Polo Quarterly Spring 2017

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The magazine for Players, Patrons and Polo Enthusiasts • SPRING 2017 £5

Boosting polo’s popularity: The PQ prescription

Fighting for our future! Exclusive: 2017 British Polo Survey

Grow your own ponies: Can you power-up your string and keep cash in your pocket?

ISSN 1361-3243

9 771361 324005


E X P E R I E N C E T H E E X C E P T I O N A L® P R I N C E S S YA C H T S . C O M

Princess 40M – M/Y ANKA

EDITORIAL The magazine for Players, Patrons and Polo Enthusiasts

Resilience and determined positivity will win the day


t has been very much the winter of our

to ensure its future. Friendliness, inclusivity, fun and

discontent due to the visa crisis, but as I

sustainability must be at the core of the sport.

write this – despite frost on the ground two

days shy of May – true British resilience

this summer at everything from -8 goal right up to 22

has shone through. It seems to be business

goal. Every level provides enjoyment for the players and

as usual for most players, with ponies in

everyone, no matter if with one pony or 10, contributes

Thousands of games and chukkas will be played

and chukkas being played.

to the game in some way. So let us enjoy everything that

UK and European polo has to offer, and start the season

The visa crisis is far from over though, and emotions

continue to run high. Our Argentine friends feel

with a sense of determined positivity!

aggrieved and must be placated – rumours of blocks on British players playing in Argentina will help no-one.

We must come together to not only find solutions

for the Home Office shenanigans, but also to address the wider issue of encouraging new players and investigating commercial possibilities for polo around the world. Polo

POLO Quarterly


is a game many of us live by, and we must all collaborate

Aurora Eastwood

Editor-in-chief: Aurora Eastwood (aurora@pqinternational.com) Executive editor: Chris Rosamond (chris@pqinternational.com) Advertising sales: +44 (0)1903 882394 (ads@pqinternational.com) Editorial enquiries +44 (0)1962 888569 Creative direction: Paul Harpin (www.paulharpin.com) Graphic design: Jo Evernden (www.joevernden.com) Printing: Pureprint Group, Uckfield, TN22 1PH, UK Polo Quarterly International is published by: Blue Pony Media, South Wonston Farm, SO21 3HL, UK Follow PQ at: www.facebook.com/pqinternational Thank you for supporting PQ magazine.

Spring 2017 • PQ




kitbag Presents for the ones you love


cookie Aces the PQ pony test

PQ PQ Gallery Polo pictures A trio of our favourite images 10

PQ Kit bag Playing kit For the well-dressed rider and pony. 16 STYLE & Accessories Feeling the need, the need for tweed! 18 PQ STYLE PROMO There’s a heatwave on its way. (Surely?) 20

PQ FEATURES PQ PONY TEST There’s no substitute for age and experience. (So we sent Aurora.) 22 ThE PQ PRescription For saving polo... nothing drastic then. 24


2017 British polo survey Here’s what you told us. (At least the bits that are fit to print.) 34

more bums on seats And how to get them

POP-up polo Polo’s ‘alternative’ summer highlights. 40


PQ Travel

pop-up polo Life’s a beach

Norwegians would.... ...possibly prefer a week in the sun? 42 Happy Valley Polo For your happy polo hols. 47

PQ FAshion fashion with philosophy Does your wardrobe reflect your passion? 48


PQ Cars Electric dreams Don’t startle the horses, with the silent-running Tesla Model X. 56

Brrr... Knackered and cold – your holiday heaven?


Isuzu woos You... ...with its hottest pick-up line. (Yup. We’re here all week!) 58

model x Is it a bird, is it a plane..?

PQ Unsung hero Where there’s a will... Keeping Ham Polo Club on track. 62

PQ FEATURES Grow your own ponies Can’t afford the Argentina air fares? Neither can we... 64

PQ on the pitch From the UK, UAE & USA And some places we can’t pronounce. 68

PQ property Spanish special Converted convent or watermill. What’s your pleasure? 90

PQ tailgate And the LAST word goes to... Guards polo manager Antony Fanshawe. 98

Cover image: ‘Battle Cry’ by Jacqueline Stanhope


US Open Where stars collide

90 blessed? The sun always shines in Sotogrande


Playing with the big boys The two greatest players in the world, Facundo Pieres and Adolfo Cambiaso, do battle in front of a packed US Open stand. When not playing, the two are on a mission to support local clubs in Argentina. Photography: Matias Callejo


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England make it three in a row Adolpho Casabal on the ball for England at Hickstead, closely followed by Harold Hodges. England are a dominant force in arena polo, good news for the game’s diversification. Photography: Tony Ramirez

Spring 2017 • PQ



Bucolic English polo scenes This evocation of summer polo by our cover artist Jacqueline Stanhope is a great reminder of what we need to preserve. Ponies resting under gentle trees, warm sun and the clink of glasses off... www.jacquelinestanhopefineart.com


PQ • Spring 2017

Spring 2017 • PQ


P Q ki t b a g

Masta Fly Rug Summer can be a pain for ponies, besieged by flies and getting bleached by the sun. Fly rugs can be a bit hot - but not this clever semi see-through offering from Masta. 1000 denier for strength and shoulder gussets to prevent rubbing. £70 from www.masta.co.uk

Hot new picks for players, ponies and couch potatoes Beetle Grackle

NEW: A brilliant, hi-tech rug from Masta. The

combined noseband

Protechmasta and matching leg wraps enhances the

Poor polo ponies. All covered in straps

natural Far Infra-Red waves (FIR waves) in the body to help

and buckles. Well cut down now with

the wearer feel more energised and relaxed. Hundreds of

this very clever integrated cavesson and

threads in the rug are blended with special ceramic powders

grackle noseband from Kate Negus. It’s

that generate FIR waves. The waves are absorbed by water

super comfortable and does away with

molecules in the body which start to vibrate a little more

a whole strap, meaning more comfort

than usual, creating a gentle heating effect. This helps

and fewer pressure point for your pony.

increase core and muscle temperature, widen blood vessels

PQ tried and it loved it - and so did our

and enhance circulation which all helps tired, tense or stiff

test pony, Cuervo! Comes in black or

muscles. £135 from www.masta.co.uk Watch a video too:

chestnut and sizes cob or full. RRP £165


Aquapac waterproof phone case We’ve all dropped our phone while on a horse - it doesn’t always end well...Fear no more with this clip on lightweight case from Aquapac - it’s waterproof too, so you can even drop your phone into a water trough and it will survive. £14 from www.aquapac.net


Hats, rugs and intimate undergarments for you or 16

PQ • Spring 2017

Armis Polo helmet with MIPS Tick tock...the new helmet rule kicks in on 1st January - all players in the UK must wear a hat to an approved standard. PAS015 is one of the safest, and this new

Polo, Jilly Cooper’s book

helmet meets that criteria and looks damn cool too. It’s

that launched a thousand

the brainchild of polo player Robin Spicer and is made

players - well at least this

with Charles Owen, so you get innovative design with the

one! First published in 1991,

security of one of the leaders in safe riding helmets. The

it is still the funniest and

helmet features the Multi-Directional Impact Protection

most accurate depiction of

System, as used in helmets in other sports. MIPS reduces

polo in the world of fiction.

the sudden rotation of the brain in some impacts, thus

Much hilarity in real life still

reducing trauma. The helmet is fully customisable too.

ensues when it is discovered

The future is here and you can buy it now from retailers

who the more salacious

such as Polo Splice. From £430 including headband and

goings-on were based on…

protective case (customising extra) www.armispolo.com

£9.98 www.amazon.co.uk

Control the bounce… The Amazons presumably had few problems with a near-side forehand, but you needn’t take such drastic measures to keep the bounce in check. Eliminate unwanted interference with the Aztec Diamond sports bra. We have your back...and front! £25 from www.aztecdiamondequestrian.com

Aryton Senna Balance the copies of PQ on the coffee table with Skira Editore’s recent photography book on the career and private life of iconic Brazilian F1 driver Todhpurs

Ayrton Senna. With one hundred photographs

The sooner you start polo the better you will get...

by legendary F1 photographer Ercole Colombo,

shoe your pony-riding toddler in these gorgeous

the book covers the most important moments

little mini jodhpur boots and they can get off on the

in Senna’s life. It concludes with the thoughts,

right... foot. They are made from real leather with a

contradictions, and feelings of his last night, and

stretchy bit on the side and a loop for parents to pull

the terrible accident that cost him his life. £34.99

them on. £39.99 from www.todhpurs.co.uk

your favourite companion. We’re very open-minded... Spring 2017 • PQ


PQ Style Pocket Rocket No, not a small pony - a pocket square! Spruce up your formal accessories with the Pocket Rocket Skulls pocket square. Expertly crafted from the finest silk, the designer handkerchief features a striking sixties style print. Ideal to add a punch of colour, the silk pocket square will spice up any shirt and blazer combo. £59.99 www.toppocketrocket.com

Spring is in the air... We Love Tweed!

and more tweed!

The Watson Jacket in pear

Summer may be coming but this is England, after all, so

green is from Butler Stewart.

you will need a jacket. How about this gorgeous Timothy

Founder Anna Butler had a

Foxx Isla Jacket in Igloo Blue, which gives a delicious twist

vision of creating an own-brand

to this season’s ‘Cool Blue’ fashion trend story. £335 from

company using the finest British


fabric to create understated British elegance. We think she’s nailed it. £350 from www.butlerstewart.co.uk

Stripes all the way Not forgetting the men of course - it’s getting warmer, so how about this lovely striped lined Thornham shirt also from Schoffel, made from 100% linen. £69.99 www.schoffel.co.uk

...but English tweed doesn’t care about the seasons. 18

PQ • Spring 2017

Don’t get caught out in the rain with the stunning technical ladies BR2 Musto peacoat - Constructed from Musto’s high tech proprietary BR2 fabric, this garment provides all-weather protection, enhanced by a high, shaped collar and a fully adjustable, zip-off hood. £399 www.musto.com It’s all about equal opportunities, so here is the gent’s version: Fully seam taped and waterproof to Musto’s BR2 standard, this jacket gives you complete weather protection. It is highly breathable so you stay cool on warm, rainy days. £399 also from www.musto.com

Don’t sweat it… wear the Montane Sonic Tee for men (£40) and women (£30); a light wicking base layer with Polygiene anti-microbial treatment preventing the growth of odour-causing bacteria. www.montane.co.uk

Fitted shirts look great...

Don’t lose a shoe

this ladies’ Suffolk shirt also from Schoffel.

With these Lovebrand Lucky Catch swimming shorts with horseshoe

Gently fitted for a flattering but traditional

print. 5% of profits are donated to wildlife conservation, so you are

look. £59.95 www.schoffel.co.uk

doing your bit while splashing in the sea. £130 www.lovebrand.com

(But we’ll care if you try wearing beach shorts to polo...) Spring 2017 • PQ


P Q P ro m o

Never lose your spot on the beach again with an eye-catching towel. La Selena, £63.

Explore your destination

Are you ready to feel the heat?

Hollywood style, with classic co-ordinates. Easy Top, £170 Sheer Pants, £145

Ethical Collection’s Giovanna Steele curates the perfect holiday collection

Glide from day to evening with an eyecatching all-in-one. Drop Sleeve Jumpsuit, £354

A playful pom-pom hat will shield

These statement sandals show

Sweep seamlessly from the market

Weave your way through the streets

faces from the sun.

true holiday style. Hand beaded

to the beach with a bright bag.

with a simple straw hat. Straw

Guajiro Hat, £107

Multicolour Leather Sandals, £55

Hand-woven Fiesta Basket, £46

Navigator Brisa Fedora, £70

A bright jumper to stand out in the crowd.

Upstage architecture and embrace your modern

Add some mystery with these vintage-style rockstar

Gemma Jumper, £96

elegance with a sleek tote. Leather Tote, £228

shades. Lind Recycled Sunglasses, £152

Summer’s on it’s way, and you want to look hot, hot, hot! 20

PQ • Spring 2017

All at www.ethicalcollection.com

New York - Porto Montenegro


Photography Matthew Darwin


Here we go again! Cookie patiently performs for another ‘learner driver’ who thinks they know it all... For being such a good sport, Cookie (here with owner Heloise WilsonSmith) wins a set of High Impact boots worth £120 from our friends at www.thehusk.co.uk


PQ • Spring 2017

Coo k ie : vital statisti c s Age: 22 Height: 14.3hh Breed: Argentine Polo Pony

We all love a polo school stalwart... ...and Cookie’s classic performance belies her impressive mileage


Q has not forgotten the hidden heroes of the game - the trusty school ponies. Not every pony can be a high goal champion and nor should they; people can’t start polo on a finely-tuned Ferrari - they need something a little more… predictable. Enter Cookie – not her original name! A tender 22-years old, Cookie has unfortunately lost her service book somewhere along the way, so her current owners don’t know that much about her. “We bought her from Martin ‘Sticky’ Glue about six years ago,” says Sean Wilson-Smith, of the Hampshire Polo School where Cookie is a stalwart member of the school pony lineup. “She was owned by a Sara Hale (a medium goal patron) before us, so she must have played some good polo.” Cookie has been steadily racking up the teaching hours since; at the rate of about five per week. This means she has now given about 1560 hours of fun and new skills to many hundreds of beginner players.

So what is she like from the saddle? PQ editor Aurora jumped aboard for a recent test ride. “She’s quite forward actually, and I was expecting something much more ploddy. She pulls lots of comical faces when cantering and drifts towards the gate a little, but that’s to be expected of a pony who works a lot in an arena. “She’s super comfortable and has a nice stride for such a small pony - they can be a bit short and choppy but she isn’t. She was quick off the leg and very willing to go into canter - again, school ponies can be a bit lazy. Cookie definitely isn’t! “She feels perfectly safe though, and it’s nice that she still has a bit of spark about her.”

PQ V erdi c t :

MKI Golf GTI: A classic performer, still showing the youngsters a clean pair of heels

Spring 2017 • PQ


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Pitching for polo’s future Photography IMAGESOFPOLO.COM

Too few players and not enough cash. PQ editor Aurora Eastwood confronts polo’s participation problem

Plenty of ponies, but where are all the polo people?


here is something of a crisis in polo around the world, including Argentina and the USA. Too few patrons, not enough commercial sponsorship - and no one knows quite what to do about it. Does the pro-am model even work any more and if not, what are the alternatives? Is it really rocket science, or are we simply not working hard enough to address the issues? Here at PQ we don’t pretend to have all the answers, but we do know that something needs to change at the heart of our sport. If nothing else, the conversation about the future of polo has to be opened up, and the issues frankly acknowledged. Only then can a strategy be set in train that will engage future generations of riders and players with this wonderful ‘game of kings’. There are many pressures facing polo, but when you strip it down to basics the problem seems clear. Not enough people play polo, or are inclined to take it up.


PQ • Spring 2017

Painting a picture by numbers There are only 11 teams playing high goal in the UK this season (at the time of printing). Only a few short years ago we had 22 teams, then 16, and now... a 50% drop in less than a decade. In fact, there aren’t enough people playing polo at any level, while other equine sports are prospering. Just look at these membership numbers: British Horse Society: 96,000+ Affiliated Dressage: 54,000+ Affiliated Eventing: 16,000+ Affiliated Showjumping: 16,000+ Pony Club: 34,000+ HPA: Fewer than 2,800 We complain that there isn’t enough British talent at the top, but with so few people playing, why is anyone surprised? To get better players at the top we need more people to take it up. To make polo a viable career or industry, we need more

HPA Junior polo people to take it up. For the rest of the equine world to take it seriously, we need more people to take it up. For polo to make sense commercially, yes, you guessed it, we need more people to take it up.

Why are there so few players? One of the problems is that polo sits apart from the other horse sports. While other equestrian sports sit within the British Equestrian Federation (BEF) and benefit from everything the organisation has to offer – lobbying and strategy on shared issues, education, promotion and even funding – polo ploughs its lonely furrow. The game is barely on the radar for anyone other than the few who already play it, and polo is not in the vocabulary of the average rider. Polo is viewed as unattainable and costly – a view ironically not helped by its Royal associations – and players are thought of as poor riders. Our ponies are even reckoned to receive substandard care and attention; treated as machines and not horses. Alec Miles, an event rider and senior BHS coach who I recently persuaded to try one of my ponies, illustrated how entrenched the misconceptions can be. “I thought of polo as really elitist and expensive,” he admits. “I assumed ponies were treated harder and had a hard working life compared to a hack that just plods about, or a lower level dressage horse that just walks and trots. “It was a surprise to find you need much more balance, and there’s much less reliance on the reins than I was expecting.” If such stalwarts of the horse world have so little insight into polo, there’s a staggering PR job to be done. Riders need to know polo can be affordable, that it’s fun for both players and ponies, and that good polo players have advanced riding skills that deserve to be more widely admired.

Why is HPA membership so low? At present only paid-up playing club members can become HPA members. This is very limiting as Pony Club polo, SUPA members, people playing instructional chukkas and non-playing supporters all fall outside of the HPA, and either can’t join or have no incentive to do so. In the case of the Pony Club and SUPA, various chains of events mean they are now operating independently of the HPA. Somehow, they need to be brought back under the HPA umbrella, as factionalised groups will not help polo. We’ve spoken informally to people within SUPA, the Pony Club and the HPA who all seem aware of the issues, but as yet there’s little sign of a unified strategy emerging.

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Increasing polo’s popularity What will it take to get more bums on saddles?


e play polo – mostly – because it’s fun, but Polo used to be much more social. Tournaments and chukkas were generally followed by a few drinks in the clubhouse, or a BBQ, or a party. Now everyone jumps into their cars and lorries and tear off into the distance, desperate to get to the next game, or back to the children, or back to the office. Clubs, professionals and patrons need to work harder to

Does your polo club make adequate provision for families?


PQ • Spring 2017

bring back the social element. Clubs should make provisions for children so that players can bring their families. They need to organise those BBQs, picnics and parties. Professionals should make friends with patrons and do seasonal deals, not just rock up from one game to another. The culture of polo needs to be rebooted at the grassroots level, and we all need to make more time for our game and the fellowship of friends who play it. Most of all though, we need to make polo more affordable at all levels, and start promoting our sport far more passionately – and effectively – to newcomers.

Affordability People born in the ’80s are less well-off and have less disposable income than people born in the ’70s (source: BBC). It’s even worse for people born in the ’90s. Polo however, is getting more expensive. The problem is obvious.

grassroots polo There are around a thousand people across the country playing instructional chukkas week in, week out, who never make the step up to playing club polo. They can have an hour’s fun for £50, £60 or £70, only to be told the next step is to pay the same amount for a single chukka on a hireling, lasting a mere six or seven minutes. To play a game, lasting roughly an hour, will cost them at least £200 in pony hire. The logic to continue playing instructional chukkas is irrefutable as the value for money seems poor, on a £/minute basis. Especially when you consider that you can hire a hunter from £150 for a whole day. So how do hirers explain charging ten times (£/minute) the instructional rate for club chukkas? “The risks (to the ponies) do go up a lot in club polo,” reckons Jess Andrews of Tidworth Polo Club. “In instructionals we have a lot more control over what the ponies are doing. We can stop people or ban riding off, for example.”

Pros like Pieres and Cambiaso (below) are in a...

...different earnings league to the average UK pro

high goal polo The top end has also become too expensive. Even 10 goalers are realising they can’t continue to charge so much, because there aren’t enough very wealthy patrons who want to employ them. We know that one 10 goaler is trimming his organisation due to this realisation, and he isn’t alone. The message needs to trickle down to mid-tier professionals, who need to get creative on their incomes and be more transparent on their pricing in an effort to encourage patrons back in.

Ladies polo still needs more encouragement Plus, there are other costs when hiring ponies for chukkas. “It is more labour intensive because it takes longer to prepare ponies for multiple chukkas,” she says. To create value for money ‘next steps’ polo, could more clubs roll out the pony club/SUPA format of one or two chukka matches, spread out over the day? This allows the single pony owner to have fun (as one pony may play three chukkas spaced out over a day), spreads out the rewards for someone hiring a pony, and by default encourages more time spent at the club. Because there is less physical stress on the pony at this level, hirers can charge less. “We already operate a sliding scale for hire costs” says Jess. “Lower levels start at £55, and people can share a place with someone else if they only want to hire for two chukkas, for example”.

Spiralling costs need to be addressed

Professional incomes If mid-tier pros need to make pricing more attractive to potential patrons, how else might incomes be sustainable? Polo hasn’t figured out how to market itself to big corporate sponsors yet (that’s another story…), and there are no big money backers to fund all-pro teams. Even 8, 9 and 10

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goalers don’t have it easy, so what about those playing at 7 goals or under? Teach: Eventing, dressage and showjumping pros all spend a good portion of their time teaching, including those at the very top level. So do golfers, tennis players, and concert pianists. They earn money from it, and they spread knowledge and inspire. So why is finding a leading polo player who teaches akin to searching for unicorn poo? There are almost none, yet clinics and private lessons are good earners and help everyone. The rewards are there for those who want to work hard and innovate. Sell horses: One person’s ‘reject’ is another’s pony of a lifetime. There is always demand for safe and straightforward ponies, and there are not enough people producing them. Most professional players, if they get themselves organised, can bring on and sell a few horses per year. Corporate partners: There are companies out there looking for affluent and engaged audiences, and for opportunities to raise their profile. Players and clubs could be surprised to learn that even if they aren’t playing high goal, there may be brands who want to get involved. Begin by raising your profile with local news outlets and on social media, and start to network for opportunities. Maybe start by offering team building days to companies. If you don’t ask (and have a good proposal) nothing will happen.

Affordability initiatives It’s not just the low goal clubs who can be more creative. Chris Bethell, Cowdray Park manager, has come up with £150 weekend games. The £150 gets you a game on one of the club’s grounds (not Lawns 1 - steady on!), organised by Chris. There will be an umpire but no goal judges. It means people can have fun on great pitches, at a set time on a weekend, paired with other individuals of similar ability for a reasonable price. What about for people who haven’t tried polo? Polo Experiences, set up by Sally Richards, is a voucher scheme


PQ • Spring 2017

Chris Bethell is taking the initiative at Cowdray whereby people can buy a half day polo experience for £145. It follows a set format and is redeemable by any club that has signed up to be part of it. Don’t forget to advertise those offers beyond your own club members, and utilise local media. It’s likely that many people in your neighbourhood won’t even know that your club exists, and they certainly won’t expect to hear they’re welcome to learn and play affordable polo.

HPA chief exec David Woodd acknowledges problems

Is it the HPA’s role to grow grassroots polo? Should we look to players, coaches, clubs or the HPA for growth?


uch criticism has been laid at the door of the HPA for its apparent lack of progressive thinking. But what can the HPA do, and is growing the game even in its remit? Most of the HPA’s limited resource is taken up with the all-consuming, boring-butnecessary day-to-day admin of passports, blue books, handicapping, rules and regs, and so on. The HPA staff is very small, and the structure is based on clubs rather than players, which makes communications difficult, especially as many of the clubs are run by volunteers and only during the polo season. However, there is a glimmer of light on the horizon, and there are plans afoot to modernise an association originally configured to oversee far fewer clubs. An important element of this is direct membership, and the facility to pay fees by direct debit. This will enable the HPA to communicate directly with members and, importantly, to allow payments to be spread out, helping the cash flow

that is so vital to players. It will also (hopefully) create extra revenue in the form of new members, thereby increasing the funds available to the HPA to make reforms. The HPA should also revisit how members can be more involved in the various decision-making bodies. This could include a reform of how stewards are elected (see panel), with a view to making the process more democratic and representative. At the moment, of the 20 stewards, eight were elected but eight are controlled by the ‘big four’ clubs. Of the other four, three have been appointed (not elected) in order to chair committees, and the other is the CSPA representative. In charge at the HPA is chief executive David Woodd, who acknowledges the challenges and the difficulties faced. “It is HPA’s duty to promote polo, and for a long time this worked very well via the Pony Club, the International, the England team and Audi. We have lost some of these avenues, and need to rethink, regroup and start again, but doing so needs a budget and resources. We need to get to

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the unconverted and it is a question of how we do that and where we are most likely to get a result” David also agrees that polo needs to be more fun. “There is too much juggling of dates and times of games, which makes things very difficult for patrons or amateur players who have jobs or run businesses as things change last minute and then they can’t make their game. It has also become very expensive and is now almost a game of two halves, with teams whose players are either paying or being paid and can play most days of the week, and those who have jobs and thus are confined to playing with each other. For some people (polo) is their only income, but only a small group of patrons can afford to pay those prices.” Where do the priorities lie among the different and often conflicting interests? “It is hard to identify priorities given the different interests, clubs high and low goal, professional players, UK and from overseas, patrons and amateurs,” says David, “but handicapping is usually at the root of most problems, and of course umpiring. I think that we have improved it for the top end but we need to do better for the low goal, which is played by the vast majority of our members. Low goal is the heart of polo, and has for many years relied heavily on players and grooms from overseas. The new Home Office impositions have changed all that at short notice and our priority really has to be to try to protect and support the grassroots, difficult though that might seem. We can’t sit and watch it crumble just because it’s too difficult to change.”

What can the HPA do to reform? Direct membership: Plans are in hand, which should increase member numbers and revenue. Reform of the election of stewards: A previous attempt to make this more democratic and representative was vetoed… by the stewards! Introduce maximum terms: Many stewards and committee members have been in place for a long, long time. Four year terms, maximum two terms consecutively and a compulsory two-year gap before standing again would make for fresh thinking, innovative ideas and reduce complacency and entrenched ideology. Representation for stakeholders: These include (in no particular order): Professional Players, Amateur Players, Patrons, Clubs, Sponsors. Changing the articles of association: The HPA is an association of clubs. It needs to be an association of members in order to better represent the people who actually play the game. Reform the grant system: At present only a tiny minority of clubs qualify for grants to help improve facilities, due to outdated and restrictive eligibility requirements.


PQ • Spring 2017

Improve communications: More effort needs to be expended on engaging with members. Social media is practically not used. More strategic training and development: Top coaches should lead regional club clinics to improve standards and motivate players.

How the HPA is structured Council members: Each affiliated club is allowed one affiliated representative. There are approximately 70 clubs. 20 Stewards: Eight are elected, 12 appointed. The Stewards are the directors of the company, but in effect they are like the House of Lords. They must ratify proposed changes, or can veto them, and so hold the balance of power in the organisation. Committees: There are twelve, with remits such as Handicapping or Welfare. Committee members are not remunerated, nor even paid expenses. This saves the HPA money, but it also reduces the talent pool from which committees are drawn, as not everyone has a private income and can absorb all the travel costs. The HPA has estimated the annual cost of a remuneration scheme would be circa £50,000. That’s based on 50 meetings per year, with 10 members claiming £100 expenses per session. The Chief Executive’s role: David Woodd describes his role as a mixture of chief executive and secretary. He spends a lot of time working with the rules, represents the HPA with FIP, can make recommendations to the chairman’s committee, and has the authority to act between meetings. As the man ‘on the front line’, he also gets most of the flak directed at the HPA and British polo.

HPA stats 75% of HPA members play 0 goal, or below. 15 goal Victor Ludorum polo (the minimum level for Overseas Sponsored Player visas) is played at only five clubs. 24 OSP visas have been issued this year, all to players 4 goals and above. 40% percent of the stewards – or eight individuals – represent four big clubs. The other 69 clubs are represented by 30%, or 6 individual stewards.

Should Polo join the British Equestrian Federation? As the national governing body for horse sport in the UK, you might think the BEF has a lot to offer polo. Polo is not the only group outside the BEF, but we’re told the similarly unaffiliated British Horseracing Authority has recently opened lines of communications to worthwhile effect, and there’s a strong case for the HPA to follow suit. BEF chief executive Clare Salmon is a polo player herself and all too aware of a range of thorny issues heading down the line that could have significant implications for our sport. The effects of Brexit, and potential restrictions on movement of players and horses could have a very big impact, she told PQ. Welfare issues are also coming to the fore, and the BEF plays a key role both in formulating standards across all affiliated horse sports, and communicating positive stories to the public. Another key plank of the BEF is developing both standards and aspirations for careers within the horse industry which – especially in the light of the visa restrictions – is surely an area where polo could use some support.

The BEF’s Clare Salmon enjoys polo Aside from its lobbying and PR functions, the BEF has two core objectives which would seemingly align themselves well with the aims and ambitions of the HPA – namely increasing overall support for, and participation in, equine sports, and maintaining the highest standards for the UK in international competition. There’s even lottery funding available for sports with programmes in place designed to encourage and increase participation. What’s not to like?

Spring 2017 • PQ




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Reserve your copies of Polo Quarterly now at www.poloquarterlymagazine.com Spring 2017 • PQ


P Q p l ay er po l l

British Polo Survey RESULTS


Q Our poll of the polo community provides fascinating insights into the state of the game

2. Handicap. Two thirds of respondents play off S/-2 to 0, with around a third developing further.


hat started as a ‘suck-it-and-see’ idea floated on the Polo Quarterly Facebook page, rapidly turned into a genuinely interesting opportunity to asses the current state of UK polo - thanks entirely to the large number of polo people who took the time to answer our survey questions and write thoughtful comments. We applied the formula used in quantitative analysis to determine how many respondents we needed to achieve a) a true representation of the polo “population” and b) with 95% accuracy. We exceeded this figure - most pollsters would kill for such a good response! Here’s what we found…


1. Age. Our survey suggests most players fall into the 18-35 bracket as you’d probably expect, but we haven’t factored in any clever algorithms for ‘golden oldies’ who can’t be doing with internet surveys… Answer Options Under 18 18-35 36-45 Over 46


Response Percent 4.2% 44.5% 26.2% 25.1% Answered question Skipped question

PQ • Spring 2017

Response Count 11 117 69 66 263 1

Answer Options None (not HPA member) S -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Response Percent 5.7%

Response Count 15

1.9% 20.2% 19.8% 24.4% 8.8% 6.5% 6.1% 2.7% 1.9% 1.5% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.4% Answered question Skipped question

5 53 52 64 23 17 16 7 5 4 0 0 0 1 262 2


3. Gender. Gentleman players are in the majority, but the gender divide in British polo is nearly as close as the Brexit vote. Answer Options Male Female


Response Percent 53.4% 46.6% Answered question Skipped question

Response Count 141 123 264 0

4. Are you a member of a club? Mostly, yes you are…

Answer Options Yes No

Response Percent 90.9% 9.1% Answered question Skipped question

Response Count 239 24 263 1


5. How many ponies do you own? A significant proportion play on other peoples’ ponies, but almost a third have a string of seven or more. Answer Options 0 1 2-6 More than 7


Response Percent 20.8% 4.2% 42.8% 32.2% Answered question Skipped question

Response Count 55 11 113 85 264 0

6. Do you own any form of horse transport? (Not including the horse itself, of course…)

Answer Options No Lorry Trailer

Response Percent 39.5% 53.2% 7.2% Answered question Skipped question

Response Count 104 140 19 263 1


7. What is your monthly pony care cost? The range of responses to this question perfectly illustrates the differences between cost at the top level, and those ‘just managing’ at the other end of the scale. We reckon the majority of respondents are spending between £5k and £10k per season on pony care, while a handful operate on a genuine shoestring, and still fewer splurge tens of thousands on their string. Answer Range Min Average per pony Max for all ponies Answered question Skipped question

£ Spent 80 550 20,000 194 70


8. What is your tournament/chukka budget? The average polo player is spending £10k just to enter events. No wonder the appetite to enter tournaments appears to be waning. Answer Range Min Average Max Answered question Skipped question


£ Spent 250 10,000 100,000 191 73

9. What facilities would you like to see at your club that it doesn’t currently offer? Predictably most pleas are for better facilities for ponies and people alike – although members of the first-tier clubs seem pleased with what’s on offer. Lower down the hierarchy, we have multiple requests for children’s play areas, and more attractive hospitality/catering options for spectating friends and families. The state, location (or lack) of club toilets, changing facilities and showers appears often to be a sore point. A good few club members want more social opportunities laid on and ‘a more friendly atmosphere’, while washdown facilities for ponies, turning out areas and pitch improvements are all on the wish list. More emphasis on coaching and development for members cropped up a few times too.

“ £850 per pony” “ We employ one person all year to help, at “ I prefer £2k per month showjumping plus housing” to polo” “ The cost of paying others to play on your team”

“ As much as I have spare which generally is not very much” “ Genuine friendliness”

“ £200 every 10 or or so days. Improves if I qualify for anything”

“ £3,000 per season”

“ Circa £150,000” “ £20k for the season, including membership” “ The only real “ An arena – it’s the way forwards” “Does not invest in youth” “ Showers, and a more active scene for non-playing and social members”

value is the insurance cover”

“ They spend too much on high goal” “ For six months in the UK, expenses for horses totals £35k”

“ What do I get? An expensive blue book full of names and handicaps? Why is this not a PDF?”

P Q p l ay er po l l


10. Do you play tournaments? Mostly, yes you do...

Answer Options NO Up to 0 goal Up to 2 goal Up to 4 goal Up to 6 goal Up to 8 goal Up to 12 goal Up to 15 goal 18 goal and above Ladies tournaments SUPA tournaments only If you play ladies polo, what level of mixed polo do you play?

Response Percent 9.5% 9.9% 11.1% 12.2% 12.6% 12.6% 6.1% 8.8% 3.8% 0.8% 3.8%

Response Count 25 26 29 32 33 33 16 23 10 2 10



Answered question Skipped question

262 2


11. What stops you playing to a higher level? Aside from the obvious cost issues which are the overriding barrier, and an occasional absence of talent (we don’t believe you!), quite a range of grumbles surfaced here. Everything from work, school, a lack of patrons, and ‘not being Argentinian’ appeared in the comments list. Answer Options Cost Don't have the horses My own ability I just don't want to Other

Response Percent 37.1% 10.2%

Response Count 95 26

19.9% 8.6% 24.2% Answered question Skipped question

51 22 62 256 8


12. Would you like to see a Victor Ludorum league at lower levels? Not everyone wants new tournaments, but there’s clearly a thirst for more challenges at 4-6 goal and below. Answer Options No Up to 2 goal 4-6 goal Other

Response Percent 23.2% 36.2% 25.6% 15.0% Answered question Skipped question


Response Count 57 89 63 37 256 8

13. Do you travel to other clubs to play tournaments? A big majority travel often or occasionally to play away, and for those who don’t it’s not the entry fees that are off-putting, with time constraints more often quoted.


PQ • Spring 2017

Answer Options Regularly No, but I would if the entry fees were lower No, the cost of transport is too high Sometimes Other

Response Percent 32.8% 10.5%

Response Count 84 27



42.2% 9.4% Answered question Skipped question

108 24 256 8


14. Are entry fees reasonable at your club? Mainly positive feedback here, but a few complaints surfaced such as the relative cost of polo entry fees compared to other equine sports. Answer Options Yes No Other

Response Percent 84.7% 15.3% 28 Answered question Skipped question

Response Count 199 36 13 235 29


15. Will you play this season? Fortunately, most of you are still fired up! Those who prevaricated mainly mentioned finding grooms in light of the Home Office visa issue. Answer Options Yes No Other

Response Percent 77.9% 9.5% 12.5% Answered question Skipped question

Response Count 205 25 33 263 1


16. Would the option to pay memberships in monthly instalments be useful? Cash flow is clearly a priority for the majority of polo players. Answer Options Yes No Other

Response Percent 59.5% 31.7% 8.9% Answered question Skipped question

Response Count 154 82 23 259 5


17. Do you feel that HPA membership is value for money? No, say 70 percent of you. Ouch! Most of the comments would make uncomfortable reading for ‘the powers that be’ too – we’ve included a few examples on the right. Answer Options Yes No Other

Response Percent 30.7% 69.3% 39 Answered question Skipped question

Response Count 75 169 23 244 20


18. Would the option to pay HPA membership in two instalments be helpful? Nearly half those playing would take up such an option. Answer Options Yes No Other

Response Percent 44.5% 55.5% 10 Answered question Skipped question

Response Count 113 141 23 254 10


19. Do you feel that the HPA supports you? Our respondents are pretty united on this one, and the opinions expressed make – in the main – grim reading for the governing body. Answer Options Yes No Reasons:

Response Percent 21.3% 78.7%

Response Count 52 192 148

Answered question Skipped question

244 20


20. Do you feel the HPA supports your level of polo? It’s easy to imagine revolution is simmering in the game’s grassroots, deeply frustrated by the HPA’s apparent lack of interest at their end of the sport. The comments are pretty much aligned with those for question 19. Answer Options Yes No Reasons:


Response Percent 16.3% 83.7%

Response Count 40 206 188

Answered question Skipped question

246 18

21. What changes would you like to see in polo? With two thirds of our survey respondents offering bright ideas, there are far too many to list on these pages. So we’re going to address them in more detail in the next issue of Polo Quarterly instead. Suffice to say, in spite of the current problems faced by our sport, we’ve been heartened to hear so many great ideas put forward by the polo community. Perhaps if polo can learn to see opportunities instead of problems, and to act on them, we can all look forward to brighter days ahead!

“ Just chukkas would be a good start”

“ £10k per month excluding vet bills”

“ No budget. I pay when I play then worry about “ £150/month, finances kept at home” later”

“ Don’t budget as it always gets blown” “ £300 per tournament, or £20 per chukka”

“ If jobs were there for English pros I’d love to play higher “ Play chukkas three times a week level” free with club membership”

“ Share of entry, share of umpire fees and share of transport - approx £500 for weekend” “ It’s not their job to

“ Sound system - like dem beats”

support individuals”

“ Even when issues were highlighted by the Home Office they didn’t act” “ Low goal appears not to matter at all”

P Q P R e v i ew

Pop-up polo this summer It may not suit the purists, but spectators love the new wave


Chesterton’s Polo in the Park

olo is a game played on the far side of the pitch” said someone, once upon a time. Playing polo is the most fun thing ever, but watching it is hard work even for seasoned players and fans, let alone people who don’t fully understand the game. The action is generally far away - not surprising, since it is played on a pitch some 15 acres in size. However, innovation abounds, and a handful of high-profile events this summer will bring polo to the people in a fashion that surely speaks to a more engaged future for the sport of polo.

The big daddy of polo-to-the-people, this event attracts more people over its three days than any other polo event in Europe. Some 30,000 people attend, mostly well-heeled young Londoners with money to burn and autographs to collect. When? 9-10-11 June Where? Hurlingham Park, London What’s different? Smaller pitch Shorter chukkas Ends don’t change after goals Arena ball used for safety www.polointheparklondon.com

Watch polo, drink cocktails...


PQ • Spring 2017

Link Homes British Beach Polo Championships Another very well attended event with approximately 10,000 spectators expected, and now with improved layout allowing everyone to see the action all of the time. The playing area is small and the crowds are right on top of the action. Loud music and excitable commentary add to the party atmosphere. When? 8-9 July Where? Sandbanks, Bournemouth What’s different? Well, there’s a beach… Three-a-side Ends don’t change after goals Giant inflatable beach polo balls used www.sandpolo.co.uk

Jodie Kidd dips her toes in the water at Sandbanks

Aspall polo on the beach Watergate Bay

Watch polo, eat pasties...

In beautiful Cornwall, this was a one-day event 10 years ago and is now a three-day extravaganza. Cider, gin, ice cream and a typical Argentine asado, coupled with polo and parties in a stunning location means this event is really great fun for all concerned. When? 19-21st May Where? Watergate Bay, Cornwall What’s different? Stunning cliffs Surfing Aspall Apple Zone, celebrating the humble apple! www.watergatebay.co.uk/polo/

Spring 2017 • PQ


P Q trav e l

Wanted: Beach bums for life-changing challenges! (No experience necessary)


PQ • Spring 2017

Holidays aren’t only about relaxing, and increasing numbers of (mad) people want to spend their valuable time-off knackered and sleeping in tents. While PQ editor Aurora has a severe tent allergy, adventurer Fergus Scholes does not... Pack a backpack and head off somewhere cold and gruelling!


fter a two-hour 1,000m ascent, I reach the summit. My legs are burning, heart pounding, and sweat instantly evaporates as the cold wind whips around me. Whilst reaching for an extra layer from my backpack, I notice my water is nearly finished already; I must be a little more sparing now. As I kneel momentarily on the snow and prepare to descend – peeling off the ‘skins’ from my skis and locking down the bindings – I give Sverre the safety

officer a thumbs up, whilst he scrutinises my movements from his skidoo. After descending to a more hospitable altitude, and following the route markers carefully placed in the snow on this 14km ski touring day, I arrive at camp which is home for the next two nights, exhausted. The support crew are already here, cheering and whooping me on, and with just a few more strides I’ll have a hot chocolate, hot food, campfire and rest; it is these simple things I have so been craving for the last five hours whilst out in the wilderness.

Spring 2017 • PQ


P Q trav e l Every moment and sensation seems magnified somehow. As other competitors arrive into camp across the course of the afternoon, I find myself emotional and tearful. Some finished the day some 3 hours after me, having pushed themselves to their absolute limits. I have only known them for a little over 48 hours, but they already feel like close friends.


PQ • Spring 2017

That evening we gather in the large communal Lavvu, a native tipi style tent. We reflect on the day exchanging stories, eating our expedition rations, and taking our turn on the physio bed, knowing the short term pain will be worthwhile given the three more days of adventure we have ahead. After a few hours I zip up my warm down jacket, now smelling of wood smoke from the campfire, and head outside to the smaller Lavvu tent I am sharing with four others. I take a few minutes to look at the wild, beautiful and untouched environment we are surrounded by, the stars shining particularly brightly. As I slide into my sleeping bag, I can barely believe it was just 12 hours ago that this adventure began. I feel so very alive. Exhausted, invigorated, with every sense and synapse totally buzzing... It’s late March, and I’m out in central Norway on the snow covered Hardangervidda Plateau on a week’s holiday. I am taking part in the annual IGO Adventures - N60 Norwegian Challenge, a 4 day 100-mile adventure with a different discipline each day - ski touring, fat biking, cross country skiing and snow running.

A campfire and hot food – the reward for your day’s exertion It’s a unique, one-of-a-kind adventure holiday, which sees around twenty paying entrants seeking a thrilling and life-affirming week that’s truly away from the norm. Those taking part come from all walks of life, a range of abilities and fitness levels, and across a wide range of ages. With a great support crew, local experts, carefully curated routes, excellent safety infrastructure - it really is open to just about anyone to have a go. IGO Adventures are based on a set format of fourday, four-discipline, 100-mile adventures, across beautiful wildernesses. The concept was born three years ago when polo-playing founder, Viscount Bobby Melville, stepped foot on Antigua after a 3,000-mile, 48-day row across the Atlantic. He wanted to recreate the unique ‘buzz’ experienced after an expedition, and make it accessible to those who can’t devote months of their lives and huge expense to a major expedition. It’s a fantastic recipe, which truly challenged and invigorated me. I made some great new friends too, and it’s an experience I shall never forget.

Fat biking into the stunning Norwegian scenery If you fancy a holiday challenge that’s a bit more compelling than finding space for your beach towel and ploughing through to the end of a trashy airport paperback, then maybe IGO Adventures are the tonic you need. You’ve missed the Norwegian snow fields this year, but IGO has new challenges coming up in Montana in August and Morocco in October. The former involving swimming, mountain biking, kayaking and a mountain run, and the latter including desert biking, kayaking, mountain biking and an Atlas Mountains scramble. Find out more at www.igoadventures.com and don’t forget to say PQ sent you. (We’ll be at the beach…)

Fergus (centre) taking the spoils in Norway Spring 2017 • PQ


P Q trav e l

All-action holidays for polo people If ‘ironman’ training isn’t your thing, try sticking to holiday horsepower

Enjoy a more relaxing approach to holiday adventures, by letting someone else’s legs do the work. Head down to Sotogrande!


hile Fergus enjoys holidays spent running around on his own two legs, your editor prefers using someone else’s. Legs, that is, and preferably the equine variety. (They can’t answer back. Usually.) With the UK weather, let’s say, mixed, our idea of a sporting break involves packing a bag and jumping on a plane to Sotogrande. There, you can enjoy temperate weather in the winter and full on sunshine the rest of the time, with a season that runs from February to October. Polo Valley is a unique polo school-slash-guest finca just minutes from the heart of Sotogrande. Set up by Christian Byrne, this is the polo arm of well-known outfit Powder Byrne, the cleverly named and very successful luxury ski holiday firm. Christian gave us the low-down. “We run both ‘beginner’ days and ‘player’ days as two completely different offerings - so really we accommodate anyone from beginners to the low-goal player looking to improve their polo. Like all those passionate about polo, we believe that there is a big opportunity to get more people playing and enjoying the sport. “One of the things we always tell people interested in learning is that you don’t need to know how to ride, and that by the end of the first day at Polo Valley, you will be hitting the ball whilst riding a polo pony!” “In terms of players we are really suited for S, -2 and -1

handicappers. Our real aim when we set out was to be a ‘high goal club for the low goal player’, and most clients who join us have handicaps. Some have strings in the UK too, so we aren’t just for beginners. “The facility is of a very high quality standard, with a man-made, laser levelled tifton field, over 60 stables and 40 good ponies. We invested in good ponies, which people tend to pick up on a lot. Tom Meyrick (2 goals) runs the polo and coaching, and we also have Alvaro Ara (4 goals) and Diogo Gallego (5 goals) who join the coaching and instructional chukkas with us.” Best of all, it’s not even that expensive. A whole week, including board, starts at €2,355 and PQ challenges you to find another week-long activity holiday that is better value or more fun! It’s not just polo, either: “The great thing about Sotogrande is that there is so much to do,” says Christian. “There’s sailing, tennis, golf, fishing, beaches and plenty of great restaurants. You aren’t stuck on a farm in the middle of nowhere; although it very much feels like the Spanish ‘campo’ (we are surrounded by countryside) we are only 15 minutes from the centre of the port.” “We’re all about changing the perceived image of polo – that polo’s only for the super rich or royals – and showing everyone who walks through our gates that they can get high quality polo and service, even on a budget.” www.polovalley.co.uk

Spring 2017 • PQ


PQ promo

On the pitch or off, La Martina style channels passion for polo Photography La Martina Words Chris ROsamond


PQ • Spring 2017


hile long-time players may associate La Martina with fine quality kit, saddles and equipment, in more recent times the company’s vision to spread the polo gospel has seen it launch new fashion and lifestyle lines. The La Martina ‘look’ uniquely channels the spirit and challenge of the game. In fact, La Martina has a bold strategy to promote accessibility and engagement with polo to new audiences around the world. As a corporate philosophy we think that chimes perfectly with calls from other quarters for new and innovative thinking, and it should be celebrated by all who love the sport. After all, when did ‘philosophy’ ever look this good?

Her: jacket (£645.00), blouse (£115), trousers (£140) HIM: Jeremiah jacket (£465), Brock t-shirt (£55), Luciano slim-fit trousers (£136)

Spring 2017 • PQ


PQ promo

Her: candida sweater (£205), Alfonsina Lace handbag (£372)


PQ • Spring 2017

The La Martina Philosophy If there’s a single fashion brand synonymous with the world of polo, it’s La Martina. Established in Buenos Aires in 1985, most players who are established in the sport today have grown up alongside it. The family-run company with its roots in Buenos Aires now has 100 stores worldwide, with HQs in BA, Miami and Chiasso, and branches in London and Singapore. “Fair play, honesty, respect for opponents, honour and responsibility to the team and the staff are some of the fundamental values of polo. La Martina understands polo is a passion, a lifestyle choice, and an historic sport with culture that needs to be protected and preserved,” they say. To that end, La Martina continues to supported clubs, associations, pros and amateurs – both ‘aspiring’ and ‘aspirational’ – as well as the many small family-run businesses that it partners.

Adrian Simonetti (left), Lando Simonetti, Gachi Ferrari, Ignacio Archain and the young Santino Simonetti – the La Martina family

Him: T-shirt (£120), Everett Chino Bermuda Shorts (£225)

Spring 2017 • PQ


PQ promo Him: natty pink

jacket, £199 accessibility of polo Increasing Her: wallpaperLa Martina has various programmes designed to extend inspired print dress the reach of the sport £499 we love, including with the Oxbridge universities – and others around the world – designed to tempt more young players into the game. The brand has also been associated with Chesterton’s Polo in the Park for many years, where it has played a valuable supporting role in bringing the thrills and culture of polo to new audiences, and breaking down those old elitist barriers. La Martina is also unleashing a wave of social media content via fashion and lifestyle influencers and the #LMpolostory hash-tag, all part of the plan to connect with a wider world beyond the polo ‘establishment’.

Before/after – visiting fashion bloggers get the La Martina look on a visit to Milan

Her: Altea Jacket (£765), shorts (£155) Him: Dione shirt (£230)


PQ • Spring 2017

Spring 2017 • PQ


P Q P RO m o

Life imitates polo with the La Martina look La Martina’s Coleccion Privada fashion line was launched in 2009, from their platform as the world’s leading supplier of polo technical kit and sportswear. The replica polo shirt has long been a La Martina favourite, and the fashion collections since then have always reflected the players’ styles – and their wardrobe staples. For this year’s spring/summer collection, a Mediterranean cruise adds further inspiration. With imaginary stops at Barcelona, Capri, St Tropez and Santorini, La Martina promises “a sensory journey through colours, landscapes and cultural heritage,” brought to life through the collection’s “bright dyes, light textures, prints and patterns”.


PQ • Spring 2017

Her: Ginebra skirt (£175), Leya jacket (£175), Firulete handbag (£295) Him: jacket (£485), scarf (£54)

Spring 2017 • PQ


P Q Ca r s

Tesla Model X

marks a new SUV sweet spot Or how to drive a £130k luxury 4x4 while saving the planet... Words Aurora Eastwood Photography Antony Fraser


f you haven’t heard of Tesla electric cars you must be living in a stable under a very thick rug. The latest model from the game-changing car maker is the Model X, a big, bold and luxurious SUV-style ‘crossover’ that’s potentially much more compatible with a polo lifestyle than the Tesla Model S saloon launched in the UK in 2014. Many questions loom large for the would-be ecowarrior, though. Can you realistically live with an all-electric SUV, or is too soon to wave goodbye to that gas-guzzling Range Rover? Is the battery range good enough? Can you charge up in enough places? Is it practical? Is it fun? The last two are easily answered. ‘Yes’, and ‘hell yes’! The top spec model, the £129,200 P100D, can out accelerate almost anything to 60mph in less than 3 seconds. You’ll need to find upwards of £700,000 for anything faster,


PQ • Spring 2017

and chances are it won’t have luggage space for anything bigger than a toothbrush. And the doors - those doors! Eye catching and conversation starting, the clever double-hinged ‘falcon’ doors swoop upwards out of the way, even in tight spaces, taking a chunk of the car’s roof with them. They’re amazingly practical, especially if you have kids, and clever sensors ensure you don’t take chunks out of the garage ceiling or nearby cars when you’re showing off your party trick. You can get loads of stuff in it, too. We put in sacks of feed, saddles, mallets and George Meyrick, and they all fitted just fine. Inside there’s a giant touchscreen. Spotify as standard. Hardware that means it can self drive when/if the laws are passed. The biggest windscreen on any production car. Adjustable ride height. Electrically operated doors all round, and if you have a private driveway you can even

Packing sticks, saddles, sacks of feed and a six goaler...

Ooh, tech! (above) Pony non-plussed (below)...

Tesla Model X 90D notes Price: £89,300 (as tested) Range: 303 miles Top Speed: 155mph 0-60mph: 4.8 secs

summon the Model X to come to you - straight out of a Bond movie. You have to be in sight of the car, but still… Crucially the Model X is good to drive yourself, too, incredibly rapid, quiet (obviously) and beautifully balanced. All those heavy batteries line the bottom of the car, so the centre of gravity is way, way low. The styling is classless and will fit in everywhere from a polo club to a supermarket car park. It can even tow a 2,200kgs trailer, although for local trips only, probably. Reports suggest towing severely limits the range and you probably don’t want to drag your horsebox into Waitrose to try and find a charger... So what of the battery range in day-to-day usage? If you own one of these cars you would likely have a special charger installed at home, and charge it up every night. A full charge gives up to 351+ miles (depending on model), so a Model X will easily get you from home, to polo, and home

again - even if you live in London and play at Cowdray. Most daily commutes are much shorter, of course. When out and about you can recharge using Tesla’s own superchargers for free (the network is expanding rapidly) or at destination chargers. A destination charger isn’t as fast, but they are located at places like hotels, restaurants, golf clubs and so on. We tried one out at Tylnley Hall hotel in Hampshire, enjoying lunch while the car hummed away in the courtyard. By the time we’d finished, we had another 60 miles of range. The price for being an early adopter is that you need to plan longer routes carefully, so is the Model X a viable alternative to a petrol or diesel car? If you live in the ‘busier’ parts of the UK, yes. If you want to drive to deepest Wales and back, then maybe take the Range Rover for now. But the charger network is growing fast, so it shouldn’t be too long before range anxiety is a thing of the past. Spring 2017 • PQ


P Q Ca r s

Isuzu D-Max Downsizes the diesel, upsizes performance

‘Lifestyle’ looks...


Plenty of toys...

When you need a utilitarian horsebox hauler, this 4x4 pick-up is hard to beat

ince the demise of the forever blessed Land Rover Defender, the UK’s Isuzu importer has reported a spike in interest for its D-Max pick-up truck from farming types across the country. They like its value, its reputation for rugged reliability and – according to one wag in Isuzu’s marketing team – a driving position less likely to create a requirement for orthopaedic surgery. The D-Max double cab is a handy thing to have around the stable yard too, with a 3.5t towing capacity that comfortably outclasses the Mitsubishi L200’s 3.1t limit, and which means it’s ideal for horsebox owners. Now there’s a new model in showrooms, and the towing advantage has been retained in spite of a (whisper this) downsized engine from 2.5 to 1.9 litres. Total torque – or pulling power – is down from 400Nm to 360Nm too but, thanks to shorter ratios in the lower gears, performance is actually improved. Compared to its predecessor Isuzu claims greater start-ability from standstill, and improved acceleration. We tested it with fully laden pick-up bed and trailer, and the ‘little’ 1.9 shrugged off the challenge, pulling impressively even uphill. The engine might lack the high speed motorway punch


And no shortage of grunt!

PQ • Spring 2017

of the new V6 powered VW Amarok we tested last issue (and which we celebrated for unfashionably ‘upsizing’ from 1.9 to 2.5-litres…), but at normal road speeds the D-Max performs well. The new model adds a greater degree of refinement too, both in terms of handling, ride comfort and road noise – although the engine is noisier than some, and if you do lots of 70mph+ motorway work then wind noise and lack of top end grunt may blunt your enjoyment somewhat. At least compared to the Amarok or, say, Nissan’s Navara. But you’ll definitely look the part in the D-Max, which in the top Blade model has the big alloy wheels, roll bar, leather trim, plus the luxury and infotainment appointments required for that cool, pick-up truck ‘lifestyle’ look. There’s also the option of smooth-shifting six-speed auto which, with hill assist and hill descent control, plus Isuzu’s ‘shift on the fly’ 4x4 and low-range settings, makes horsebox handling a (relative!) breeze.

Isuzu D-Max Blade notes Price: £26,999 On sale: Now

The Jewel in the Crown of Polo Watch the World’s best polo players and enjoy the finest hospitality at the Cartier Queen’s Cup Semi-Finals and Finals in 2017 Cartier Queen’s Cup Semi-Finals Wednesday 14 June Cartier Queen’s Cup Finals Sunday 18 June

Book today for a bespoke combination of elegant hospitality and exhilarating sport in our beautifully appointed Members’ Clubhouse. For more information call our Tickets and Events Office on 01784 434212 or email sales@guardspoloclub.com. Non-members are most welcome, plus significant discounts for Club members. www.guardspoloclub.com




COUNTRY PROPERTY ON THE EDGE OF SOTOGRANDE To enjoy the freedom and space of a true country property yet be within a few minutes of Sotogrande, golf, shops, restaurants, beaches and an international school is a rare combination indeed. Most country properties in these parts are found further inland in the valleys and ranges that extend inland from San Enrique de Guadiaro. Among extensive orchards and pastures you will encounter fincas and cortijos yet none are as conveniently located as this fine country property right on the edge of Guadiaro – just five minutes from Sotogrande itself.

NATURE AND CONVENIENCE IN ONE A true country estate, it extends over 13 hectares of undulating land on the very periphery of Sotogrande, incorporating hill country, gently sloping land and the largely level area that the main house and stables are located on. The latter is a stately country property with traditional charm and up-to-date amenities that is surrounded by natural beauty and lovely views all around.

The private gardens and driveways that envelop the 1,150m2 main villa measure a total of 8,000m2, shrouding the property in greenery and shaded areas that frame the views down to the coast. A large forecourt provides a suitable sense of arrival, complete with garages and parking spaces positioned amid cork oak and palm trees. Stepping through the grand entrance reveals a classic Andalusian courtyard around which the villa’s five bedroom suites are arranged on two levels. A colonnaded walkway surrounds the patio, which also provides access to additional studies and reading rooms, as well as the main living areas, which include a lovely country style family kitchen, a large drawing room and a grand salon on the first floor. From the lounge, French doors open out onto an expansive terrace with a raised section that offers some of the best views in the property. It is an ideal spot for relaxing, entertaining, outdoor dining and making into a stylish chill-out zone. Though essentially a contemporary country home, the property offers lots of scope to add modern style and amenities.

Ref: HOS-292 AN EQUESTRIAN ESTATE Endowed with its own water wells, stables, a tack room and groom’s quarters, this is a first class riding estate, with both the land and amenities to keep and enjoy horses both for riding and polo at the nearby Santa María and Ayala Polo Clubs. The latter is just a short ride away, though the property itself also offers plenty of scope to add stables, a riding arena and a stick and ball field. This very complete property on the outskirts of Sotogrande further features under floor heating, CCTV, automatic irrigation and comes with a delightful two-bedroom cottage that is a fine property in its own right.

Main Features

Holmes Property Sales, S.L.

7 bed / 7 bath

Tel : +34 956 79 53 40

130.000m2 plot 1.150m2 built 150m2 terrace

email: info@holmesotogrande.com

Price: £ 4,813,235 (5,650,000 € )



Cometh the hour, cometh the next in line? Ham Polo manager Will Healy has the club in his genes Words and Pictures Benjamin Davis


unning any polo club is not without its challenges. Ham Polo Club has faced down more than a few since its formation in 1926. The dedication of the players and supporters over the years has been key to this, but one family stands out as vital to the continued history of the club. Billy Walsh rescued Ham, and indeed polo in the UK, following the Second World War. His daughter Peggy followed in his footsteps to manage the club, and now his grandson Will Healy is Polo Manager at a time when the club faces its toughest challenge since Billy’s generation.


What’s your first polo memory? “My first memory of playing is in Richmond Park with my grandfather, I was 12 or 13. The horse was called Gordo and it suddenly seemed very fast, I’d only stick and balled before!”


You’ve been working in Argentina every winter breeding and training polo ponies since your teens, how did that start out? “When I was 18, I went to work for Hector Barantes. It was 1981, before the Falklands, Argentina still had a military government and it was a very different place. Hector really influenced me as a horseman and after four years there I went to work for Hap Sharp, where I met the American 10 goaler Tommy Wayman. He helped me develop as well, and I think I’ve now got my own style somewhere between Argentine and American schools of thought. I still work with the bloodline that Hap developed along with Robert Graham in Coronel Suarez.”


What’s been the key to building your team at Ham since you took over as Polo Manager? “The team has always been based on grooms from Coronel Suarez. I would interview them there and know the people they’ve worked for before. I’ve also had a series of great stable managers from there, too. Some of the grooms stayed with us for 4 or 5 years, we had continuity and a team that worked well together. Ham was probably the hardest hit by the visa changes, we had 13/14 grooms and a New Zealand professional all on the payroll.”


PQ • Spring 2017


When the news came in about the visa changes what was the reaction in your team? “We didn’t really understand at first, as we hadn’t changed anything since our compliance visit in 2013. There was a genuine concern that we might find it impossible to get enough grooms for the 2017 season to happen.”


For a club located in south west London the issue with staffing is huge. What’s happened in the last six months? “It’s not horse country here, and there isn’t a big polo community like Berkshire has. Luckily we had one or two English grooms who had been brought on here, and they stayed with us. I knew some grooms from eastern Europe and so used their connections to find a new team. It was a long process, and they’re from all over so it’s not possible to go and interview. Add to that the fact that references don’t mean a lot as they’re not from polo, and it’s difficult. I also have two English professional horsemen on hand to work the horses that need special attention. ”


Now the new grooms are hard at work, what’s been the biggest challenge and the most satisfying success? “The new grooms are not used to polo ponies or the way polo works. Quick changes, exercise routines, they’re learning to look after horses in a totally different way. The success is their work ethic, keenness to learn and the fact that we’re still playing polo! There’s no looking back, the Argentine grooms are past history, but the future is looking really positive. Our horses are looking well and fit, and the membership has actually grown.”


Thanks to a lot of hard work the 2017 season is back on track. What is the highlight you’ll be looking forward to most? “There are some great things at Ham like the Roehampton Cup, chukkas in Richmond Park and the revival of the Polo Pony Show, but I’m just excited about a good season with a good team working here.”

Will with one of his own-bred favourites – Aiken Darien, aka ‘Daz’

Ham was probably hardest hit by the visa changes, as We had 13/14 grooms on the payroll...

G r o w y o u r o wn

European ponies in focus Flying ponies to Europe from Argentina gets ever more costly, so can homegrown talent fill the void?


It’s all so very different now. Flights are as much as $10,000 and the USD is no longer a bargain currency. Buy and fly your pony over, and you’re not likely to see much change from £15,000 – assuming you pick a cheapish one. So what do to? Buy European, that’s what. To help you work out the options, PQ has explored the opportunities for home grown ponies right here on our very own continent. No planes needed (but maybe a ferry). Bred for polo, or retrained? There are basically two options for buying or producing home grown ponies. Ex-racehorses, or a pony bred for the job. In all cases they can be bought ‘raw’, bred and produced yourself, or bought as fully made ponies. So what are the considerations?

Photography imagesofpolo.com

onies. The heart of the game. 80% of any player’s ability on the field. The reason we all play polo. And, until relatively recently, buying ponies from South America was pretty standard practice at all levels. New Zealand and South Africa were popular too, albeit both with much higher freight costs, but ponies from South America were plentiful, there was something for everyone and it was possible to get flights for $5,000 when US dollars were around two to the pound.


PQ • Spring 2017

Retrained racehorses Racing is a massive industry with some 15,000 horses in training, and many also at pre-training yards. Only a few make champion racehorses, and many don’t even make the track. Anything too slow or too immature is moved on, either via bloodstock sales or privately. They are plentiful and cheap, and the right one will make an excellent polo pony. Retraining of Racehorses (ROR) even have a prize series for exracehorses, with up to £2,000 to be won. Mikey Howe, a well-known producer of TB polo ponies, will travel the length and breadth of the country to find the right ex-racehorse and takes time in producing them. “Similar to other breeds, thoroughbreds produce the full variety of shape, size and intelligence,” says Mikey. “These three things are all indicators pointing to the boundaries of a horse’s learning capabilities, and selecting the correct horse can be a bumpy ride. This diversity is partly what has made the current market very different, because like all changes it creates huge opportunity for people to get things wrong, as well as to get them right.”

Henry Brett produces quality ponies

Mark Tomlinson is a fan of retrained racehorses Pros: Huge supply Cost-effective Athletic and Fast Cons: Temperament-wise, they won’t suit everyone Soundness can be an issue Generally need softer pitches Where to buy: Untrained TBs change hands via the sales (e.g. Brightwells or Tattersalls), or privately direct from trainers. Retrained TBs ready to play, can be bought via the re-trainers themselves (such as Mikey Howe, Ben Eeley, Henry Brett to name a few), by word of mouth, or via the various websites and Facebook pages set up for the purpose.

Young ponies taking time out

Spring 2017 • PQ


G r o w y o u r o wn

Future champions on sets

Polo bred ponies A pony bred for polo has potential advantages. It is likely to be the right size and type, and have a genetic predisposition to have an aptitude for the game. “You are starting with a blank canvas and producing the pony exactly how you want, and training it in the manner which is most suitable for your own needs,” says Emma Wood, of the Beaufort Embryo Transfer Centre (BETC). If you are breeding yourself, the first step is to make sure your mare is suitable to breed from that she’s nicely put together, is of sound mind and hasn’t got any hereditary problems. If she has conformational defects, things might work fine provided you choose a stallion that will cancel her out. “If she’s long in the back, choose a short coupled stallion. If your mare has a sharp temperament, try to choose a stallion that produces offspring with very good temperaments. If your mare has a lot of bone, try to use a stallion with slightly finer bone,” says Emma. After that, the stallion choice is probably dictated by budget. There are lovely horses out there for all budgets: from £450 right up to many thousands. For example Kalankari, an Irish TB at £450, or High Maestro, an Ellerston bred stallion by Open Maestro, at £700. The choices aren’t limited to the UK, either. In Germany, the Schockemohle Polo Stud stands six registered Polo Argentino stallions, including Gete Rubi (stud fee €2400), who played the Jockey Club Open in Argentina with Pelon Stirling. “We wanted to offer people in Europe the opportunity to breed ponies with the same bloodlines as La Dolfina or Ellerstina, in order to improve the quality of polo ponies here,” says Vanessa Schockemohle.


PQ • Spring 2017

Her stallions can also be leased for the season, and the stud sells semen all around Europe. “All foals born in our stud or foals of our stallions are passported, microchipped, DNA tested, and come with a certificate of ownership. You know exactly what you are getting,” adds Vanessa. Here in the UK, there are seven polo stallions standing at the Beaufort Embryo Transfer Centre, with prices starting at £500. If you want to go to top end of the scale, Don Urbano Rolinga, he of multiple BPP prizes in British high goal and having just played the Open with Polito Pieres, costs £3,000 for frozen semen from West Kington Stud. And yes, you get another go if the mare loses the foal! Covering There are two options here. Either send the mare to the stallion, or have the mare inseminated artificially (AI). This is particularly useful if your chosen stallion is not in the same country as your mare – for example a Schockemohle Polo Argentino. Wetherby’s don’t allow AI, so if you want to breed a full TB and register it with Wetherby’s, natural is the only way. For anything else, it’s fine. Natural covering has a good success rate but carries some injury risk to both mare and stallion, plus some infection risk. AI is more expensive (as it requires skilled intervention at one end or the other!) but cuts down the risk of infection and injury. It also allows the owner to buy semen from a stallion anywhere in the world and the mare doesn’t even have to leave home.

Embryo Transfer The have-your-cake-and-eat-it version of breeding, whereby you get your mare in foal, flush out the embryo and pop it into a recipient mare, all via some highly skilled vets. The BETC was the first commercial operation of its kind in the UK. They are hugely knowledgeable about polo and breeding, and can provide a turnkey package. The Schockemohle Polo Stud also offer embryo transfer. Of course embryo transfer costs more (as you would expect), and on top of the veterinary costs you need to buy or lease a donor mare – if you don’t have your own. Breeding yourself Pros: Breed for type No need to retrain from another discipline Genetic predisposition for polo Cons: Expensive (at least £6,000 to 3 years old) May not turn out as you had hoped Might be smaller or bigger than you had anticipated!

Stallion DS Meteoro

Made polo-bred ponies There aren’t so many commercial outlets for home-bred ponies in the UK, so small numbers of ponies are either brought on and sold by the breeder/producer (such as Alan Kent and the aforementioned ex-racehorse producers), or they are sold privately, via classified ads, word of mouth or Facebook. The exception to this rule is the Schockemohle stud, which has many, many ponies for sale - usually 40 at any one time, and probably the largest selection in any one place outside of South America. “We sell ponies around the world. We have clients all over Europe as well as in the USA and abroad, and many ponies sold by us get awarded Best Playing Pony for their new owners,” says Vanessa. Another non-UK option is Polo Valley in Sotogrande. You can go and try ponies in the sunshine (all but guaranteed) and the selection ranges from easy, older ponies to powerful ponies that will play a high level of polo. You can enjoy some decent weather and lovely surroundings at the same time. Unfortunately, there still isn’t one comprehensive resource to go and look for ponies. Gone are the days that Horse & Hound was the go-to place for everything, and with the increasing fragmentation of the internet and Facebook it’s actually harder than ever. So no pony purchase will come without some effort on the part of the buyer - or the seller!

Taita Nissan at the Rural

Stallion Taita Nissan

Famous Bloodlines Argentina takes tremendous pride in its bloodlines. No other country has such depth of knowledge and passion in the breeding of polo ponies. Ponies with famous lineage change hands for a fortune at auctions, but access to these bloodlines was always difficult in Europe. Now, however, there are top class bloodlines in Europe. The Schockemohle Polo Stud have registered Polo Argentino mares in their breeding program that have played at Palermo. Borren Rockera (Borren Mate Alegre x Gete Melana) and Borren Prisionera (Ellerstina Barullo x Buscavidas) played the Hurlingham Open (2016) and Palermo (2016) with Juan Ruiz Guinazu. Stallions include the aforementioned Gete Rubi, whose sister Gete Franela is still playing the Palermo Open with Pelon Stirling. Another of the stallions, Taita Nissan, was reserve champion in the Rural Palermo 2016. His full sister was sold at the La Dolfina Auction 2016. His dam Dolfina Frontier was champion in the Rural at Palermo and is out of Dolfina lapa, one of Cambiaso’s best mares ever (later cloned). DS Meteoro, also at the Schockemohle Polo Stud, is by the famous Ellerstina Picaro, and is the only direct son of Ellerstina Picaro available in Europe. His dam played the Hurlingham Open in 2011 with Sapo Caset.

Spring 2017 • PQ


ON T HE P I T CH Rommy’s red rascals race to victory, after an epic battle in perfect conditions

T e a m Ca rtie r 7 vs 4 T e a m Ba d rutt ’ s Pa l ace H o tel

The Snow Polo World Cup at St Moritz


ommy Gianni’s Team Cartier won the Snow Polo World Cup 2017, beating Melissa Ganzi and her Team Badrutt’s Palace Hotel 7-4 in the final. In the final of the runners-up, Team Perrier-Jouët took its first victory - beating James Beh and family’s Team Maserati 4-5 to clinch The La Martina Cup. The 15,000 guests who had gathered over the three days were entertained by some outstanding polo, whilst off the frozen lake, guests enjoyed, fun, laughter and outstanding Swiss hospitality. Sunday 29 January was a culmination of three days celebrating the best snow polo in the world. The sun shone meaning that the playing surface was pure perfection, allowing fast and thrilling polo to delight the 7,000 spectators. The grandstands were packed as fur-clad spectators sipped Perrier-Jouët, cheering on their favourite teams and enjoying the atmosphere. The first match of finals day on Sunday was between


PQ • Spring 2017

Team Perrier-Jouët and Team Maserati for The La Martina Cup. In a close scoring match it was ultimately Team PerrierJouët who secured the title with a final score of 4-5. Postmatch, Fabio Meier conceded the match was as tough as the score suggested. “Maserati played well, they played aggressively and didn’t make it an easy game for us, so that’s why I am unbelievably happy that we won. As a team, I think we played well over the three days,” he said. As the sun continued to bathe the Engadin Valley in glory, the stunning Cartier Trophy for the ultimate winners of the tournament, was won by Team Cartier themselves after a final which saw them pitted against Team Badrutt’s Palace Hotel. The match was an epic battle which reflected the fierce three-day competition. The first chukka saw no score as the teams matched each other equally in defence and attack, but it was a different story in the second chukka which saw Cartier assert their dominance with three goals from Chris Hyde and Dario Musso and only one in

Ponies steaming in the cold mountain air

Photography: IMAGES OF POLO

A delighted Cartier team hoists the trophy

Cartier dominating the ball in flat-out play reply from Alejandro Novillo Astrada for Badrutt’s Palace Hotel. The goal scoring genie was well and truly uncorked and, determined not to be the underdogs for long, Team Badrutt’s Palace came back fighting after half-time and quickly found the goalmouth twice in quick succession, to equalise the scores at three all. But Charlie Wooldridge for Cartier secured his name on the scorecard at the end of the third chukka, when Cartier once again took the lead. With all to play for in the last chukka, it was at this crucial point that the firepower of Team Cartier was unleashed with three goals in quick succession. Alejandro Novillo Astrada scored for Badrutt’s Palace but it was too little too late and as the final whistle blew, a decisive score of 7-4 in Cartier’s favour was the result. The Most Valuable Player was fittingly awarded to Chris Hyde as he celebrated his sixth victory in St. Moritz, while the Best Playing Pony rug was awarded to his grey mare, Promise.

Well-insulated spectators enjoy stunning vistas

Cartier Trophy Final score: Team Cartier 7 Team Badrutt’s Palace Hotel 4 Team Cartier: 1 Rommy Gianni (1), 2 Charlie Wooldridge (2), 3 Chris Hyde (6), 4 Dario Musso (7) Total 16 Team Badrutt’s Palace Hotel: 1 Melissa Ganzi (0), 2 Jesse Bray (5), 3 Alejandro Novillo Astrada (8), 4 Tito Gaudenzi (2) Total 15 MVP: Chris Hyde BPP: Promise, ridden and owned by Chris Hyde

La Martina Cup Final score: Team Maserati 4 Team Perrier-Jouët 5 Team Maserati: 1 James Beh (1), 2 Joevy Beh (5), 3 Chevy Beh (5), 4 Garvy Beh (5) Total 16 Team Perrier-Jouët: 1 Fabian Bolanterio (5), 2 Luca Meier (1), 3 Lucas Labat (7), 4 Fabio Meier (1) Total 14

Spring 2017 • PQ


T e a m B o gne r 8


6 P r estige M o dels

4th Czech Snow Polo Masters 2017


At Špindleruv Mlyn in the Krkonosse Mountains. (That’s easy for you to say...)

hree teams participated in the 4th edition of the Czech Snow Polo Masters 2017, organised by Prestige Models in association with Gill Polo. The event was held on the 3rd-4th February 2017 at the prestigious ski resort of Špindleruv Mlyn in the Krkonosse Mountains of the Czech Republic. Two days of exciting polo saw last year’s winners Team Prestige Models battling it out with Team Bogner, the famous luxury fashion brand, in a nail-biting final. British player John Bunn and his team were determined to win for a third consecutive year, but were denied by the work rate of Kevin Shaw and Zul Junus of Bogner. The pair put the points on the boards whilst newbie Robbie Denman tried to keep John Bunn out of scoring range for as long as possible during the match. The game ended 8-6 in favour of Team Bogner, with John Bunn almost taking that to 8-7 in the last twenty seconds. Team Elan, consisting of British players Graham Waring, John Alton Jones and Giles Boothman, won bronze


PQ • Spring 2017

and were very satisfied with their first time on snow. Of course each night saw a VIP party and a plethora of entertainment organised by the main sponsors of the event, Prestige Models. Three fashion shows each night, one of which took place out on the arena, took everyone by surprise when the models walked out in their Bogner Winter coats before throwing them off the reveal the new bikini range from sponsor Neonky.

Final score: Team Bogner 8 Prestige Models 6 Team Prestige Models: 1 John Bunn (2), 2 Chas Taylor (1), 3 Martin Stegeman (1) Total 4 Team Bogner: 1 Zul Junus (1), 2 Kevin Shaw (1), 3 Robbie Denman (1) Total 3 Team Elan-Skis: 1 Graham Waring (0), 2 John Alton Jones (0), 3 Giles Boothman (0) Total 0 Umpires: Niall Donnelly (4), Mike Howe (3)



Situated between the banks of the Thames and historic Richmond Park, Ham Polo Club is the last remaining polo club in Greater London. It boasts one of the busiest schedules in competitive polo and corporate and charity events, as well as having a friendly clubhouse and full social calendar. Sunday 23rd

May Saturday 13th Sunday 14th Saturday 20th Sunday 21st

Thursday 25th Saturday 27th Sunday 28th Sunday 28th Monday 29th

Ham House Tournament Matches Ham House Tournament Final Day Hine Cognac Spring league matches R.A.F. Cranwell Tournament (away) H R Owen Trophy BBVA Bowl R.A.F. Cranwell Tournament (away) Mixed Doubles Tournament Matches Mixed Doubles Tournament Matches Mixed Doubles Tournament Matches Social Committee Cup Mixed Doubles Tournament Final Day Goal Cup (Final) Club Open Day

June Saturday 3rd Sunday 4th Saturday 10th Sunday 11th

Saturday 17th Sunday 18th Saturday 24th Sunday 25th

Spring league matches Richmond Park Cup Doug Brown Plate Spring league matches Tiger Tops Tiger Mountain I Tiger Mountain II Argentine Club Cup Petersham Bowl Tournament matches Petersham Bowl Tournament Final Day John Player Plate (Sub Final) Spring league matches Tigerstream Ventura-Pauly Trophy Ham vs RAF Polo Team June Bamberg

July Sunday 2nd

Saturday 8th Sunday 9th

Saturday 15th Sunday 16th Saturday 22nd

Peter Adams Agencies Summer Tournament Final Day Rosie Adams Bowl (Final) Rerrieson Trophy (Sub Final) Spring league matches Edward Tauchert Trophy Visitors Cup - Ham vs Leadenham PC Peter Pitts II Cheval Cup (League rain day) Sladmore Trophy Spring league Final - David Healy Trophy

Sunday 30th

Gold Cup - Cowdray Park Don Zoilo Quatros Amigos Ham vs Accra PC Ham vs Newport PC

august Tue 2nd & Wed 3rd Friday 4th Saturday 5th Sunday 6th Saturday 12th Sunday 13th Saturday 19th Sunday 20th Tuesday 22nd Saturday 26th Sunday 27th Monday 28th

Dubai Trophy Tournament Dubai Trophy Tournament semi finals Summer league matches Dubai Trophy Tournament Finals The Ritz Club Polo Challenge Spring league matches Stagshead – Young England Finalista Cup Summer league matches Godbold Trophy Indian Army Trophy Chukkas Summer league matches Roehampton Trophy Tournament Finals Critchley Club Matches

septeMber Saturday 2nd

Sunday 3rd

Saturday 9th Sunday 10th Saturday 16th Sunday 17th

Saturday 23rd Sunday 24th

Saturday 30th

Summer league matches HAC 105 invitational Cowdray Match - TBC Ham vs Newport Candilio Cup Autumn Cup Peter Pitts I Summer league matches Hunt Kendall Bowl Polo Challenge Cowdray Match - TBC Summer League rain day Jimmy Edwards Trophy Comedy Society Player of the Match David Brown Cup Billy Walsh Tournament Final KIngfisher The Floating Seat Summer League Final - The Peggy Healy Trophy

OctOber Sunday 1st

Farewell Cup Asprey Red Cross Cup Aylesford Trophy

For membership, whether playing or social, please contact: office@hampoloclub.com



Photography: Julie Ray Photography

MA S S Y U N I T E D 5

Hannah Henderson on the ball for Mrs B’s

Full power ahead – the girls battle hard

Massy United Insurance Apes Hill Polo Club Ladies International Battling belles push the boat out in Barbados (and swim with the turtles)


rganised by Camilla Williams and Lucy Taylor, this year’s Apes Hill Polo Club Ladies International was bigger and better with six team entries and local and foreign players from all over the world. For the second year in a row, Massy United Insurance, title sponsors, continued to show their support for ladies polo. With four days of polo, the week started with horse try day, followed by the draw and dinner for all players, friends and family, hosted by the Williams family in the Apes Hill Country Club. In between all the polo, the players enjoyed beach days, dinners, and a fantastic catamaran cruise which involved swimming with the turtles, courtesy of the Taylor family.


PQ • Spring 2017

Subsidiary Final score: Diamonds International 7 Mrs B’s 4.5 Diamonds International: 1 Monique Archer (1), 2 Zoe Archer (0), 3 Tiva Gross (6), 4 Izzy McGregor (4) Total 11 Mrs B’s: 1 Maxine Betteridge (0), 2 Georgina Walters (0), 3 Hannah Henderson (4), 4 Heloise Wilson Smith (5) Total 9

Final score: Massy United 5 Cote d’Azur Polo Club 3.5 Cote d’Azur Polo Club: 1 Rachel Hughes (2), 2 Vicki Gonzales (1), 3 Chris Evelyn (1), 4 Hazel Jackson (8) Total 12 Massy United: 1 Linda Williams (1), 2 Ashleigh Deane (0), 3 Lottie Lamacraft (5), 4 Lucy Coddington (5) Total 11 Ones to watch: Tiva Gross, Lottie Lamacraft and Heloise Wilson-Smith

Cowdr ay Park Polo Club


S U PA 1 7

v s 1 0 S i fa n i

The RCBPC Arena Gold Cup Youthful enthusiasm vies with age and experience as SUPA show Sifani who’s boss


ith seven teams entered into this season’s Arena Gold Cup at the Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club, it promised to be fast, tough and competitive throughout. The seven teams were split into a group of 4 and a league of 3, with all teams playing two league matches. After the first stage of league matches it was Regal Warriors who came out top of their league with SUPA in 2nd place, and defending champions Four Quarters placed above Sifani in the group. The first semi-final saw Four Quarters lining up against SUPA, in a tightly fought match. SUPA led throughout, and the score at half time read 16-9 in their favour. The second half saw them hold off the Four Quarters revival to run out the winners 22-19. Fighting for the other place in the final were Sifani and Regal Warriors, with the latter slow out of the starting blocks and giving Sifani a 4 goal lead after the first chukka. Despite Max Charlton’s best efforts to claw the game back for the Regal Warriors in the last chukka it was too little, too late, and the final score was 17-14 in favour of Sifani. The final was set. SUPA would go head to head with Sifani, and the grandstands were packed out with supporters for both teams. It was great to see so many students from all round the country, who turned out to support their friends and co-students in the SUPA team. On handicap, the SUPA team started with a four goal lead. They took full advantage and put Sifani firmly on the back foot by scoring a further 4 goals to Sifani’s 1, to end the chukka 8-1. The second chukka saw Sifani find their rhythm and some great team play between Henderson and Pemble allowed them to score 4 goals to SUPAs 1 – the latter


PQ • Spring 2017

a well converted 25 yard penalty by Robin Ormerod. As the arena was rolled, and both teams went for their pep talks, the scoreboard read 9-5 in favour of SUPA. The match so far was generally fast and open, with little need for the whistle. The second half was to be a little different. The third chukka was pretty evenly matched with Sifani notching up another 3 and SUPA 4, but SUPA were making hard work of it for themselves giving away a penalty one and two easily converted 15 yard penalties. SUPA had managed to extend their lead to 5 goals, and Sifani desperately needed a comeback. The fourth chukka was much the same as the third, with both sides desperately trying to gain possession and the final whistle went with the scoreboard reading 17-10 in favour of SUPA. On this occasion, it was enthusiasm and determination that prevailed over wisdom and experience. On speaking to the SUPA boys afterwards even they couldn’t quite believe the result. As the lowest handicapped and youngest team in the tournament, they were rightly ecstatic to have lifted the prize.

Final score: SUPA 17 Sifani 10 SUPA: Seb Hancock (3), 2 Robin Ormerod (4), 3 Harold Hodges (6) Total 13 Sifani: Hilali Noordeen (1), 2 Michael Henderson (6), 3 Ryan Pemble (8) Total 15 BPP: Don Cesar – owned by Oscar Mancini, played by Seb Hancock MVP: Seb Hancock Umpires: J Good, S McDonald

Photography: People of Polo: Cymon Skinner


SUPA’s defensive plays helped them to win the game

Everyone in shot - a rare arena picture!

MVP Seb Hancock


The FIP Ambassador’s Cup


ix teams made up of FIP Ambassadors and French polo players met on the last weekend of April on the new field of the Chateau de Courances, just one hour outside Paris. FIP Ambassadors from England, Argentina, Germany, Sweden, Brazil, Switzerland, Italy, and Thailand played for the coveted trophy on the idyllic grounds at Courances throughout the weekend. The event also featured a black-tie dinner party at the chateau, a traditional asado, and of course, a celebratory prize-giving ceremony with Taittinger champagne.

Field Marshall Montgomery, Deputy Supreme Commander of NATO, once occupied the castle with British forces, from 1949 to 1958. Today the Chateau is still privately-owned and home to four generations of the Ganay family, who have strong ties with the world of polo and recently chose to reinstate the game at Courances. Since its launch last year, the FFP have lent their support in making it an important venue for them on the French polo circuit. A wonderful time was had by all players and guests over the weekend; all leaving with smiles and happy memories. Polo played with friends at its very best, in the stunning surroundings of the spectacular Chateau.

All the guests enjoyed a fabulous gala dinner


PQ • Spring 2017

Polo and convivial company at the fabulous Cheateau de Courances

Costanza & Maria Vittoria Marchiorello, Alessandro Giachetti, Ginevra Viscont (L-R). Ladies in red. A traditional brass band entertained

Lauraine de Ganay and Antoine Ganay (above left) and the teams

Tourbillon watch by Hysek (left), and action on the field


Jonny Good concentrating hard


PQ • Spring 2017

England 12

v s 1 1 C o m m o n wea l t h l

Bryan Morrison Trophy Arena Polo International Test Match at Hickstead

The hat-trick! England do it again

Adolfo Casabal in the air...


ngland faced the Commonwealth this year. Result: the third straight victory in a row for England. Play was incredibly even throughout, with never more than a goal’s difference on the scoreboard as no team managed to get more than nose in front. Much to the delight of the crowd - after all, no one likes a walkover. It was not England leading into the last, they trailed 8-9, but Harold Hodges, the talented young player who rose up through the Pony Club, scored twice from open play, with another goal by Casabal. Ryan Pemble slotted in a penalty to close the gap, but time was on the side of the English, who won by a single goal - very much in the spirit of the game. The earlier challenge match (12 goal) was declared an equitable draw, with the score 11-11 on the final bell.

Final score: England 12 Commonwealth 11 MVP: Ryan Pemble BPP: Rainbow (owned by Richard Blake Thomas, played by Jonny Good)

Challenge Match:

Photography: ImagesOfPolo

...and turning the ball

MVP: Sebastian Dawnay BPP: Saffron, owned and played by Richard, Earl of Tyrone

Teams: England: 1 Jonny Good (8), 2 Harold Hodges (6), 3 Adolfo Casabal (7) Total 21 Commonwealth: 1 Jamie Morrison (7), 2 Michael Henderson (6), 3 Ryan Pemble (8) Total 21

Challenge Match: Hedonism Wines: 1 Evgeny Chichvarkin (1), 2 Sebastian Dawnay (7), 3 Royston Prisk (4) Total 12 Four Quarters: 1 Simon Arber (1), 2 Josh Clover (3), 3 Richard, the Earl of Tyrone (8) Total: 12

Make sure you get our good side Spring 2017 • PQ



Photography: Katarina Morgan

Skills: this tournament showcases serious talent


PQ • Spring 2017

San Francisc o La Ireni ta 1 3 vs 1 2 T re nque Lauque n

An ecstatic San Francisco La Irenita celebrate on the podium

A classic battle for the Copa Republica Argentina Sixteen to one, with a single goal separating victors and runners-up


ixteen teams entered this prestigious autumn tournament in Argentina – the last ‘big one’ before the horses get turned away for the winter. A few English players – James Beim, Charlie Hanbury – were in the mix, honing their skills playing the highest level of polo possible before the UK season starts. Alongside them, some big names: Eduardo Heguy, Matias Macdonough, a trio of Novillo Astradas, Facundo Sola, Hilario Ulloa, and Lolo Castagnola (senior and junior). To name a few. Fiercely contested, this tournament is a showcase for players and horses alike. The semi finals were slightly confusing as the tournament split into three sections at this stage: the Copa Diario la Nacion, the Copa Canada, and the final-final, the Copa Republica Argentina.

The final was between San Francisco La Irenita and Trenque Lauquen, and was ever so close. A single goal determined the winner of a frenzied, impassioned game.

Final score: San Francisco La Irenita 13 Trenque Lauquen 12 BPP: Irenita Tapon, played by Juan Jauretche San Francisco La Irenita: 1 Tomás Leguizamón (1), 2 Matías Mac Donough (8), 3 Martín Podestá jr. (5), 4 Facundo F. Llorente (6) Total 20 Trenque Lauquen: 1 Juan M. Garcia Grossi (0), 2 Juan Jauretche (5), 3 Roberto Bilbao (5), 4 Juan Agustín G. Grossi (7) Total 17

Spring 2017 • PQ


ON T H E P I T C H Polito Pieres versus Adolfo Cambiaso


PQ • Spring 2017

Va l i e n te 1 3

v s 1 2 Orc h ar d H i l l

US Open at the International Polo Club, Palm Beach A valiant Valiente take the US Open, but only six teams show up for the fight

Photography: Matias Callejo


t’s all a bit tricky in the US with high goal facing a general decline in patrons as seen across much of the polo world. 26 goal polo is very, very expensive and with a few patrons taking a back seat (more to follow), there were just six teams in the Open. Nonetheless, this is a very prestigious and fiercely contested fixture, running over about three weeks every April. Teams were in two brackets of three, each team playing each team in the other bracket at qualifying stage and getting two points for a win, one for a draw, none for a loss. After some complicated maths, the semi finals were set: Orchard Hill beat Flex Jet by a single goal (10-9) and Valiente had a convincing win over Travieso 16-6. Orchard Hill’s Facundo Pieres had a busy tournament, scoring 32 goals before the final. The sub final (Hall of Fame cup) was won by Audi, who beat Coca Cola 13-11, with Alejandro Novillo Astrada named MVP. After a delay due to rain (something we’re well versed in here in the UK), the final eventually took place on Tuesday 24th April. Three ten goalers on the field meant that this way always going to be an exciting game, and so it proved. Initially Orchard Hill looked to have the upper hand in the first half, with no less than six field goals from the Pieres cousins, and three penalties on top of that, to end half-time 9-6 up. Cambiaso then lit the afterburners and smacked

in goal after goal, with Cavanagh and Torres Zavaleta (more cousins!) adding to Valiente’s tally. The Pieres had hardly been silent themselves though, and the fifth chukka ended 11-11. Minutes ticked by and with little over a minute left the scores were 12-12, high tension on the field. Whistle-penalty-Pieres... missed! Groans as Facundo put the ball wide. Tick, tick, tick...extra time. Missed goals on either side and frenetic play, finally a ball went over the sidelines, and in the resulting throw-in Cavanagh picked up the ball and fled to goal, slotting it in and winning the US Open for Valiente.

Final score: Valiente 13 Orchard Hill 12 MVP: Matías Torres Zavaleta BPP: Cuartetera Clon 09 BPP by the Argentine Breeders Association: V8 Mentolada BPP of the 2017 US Season: Machitos Jazzita Valiente: 1 Bob Jornayvaz (2) , 2 Matias Torres Zavaleta (6), 3 Adolfo Cambiaso (10), 4 Diego Cavanagh (8) Total 26 Orchard Hill: Steve Van Andel (1), 2 Polito Pieres (10), 3 Facundo Pieres (10), 4 Jota Chavanne (5) Total 26

Spring 2017 • PQ


U S Ope n

Always time for a hug

Best Playing Pony: Cuartetera Clon 09

The US Open at Palm Beach

Facundo hits a neck shot


PQ • Spring 2017

It was a tense and thrilling finale for the highlight of the USA polo season – but we need more teams in the mix

Unadulterated joy!

Polito Pieres on the ball

Kalankari Irish TB Stallion Timeform rating of 103 Winner on the flat Broke track record at Kempton park Sire: Kalanisi (Doyoun/Kalamba) Dam: Stately Princess (Robellino/Affair of State) Kalanisi is a proven group 1 sire owned by the Aga Khan with Nijinski and Mill Reef Bloodlines. Stately Princess was also a winner on the flat and dam of eight winners herself. Stud Fee: ÂŁ450 NFFR Grass livery for mares: ÂŁ7/day AI available on request Standing at stud near Winchester, Hampshire Ponies sometimes available for sale


Email: auroraeastwood@gmail.com Tel: 07970 697593 The Old Stables, South Wonston Farm, South Wonston, Winchester SO21 3HL

Kalankari is a powerful, intelligent and very kind horse who imparts tremendous speed and very trainable brains to his offspring. All have made the polo field and are successfully playing in all levels up to high goal polo.

ON T H E P I T C H UA E P o l o 8 . 5


8 Desert Pa l m

Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series – McLaren Silver Cup

Al Habtoor Polo Resort hosts a close fought battle for the opening prize of the series Patrons do battle in front of an impressive skyline


AE Polo clinched the first trophy of the Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series, thanks to a half goal awarded on handicap before play started that ultimately decided the contest. In a very tough and even match, the UAE Polo team fielded by patron Her Highness Sheikha Maitha bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum followed up its 2016 Gold Cup win and a President’s Cup victory at Ghantoot this year with a victory by the narrowest of margins. The UAE Polo team consisting of Ali Al Merri, Jack Hyde, Matías Benoit and Guillermo Terrera were forced to fight hard to the very end against Desert Palm to achieve their victory. Desert Palm patron Tarek Albwardy, along with Martín Valent, Alejo Taranco and Santiago Laborde didn’t make things easy for UAE Polo, and were very close to taking the game. As if the result wasn’t close enough, the top scorers from the match also showed how even the run of play was, with


PQ • Spring 2017

Matías Benoit and Guillermo Terrera for UAE and Martín Valent and Santiago Laborde for Desert Palm all scoring 3 goals each. Terrera was the MVP of the match and Jessica, owned by Ghantoot Polo and played by Terrera in the 4th chukka, was the best playing pony. The top scorer of the McLaren Cup tournament was Alejo Taranco (Desert Palm) with 23 goals and Ali Al Merri (UAE) the top scoring patron with 4 goals.

Final score: UAE Polo 8.5 Desert Palm 8 MVP: Guillermo Terrera BPP: Jessica, owned by Ghantoot Polo and played by Guillermo Terrera UAE Polo: 1 Ali Al Merri (0), 2 Jack Hyde (3), 3 Matías Benoit (6), 4 Guillermo Terrera (8) Total 17 Desert Palm: 1 Tariq Albwardy (0), 2 Martin Valent (5), 3 Alejo Taranco (7), 4 Santiago Laborde (6) Total 18


Best Playing Pony: Gete Pintura

Photography: Gonzalo Etcheverry/DPGC 2017

Total ball control on the ever-improving pitches

Zedan Polo victorious again

Z e da n P o l o 1 0 v s 3 J u l i us Baer by Habt o o r P o l o

Dubai Polo Gold Cup Final


Three pots in three years for the winners of the Middle East’s most prestigious trophy

wo years after lifting the Julius Baer Gold Cup in 2015, and following that with the McLaren Silver Cup in 2017, Zedan Polo had a tough battle with Julius Baer by Habtoor Polo in the 2017 Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series final to make it a hat-trick of trophies. Teamwork and patience were required to clinch the match, and the 10 goal star of patron Amr Zedan’s team Pablo Mac Donough played a key part in the result, with eight goals to his credit. In the first two chukkas the teams were level-pegging, but by the end of the third Zedan Polo had carved out a two goal advantage. In spite of more goals on either side, they were still two ahead at the final whistle. The subsidiary Bentley Cup was won by Mahra Polo Team, a foursome made up of patron Rashid Al Habtoor, Isidro Strada, Juan Ruíz Guiñazú and Jerónimo del Carril. They beat Wolves on the day by 11 goals to 8. The Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series was founded by

Mohammed Al Habtoor in 2009. It’s an 18 goal handicap tournament – the highest handicapped event in the Middle East, Africa and Asia – and has risen to become one of the most prestigious events of the polo calendar. This year it was held for the first time at the Al Habtoor Polo Resort and Club, a state of the art development devoted to equine pursuits.

Final score: Zedan Polo 10 Julius Baer by Habtoor Polo 9 MVP: Octavio Olmedo BPP: Gete Pintura played by Pablo Mac Donough Zedan Polo: 1 Amr Zedan (0), 2 Octavio Olmedo (3) 2 Martín Gándara (5), 4 Pablo MacDonough (10) Total 18 Julius Baer by Habtoor Polo: 1 Mohammed Al Habtoor (0), 2 Tomas Beresford (4), 3 Juan Zubiaurre (5), 4 Nicolas Pieres (9) Total 18

Spring 2017 • PQ



You want horsepower? Maserati delivers...

The spectacular clubhouse provides perfect viewing

Matchy-matchy: immaculately turned out


PQ • Spring 2017

Best Playing Pony: Terla

A bu D h ab i 7 v s

4 A E S I n ter n at i o n a l

Maserati Dubai Polo Trophy 2017, Desert Palm Polo Club and Resort Cars, cuisine and tunes brought an Italian flavour to Al Albwardy’s polo oasis


aserati kicked off ‘parte prima’ of the 2017 Maserati Global Polo Tour in collaboration with La Martina in January with all the glitz and glamour of the St. Moritz Snow Polo World Cup – enjoying picturesque views of snow-capped mountains, gulping in crisp alpine air, and then wheel-spinning over to the intensely warmer climes of Dubai’s desert for their second leg. Ali Albwardy is president of UAE Polo Association, and his polo club oasis is less than 20 minutes away from the hustle and bustle of Dubai’s urban jungle. With its refreshing green embrace of acutely manicured playing fields, sophisticated culinary refinement and sporting excellence, Desert Palm Polo Club created the idyllic backdrop for the Maserati Dubai Polo Trophy. Six thoroughly international polo teams, featuring talented professional and amateur players from United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Jordan, Pakistan, United Kingdom, Spain, Uruguay and Argentina produced fiercely competitive yet entertaining polo throughout the week. For finals day, Desert Palm was transformed into a vibrant piazza where VIP guests tapped their toes to Italian jazz and relished the juxtaposition of striking decor more commonly found in the heart of a traditional Italian ‘cittadina’. The subsidiary final was won by HH Sheikh Falah Bin Zayed Al Nayhan’s Ghantoot against tournament host team Maserati with a Prosecco-quaffing ‘golden goal’ finish. The big final for the Maserati Dubai Polo Trophy saw AES International narrowly lose out to tournament favourites Abu Dhabi, with some outrageous field shots from big-hitter Alfredo Capella. In addition to the horsepower on the field, guests

enjoyed Maserati horsepower from the entire model range that was on display. The line-up included the latest addition to the Maserati family, the Levante SUV, as well as the flagship Quattroporte, the executive saloon Ghibli and the sporty GranTurismo and GranCabrio models. Umberto Cini, Managing Director of Maserati Middle East, Africa and Asia, commented: “Congratulations to the players of Team Abu Dhabi. I would like to personally thank Ali Albwardy and Desert Palm, the teams and sponsors as well as all of our distinguished guests for being part of this exhilarating ‘horsepower’ filled day.”

Final score: Abu Dhabi 7 AES International 4 Abu Dhabi: 1 Faris Al Yabhouni (0), 2 Kian Hall (2), 3 Yousef Bin Desmal (0), 4 Alfredo Capella (8) Total 10 AES International: 1 Sam Instone (0), 2 Ayaad Damouni (-1), 3 Matias Machado (4), 4 Jejo Taranco (7) Total 10 Leica MVP: Faris Al Yabhouni, patron of Team Abu Dhabi La Martina BBP: Terla, owned by Faris Al Yahbouni, played by Alfredo Capella

Subsidiary Final score: Maserati 5 Ghantoot 4 Ghantoot: 1 Ali Al Marri (0), 2 Pipe Llorente (4), 3 Pablo Llorente (6), 4 Abdullah Bin Dasmal (0) Total 10 Maserati: 1 Rashid Albwardy (3), 2 Tariq Al Habtoor (0), 3 Daniel Gariador (2), 4 Martin Valent (5) Total 10

Spring 2017 • PQ


P Q P r o pert y

Location, location, location... you can’t get much closer to the best polo in Spain

“Get thee to a nunnery!” Sotogrande convent conversion is perfect for polo playing sun-worshippers


hen we heard the tip-off from Holmes Property Sales in Sotogrande, alerting us to this wonderful equestrian estate they’re offering just minutes from the epicentre of Costa del Sol polo, our minds leapt as usual to thoughts of that dream polo lifestyle bathed in permanent Spanish sunshine. Then reports of ‘that dinner’ hosted by Theresa May for EU president Jean-Claude Juncker emerged to shatter our romantic idyll… and cautious with our finances as ever, PQ wondered how the gathering Brexit clouds might be affecting potential investments like this beguiling £4.8m opportunity on the edge of Guadiaro? Fear not, reckons Holmes proprietor Ben Bateman, who has been working in the family business in Sotogrande since 2002. “The referendum meant nine months of 2016 were, if not quite a write-off, not what we were expecting,” he says of a market where between 15-35 percent of annual


PQ • Spring 2017

sales are to British buyers. “But this year has come back very strong, the referendum result has been ‘priced in’ to markets, and nearly everyone who paused their property search with us last year is back.” Drat. So with our quest for a ‘Brexit bargain’ thwarted, what else could Ben tell us about this former convent, first converted to a private estate in the 1980s and brought up to mint condition by the current owners? “It’s just minutes from Santa Maria and Ayala – clubs with two of the finest polo grounds in Europe, he says. “With 300 days of sunshine you can play all year, and the town and marina are in easy reach too. It’s a country estate where you can pop out for a walk and pick up a pint of milk.” Accommodation includes a grand entrance, traditional Andalusian-style courtyard and colonnaded walkways, not to mention seven bedrooms, stabling, tack rooms, and groom’s quarters – with plenty of room for expanding the equestrian side, including with a stick and ball field in the 13 hectare grounds. “Find another one like it,” challenged Ben, when we enquired about wriggle-room on the asking price. He’s got a point…

Relaxing by the pool. Oh yes...

(Or “get thee to a watermill…”) Catalonia this time, but they play polo there too

There’s even a niche for all your trophies!


For a bit less money – just over £4m – you could uppolo-sticks to this gorgeous converted watermill near Barcelona. Built around the 15th/16th century and originally used for irrigating fruit orchards and grinding corn, the estate covers 17.4 hectares with a six-bedroom main house that took four years to restore in 2007. There are beautifully landscaped gardens, a lake, a veg plot and an ancient chapel, while centuries old olive trees guard the front entrance. Modern stabling for eight horses lies just 65m from the old building, with a small family house for your stable manager or groom, plus an Olympicsized dressage ring and eight large irrigated paddocks. On top of all that, of course, the Real Club de Polo de Barcelona is just a couple of hours away in the horse lorry. Perfect! www.country-properties-worldwide.com Spring 2017 • PQ


P Q P r o pert y

More Sotogrande magic – but this time out of town


Traditional charms, with all the benefits of modern build

Stabling for 12 horses, and no freezing mucking out...

In spite of the rustic location you’re fully hooked up to mains power – although there’s on-site generation too – and water comes from a licensed private well and two large reservoirs. We asked Michael Paessler of Mara’s World of Horses for his views on the current market in Spain generally, and he feels there’s still an amount of uncertainty reducing the number of British buyers, and increasing numbers of Brits are selling-up too. “While the British market is weaker after the Brexit vote, other nations have taken up the slack, especially the Scandinavian countries, and France and Belgium. Spanish developers and estate agents are concentrating increasingly on these markets,” he says. “The outlook, therefore, gives reason for cautious optimism for the foreign real estate market in Spain.” So there you are. If you’re looking to the mid-term and not after turning a fast buck, this slice of peace and tranquillity within easy reach of the Sotogrande polo grounds could be just the ticket. www.mara-lisa.com

f we’ve inspired you to start a Sotogrande property search, then Mara’s World of Horses is offering this delightful 20-hectare property a few miles inland. Set in a gently rolling landscape, but with extensive flat areas on the estate itself, there’s a seven-bedroom single-storey main house sitting on a small hill. In spite of its traditional looks, it was built new in 2005. Features include high ‘cathedral’ ceilings, open fireplaces and covered terraces, while there’s also a professionally equipped kitchen, gym, sauna and hammam, and a gorgeous pool with thatched pool house surrounded by tropical vegetation. Naturally there are stables involved, this time with boxes for 12 horses, and the equestrian facilities also include an arena plus staff and guest cottages. About 14 hectares of the estate are given over to fully fenced and irrigated paddocks and meadows.

Spring 2017 • PQ


C L A S S IFI E D A d s









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www.tristarhorseboxes.co.uk Spring 2017 • PQ


C L A S S IFI E D A d s


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PQ • Spring 2017

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Spring 2017 • PQ


Photography imagesofpolo.com


Fanshawe’s five minutes On handicaps, new talent, and finding time for the ladies... Antony Fanshawe has been a polo fixture since, well, anyone can really remember. As well as a mean handicap in his prime, he’s noted for producing good horses. He used to play horses for 10 goaler Bautista Heguy in Argentina too, before taking on the role of Polo Manager at Guards. PQ There were more High Goal teams a few years ago. What needs to change to get the numbers back? AF I think handicapping is fundamental. If you look at racing, the winners get handicapped higher to even things out, and those that don’t win go down. That just doesn’t happen in polo. Teams that win high goal tournaments should go up, teams that don’t should go down. PQ How would that change things for the better? AF What is the incentive to patrons if only a handful of people are winning? That’s fine if the same three ten goalers just want to play tournaments with each other but it doesn’t help the game. Reducing handicaps would help bring the prices down for some of the pros which makes it more attractive to patrons. Do the simple things first.


PQ • Spring 2017

PQ Guards has a new ladies tournament in August. Why not raise the profile with a Queen’s Cup day final? AF It costs in excess of £1 million a year to keep the club grounds up to a high goal standard, and the Cartier Queen’s Cup entry fee guarantees the teams have sole use of our best grounds. So we need to find a place in the calendar where they fit without disrupting what is already happening. PQ Wouldn’t it be good to do more for the ladies? AF The Club’s Grounds Development Plan, which is a step closer to starting, will result in four full-sized high goal fields at Smith’s Lawn, replacing grounds 4, 5 and 6. Then the problem of too much polo and too few pitches will ease a little. Currently, it’s nearly impossible to play the amount of games we have alread, especially in wet summers. Adding more polo in August is not really an option at the moment. PQ Finally, who should we look out for this year? AF Julian de Lusarreta is very talented. Adolfo’s new team will be interesting. And watch out for whoever gets the King Power run.

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Join us at Polo Valley Sotogrande for world class polo, ponies and coaching, just ten minutes from the beaches and the high goal games. Watch the world’s top players and soak up the sunshine and unique polo buzz for a Summer

experience that will keep you coming back for more.

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