Bay Open

Powerful performance by Kiwis puts Brits in second place

Photograph courtesy of The Gisborne Herald and Paul Rickard

DAVID MILLAR LED his side to a win in the annual Poverty Bay Open Tournament, which took place in Gisborne between Christmas and New Year. The 8-goal senior section featured travelling players from across New Zealand, including Auckland, Cambridge and Hawkes Bay, as well as several international players.

Three days of close competition led to an exciting final between Wanstead, led by David Millar, and Rangitikei – captained by British player Will Lucas. Wanstead came out victorious, and lifted the 107-year-old Poverty Bay & East Coast Challenge Cup. David Millar was also named player of the

tournament, after producing outstanding polo throughout the competition. Angus McKelvie was awarded the Champion Pony Cup. The second annual Poverty Bay Ladies’ Open, initiated last year by Jo Kirkpatrick, ran alongside the senior section. Four teams took part, featuring local, national and international players and supported by local companies. The final took place between the Farmlands team of Missy Browne, Marnie Watson, Robyn Wilkie and Anna Wood and the BNZ team of Chloe Kay, British player Jess Andrews, Felicity McNutt and Susie Hamilton. Farmlands emerged the winners and also topped the overall leaderboard with an impressive record of scores in their roundrobin matches. Chilli, played by Browne, was named best playing pony. The standard of polo in both the senior and ladies sections was impressive and the tournament was deemed a great success. w See page 69 for social photos from the event Bayleys’ Jo Kirkpatrick out in front, followed by teammate Harri James and BNZ’s Jess Andrews and Felicity McNutt


Polo Times, January/February 2013

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17/01/2013 21:17

Home and abroad


South Africa – Plettenberg Bay Triple Crown

Ephsons deny Kurland third consecutive title

THE PLETTENBERG BAY polo season concluded with one of the most exciting finals in its history, as a young Poulton team denied Kurland the Triple Crown by winning the Summer Cup, 10-9, writes Alicia Wright. The Kurland line-up of Clifford Elphick, Cody Ellis, Jean Du Plessis and George Morgan had seemed unbeatable, having not lost a game all season on the way to winning the Stonefield Cup and the Formosa Cup. Both were convincing wins, over El Sewedy and Seven Oaks, and many feared the final of the 12-goal Summer Cup – the final leg of the Triple Crown – would prove to be just as one-sided. Kurland faced the Poulton team of Brad Mallet, Chris Mackenzie and British brothers Patrick and Ludo Ephson – a team that had an average age of just 20. The game was evenly-matched from the first throw-in, with the teams scoring goal-for-goal. Fouls were few and far between – with Mackenzie and Du Plessis hitting their penalties well throughout the tournament, it was as if both teams knew fouling was not an option in the final. Poulton were able to combat the very effective speed attacks of the Kurland team, without slowing the game down, resulting in some beautiful polo. The scores remained even going into the final chukka, with the scoreboard level on 9-9 as the first bell sounded. With just two

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Kurland’s Jean du Plessis tries to hook El Sewedy’s Buster Mackenzie in the Stonefield Cup final

seconds remaining before the final bell, Mallet picked up the ball and scored, winning the match and the Summer Cup for his team. Kurland’s Chris Mackenzie was named most valuable player.

USA - Herbie Pennell Cup Photograph by Alex Pacheco

Photographs by Christy Strever,

Poulton’s Chris Mackenzie, Patrick Ephson, Ludo Ephson and Brad Mallet

w The Plettenberg Bay season will resume in March, with the 18-goal South African Open

u R  esults Stonefield Cup; 11-16 December 2012 Result: Kurland beat El Sewedy, 5½-5 El Sewedy (12): Mike Mackenzie 0; Mohamed El Sewedy 1; Chris Mackenzie 5; Buster Mackenzie 6 Kurland (11): Tinker Makhane 0; Cody Ellis 2; Jean Du Plessis 6; George Morgan 3 Formosa Cup; 17-23 December 2012 Result: Kurland beat Seven Oaks, 8½-6 Seven Oaks (12): Ben Crowe 0; Dirk Van Reenan 2; Shaun Brokensha 3; Tom de Bruin 7 Kurland (11): Tinker Makhane 0; Cody Ellis 2; Jean Du Plessis 6; George Morgan 3 Summer Cup; 27 December 2012 – 6 Jan 2013 Result: Poulton beat Kurland, 10-9 Kurland (11): Clifford Elphick 0; Cody Ellis 2; Jean Du Plessis 6; George Morgan 3 Poulton (11): Ludo Ephson 1; Patrick Ephson 1; Chris Mackenzie 5; Brad Mallet 4

Gillian Johnston’s Coca-Cola won the Herbie Pennell

Coca-Cola claim cup GILLIAN JOHNSTON LIFTED the Herbie Pennell Cup at International Polo Club Palm Beach (IPCPB) at the beginning of January for the second year running with her CocaCola team. The team, which also featured Sugar Erskine, Julio Arellano and Tommy Collingwood, defeated Villa Del Lago 13-12 in the first 20-goal tournament of the US high-goal season at IPCPB. Both teams went on to play in the Joe Barry Memorial Cup, which concluded at the end of January. Polo Times, January/February 2013


17/01/2013 21:17


Home and abroad

Argentina – La Aguada Guards Tournament

Tashan tally up the goals THE SECOND ANNUAL La Aguada Guards tournament took place in December and featured two teams led by Guards patrons Vivek Rawal and Stefan Sund, writes Will Emerson. Two more teams from Cowdray Park – James Scott Hopkins’s Irongate and Leonora de Ferranti’s Ziani – completed the line-up for the 18-goal tournament, which was held at the Novillo Astrada’s La Aguada Polo Club. Tashan Polo, which featured Alejandro Pistone, Will Emerson, Alejandro Novillo Astrada and Rawal narrowly defeated the defending champions, Sund’s Lost Boys, 12-11. Excessive rain caused the tournament to be delayed until after the Argentine Open, meaning several Guards patrons were not able to participate. But despite this, the tournament concluded in a thrilling final, with the two Guards teams fighting for the title. Sund teamed up with Manolo Harriet, Juan Carlos Harriet and Miguel Novillo Astrada and the Lost Boys took control of the first half, with the teamwork between Miguel Novillo Astrada and Sund, as well as the patron’s accuracy in front of goal, catching Tashan Polo by surprise. But a successful penalty taken by Alejandro Novillo Astrada and a flurry of goals from Emerson got Tashan Polo back on their feet in the second half. A goal from Rawal completed the comeback, putting Tashan Polo into the

Tashan Polo with the winning trophy: Alejandro Pistone, Vivek Rawal, Alejandro Novillo Astrada and Will Emerson

lead with just minutes to go, before Juan Carlos Harriet swiftly equalised for the Lost Boys. The winning goal was set up by some superb teamwork between all four members of Tashan Polo, which allowed Rawal, on the end

of a 150-yard pass, to slot the ball between the posts just as the final bell sounded. The subsidiary final was a Cowdray Park battle, with De Ferranti’s Ziani team narrowly beating Scott Hopkins’s Irongate, 12-10.

Druids Lodge – El Rosario Trophy

A family affair at Druids Lodge

A HARD-FOUGHT match was played at Druids Lodge for the El Rosario Trophy to celebrate the opening of Kate Harding’s equestrian art exhibition, held at the beginning of January. The standard of play was high and it was Hayley Hyde-Andrews’s Silverwood team that narrowly defeated David Patterson’s The Dead Eyed Ps. Hyde-Andrews teamed up with Eden and Laura Ormerod to win 19-17. The game was an Ormerod family affair with Laura – on her first time back on a polo pony after giving birth to her daughter in September – beating her husband Maurice, who played alongside his brother Robin 50

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for The Dead Eyed Ps. Maurice and Robin attacked well together for The Dead Eyes Ps but the Silverwood ladies worked brilliantly together under Eden’s leadership, which enabled them to clinch the win. The tournament was sponsored by Kate Harding Fine Art and spectators and players alike were treated to an exhibition her dynamic equestrian paintings, depicting polo, hunting and racing scenes, which will be open during polo hours at Druids Lodge until 10 March. Eden Ormerod, Hayley Hyde-Andrews and Laura Ormerod after winning the El Rosario Trophy

17/01/2013 19:15

Home and abroad

India – Royal Salute Maharaja of Jodhpur Golden Jubilee Cup

Cavalry charge to winner’s podium THE 61st CAVALRY team lifted the Royal Salute Maharaja of Jodhpur Golden Jubilee Cup after defeating EFG 2½-2 in the final at Umaid Bhawan Palace. The team of Navjit Sandhu, Ravi Rathore, Singh Jahala and Vishal Chauhan were contesting the 10-goal tournament for the first time and competition was fierce between the two teams, with EFG’s Kalaan brothers hoping to add the Golden Jubilee Cup to their ever-expanding collection of trophies. The pair have won numerous tournaments across India but have never claimed the Golden Jubilee Cup.

The 61st Cavalry began the match with a half goal advantage due to handicap difference but soon built on this lead, with Chauhan scoring in the first chukka. Another goal by Rathore kept them ahead of EFG to secure the win. The excellent marking and defence by 61st Cavalry, and several missed shots at goal, including two 60-yard penalties, cost EFG the trophy. Eight teams took part in the event, which was held in Jodhpur, India and commemorated His Highness The Maharaja Gaj Singh II of Jodhpur’s 60-year reign. w S ee page 70 for social photos from the event

EFG (in red) battled hard but it was the 61st Cavalry team (in black) that took home the trophy for the first time

USA – 15th USPA World Snow Polo Championship

Father and son victory CARLOS GRACIDA’S L’HOSTARIA defeated Tempus Jets to win the 15th USPA World Snow Polo Championship in Aspen, Colorado in December. The team, which also featured Carlos’s son Carlitos and Guillermo Steta, started the match with a one-goal advantage on handicap and beat the Tempus Jets line-up of Selby Stout, Kelly Wells and ten-goaler Tommy Biddle 3-2, with Steta and Carlitos Gracida adding a goal each. Wells and Biddle each scored for Tempus Jets, but it was not quite enough, with L’Hostaria displaying good defence throughout the match and neither team able to score in the second half.

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Four teams took part in the tournament, with Ciroc narrowly defeating BP Polo in the subsidiary final.


News in brief w India – The Eton College team were the winners of the Yuvraj Shivraj Singh of Jodhpur Cup at British Polo Day India on 16 December. The team of Richard Paton-Philip, Guy Schwarzenbach, Alex de Lisle and Lord Wrottesley defeated Mayo College 6-5. The British Army team – Lt Doug White, Maj Rupert Lewis, Capt Jack Mann, Col Michael O’Dwyer – played The President’s Bodyguard for the Jubilee Cup, but were narrowly defeated, 3-2. w RCBPC – The Berkshire hosted the 7-goal Richmond Trophy, which was won by Windmill Farm. Patron Yevgeny Chichvarkin teamed up with Paul Knights and Tim Bown to beat Orange Hill 12-10. Orange Hill featured Genna Meadows, Royston Prisk and Leon Allen. w Abu Dhabi – The inaugural Coutts Polo at the Palace was won by the Buenos Aires team at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi. Mohammed Al Habtoor’s team defeated the Abu Dhabi team, 6-5, following a penalty shoot-out. The London team – Stuart Wrigley, Peter Webb and William Emerson – finished in fourth place, behind Milan. The event featured “palace rules”, which included teams changing ends only at half-time, double points awarded for goals scored from beyond the 45-yard line and a smaller polo field. w Vale of York – The winter season at Vale of York Polo Club is well underway. The ABI Beach Challenge, which consists of 12 beach polo matches played throughout the season, is halfway through with players from across the country continuing to take part. w Argentina – Nine teams took part in the Julio Novillo Astrada Cup, held at La Aguada Polo Club in Argentina. Federico Virasoro’s El Caburé team successfully defended their title, defeating Los Cocos 13-11 in the final to lift the cup for the second consecutive year. Virasoro played alongside Luis Domecq, Augustin Merlos and Juan Ignacio Merlos in the 20-goal tournament, with Juan Ignacio Merlos receiving the most valuable player award for the final.

Action from Aspen’s World Snow Polo Championship

Polo Times, January/February 2013


17/01/2013 21:20

Youth polo

Copa Potrillos, Pilar, Argentina

All players great and small descend on Pilar

Photographs by Alice Gipps

Eduardo Heguy hosted more than 60 teams in December, for Argentinaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s premier kids' tournament, where Coronel Suarez II were victorious in the eldest section and a pony was presented to most valuable player TomĂĄs Alberdi

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24/01/2013 13:06

Copa Potrillos, Pilar, Argentina

Alice Gipps reports from Argentina


n incredible 64 teams took part in the 51st edition of the Copa Potrillos – Argentina’s largest children’s polo tournament – in mid-December. Previously hosted by Los Indios Polo Club, the tournament moved to the more central location of Pilar in 2012. Host and organiser Eduardo Heguy held the finals at his new base Mindanao, while

three nearby polo clubs hosted the league games – at La Virgencita, Sao Joao and Patagones grounds. Teams travelled from far and wide with some as young as six years old competing in the youngest category of the competition – the Mini Mini Potrillitos. One British player took part, in the form of Zahra Hanbury’s daughter Kiki Severn who braved playing with the boys to represent El Remanso. Having the vast numbers of vehicles, ponies and children distributed over eight polo fields contributed to the smooth running of the event and an 8am start saw many games completed by the time torrential rain halted play at lunch time. Two days later, after the grounds dried out, the finals took place at Mindanao. u

Three generations of the Heguy family: twins Silvestre and Antonio Heguy, Cruz Heguy and Matute Uranga with Silvestre and Antonio's father Pepe and grandfather Alberto Pedro

Youth polo

Education from every angle Our education expert Adam Caller gives advice each month on dealing with the quandaries facing young players looking to balance their polo and their studies. One of the challenges facing all students who want to excel in competitive sports is how to maintain their school education while playing or training abroad. In my experience, schools want to help students succeed in any way they can and they will try their best to help. But even with the best will in the world, if a student is overseas, in a different time zone, busy with a hectic training and competition schedule, academics are bound to suffer. If a private tutor, carefully selected for the specific circumstances of the role – someone able to cover all the subjects and languages involved, or who has experience of working with a specific learning difference – accompanies the student, there is no reason for academic performance to taper simply so that a student can pursue their dreams of becoming a professional polo player. Not only does having a private tutor maintain standards and ensure continuous progress while away from school, but one-on-one tutoring means that students generally make more progress while they are away from school than they would have made in the same time while at school. With reduced time for study, the time has to be more efficiently used, weaknesses in understanding are quickly found and can therefore be eliminated, and exams are thoroughly prepared. There are other, perhaps more subtle benefits too. Without the stress of worrying about schooling, a player’s sports performance will be better. And universities, especially in the US, like to see evidence that students take their studies seriously enough to take a tutor while they train overseas so that the hiatus from school doesn’t come across as some kind of extended vacation! w Adam Caller has been the Senior Partner of Tutors International for 12 years. Tutors International is a specialist private tutoring and educational consultancy headquartered in Oxford Polo Times, January/February 2013

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24/01/2013 13:06

Youth polo

Copa Potrillos, Pilar, Argentina

Adolfo Cambiaso's young son Adolfo Jr showed plenty of promise


Bartolomé "Lolo" Castagnola's son Camilo playing for La Natividad, who won the Mini Potrillitos section

Adolfo Cambiaso shows his support from the sidelines


Polo Times, January/February 2013

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Eduardo Heguy, Zahra Hanbury, Kiki Severn, Bridget Hanbury and Alberto Pedro Heguy

While many high-goal players, including Adolfo Cambiaso, were present cheering on their children from the sidelines, others players such as Polito Pieres showed their support by turning up to cheer on the finals. Most of the current high-goal players have fond memories of playing in the Potrillos. With five main categories, including a ladies section, there was an impressive show of skill at each age group. The main Potrillos final was umpired by Ellerstina’s Nico Pieres and Pepe Heguy. A fast and furious display between Colonel Suarez II and Trenque Lauquen ended with Coronel Suarez II – José Araya, Ricardo Garros, Ignacio Garros and Tomás Alberdi – taking home the 2012 title, 4-3. Big sponsors including Honda, Telefoica, La Martina and Clorotec ensured all the children were inundated with spectacular prizes including mallets and helmets. However, the most unusual prize of all went to the talented Tomás Alberdi, who was named most valuable player. A stunning two-year-old mare was donated as the prize from the Lafuente family

Ellerstina's Nicolas Pieres umpired the Potrillos final

in memory of Ritchie Lafuente. Ritchie was a six-goaler and breeding enthusiast who was previously a member at Los Indios. Having passed away last October, the family decided to give this generous prize to help a young player improve their string and aid their future career in polo. As pony power plays such a huge part of any polo player’s success there was also a best playing pony prize, which went to José Araya’s grey mare Loyca Nieves. The mare, which is out of Pepe Araya’s (José’s father) top mare Blancura, played in a 30-goal tournament with Pepe’s brother Santiago just three days before the Potrillos. F u C  opa Potrillos; 10-13 December 2012; Mindanao Polo Club, Argentina Results Potrillos Coronel Suarez II beat Trenque Lauquen, 4-3 Potrillitos La Oracion Trenque Lauquen beat Venado Tuerto Rio Cuarto, 4-1 Mini Potrillitos La Natividad Las Alazanas beat Trenque Lauquen, 3-2 Mini Mini Potrillitos La Lucila Las Alazanas beat La Lucila Los Flamencos, 1-0 Potrancas (girls) La Lucila beat La Aventura, 5-1 Teams (Potrillos) Coronel Suarez II: José Araya; Ricardo Garros; Ignacio Garros; Tomás Alberdi Trenque Lauquen: Manuel Sundbland; Lucio Fernández Ocampo; Simón Prado; Juan Martín Zubia

17/01/2013 19:19

Pony Club round-up

Fancy dress in the arena

Monty Swaine Grainger, Zac Beim, Will Harper, Bridgette Boher and Harry Gascoigne in fancy dress at Longdole


he Cotswold Vale Farmers Pony Club ran a Christmas tournament at Longdole Polo Club on 21 December. The arena competition was a warm up for the party season and gave the kids a chance to catch up on all the gossip with their Pony Club friends. There were two sections – one for “fluffies” and one for polo ponies – and in total four fluffy teams and eight polo pony teams turned out. All the teams came up with Christmasthemed names and played in fancy dress. The standard of play was outstanding with some very hotly contested chukkas. The eventual winners of the fluffies were Santa’s

Sweet Cookies – Luke Wiles, Jaz Stanhope White and Willa Gravell. They were a force to be reckoned with and sported the funkiest shirts. The polo ponies section was split into two divisions – named Holly and Ivy. The winners of Holly were Charlie’s Angels – Ella Hitchman, Charlie Hitchman and Lolly Stanhope White. The Ivy section was won by the Bah Humbugs – Robbie Dee, Jack Tilley and Ellie Shea. An exhibition match was held at lunch time to give the children a bit of inspiration. This was played by Dan Banks, Austin Clarke, Jake Lomberg Williams, Tom Beim, Fifi Watson and Ella Hitchman. F

Youth polo

The grass-roots view The latest from Theresa Hodges, UK Pony Club Polo chair, in her regular column Looking forward to another year Happy New Year and let us hope for much fun and good play during the forthcoming year. Once again, huge thanks to the Section Managers, Branch Managers, Pony Club HQ, HPA, the polo clubs and ground owners who enable us to host so much junior polo in the UK. The key dates are shown below – culminating in the famous Pony Club Polo Championships at Cowdray Park. Please note the new days for Tidworth. You have to be in them to win them and get your name on the trophies with the polo legends of yester-year! So, please work with your Branch Managers to form your teams in due course. If have any improvement ideas please make sure you have submitted them to your Branch Manager or a member of the Pony Club Polo Committee by Sunday 21 April. I look forward to seeing as many as possible at the Arena Tournament at Longdole on 3 April.


Longdole Polo Club

BRANCH MANAGER MEETING Sun 21st April Fairhaven

FRIENDLIES Sun 14th July

Epsom Polo Club

Mon 15th July

Vaux Park Polo Club

Tues 16th July

Taunton Vale Polo Club

Thurs 18th July Thurs 18th July

Frampton Estate Suffolk Polo Club

Fri 19th July

Rugby Polo Club

Tues 23rd July

Kirtlington Park Polo Club

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Weds 24th July

Ascot Park Polo Club

Thurs 25th July

Hurtwood Park Polo Club

Sat 3rd August

Ranksboro Polo Club

QUALIFIERS Mon 29th July

Cirencester Park Polo Club

Tues 30th July Weds 31st July

Cirencester Park Polo Club Longdole Polo Club

Thurs 1st August Mon 5th August

Longdole Polo Club Tidworth Polo Club

Tues 6th August

Tidworth Polo Club

Branch Managers and Committee


CHAMPIONSHIPS Weds 7th August Hurtwood Park Polo Club 9th–11th August Cowdray Park Polo Club


JOR, LOR 1 and 2, LED HX, SUR, REN JOR, LOR 1 and 2, LED HX, SUR, REN JOR, LOR 1 and 2, LED HX, SUR, REN


Polo Times, January/February 2013


17/01/2013 19:20

Youth polo

SUPA vs USA Arena Test match

Hosts teach SUPA Britain a lesson An American intercollegiate team proved too strong for a British team made up of four university students as SUPA turned its international attentions to the arena for the first time


determined SUPA Britain side put up a good fight against a strong USPA Intercollegiate team at Empire Polo Club in California. For the first time ever SUPA fielded an international arena team but, despite putting in an excellent performance, the university side were defeated 18-8 by their American counterparts. A squad of four travelled out to California â&#x20AC;&#x201C; captain Alexandra Jacob of the Royal


Agricultural College, George Shelton and Charlie Scott from University College London and Sam Browne from the University of Cambridge â&#x20AC;&#x201C; to play a Test Match prior to the Townsend Cup. The team had a resounding victory over the University of South California in their practice match, winning 29-0 under excellent leadership from Jacob. But the USA intercollegiate side, led by the exceptionally talented Patrick Uretz, proved a force to be

reckoned with, especially in front of a fiercely loyal American crowd. The match began well for Britain, with Browne and Jacob getting their names on the scoreboard early to lead the first chukka, 4-2. As the second chukka got underway, both teams still looked to be evenly-matched but missed penalties by both Browne and Scott allowed the USA back into the game and by half-time Britain were trailing by three goals. The second half belonged to the USA and,

Polo Times, January/February 2013

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17/01/2013 19:20

SUPA vs USA Arena Test match

Youth polo

Polo Times says keep your eye on... Robin Spicer, 21, Rugby

The SUPA Britain and USA teams pose with the USPA officials after their arena Test Match in early January

despite hard riding and multiple opportunities to score, Britain were unable to really trouble their opponents, as the USA pulled ahead and established a comfortable 13-7 lead by the end of the third chukka. A final goal from Britain in the fourth was not enough, as the USA finished on top adding five further goals to the scoreboard. Just as the England team were caught unawares during the 2011 Townsend Cup at the same venue, the British university team felt the effect of the differences between the US Polo Association (USPA) arena rules, and the Hurlingham Polo Association (HPA) rules in the UK. The British team had to adapt to rules that allow continuous play following a spot hit, hooking below the horse's back, rather than the player’s shoulder, and more aggressive play. Unsurprisingly the USA team, who were more familiar with the local rules, remained a step ahead throughout the game. SUPA Britain coach Seb Dawnay felt the Alex Jacob (left) and Charlie Scott (right) keep an eye on one of their American opponents during the Test Match, which was played under floodlights in California

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team dealt well with the differences: “The rules definitely had an impact, but they all coped really well and I'm very proud of them,” he said. “They did everything they could and took it very seriously, but in the second half the USA just ran away with it.” This arena Test Match marks a significant development to the SUPA International Test Match series, which was inaugurated back in 1997 when SUPA played against a USA interscholastic team at the National Senior Schools Championships at Dallas Burston Polo Club. SUPA teams have since hosted teams from across the world, including Brazil, India, New Zealand, Argentina, Nigeria and the West Indies, and plans are currently underway to receive a team from China in 2013. In turn SUPA teams have played in many places around the world including India, Hungary and Dubai. This latest event in California was the first of these internationals to focus on arena polo and, although Britain were defeated on this occasion, it could all be a very different story when the USA return to play SUPA on British soil. A date has not yet been set for the rematch, but it could take place in 2014. F

One of the players set to star in February's SUPA University National Arena Championships is one-goal Loughborough University student Robin Spicer, writes Kian Gheissari. The affable 21-year-old started polo at the age of six with the Pytchley Hunt branch of the Pony Club, receiving tuition from a young Malcolm Borwick, who was playing Gannon at the time. An adept horseman, Robin was awarded the Retraining of Racehorses prize at the 2004 Pony Club Polo Championships after his sterling work bringing his pony Onion on from the track to the field. Robin has long since been at the forefront of SUPA teams; in 2008 and 2009 he captained England Schools' polo sides as they travelled to Dubai and India. He was then selected for the Young Britain side as they secured wins over the Young West Indies and Young Italy in 2009 and 2010. Robin’s greatest learning experience came in the winter of 2010-11 after he was awarded the HPA’s Overseas Work Experience Bursary and joined up with Robert Abbott in Australia to help with his large polo operation. Recognising the pitfalls that derail many aspiring young professional players Robin intends to focus his efforts on his business, "Innovation by Spice", motivated by the desire to compete at high-goal level as an accomplished three-goal patron. His hard work is already paying dividends; he has sold his ingenious tack trolleys, designed at the age of just 17, to James Lucas and Malcolm Borwick amongst many others. Determined to succeed in business so that he may once again play with the likes of Borwick, Spicer certainly is one to watch out for in the future.

Polo Times, January/February 2013


17/01/2013 19:21


Know your game

Three-goal pro and 2008 Gold Cup winner Jamie Peel discusses the latest news and developments that are affecting players

It’s time to focus Before I get into my first column of the year I wanted to say happy New Year to all of the readers and I bid you best wishes for 2013 and the coming polo season. With a new season on the horizon there will be new challenges ahead for all of us to meet. You might have set some tough targets for yourself or perhaps you have been invited to play in a team at a higher level than ever before. Depending on which boat you are in, the one thing that we all need is a desire to succeed. This is a great time of year to start getting motivated for the season, a lot of deals are being finalised and you can start to visualise how your season is going to be structured. The first tournaments will come around very quickly and you need to be up for it and to hit the ground running to get off to a good start. Many players will only have a couple of tournaments booked in at the beginning so it is crucial that you make a good impression and get people talking. This brings me back to desire and how hungry are you to succeed. A question to ask yourself is : “Do you really want to be the best you can or are you happy to sit around and complain about how hard and unfair it is?” Being in England all winter worrying will not help, sitting in Argentina watching everyone else playing polo will also not help. You have got to get out there and carve a

Photograph by James Mullan

“It is important to remember that the reason why we are all involved in the sport is the love of playing polo” path for yourself, find what it is you are good at and have the desire to go for it. Feeling sorry for ourselves is the easy option but polo does not owe us a living, it is up to us as individuals to make one. Over the Christmas break I was lucky to catch up with some good friends, all polo players, and as you can imagine the topic of conversation rarely strayed away from our beloved sport. However, we all appeared 58

Polo Times, January/February 2013

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During the bleak winter months it is important to focus on the triumphs and fun that lie ahead in the summer

to be very negative and it appears that there is a strong feeling among players that there is just not enough work around and that patrons are not prepared to spend the money they used to. I do not know if this is entirely true, but what I do know is that the number of players questioning their ability to play polo successfully as their business has definitely increased. If we are all honest with ourselves, unless you are a high handicap player you cannot solely rely on playing polo to make money. That leaves the vast majority of us needing to find other sources of income. Management work, selling horses, coaching, having liveries or simply just working for an organisation are all avenues we must explore if we want to continue playing polo. I think that it is important to remember that the reason why we are all involved in the sport is the love of playing polo. The sport hooks you in and it is almost impossible to turn your back on it. Tragically, too many players struggle to survive on their own

and start to consider quitting. I completely understand this frame of mind but more often than not a change in direction is all that is needed. Harold Link once said to me: “Specialise in what you are good at.” It is the best advice I have ever had, very few of us will become high handicapped players but that does not mean we cannot make a living in polo and play the sport we love. The winter months are lethal for draining our enthusiasm and letting life get on top of us. Looking forward to those first chukkas in April can be an inspiration. The longer we are out of the saddle the harder it becomes to remain hungry and confident in our own abilities. Try not to lose sight of the light at the end of the tunnel and start the season in full flow! F ◗ Do you agree or disagree with Jamie’s views? How do you get over the winter blues? Have your say by emailing us at

17/01/2013 19:13

Know your game


The International Polo Academy (IPA) works with clubs, teams and players around the world to help improve the level of service, performance and enjoyment of the sport. The IPA will be providing an exclusive column for Polo Times every month discussing fitness, nutrition, psychology and technique

Get the most out of your body, mind and technique Sports psychology - lower handicapped teams beating higher ranked teams

Fitness and diet – get into a post-Christmas routine Gym work Most game actions involve rotation of the body – waist, shoulder and wrist – so make sure that you incorporate additional movement into your gym workouts. If you are doing squats, rotate at the hips. If you are doing wrist curls, twist the dumb-bell.

What effect can complacency wreak on performance? Simple. Complacency often means insufficient preparation, but it always means being insufficiently switched-on mentally. Typically, it is where a lesser-ranked team beats a higher-ranked team based on playing intensity – where the winning performance is described as “wanting it more”. For team sports such as polo, such surprising results can also be assigned to another factor, not so much over-complacency, but undercohesion. A team with great cohesion will frequently out-perform a team of

players who perform as individuals, despite the cohesive team having the less skilled players. Complacency and cohesion both carry significant influence. It is the wise coach who knows how to manage them. wB  y IPA performance psychologist Miranda Banks w I f you are interested in team coaching or personal performance psychology, send and email to admissions@

Diet One of the best recovery drinks to have immediately after a winter endurance training session is half a litre of milky hot chocolate – it has protein for repair and simple sugars for restoring energy w By IPA sports performance specialist David Smith w If you are interested in a personal fitness and nutrition programme, finding a trainer for your team or club, or just looking for a perspective on your training, contact:

Technique – get it right in time for the summer season by using video analysis A coach’s ability to accurately recall and process information can be limited. In fact, a coach can only process 30 per cent of what he sees; hence, there is a need to supplement a coach’s subjective recall with the use of video analysis and statistical information as an external memory aid. Performance analysis can be used to identify key strengths and weaknesses of the team or athlete, assist team selections

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and recruitment, highlight the strengths and weaknesses of opponents and therefore, influence tactical strategies for forthcoming events. As such, video feedback can be used as a reflective tool for both player and coach. IPA has an exclusive partnership with Dartfish, world leaders in video analysis for Olympic sports. Approximately 70 per cent of medal winners at London 2012 Olympics have used Dartfish and the same tools used

across 26 Olympic sports – both team and individual – are applied to polo. Each of our students is given a unique online login to view their analysis privately. w If you are interested in getting your technique analysed, getting your team’s performance analysed or installing Dartfish video analysis at your club email Polo Times, January/February 2013


17/01/2013 19:13


Know your horse

Mark Emerson MRCVS is a two-goal polo player and an ambulatory equine vet

Cloning or conventional During my annual visit to Argentina in December, I was very privileged to have been shown around La Dolfina by David “Pelon” Stirling during the week leading up to the finals of the Argentine Open. The club at La Dolfina has a relaxed rustic feel. It is very much Adolfo Cambiaso’s private home and is not supposed to be a polo destination or showcase facility (unlike La Dolfina Polo Ranch next door), but as you can imagine the horses come first and the polo grounds are second to none. I was shown some of Adolfo’s most celebrated horses, including current superstar, Cuartetera, and his old pocket battleship from the late 90s, Colibrí. Colibrí is now at least 30 and was

Cloning is the latest innovation in polo pony breeding in Argentina Cambiaso teamed up with Crestview Genetics to produce clones of Cuartetera – two of which are pictured here

sadly looking very old indeed. The interesting thing about these horses is that they have both recently been cloned. Cloning is the latest innovation in Argentine polo breeding that has started to receive a lot of publicity. The procedure is a refinement of what was used to clone Dolly the sheep back in 1996: the nucleus (which contains the majority of a cell’s DNA) is taken from a cell of one of the horses to be cloned and is inserted into an unfertilized mare’s egg that has had its

nucleus removed. A Frankenstein-like electric charge is then used to stimulate the egg to start to divide and grow, becoming an embryo that can then be transplanted into the womb of a surrogate mare. All being well, a healthy foal is born the following year that is, to all intents and purposes, genetically identical to the original cloned adult. Although genetically identical, certain features such as white markings are not exactly the same. Different external factors starting

The breeding brief Nick Wood, who is set to launch the Polo Stud Book website this year, assesses the breeding of the top ponies in the 2012 Argentine Open final A quick glance at the participating pony listings for finals day of the Argentine Open was mouth watering, with pedigrees enriched with the top prolific polo stallions of the world 60

Polo Times, January/February 2013

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today: Clarin, Dolfina Millonario, Ellerstina Picaro, El Sol, Irenita Faraon, Open Sunset, Optimum, Perugino, Rainbow Corner, Sportivo, to mention but a few. Favourite broodmares included Dolfina Lapa, Ellerstina Felicidad, Fantasia, Ilusion, Irenita Fanatica, Open Lechuza, Pastora, Ruleta and Simpatica. La Dolfina’s Juan Martin Nero had some noticeable nice types from Marcos Heguy’s

with the empty egg, the surrogate mother during gestation, through to nutrition, handling, environment, breaking and schooling will make the horse different from its clone parent, both physically and in terms of ability. However the potential to be as good is undoubtedly there – although the first cloned foals were born in 2010 so we still await the real evidence. A couple of days later it was interesting to meet Alan Meeker of Crestview Genetics, a Texan firm that has teamed up with Cambiaso Anay Sur breeding set up, while Ellerstina’s Mariano Aguerre had strength and breadth with his home-bred Los Machitos SRL ponies. Facundo Pieres really caught the eye with his mounts and in particular I was impressed with Open Tarantula (by Optimum, out of Sesenta y Ocho) and Open Top Model (by Sportivo, out of Rustia). But it was brother Gonzalito who received the Fomento Equino Award for best mounted player. The majority of his string is out of Ellerstina Picaro and Rainbow Corner. Two of his string are out of

17/01/2013 19:00

Know your horse


Lorna Edgar – specialist equine nutritionist

breeding? was very interesting – both enlightened and in fact correct – cloning does little to improve the quality of polo ponies. Genetically you are getting the same horse one generation after the next and not a better horse. Miguel explained how his best horse today is better than his best horse of 10 years ago, and that had he been able to make a string of clones of his best horse of 10 years ago and played the string today he would not be as well mounted as he currently is. Selecting the best mares and the best stallions and breeding from them conventionally (or using embryo transfer) will over time improve the breed as it allows desirable traits from both parents to be combined and indeed augmented. Other than money and sentimentality, perhaps the most useful benefit of cloning is being able to clone a gelding such as Cambiaso’s famous horse, Colibrí, so that his cloned son (born entire) can then be bred from to pass on and mix his genes with those of a great mare. F

to clone his horses. He personally doesn’t claim to be a scientist and ultimately has money and a passion for polo. The fact that they have reportedly been offered $2million for a clone of Cuartetera might also explain why he has an interest in cloning polo ponies. That same evening I had dinner with former 10-goaler Miguel Novillo-Astrada who has a large embryo transfer breeding unit at his family’s polo club, La Aguada. His perspective on cloning

◗ Mark Emerson works as an ambulatory equine vet based near Ascot and has polo clients across the south of England: tel 07973 800383 or email

one of their top broodmares Ilusion. It is not often that the losing team produces the best playing pony but it was Adolfo Cambiaso’s Dolfina Buenaventura (by El Sol, out of Ytacua Bienvenida) who received the Susan Townley Award for the best playing pony. The AACCP best playing pony breeders award went to Nicolas Pieres’s Open Guillermina (by Optimum, out of Open Geisha, bred by Ellerstina SA). It is notable that while there is so

much thoroughbred prominent in the Ellerstina bloodlines they still breed with their thoroughbred mix broodmares so they don’t have too many 100 per cent thoroughbreds. This is vital to retain a sound temperament, agility and speed while reducing thoroughbred fragility. Gonzalo Pieres snr has got his immense breeding operation down to a fine art and will have enjoyed the play of his equine superstars.

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Beware of poor quality forage I know it is typical of an Englishman to always talk about the weather, but, what a year 2012 was – rain, rain and more rain, causing havoc in the summer and winter. As I am always thinking about feeding polo ponies and their condition, I thought I would share my concerns. I hope the majority of ponies have wintered well but I have a feeling many may have struggled to hold their weight and condition this winter, with more foot problems and low immunity as the wet weather is so draining for them. I keep my fingers crossed that many of you have been supplementing winter forage with some hard feed and/or mineral licks. The wet summer of 2012 will have limited the forage quality and quantity, so hopefully you have your suppliers sorted already – ideally with a fixed price! I imagine the first cuts are going to be the best of last year but we don’t always have a choice. So, be prepared for second cuts to look and feel quite a bit coarser. Unfortunately this is not always palatable and the fussy, leaner ponies are most likely to be the ones to back off it first. This type of coarser forage is not as high in essential nutrients and is generally harder to digest and sits in the gut for longer, giving that “belly” effect. But, if you have no choice, remember to supplement with a hay replacement grass such as Readi Grass or Baileys Ultra Grass. By also adding beet pulp and an alfalfa chaff ensures good quality and digestible fibre sources are still received. As I mentioned in the November/December column about balancers, you may find the need for a balancer to top up the protein (amino acid) quality of the diet, thus ensuring the build up and maintenance of muscle and top line by counteracting the lack of nutrients in the forage. No doubt your ponies will be looking forward to coming in for a bit of pampering very soon and as another season looms, I wish you all lots of luck. ◗ Contact Lorna Edgar of Baileys Horse Feeds on and 07808 863864 Polo Times, January/February 2013


17/01/2013 19:00


Ones to watch

Howard Smith

Photographs by Polly Bryan and Tommy Wilson

is hoping to claim the Arena Gold Cup this February with Black Eagles, writes Georgie May Arena six-goaler Howard Smith is currently playing his fourth arena season with patron Jonathan Munro Ford and his Black Eagles team. Having narrowly lost to Cold Smoke in the HPA National Christmas Club Championships, the 15-goal team – which features Chris Hyde – will be vying for victory in the Arena Gold Cup this February (8-23 February). Smith and Munro Ford regularly play in 6, 8,10 and 12 goal at RCBPC, Ash Farm and Ascot Park. Having played for Scotland in the Gaucho International for the past two years, Smith also hopes to take part in the event again this year. “Playing at the O2 Arena has been one of the highlights of my career so far,” Smith told Polo Times. “It’s something different and it’s a great way of getting polo to the masses. It’s good fun and well organised so it would be great to take part again.” Smith’s father worked for the late Maj Ronald Ferguson and so, having grown up around the sport, it was only natural that he would follow in his father’s footsteps. During his youth Smith played polo with the Garth South and Staff College & Sandhurst Hunt branches of the Pony Club, before leaving school and going over to Argentina to play. His big break in polo was getting a job with Galen Weston’s Maple Leaf high-goal team. Now based in Windlesham, Surrey, 40-year-old Smith keeps his ponies at the Wooldridge’s Twelve Oaks. As well as playing arena, he also keeps a string of outdoor ponies and plays off three-goals during the summer. “I love playing both outdoor and arena polo,” Smith said. “I always look forward to the 12-goal in the arena. It’s a bit more enjoyable than the 15-goal, which is more physical and harder on the ponies. The new arena rules have helped speed up the game but more needs to be done in educating players and encouraging better polo.” 62

Polo Times, January/February 2013

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Height: 15.1hh Age: 8 Colour: Dark bay Sex: Mare Breed: New Zealand thoroughbred Sire: Banderos Dam: Flight Owner: Tommy Wilson

Georgie May speaks to New Zealand seven-goaler Tommy Wilson about his homebred mare Glide, who he will be playing in the New Zealand Open at Auckland this February What is her background? I bred Glide myself. She is out of another homebred mare, Flight, who was one of my best playing ponies. Flight won champion pony in the Savile Cup in 2001 and was best playing pony in the New Zealand International in 2000. When did you realise her potential? Well I’m slightly biased but I always knew she should be good because of her breeding. She is strong, fast, versatile and clever. Glide tends to stand out because of her colour and strong manner. What age did she start playing? I break all of mine in at three years old and lightly hack them around the farm for six weeks before turning them away. They are brought in at four years old and get worked on the farm, stick and ball and play slow chukkas. When they are five they will play a few minutes a game in the mediumgoal tournaments and a year later they are ready to start their career. Glide has been playing high-goal for the past three years now.

What makes her so good? She is fantastic in every way – there is absolutely nothing wrong with her! The only negative aspect of looking after her is trying to keep the weight off. She is very territorial with her food and anyone else’s. Does she have any quirky character traits? Her only quirky habit to date is managing to throw my wife off in her debut chukka last year – after I had convinced her that Glide was the most placid horse in the stable! Is she easy to look after? She is a very easy horse to have around. She lives out in a paddock all year round and is fed a handful of FiberPro and a scoop of Dunstan Polo Mix every day. She does 30 minutes of hill work in trot and canter three times a week and plays chukkas or matches three days a week. Has she won any best playing pony prizes? Not yet, but this will be her first year to shine. She will be playing in my string in the New Zealand Open, the New Zealand International and the Savile Cup alongside her brothers and sisters produced from my embryo breeding programme. Would you ever sell her? Glide is on the market this year for the right price!

17/01/2013 17:11

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England captain ties the knot England captain Luke Tomlinson married Cata Zavaleta in December at the Tomlinson’s La Quinta estancia in Pilar, Argentina. The early evening ceremony was followed by dinner and dancing, which continued well into the next morning. Many members of the England polo crowd travelled to Argentina for the wedding, including the rest of the Tomlinson family, the Hanbury family, James Beim and Malcolm Borwick. Luke’s younger brother and fellow England teammate Mark is following in his brother’s wedding footsteps. Mark will marry Olympic dressage bronze medallist Laura Bechtolscheimer on 2 March in Switzerland.

Tell us yours at Anonymity guaranteed if you want it...

Happy Birthday to Herbert Happy Birthday to Polo Times columnist Herbert Spencer, who celebrated his 84th birthday on 14 January.

An African wedding Plettenberg Bay polo manager Alicia Wright, daughter of HPA chairman John Wright, will marry Shaun Brokensha in South Africa in April. The couple have been together for six years and Alicia received the best possible present when Shaun proposed on her birthday last year. They will tie the knot on 6 April, the last day of the polo season in South Africa, at their farm near the Kurland Polo Estate. Polo guests will include John Wright and Alicia’s brother, polo umpire Peter Wright.

High-goal stars turn out for Ulloa’s big day Argentine nine-goaler Hilario Ulloa topped off a successful year playing for Pilara in the Argentine Triple Crown by marrying his girlfriend Clarita Ferraiuelo in El Triunfo, near Hilario’s hometown of Lincoln, Buenos Aires, in December. Entertainment for the 250 guests included a parade of Criollo horses showing off their skills, a typical Argentine asado and a fireworks display. Several polo players attended the wedding, including Facundo and Nico Pieres and Guillermo Caset Jr. with his girlfriend Inés Badiola, whom he will marry in April.

Matt finds his match Also newly married are Guards three-goaler Matt Lodder and Heather Wigglesworth, who is a minus one-goaler at Blueys Polo Club. The couple tied the knot between Christmas and New Year in Heather’s home village in West Yorkshire, and celebrated with friends from the polo world including Jamie Le Hardy and girlfriend Sally Dawson, Andrew BlakeThomas and fiancée Sanchia Stowe, Sarah and James Anderson and Jamie Peel.

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17/01/2013 19:10


Bucklebury bargain Former Tidworth member Charlie Hoffman has bought the Duchess of Cambridge’s childhood home in Bucklebury, Berkshire. The minus one-goaler, who is a managing director of HSBC, acquired the house for £2.3 million, but is prevented from disclosing any details about the sale of the property, having signed a nondisclosure agreement.

Monkey business Although Movember is long gone, and itchy chins are now just a distant memory, we thought Cowdray onegoaler Boyd Allen deserved a mention for his impressive Movember effort. Boyd sported the full ‘monkey-tail’ moustache to do his bit for a good cause.

Collins comeback St Albans Polo Club president and former world boxing champion Steve Collins is set for a sensational return to the ring at the age of 48. The Irish former super middleweight champion of the world, who has not fought since 1997, has announced his intentions to make a one-fight comeback against American veteran Roy Jones Jr, 43. In the late 1990s and early 2000s Jones was regarded as being the best boxer in the world, but Collins revealed in January that he has always felt that the American went out of his way to avoid fighting him. No date or venue has yet been confirmed for the grudge match, but zerogoaler, Collins, is sure to have the support of the polo community.

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A polo event is at the centre of a dispute between Jack ‘Ruki’ Baillieu and the Paspaley family. Seven-goaler Jack ‘Ruki’ Baillieu is at loggerheads with Marilynne Paspaley, founder of Paspaley Pearls, over their right to host a polo match on Cable Beach in Western Australia. Two successful Paspaley Beach Polo events were held in Broome in 2010 and 2011 in partnership with Baillieu’s company, but the professional player has argued in court that the Paspaley family should not be allowed to stage their own polo event on the Broome beach because of the contract they had previously signed with his company. The Supreme Court refused to block the Paspaley company from hosting a polo event.

Polo Times’ Advertising manager Lily Cox made a new celebrity friend while in Florida reporting on the International Cup between England and USA at Grand Champions Polo Club. Lily got chatting to Vanilla Ice (or Robert Matthew Van Winkle to his closer friends) before the American rapper, who lives locally, presented the prizes to the teams. Needless to say, the strains of Ice Ice Baby could be heard regularly during the day.

Polo Times wishes good luck to Ollie Plunket, who is motorbiking 24,000 miles across the Americas for charity. The son of Piers Plunket of Lycetts Insurance, a familiar face in the polo world, is currently on a solo motorbike trip from Ushuaia, Argentina – the most southerly city in the world – north to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. The trip will raise money for Fisher House, a charity which helps the UK’s military patients and families. Ollie began his journey at the start of January and as Polo Times went to press he was making good progress up the west coast of South America. Follow his adventure and find out how to give a donation on his blog:

Michael Bickford and Josh Groban

Ruki in a row

Van-Lily Ice

Ollie’s on his bike



SUPA boys rub shoulders with Sherlock The SUPA boys enjoyed a bit of celebrity excitement on their journey home from California, after playing the USPA Intercollegiate team at Empire Polo Club. Charlie Scott, Sam Browne and George Shelton bumped into the BBC’s Sherlock Holmes (aka Benedict Cumberbatch) whilst waiting for their flight at LA International airport.

Polo Times, January/February 2013 67

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James Glasson, Chris Davies and Clinton McCarthy

Henrietta Moore DJ Patrizio Cavaliere

Steven Hyde, Matt Ford and Rufus Reeve with a friend

Alan O’Sullivan and Henry Brett

PT’s PJ Seccombe and Georgie May with Charles Betz

Polo Times Christmas cocktail party; Bar Galante, London – 26 November 2012

Liz Higgins and Lila Pearson

Festive gathering at Bar Galante

Kevin and Meggie Cheshire

Polo Times hosted a Christmas cocktail party at Gaucho Restaurants’ Bar Galante in South Kensington, London, in November. As the champagne and whisky cocktails flowed, members of the polo world, including patrons, players and club managers descended on the glamorous bar. Guests included Emlor’s Clinton McCarthy, vet and player Mark Emerson and his parents Tony and Jilly, UberPolo’s Leigh-Ann Moore, SUPA chairman Charles Betz and Cowdray Park’s Lila Pearson. With Gaucho Restaurant adjoining the bar, some guests went on to gorge on Argentine steak and red wine following the party, while others moved onto Barts nightclub next door.

Charles Betz with his daughter

w Photographs by Katie Macrae

Michael Amoore

Jennifer Fawthrop and Katie Macrae

Piers Plunket, Clinton McCarthy and John O’Sullivan

Guests arrive at the party


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Sidelines Dani Watson, Susie Hamilton, Jess Andrews, Jo Kirkpatrick and friend Rose

Margie Brett, Tom House and John O’Sullivan

Casey Mullany

Robyn Wilkie, Anna Wood and Colin Kirkpatrick

Poverty Bay Open; Poverty Bay, New Zealand 28-30 December 2012

Pukka polo in Poverty National and international players gathered at Poverty Bay Polo Club at the end of December for the annual Poverty Bay Open. Wanstead were the winners of the 8-goal Poverty Bay & East Coast Challenge Cup, which ran alongside the second annual Poverty Bay Ladies’ Open. Farmlands defeated BNZ – featuring Brit and Tidworth Polo Club polo manager Jess Andrews – in the final. Michael Amoore, Clare Gardner and Martin Williams

Jody Clark and Lou Livingston

w See page 48 for a report from the tournament

Robyne McIldowie with Jane and Warwick Tomblestone

Aurora Eastwood and Leonora de Ferranti

John Kirkpatrick, former All Blacks captain Ian Kirkpatrick, Rick Shanks and Gerald Kemp

Casey Mullany and Cody Clark

Travis McKechnie, Martin Williams, Matt Ford and Dominic Marriot

Laura Clark and Storm Habib

Winning Farmlands team: Missy Browne, Anna Wood, Robyn Wilkie and Marnie Watson Olivia Kirkpatrick grooming Herbie

Colin Kirkpatrick with nephew Paul Kirkpatrick

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17/01/2013 17:09

Sharon Massey and equestrian artist Stephen Lytton

Greta Morrison and Brian Stein

HPA National Christmas Club Championships; RCBPC, Berkshire – 3-16 December 2012

Cold Smoke’s Dean Lines, Michael Bickford and Jamie Morrison, who won the 15-goal

Smokin’ hot final Spectators at the Berkshire’s annual club championships witnessed Cold Smoke and Black Eagles claim the 15-goal and 6-goal titles respectively. Pampeano and Perez Polo equipment supported the event and supplied some of the prizes at the prizegiving following the finals.

Gillian Hughes, Steph Jost and Miranda Kevern Perez of Perez Polo equipment

w Photographs by Gillian Hughes and Polly Bryan

Ed Banner-Eve and Michael Amoore

Black Eagles’s Jonathan Munro Ford, Jack Hyde and Howard Smith, who won the 6-goal

Michael Bickford and Greta Morrison

Two players in front of Umaid Bhawan Palace

Maharaja of Jodhpur

Evening fashion show Traditional dress featured at the Diamond Jubilee Ball

Polo fashion show after the game

The Royal Salute Maharaja of Jodhpur Golden Jubilee Cup; Umaid Bhawan Palace, India – 26-31 December 2012

Colourful celebrations in Jodhpur His Highness Gajsingh II, The Maharaja of Jodhpur, hosted a polo tournament to celebrate his 60-year reign in the Blue City in December. As well as the 10-goal Royal Salute Cup, won by the 61st Cavalry team, there was also the Diamond Jubilee Ball, camel polo, fashion shows and a vintage car display. VIP guests included Bollywood actress Soha Ali Khan, Princess Esra of Hyderabad and talk show host Vir Sanghvi.

The Maharaja of Jodhpur at home Camel polo exhibition

Raghavendra Rathore

Winning 61st Cavalry team

Vir Sanghvi and guest 70

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Nuala Mulligan and Bairbre White

Col Simon Ledger and Michael O’Dwyer

Edwin Lawrence, Emma Loveday, Tom Hudson and Guy Schwarzenbach

British Polo Day in India; Jodhpur, India – 15-16 December 2012

Maharajas and models

Alan Ruzzaman and Michael Amoore

British Polo Day returned to India in December and began with a Royal Polo Gala, for which His Highness Gajsingh II, The Maharaja of Jodhpur was present. The gala featured two fashion shows in front of the Umaid Bhawan Palace, which exhibited Phillip Treacy, Beulah London and Hackett’s new collections. During the weekend of polo Eton College faced India’s Mayo College and the President’s Bodyguard took on the British Army.

Jonathan Munro Ford’s groom Beverley and Miranda Kevern Perez

Jenny Anderson, Holly Houghton and Sabrina Bell

Chris Cooper and Christine Jost

The 61st Cavalry team collect the cup

Lord Wrottesley, Princess Shivranji, Raul Singh and Ben Vestey Lord Vestey and Amelia Singer

Vintage car display

Niall Brennan and Ed Olver

Doug White and Jamie Loder

Stefan Bartlett and Sam Churchill

Evening entertainment

A view of the city of Jodhpur

Deepak Vaida ,The Maharaja of Jodhpur and Karren and Todd Ruppert Natasha Rufus Issacs, Bryony Daniels, Lavinia Brennan and Jo Renwick Smita Rao and Violet Manners 71

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Louisa Dawnay, Gemma Craig and Catriona Christie

Black Eagles’s Jonathan Munro Ford celebrates his win

Georgia Sweeney and guests

Paul Sweeney Memorial Cup; 6 January 2012 – Ash Farm Polo Club, Surrey

Eagles fly high Grania Horswell, Elly Gray and Lucy Northmore

Peter Webb, Jonathan Munro Ford and Howard Smith with Charlotte Sweeney

Maggie Meriman and Holly Smith

The fourth annual Paul Sweeney Memorial Cup was held at the Sweeney’s Ash Farm Polo Club on Sunday 6 January. Black Eagles – Peter Webb, Howard Smith and patron Jonathan Munro Ford – played HP Polo for the 12-goal title. Cheered on by a large crowd of spectators, Black Eagles ran out the winners. The tournament helped raise money for the James WentworthStanley Memorial Fund. w Photographs by Gillian Hughes

Vivek Rawal with his wife and Jonathan Munro Ford

Seb Dawnay with best playing pony, Blondie, and Charlotte Sweeney

Chris Hyde and Roy Prisk

Annie Hoy, Lucy Northmore, Sarah Ralston-Good, David Singleton and Alisdair Roberton

Alex Anthony, Tracey Abbotts -Derbyshire and Rachael Wakefield

A Palm Beach watermelon

Annie Hoy and David Singleton

A glamorous guest

Jeff Hall and best playing pony Smooth

England Ladies’ Nina Clarkin

International Cup; Grand Champions Polo Club, Florida, USA 25 November 2012

Yanks crank up the heat in the US IPCPB’s impressive food tent Guests of Marc Ganzi

Hundreds gathered at the Ganzi’s Grand Champions Polo Club in Florida to watch England take on the USA in an international Test Match, which the latter won. w Photographs by Lily Cox Gay Polo League players

Miss Universe presents Nic Roldan with his prize

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Trade stands at Grand Champions

Vanilla Ice presents the International Cup to Marc Ganzi and Carlitos Gracida

17/01/2013 16:38

Sidelines Neil Hobday with Christopher and Bridget Hanbury Geoffrey Godbold, Michael Wellman, Lisle Gamba, Anne de’Ath, Howard Davis, Araselli Davis, Freddie Ventura and friend

Clive Reid, Diana Butler, Neil Hobday and Peter Webb

Diana Butler and Miguel Novillo Astrada Helen Fairbrother, Chris Graham, Ali Walker, Nick Henry and guests Nick Musgrave, Zahra Hanbury and James Scott-Hopkins

Tony and Charlie Pidgley

Guards La Martina launch; La Casona La Martina – 5 December 2012

Guards fashion A cocktail party was held in Buenos Aires in December to celebrate the launch of the news Guards Polo Club collection by La Martina. As well as Guards CEO Neil Hobday and press officer Diana Butler, patrons, players including Tony Pidgley, Malcolm Borwick and Hissam Ali Hyder were also in attendance.

Malcolm Borwick and Miguel Novillo Astrada

Ham Christmas party; Bar Galante, London – 11 December 2013

Ham go Argentine Ham Polo Club held their Christmas party at Gaucho’s new Sloane Avenue Bar Galante. Players and members from the club arrived to enjoy champagne and Argentine inspired cocktails as well as the delicious Gaucho canapés. During the evening, Gaucho announced that they will once again be holding their exclusive “Sundown Polo” evening at Ham this summer.

w Photographs by Tony Ramirez

Benjie, Rachael and Quentin Davis

Lisle Gamble and Annie ColquhounDenvers

The ladies teams leave the field after their match

Russell and Geraldine Garner with Faye and Hubert de Pelet

Pop icon Vanilla Ice

Martin Brown (centre) and friends

Christine Collins with her niece

Ham players Debbie Houghton and Jo Stuart with Helen Fairbrother and guests

Hubert de Pelet

Bar Galante

Miss Universe and a friend 73

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17/01/2013 16:38

Polo directory

Dates for your diary

Club contacts UK and Ireland

South East AEPC, Hickstead – 01273 834315 * Ascot Park – 01276 858545 * Ash Farm – 01932 872521 * Belmont, Mill Hill – 020 7318 4490 * Blueys Polo Club – 07930 323263 Binfield Heath – 01491 411969 Barcombe – 07533 213160 Burningfold – 01483 200722 Cowdray Park – 01730 813257 Coworth Park – 01784 470009 Epsom – 07961 232106 * FHM – 07778 436468 * Fifield – 01628 620061 * Guards – 01784 434212 Ham – 020 8334 0000 Hurtwood Park – 01483 272828 Kirtlington Park – 01869 350138 Knepp Castle – 01403 741007 Lacey Green – 07956 525222 Park Lane – 07976 242877* Ranelagh Farm – 01344 885697 RMAS – 07766 924101 Royal County of Berkshire – 01344 890060 * Sussex Polo – 01342 714920 * West Wycombe – 07841 597045 * White Waltham – 07748 670587

East Apsley End – 01462 712444 * Cambridge & Newmarket – 07769 976781 (back 2013) Carlton House – 01986 892231 Frolic Farm – 01223 812922 Haggis Farm – 01223 460353 * Hertfordshire – 01707 256023 Little Bentley – 01206 250435 Luton Hoo – 07934 882713 Norfolk – 01508 480400 * Silver Leys – 07535 697854 St Albans – 07438 076644 Suffolk Polo – 07990 576974

South West Asthall Farm – 01367 860207 Beaufort – 01666 880510 Cirencester Park – 01285 653225 Druids Lodge – 01722 782597 * Edgeworth – 01285 821695 Ladyswood – 01666 840880 Longdole – 01452 864544 * Lynt – 07957 468220 * Lytchett Heath – 01202 623985 Maywood – 01962 885500 * New Forest – 02380 811818 Taunton – 01823 480460 Tidworth – 01980 846705 * Vaux Park – 07703 524613 * West Somerset – 01884 251632

What’s on in February UK highlights Medium Goal

RCBPC – HPA New Year National Club Championships (10-12; 1-3): 7 January – 2 February RCBPC – Paul Castle High Goal Challenge (13-15): 29 January – 3 February RCBPC – The Arena Gold Cup (13-15): 8-23 February RCBPC – Olin Trophy (8-12): 9-17 February Rugby – The Kangaroo Challenge (8-12): 16-17 February

Low goal AEPC – The Arundel Equine Hospital Polo Cup (4-8; 0-4): 2-3 February Druids Lodge – Chatanooga Trophy (4-8): 2 February Ranksboro – 0-2 Goal Tournament (0-2): 9-10 February Vaux Park – Coffee Cup (2-6): 9-10 February AEPC – Seico Polo Cup (4-8; 0-4): 16-17 February Epsom – St David’s Cup (2-4): 16-17 February Ascot Park – Tessa Memorial Challenge (2-6): 23-24 February Druids Lodge – Bodensee Trophy (4-8): 23-24 February

FHM – Falcon Equine Feeds Tournament (0-2): 24 February

Open Polo Wicklow – Spain (Barcelona) vs Ireland: 1-3 February Vale of York – ABI Beach Challenge: 17 February Vaux Park – The Casco Cup: 23-24 February

Youth Rugby – SUPA National Arena Championships (Open): 14-17 February Polo Wicklow – SUPA Tri-Nations (Open): 17-18 February

Ladies Ascot Park – National Women’s Polo Tournament (Open): 16-17 February

For a full list of all the tournaments see

Midlands Dallas Burston – 01926 812409 Offchurch Bury – 07816 830887 Leadenham – 01400 272885 Ranksboro – 01572 720046* Rugby – 01788 817724 * Rutland – 01572 724568

North Beverley – 01964 544455 * Toulston – 01422 372529 Vale of York – 07788 426968 * White Rose – 01430 875767 * Cheshire – 01270 611100 Chester Racecourse – 01244 304602

Scotland Borders Reivers – 01890 840777 Dundee & Perth – 07879 895780 Edinburgh – 0131 449 6696 * Kinross – 07831 365194 * Stewarton – 07974 706045

Photograph by Gillian Hughes

Ireland All Ireland – +353 (0) 1 6896732 Bunclody – +353 87 6605917 Curraghmore – +353 51 387102 Limerick – +353 (0) 87 2231690 Moyne – +353 85 1313224 Northern Ireland – 02890 727905 Wicklow – +353 (0) 404 67164 * Waterford – +353 51 595280 * denotes winter arena polo venue hTo contact the HPA, tel: 01367 242828

74 Polo Times, January/February 2013

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Cold Smoke’s Max Charlton, Michael Bickford and Roddy Williams – replacing Jamie Morrison who was out of action with a hand injury – were the winners of the Arena Gold Cup last year at the Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club

17/01/2013 16:36

Dates for your diary

Polo directory

HPA Mid-Season Arena Handicap Changes The Mid-Season Arena Handicap Changes were agreed at the meeting on Thursday 20 December 2012. They were effective from Friday 21 December 2012.

Moving to five Hodges, Harold: 4 to 5

Moving to four Bustamante, Nelson: 3 to 4 Lucas, James: 5 to 4 Action from last year’s FIP Snow Polo World Cup in Tianjin, China, which will be taking place again this February

Overseas highlights Australia

New Zealand

Werribee Park – Jeep February International (Open): 23 February

Kihikihi – International Day (Open): 9 February Auckland – New Zealand Open (18): 19-24 February Hololio Farm – New Zealand Women’s Open (Open): 19-24 February

China Tianjin Goldin Metropolitan – FIP Snow Polo World Cup (16): 25 January – 3 February



Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club – Silver Cup (13-16): 2-16 February Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club – Gold Cup (13-16): 25 February – 15 March

TBC – British Polo Day (Open): 9 February Polo Escape – James Ashton Trophy (8-10): 1-3 February Thai Polo & Equestrian Club – B.Grimm Chinese New Year (6-8): 13-17 February



Courcheval – BMW Polo Masters (6-8): 31 January – 3 February

Italy Cortina – Cortina Winter Polo Audi Gold Cup (17-20): 17-23 February

IPCPB – Ylvisaker Cup (20): 27 January – 24 February IPCPB – CV Whitney Cup (26): 17 February – 3 March IPCPB – Iglehart Cup (20): 20 February – 3 March

Moving to three Banner-Eve, Alec: 2 to 3 McCraith, Stephen: 0 to 3 Morris-Lowe, Twm: (3) to 3

Moving to two Banner-Eve, Edward: 1 to 2 Hyde, Jack: 1 to 2 (pictured below) Shelton, George: 3 to 2

Moving to one Greening, Greg: (0) to 1 Khanna, Navin: (2) to 1

Moving to zero Chichvarkin, Yevgeny: (-1) to 0 Coid, Thomas: -1 to 0 Edmondson, Amelia: -1 to 0 Escobedo, Ana: 1 to 0 Gibbons, Tamara: -1 to 0 Grant, Alexandra: -1 to 0 Outridge, Henry: -1 to 0 Purvis, Jason: (0) to 0 Tearle, Robert: (0) to 0 Turk, Rosanna: (-1) to 0

Moving to minus one

Other dates Tattersalls – Europe’s Premier Midwinter Sale: 7-8 February

Caddy, Christian: 0 to -1 Cooper, Georgia: 0 to -1 Newton, Deborah: 0 to -1

Goffs, Ireland – February Sale: 13-14 February Brightwells, Ascot – Bloodstock Sale: 19 February

TV highlights on Horse & Country TV 9 February, 10pm: Argentine Open 2012

21 February, 8pm: Argentine Open 2012

14 February, 8pm: Argentine Open 2012

22 February, 9pm: Argentine Open 2012

15 February, 9pm: Argentine Open 2012

23 February, 10pm: Argentine Open 2012

16 February, 10pm: Argentine Open 2012

28 February, 8pm: Argentine Open 2012

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Polo directory


Rob Cudmore England Coach, 2 HPA Instructors â&#x20AC;˘ International Equitrack Polo Arena â&#x20AC;˘ Fantastic clubhouse with licensed bar & excellent viewing of the arena â&#x20AC;˘ Polo Pony Hire, School Ponies â&#x20AC;˘ Chukkas and Matches - call the office for Info â&#x20AC;˘ Individual Coaching, Group Lessons, Social & Corporate Events For information on membership, polo lessons and general enquiries please call: Tel: (office) 01452 864 544 Mobile: 07974 532 841 email: Longdole Polo Club, Birdlip, Gloucestershire, GL4 8LH

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    76 Polo Times, January/February 2013

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This revolutionary horsebox is designed to achieve a payload of approximately 3 tons – which means you can legally carry: 5 medium weight 16hh horses – around 600kg each, or 6 polo ponies of an average 460kg each – and this also includes all tack! Clever design and use of material have enabled us to manufacture a horsebox which combines strength, low maintenance and a smart appearance.

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Polo directory

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Polo Times, January/February 2013 77

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Polo directory


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78 Polo Times, January/February 2013

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Polo directory

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Polo Times, January/February 2013 79

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Polo directory


Ponies THREE SUPER SAFE HORSES Played with -2 goal man, 0-goal girls and 1-goal boy. Easy going, good hitting platforms. Ages 8 - 12 years. Sale due to giving up and low price as unfit and in field. Hampshire. £5,000 each. Tel: 07762 499245 LIGHTNING FAST 2 x 15.1hh TB to suit good riders -1 or zero player. Both 100% sound and fit to try. Played 0 to 8 goal, arena and grass. 9 year old mare £4250 & 12 year old gelding £3,500. Tel: 01342 714920 EASY 15.2HH 6 YEAR OLD CHESTNUT GELDING Played up to 6-goal, fit and ready to try in the arena. Easy to do in every way, great temperament. £4850 no offers. Oxfordshire. Tel: 07800 517869

Livery NEW PURPOSE BUILT POLO YARD Stables and barn corals available, full livery or short tern fitness and schooling. New pitch. Quiet Location. Good hills and tracks. Experienced 24 hour care. Family enterprise. Accommodation available. Cotswolds. Email or call 07546 406126

Situations POLO GROOM WANTED for early season start with polo ponies, getting fit and short schooling. Local person wanted, start of February till April, with possibilities to stay on in high-goal season. Milland. £300 p/w. Contact Rachael 07818 513197 or POLO GROOM WITH TRUCK LICENCE WANTED Accommodation at flat in private farm-yard. UK or European Licence to drive 7.5t lorry required (Cat C1 licence). Experience with young horses required. Groom for 2-goal amateur player. Potential for winter evening job too. Start 15/04/13. Petworth, West Sussex (Burningfold/Cowdray). Contact rupert. or 07768 736816

80 Polo Times, January/February 2013

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FULL TIME GROOM REQUIRED FOR SMALL FAMILY YARD We have playing low goal ponies, polo ponies being “made”, brood mares and “happy hacker” liveries. This is a physically demanding live in position for someone who is happy to work alone and is confident with young stock. Responsibilities include field maintenance. Driving license essential, ideally up to 7.5 tonnes. Surrey Hills. Tel: 07584 624990

Transport FORD IVECO NEW MOT Under 7.5 ton. NEW MOT. Just had loads of work done. Great runner. Takes six horses very comfortably lockable tack room. Well partitioned. West Sussex. £2,950. Call Paul 07776 253907 or email DAF CF 65 250 POLO BOX 12 Horse partitioned with cooling fans and full lighting, Large water proof tack lockers. Very light manageable ramp. Sleeper cab with night light. New MOT, gearbox, tyres, front hubs, discs and brakes. Very well maintained vehicle. Can be painted in any colour to suit customer. Any mechanical inspection welcome. £31,000. Reading. Tel: 07811 336763

Planning NATIONWIDE SERVICE OFFERING SPECIALIST HELP WITH ALL HORSE RELATED PLANNING APPLICATIONS AND APPEALS The radical Planning Policy reform in 2012 has provided new opportunities for equine workers dwellings and other associated equine development. The policy now simply states that dwellings are permissible where there is ‘an essential need for a rural worker to live permanently at or near their place of work in the countryside.’ However, proving a permanent essential need is not as straightforward as it may seem and expert input is often needed to get your application approved. If you want accommodation for yourself or your groom, or you have another equine related planning problem, we are very well placed help you solve it with our many years of specialist experience and 100% success rate in 2012. Please call Rebecca Wilson if you would like to discuss your case. Tel: 01666 880120. Mobile: 07770 526148. Email: Web: www.

Give a subscription Are you looking for a gift for a keen player or fan? Whether it’s for an anniversary, a birthday or for Christmas, Polo Times is the perfect present A gift subscription includes: • Polo Times magazine (10 issues per year) delivered direct to your door • A weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox every Friday • Reduced classified advertising rates • Your unique password for the online version

Call Sarah on 00 44 (0) 1993 886885 or order online at

17/01/2013 18:54

Listings Equipment SCOREBOARDS AND CLOCKS ESPECIALLY DESIGNED FOR POLO Outdoor and arena sizes. Fully electronic, displaying the time counting down, both scores and chukka number. Automatic bell/ horn. Controlled wirelessly by a remote control you can even wear on your arm. Visit www. or call +44 (0)7860 303217

Polo directory

Photo of the month

Send us your best images and we will select one for publication each month. Send them to

GROOMS REQUIRED Start 1st March. Longdole Polo Club, Gloucestershire. Good accommodation and wage offered for quality staff to work in this busy and fun yard. Contact Jo on 01452 864 544 or email ALBION CONTACT SADDLE FOR SALE 17½ inch medium fit dark Havana leather. Very good condition, only used for one year. Favourite amongst professional riders, incorporates ‘Kontrol’ technology which allows exceptional closeness without interference to the horse. Design features include profiled wooden saddle tree. £750.00 ono. Contact Nicki on 07885 285932

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01993 886885 Designed by Printed by The Manson Group Contact details Holbrook Farm, East End, North Leigh, Oxfordshire OX29 6PX Tel: 01993 886 885 Fax: 01993 882 660 email: © Polo Times Limited 2013 and Database Right 2013 Polo Times Limited holds the copyright & database right to the information it publishes in Polo Times and on the Polo Times website. No content may be reproduced or distributed without the consent of the Editor. ‘Polo Times’ is the trade mark of Polo Times Limited. ISSN 1461-4685

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Contributors – January/February 2013 Chris Ashton, Adam Caller, Miranda Banks, Alejandro Comero, Jason Dixon, Lorna Edgar, Mark Emerson, Will Emerson, Milo Fernandez Araujo, Kian Gheissari, Alice Gipps, Theresa Hodges, Sarah Martin, Clare Milford Haven, Jamie Peel, David Smith, Herbert Spencer, Nick Wood, Alicia Wright

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Call Sarah Foster on +44 (0)1993 886885 Subscribe online: Polo Times, January/February 2013 81

17/01/2013 21:05

Final bell

In association with Aprés Polo

All England Polo Club founder John Bunn’s


The two-goal arena player speaks to Georgie May about Jack Kidd, being handcuffed at his 30th birthday party and trying to avoid injury on the polo field Who taught you to play polo? My godfather Johnny Kidd tried to get me to play as a teenager but at the time rugby was my main focus and I went on to play for Harlequins. Johnny’s son Jack taught me when I started 12 years ago. I played my first polo game at Glebe Farm with Jack, John Manconi and the Gottschalks. I have also had lessons with Jamie Le Hardy and Seb Dawnay. What is your favourite polo memory? I was really thrown in at the deep end for my first tournament, which was a 15-goal at Jack Kidd’s Gadbridge Farm on my 32nd birthday weekend. I somehow scored four goals and we won. I also returned home the proud owner of two ponies, Leggo and Capone. Best teammate? Has to be Jack Kidd. It is never dull, always eventful and yes he is a nightmare but he is my “brother from another mother”! Before mobiles linked to everything, he was filed under Marmite. Which is your favourite tournament and why? Klosters Snow Polo. I have been involved from day one and it’s always great fun. What can be better that being able to ski all day, play polo under lights in the evening and party with good friends at night. It also helps to have won it twice! Who was the brainchild of AEPC? Myself and Jack Kidd. My dad, Douglas Bunn, was not at all keen at first, but grew to like it. I think he was more delighted that 82 Polo Times, January/February 2013

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I had got back into horses. It all came about due to the FEI (International Equestrian Federation) demanding that Hickstead create new warmup facilities in order to retain its position as the British Venue in show jumping’s Super League Nations Cup Series. I just made it 20 per cent bigger and built walls round it to form an arena. Would the club ever expand into grass polo? I would love it to – I just need investors! I believe the team at Hickstead could do amazing things in grass polo and it would be a great addition to Hickstead’s portfolio.

Before mobiles linked to everything, Jack Kidd was filed under Marmite What is your favourite pastime outside polo? Flying helicopters! It offers an amazing sense of freedom. What is your favourite holiday destination and why? Barbados. It is the most relaxing place I have ever been to, and now it also has fantastic polo facilities. A two-week holiday with four games – perfect. You cannot beat its bright blue sea and

wonderful white sandy beaches. Oh, and the rum is quite good too. Person you would most like to meet? I have been extremely fortunate to have met some incredible people, but Nelson Mandela or Ronald Reagan. What was the first single or album that you ever bought? Making Movies by Dire Straights. What is your favourite film? Top Gun. What is the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you? Crikey, there have been a few! My 30th when I was stripped and handcuffed with my mother sitting 10 yards away! Who has had the biggest influence on your life? My dad. He was an amazing man and achieved so much whilst living life to the full. What is your most surprising feature? The continued desire to keep getting back on a pony. I am always in contention for the “crash of the season” and have broken my shoulder and my left leg playing polo. And I thought Premiership rugby was tough! Describe yourself in three words. Kind, driven and impatient.

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Polo Times JanFeb 2013  

Polo Times JanFeb 2013

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