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Volume 17 • Issue 3 • April 2012 • £5.50

www.polotimes.co.uk

PONY SPECIAL Breeding options investigated Buying ponies for patrons

Get to know: Jock Green-Armytage US patron Marc Ganzi

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Lights, camera, attraction Specialist equine photographer David Sinclair has been causing quite a stir in racing and polo circles with his striking, detailed shots, such as this one. This image shows Edgeworth minus-one-goaler Joseph Champion’s polo ponies, wearing no tack on a shoot at his Cirencester stableyard. Sinclair takes a mobile 35 x 25 foot “theatre background” with him, to cause less hassle for owners and to allow ponies to be photographed in a familiar and roomy environment, which helps create a relaxed pose and beautiful results. “Following the success of my many equine shoots, I’ve now even been receiving work photographing reindeer, rhinos and giraffe,” he tells Polo Times. w Commission David Sinclair yourself by calling him on 07767 471890 or visiting www.shootshorses.com

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Feature

Interview – New Guards Polo Club chairman Jock Green-Armytage

Pastures new: the

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Interview – New Guards Polo Club chairman Jock Green-Armytage

Feature

changing of the Guards Recently-appointed Guards Polo Club chairman Jock Green-Armytage provides an overview of the changes he and new CEO Neil Hobday have instigated over the winter, and confirms the rumours that the club will have control of Coworth Park’s polo operations on their nearby grounds

Herbert Spencer at Guards Polo Club

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changing of the guard at Guards Polo Club has brought major improvements to its high-goal polo facilities, the like of which have not been seen in years. It has all been decided and achieved within months “under new management” – that of board chairman Jock Green-Armytage and chief executive Neil Hobday, both of whom took office just last summer. Most importantly, Guards has completed much-needed and extensive improvements to its Queen’s Ground and Duke’s Ground at Smith’s Lawn in time for play this season. Complaints had been levelled for

Park Polo Club just outside Windsor Great Park, thus taking the pressure off Guards’ two premier home grounds. Canadian-born Jock Green-Armytage, 66, filled me in on these improvements, Guards’ other polo priorities and plans, as well as his own multi-national career when we met at the club recently. Jock was born 6 June 1945 in Winnipeg, capital of the Canadian province of Manitoba just north of the US-Canadian border. His father, a Winnipeg businessman, also owned a ranch on the shore of Lake Manitoba. “There was no polo in my family,” Jock says, “but some of the horses on the ranch were retired polo ponies, bought because they are so easy to handle. I learned to ride when I was five, but my polo playing came much later.” Having earned a BA degree in economics at McGill University in Montreal and then an MBA in finance at Columbia University

“We’ll run the existing fixtures at Coworth, operate a new academy run by Andrew Hine, and have use of their two excellent grounds for Guards events” – Jock Green-Armytage

Photograph by Herbert Spencer

years, and these were upheld with no more compelling evidence than at the rainsoaked Queen’s Cup final last year, when the ground didn’t hold up well at all and the game suffered as a result. An additional benefit this summer in terms of playing surfaces comes with the announcement in March that the club has gained the use of two more high-goal grounds by leasing those at neighbouring Coworth New men at the crease: Neil Hobday and Jock Green-Armytage inspect the drainage lines on Smith’s Lawn

in New York, Jock moved to the UK in 1970 to work with N M Rothschild & Sons. He became an executive director of Rothschild, responsible for the firm’s Asian operations, and relocated to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. “I did a bit of cross country riding in Malaysia,” Jock says, “then learned polo under Dr Vijay Lukshumeyah. Vijay had captained Cambridge and, at five goals, was at the core of the Sultan of Pahang’s team – and, interestingly, he learned his polo from the Australian Bob Skene, who lived in Malaysia before he went to the US and became a u Polo Times, April 2012

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Feature

Breeding – What are the options?

Ensuring your top Deciding how to breed from your mare is a tricky business, particularly as artificial insemination and embryo transfer are fast becoming the norm. Here, Polo Times looks at the options and explains their pros and cons

Georgie May provides an overview

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hen it comes to breeding, there are various options available. Whereas in horse racing only natural covering is legal, in polo there are no rules against using artificial insemination (AI), embryo transfer or even cloning. Technological and scientific advances have seen AI and embryo transfer become increasingly popular in recent years. AI allows the owner to choose from a

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wide range of stallions, as the mare and stallion do not have to be in the same place at the same time. This also applies to embryo transfer, with the added benefit that the mare can continue playing as the embryo is transferred to a surrogate mare. However, there are pros and cons to both, so careful consideration should be taken before deciding which process best suits you and your mare. Cloning has also been a hot topic over the past couple of years, after the first two cloned polo ponies – “carbon-copies” of Mariano Aguerre’s gelding Califa – were born in Texas, USA, in 2010. As well as being slightly controversial, the cost of cloning a horse is more than £100,000 and so it remains a rare occurrence in the breeding world.

Natural covering Obvious as it may sound, natural covering has one clear advantage in that it requires the least technology and was, up until recently, the only way to breed. On the down side, the process requires the mare and stallion to be in the same place, so despite there being an almost unlimited number of polo stallions worldwide, owners only have a limited pool to choose from, as dictated by logistics. If the desired stallion is abroad it can be costly as well as potentially risky to reach. However, if your mare can be taken to the stud where the stallion is kept, the process can be favourable. Horses’ semen has a short life span so with the stallion directly inseminating the mare, the rates of fertilisation are higher. The costs involved www.polotimes.co.uk

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Breeding – What are the options?

Feature

pony isn’t a one-off can also be less, with the owner paying the stud fee, transportation to and from the stud, a few scans, and livery. However, it should certainly be stressed that breeding is by no means “cheap” – there are still vets bills, which can quickly escalate if there are any problems with the pregnancy or foal, and the obvious costs of owning an extra horse. Choosing the right stallion should not be rushed. It is important to analyse the mare that is being bred from – does she have any undesirable traits, problems with

One stallion that looks on course for producing some good quality offspring is Eastwood Stud’s Kalankari. The Irish stallion still holds the track record at Kempton Park racecourse and his offspring are expected to be very athletic. “His oldest offspring are now three years old,” said Aurora Eastwood, who has been breeding for the past nine years. “So far he’s produced all black fillies who are very correct and lovely to look at. My other stallion, Dandy Constancio, who sadly died in 2010, was very quirky – a trait

confirmation, her health etc? If so, choose a stallion that will not replicate these and check he doesn’t have any problems of his own. Find out about his fertility – just as in humans, good quality, fertile semen is more likely to result in a pregnancy. www.polotimes.co.uk

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that he passed on to his offspring. However, with the correct handling and upbringing, some have turned out to be brilliant. I take mares in for Kalankari to cover naturally, but I do AI as well, which I’m leaning more towards.”

Artificial insemination (AI) AI is an ideal choice for those that have a mare they want to breed from but do not have direct access to their chosen stallion – and thus the choice of stallions ultimately increases. It also works in favour of the owner of the stallion: the stallion can continue playing uninterrupted; he can produce many more offspring than he would through natural covering; frozen semen can be used after the stallion’s death, and if the owner is looking to geld the stallion, semen can be frozen and used later. It is generally assumed that AI is cheaper than natural covering but this quite often isn’t the case, as the process is much more technical. The broodmare will need to be monitored closely, either by a vet or at the stud farm, to see when she is close to ovulating. Once this has been discovered, u Photograph by Beaufort Embryo Transfer Centre

“We currently have a 75 per cent embryo recovery rate and a 80 per cent pregnancy rate, so clients are rarely disappointed” – Beaufort Embryo Transfer Centre’s Emma Tomlinson

Above: young foals enjoying their surroundings at the Beaufort Embryo Transfer Centre in Gloucestershire

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Reports

The Bryan Morrison Arena International, Hickstead: England vs USA

The USA’s John Gobin clashes with England captain Chris Hyde in the Test Match

Special relationship tested Traditional statistics typically predict victory for the home side whenever these two friendly nations face each other, but England’s widely anticipated win this year was considerably harder than had been expected

Herbert Spencer

Photograph by Tony Ramirez

at AEPC, Hickstead

England USA

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ngland defeated the USA by three goals last month to take the Hurlingham Polo Association’s Bryan Morrison Trophy at the

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All-England Polo Club, Hickstead, but not before the Yanks’ tardily reconstituted team put up a spirited fight. Fans were disappointed not to see America’s new 10-goal arena star, Tommy Biddle, in action here. Biddle, 43, withdrew from the USA team just a couple of weeks before the international test, citing pro-am commitments in Florida. This meant that both the US Polo Association and the HPA had to quickly change their line-ups, with England dropping to 19 goals and the USA to 18. The changes opened a slot on the visitors’

team for Texan Steve Krueger, 24, who had been listed by the USPA with a three-goal arena handicap but who was raised just before the test to six. Although not a regular arena player, he performed admirably against England, scoring six of the USA’s nine goals. Most valuable player

John Gobin The HPA and the All-England club were lucky with the weather – just. The day started www.polotimes.co.uk

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The Bryan Morrison Arena International, Hickstead: England vs USA

Reports

How did they perform? Herbert marks the finalists out of 10, based on their effectiveness in terms of handicap

England Danny Muriel (4) Coming down from his familiar surroundings of the Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club to play at number one, Muriel performed very well, given he was the lowest-handicapped player in the Test, providing effective backup to skipper Hyde as well as scoring field goals to keep England ahead in the first and second chukkas.

Photograph by Tony Ramirez

Max Charlton (6) Max appeared to some observers to be somewhat off his game, despite scoring with a field goal and a penalty conversion in the third chukka. Without Max at his best, which was uncharacteristic, England looked less than the well-balanced and disciplined team it could have been.

Chris Hyde, in action above and celebrating with the trophy below, stood out as he propelled England to victory

with a chill rain, but the precipitation stopped and the sun came out in time for the warm-up high-goal match preceding the international. The test attracted a larger than usual crowd, with spectators ranged two or three deep on two tiers of viewing platforms between the clubhouse and the arena. All-England’s arena is one of the biggest and best in the country

and the 150x50 metre playing area offered ample opportunity for the ponies to get up some speed. I was again bemused, however, by the difficulty in controlling the English arena ball. u

Chris Hyde (9) As the highest-rated player in the arena, Chris was close to his top form in both attack and defence. Playing as captain, he was not so much a playmaker as a roving powerhouse, ranging all over the arena after the ball. He scored three in a row in the third and fourth chukkas.

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USA

Photograph by Kieran Galvin

Steve Krueger (6) Steve was an arena standout in 2010, winning the USPA Intercollegiate National Championship for Texas A&M University and being named an all-star and intercollegiate player of the year. He has not played arena polo since then, but he looked very much at home on the small stage against England as the USA’s top scorer. To my mind he should have been named most valuable player of the test.

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Carlos Galindo (6) Unfortunately the enthusiastic Carlos contributed little to the USA team effort, looking at a loss at times and, worst still, occasionally obstructing the play of both teams. Unlike Gobin, he seemed to find it harder to adapt to the English rules.

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John Gobin (6) USA skipper John again showed his prowess as a hard-riding arena player, providing seasoned leadership of the team all over the arena. Magnanimous in defeat, he praised “the ponies provided us by the HPA and the whole organisation” and, as chairman of the USPA’s Arena committee, he suggested they might be wise to adopt the English hit-in rule after a goal.

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Youth polo

SUPA Senior Schools Arena Championship, Rugby

Presented by

The sun and Cheltenham College shine brightest Cheltenham College won two SUPA titles as the sun finally came out at Rugby

Michael Hobday reports from Rugby

Photographs by Peter James Photography

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hat a difference a month makes. At the SUPA University Championships at the end of February it was -10 degrees. In early March at the SUPA Girl’s Schools Championships it snowed. Yet, I’m glad to report, the SUPA Senior Schools tournament at Rugby Polo Club on Sunday 11 March was the most glorious day, with the sun shining throughout. The two fields at Rugby Arena allowed SUPA organiser Ann Spicer to arrange a full, but manageable day – incorporating Novice, Intermediate and Senior Sections. The day, supported by Carol Baker of Willoughby Park Polo Gear and photographed by Peter James, was a great success and Ann’s team of able helpers (too many to mention!) ran the two grounds superbly, finishing only 10 minutes behind schedule. This was no mean feat, with 36 teams competing across six different competitions. This year’s tournament saw the welcome addition of several new teams and a whole host of new young players. A team from Taunton joined the ranks in the Senior section, while in the Combined section Leadenham Polo Club fielded four players new to school polo. Despite a strong effort, Leadenham missed out on the Combined Final, where an excellent Sandhurst/ Merrist Wood team beat Winchcombe, who included Leadenham’s Jack Ketch. The day started on a high note with Marlborough pulling off a surprise victory Ned Goehuis of Rugby (in blue) battles with Tommy Beresford and Tom Brodie of Wellington College

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SUPA Senior Schools Arena Championship, Rugby

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.

Tom Parry-Jones of SUPA Schools newcomers Taunton School shows his riding ability in a match against Stowe

against favourites Wellington in the Senior section. This set the tone of the day and standards of play were up in all levels. The play in the Senior section was always strong, with several players standing out including Marlborough’s Chris Pritchard. The combined strength of the Severn brothers (Jack and Oli) and JJ Alba for Cheltenham, saw them take the overall title, albeit after sudden death penalties were needed to separate them from Marlborough. The Intermediate section was split into three different competitions. The Upper Intermediate was won once again by Cheltenham College, who saw off a spirited Shrewsbury team. In the middle Intermediate, Rugby B took the title with a hardfought final victory against Radley, while in the Lower Intermediate final an all-Rugby affair saw Rugby C come out on top against Rugby E. The Novice section, for the starters in polo, proved a very difficult section to call. Stowe School eventually ran out as the winners, beating Wellington in the final. Hector Worsley of Stowe School plays a shot

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The best player/pony combination, chosen by the umpires of the day (Mikey Henderson, Glynn Henderson and Harold Hodges) went to Mareda, played by Jack Hyde and owned by Phil Meadows. Looking to the future, SUPA is considering introducing a four-chukka arena league next year, similar to the outdoor league that will run this summer. F ◗ See page 86 for social pictures from the SUPA Girls' Schools Tournament u Roll of Honour Senior School Arena Champions: Winners – Cheltenham College; Runner-up – Marlborough College Upper Intermediate Schools Arena Champions: Winners – Cheltenham College; Runner-up – Shrewsbury Intermediate Schools Arena Champions: Winners – Rugby B; Runner-up – Radley Lower Intermediate Schools Arena Champions: Winners – Rugby C; Runner-up – Rugby E Novice Schools Arena Champions: Winners – Stowe School; Runner-up – Wellington Combined Arena Champions: Winners – Sandhurst/Merrist Wood; Runner-up – Winchcombe/Leadenham

It is often said that nature cannot be altered by nurture, that the personal qualities a child is born with determine who they become. That is not my experience. While it is unquestionably true that everyone has an individual personality, how that person develops into him or her self is governed by the quality of guidance they receive from parents and other adults responsible for their upbringing. Thus, their attitude is key. For the most part, parents do an excellent job. They set reasonable boundaries that are enforced with kindness, loving attention and, when needed, firm and fair discipline. They seed ambition early on, and instil a determination to persevere when faced with difficult challenges. They listen to their children, adjusting rules as children mature. Children raised in these environments feel safe; they know how to earn praise and respect for their actions and achievements. Families often consult me when something is going wrong. A child may be failing at school, or may have lost interest in a sport for which he or she has a talent. Worse still, he or she may have become involved with unsuitable friends, be making poor choices, or behaving inappropriately. Almost all these kinds of situations have at their root cause insufficient structure for a child, unclear boundaries or, perhaps most commonly of all, inconsistent reward systems. I often meet children who have given up because they see no point in trying to reach the goals they have been set. No matter how well they do, it is never enough for their parents. Reaching one goal does not result in a celebration. Instead, the bar is raised and expectations increased. Polo players know the importance of setting reasonable targets, and the satisfaction that comes from reaching them before setting sights higher. This pattern should be applied to all areas of a young person’s development.

◗ 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, April 2012

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Knowledge

How to spend it

New Range Rover raises The new Range Rover Evoque convertible Last year Range Rover moved the goalposts in the SUV market by releasing their smallest ever car – the Evoque, which stands at just five feet tall. This year the Midlands-based manufacturers have pushed the boat out even further by unveiling the world’s first convertible SUV – the Range Rover Evoque Convertible Concept, which was given its first public showing at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show in mid-March. A production date for the convertible Evoque has not yet been set, but Land Rover Design Director, Gerry McGovern, is excited about the prospects for the future. He said: “The Evoque lends itself beautifully to the idea of a convertible. We have worked with the balance of the Evoque’s lines to retain its distinctive shape and create something that is unique and, we believe, highly desirable.” The original Evoque has been on sale for six months and has enjoyed strong sales throughout the world. Price to be confirmed

London Silver Vaults The polo world is full of players and patrons who are experts at getting their hands on silverware. However, off the field, it takes a real expert to acquire fine silver. London Silver Vaults boast the world’s largest retail collection of fine antique silver and includes everything from a silver champagne swizzle stick and a full size silver armchair to historic polo trophies and tennis plates. For more visit www.thesilvervaults.com

Dröm Saunas After a gruelling day on the polo field, where better to unwind than in your own private, luxurious sauna or steam room? Dröm UK – who specialise in the innovative design, supply and installation of high quality saunas, steam rooms, steam showers and 76

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wetrooms – is the very best when it comes to making a personal statement in your home. Every project is tailored to suit individual requirements and a full advisory customer service is offered. For more see www.dromuk. com or call 01932 355655. From £5,000 www.polotimes.co.uk

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How to spend it

the roof

The most expensive t-shirt in the world

From £191,430 ($300,000)

This month’s new hobby – WMS Firearms Training ranges and offers a wide variety of sessions for target shooters, deer stalkers, trophy hunters, police firearms officers, maritime security and military personnel. Experience days – such as “Sniper for the Day” – are particularly popular, where participants can try their hand at shooting a variety of steel reactive targets from distances of 50 to 1,700 metres using .22 and .762 rifles. Some of the targets are identical to those used in military and police sniper training. Weekend breaks for private groups can be arranged at the nearby Maesmawr Hall. Gift vouchers are available. For more info see www.wmsfirearmstraining.org Prices from £220 per person www.polotimes.co.uk

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Finances – IG Index

Experts are agreed, you can’t beat a good spread

Indie t-shirt designers Threadless have teamed up with UNICEF to produce the world’s most expensive t-shirt. The cargo plane Good Shirt costs a whopping $300,000. This is not a money-making exercise, though, as 100 per cent of the money will go straight to UNICEF to help fund life-saving relief efforts for children in the Horn of Africa. $300,000 is the estimated cost of a cargo plane full of food and supplies. See www.threadless.com for more.

If you are looking for a new pursuit off the polo field that can offer the same adrenalin rush as playing in front of a packed grandstand at Guards or Cowdray Park – the WMS Firearms Training facility could be just the place for you. Set in 5,000 acres of stunning Welsh countryside in Powys, the WMS shooting facility is one of the UK’s leading rifle shooting

Knowledge

With any luck, the uncertain financial times and constant doom and gloom brought about by talk of recession are behind us. Nevertheless, even amid the financial trough of the last few years, one financial company that has continued to go from strength to strength is IG Index. Part of the IG Group Holdings plc, IG Index is recognised as the UK’s most popular financial spread-betting company. Spread betting is an alternative to traditional trading, which allows people to place bets on whether they think a specific market will go up or down. The further the market moves in the direction predicted, the greater the profit. Conversely, the more the market moves against you, the more you lose. In the UK, spread betting, unlike traditional trading, is tax-free. IG Index, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index, has more than 130,000 clients worldwide and is responsible for over five million transactions every month. The company is based in London, but has 14 global offices on five continents. IG offers a free six-week education course to each of its members to get them up to speed with the ins and outs of spread-betting. Bets can start at just 10 pence per point, to bed you in gently. Free online seminars from experts, such as IG’s chief market strategist David Jones, cover more advanced areas like risk management and trading strategies. The IG Index has been a world leader in spread-betting for more than 35 years, yet it continues to go from strength to strength, with 2011 being one of its most successful years yet. The company’s turnover of £320.4m was a 7.3 per cent increase on 2010, while its profit was up 3.4 per cent to £163m. For more information about the company, visit www.igindex.co.uk

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Photographs by Alice Gipps

Knowledge

The clubhouse bar area, which looks out on the polo

The great escape T

The simple, stylish decor of a typical bedroom

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hailand offers an enviable choice when it comes to polo resorts, and the third International Ladies’ Tournament (covered on page 52) has once again done much to help establish Polo Escape, near Pattaya, on the polo map. Launched in 2007, Polo Escape offers accommodation for up to 30 travelling guests and a full range of services including riding and polo lessons for beginners and intermediate levels. The club and its full-time vet stable and look after more than 100 horses, though around 30 per cent of those belong to the club’s local

patrons, who enjoy the use of the property’s large paddocks and training tracks along with guests. The resort lies a 90-minute drive from downtown Bangkok, but just one hour from the international airport, and has 10 simple and stylish country-style lodge rooms annexed to the stables, plus five peaceful, more secluded individual villas. They run 12 full polo tournaments, ranging from 4-12 goals, during their season, which runs from November to April, but chukkas are available all year round, with tuition provided by Argentine professionals. www.polotimes.co.uk

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Travel – Polo Escape, Thailand

The view across the infinity pool, made from sustainable materials, which overlooks the club’s main polo ground

“Away from the polo, trail rides around the club through the rubber and coconut plantations, lush with eucalyptus, and pineapples are an option during your stay, as are elephant rides to the beach or boat trips to the local islands,” said English zero-goaler Alice Gipps, who travelled to play at Polo Escape in February. “While many chose to lounge by the centrepiece infinity pool overlooking the manicured polo field, or take a Thai massage to ease away any aches and pains, the more energetic made use of the on-site gym or took trips to see the stunning surrounding mountains or the local beach town Pattaya, some 20 minutes away, which has an incredible floating market.” All set against typically dazzling sunsets and a cool breeze day and night in Thailand, maybe it’s time to escape to the country. F ◗ See also pages 52 and 88

Knowledge

The traditional floating market nearby

Essentials Contact Polo Escape, 9 Moo 13 Tumbon Hueyai, Amphur Banglamung, Cholburi 20150, Thailand Tel: +66 2 663 0450-4; +66 2 258 0194-5 Email: polo@poloescape.com; kuppa@loxinfo.co.th Visit: www.poloescape.com Costs Rates from 3,000 Baht (approx £60) per night for a basic room and breakfast up to 10,000 Baht (approx £200) for a villa. Discounts to room rates can be given if polo packages are purchased, available on request. Chukkas start at 4,000 Baht (approx £80) per horse. Round-trip airport transfer = 5,000-6,000 Baht (£100-120) Fly with British Airways, Thai International, EVA Air, Cathay Pacific or Singapore Airlines

The sandy beach at the club’s local town, Pattaya

A massage table in the Polo Escape on-site spa

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