Polo Season 2016
by Lieutenant A C Soames, The Blues and Royals
he Polo season has gone well for the combined HCR/HCMR teams. Again this year the team was helped by Capt Cameron Bacon who lent his ponies free-of-charge to Troopers in the Regiment keen to learn. This has meant that the Regiment has been able to field all-Trooper teams in Inter-Regimental competitions, a feat unequalled by any other Regiment. Training has been held at a new base - Carlitos, near Windsor - this season, and the arrangement seems to be going well. Indeed, the training has paid off in the form of prizes for the team in many competitions, including in the Hackett Inter-Regimental, Captains and Subalterns and the Major General’s competitions. This year opened with our annual match against Buck’s Club in the Barbour Polo Day at West Wycombe Polo Club. Barbour have continued to provide us with a great deal of support and Barbour Day gives us a wonderful opportunity to meet the Barbour PR team in an informal setting. The first two chukkas saw a strong Buck’s team open the scoring but with an excellent series
of goals from Lt Albany Mulholland (0) and Capt Cameron Bacon (0) accompanied by supportive play from Capt Rory Horgan (-2) and Capt Henry Vaughan (-2) the HCav team won 7-4. In the Inter-Regimental Cup at Guards Polo Club we faced a strong team from the Royal Navy. Despite a valiant effort from Lt Albany Mulholland (0), Lt Arthur Soames (-1), Capt Cameron Bacon (0) and Capt Jack Mann (2) the Navy pipped us to the post 5-4.5.
Lt Mulholland, Capt Bacon, LCpl Speaight, Tpr Reuter, Tpr Sidwells and Tpr Jarman at the Captain’s and Subaltern’s tournament
The HCR came second to The Royal Navy in the Hackett Inter-Regimental Competition
The team celebrate their win at the Captain’s and Subaltern’s Tournament
Much of the emphasis for 2015 to 2016 polo has been on the development of a competitive other-ranks team. The Household Cavalry is the only regiment fielding a team of this sort in either the Royal Armoured Corps or the Household Division. With incredible dedication, hard work and tremendous support from Capt Cameron Bacon and Lt Albany Mulholland, the Troopers’ team has seen success after success this season. In the Captains & Subalterns Tournament at Tidworth Polo Club, LCpl Speaight (-2) and Tprs Sidwell (-2), Reuter (-2), Jarmin (-2) defeated the AGC (9.5-1) and the RDG (6.5-6) to win their group. The A team comprised of Maj Ed Mackie (-1), Capts Cameron Bacon (0) and Rory Horgan (-2), and Lt Albany Mulholland (0), lost to a strong Hussars team (5-3) but defeated the RA (6-2.5). The final match of the season saw us at Guards Polo Club pitched against a combined Household Division team in a subsidiary match of the Major General’s Cup where we won 5-1.5. The team continued to train over the winter with a coordinated arena polo scheme provided by White Waltham Polo Club in order to ensure a strong 2017 season.
hilst September was a time when most hung up their mallets and turned their attention to muddier equine sports, the author was lucky enough to be sent on a Defence Engagement mission to Mongolia with the Army Polo Team. There he spent four days coaching the nascent Mongolian Army Polo Team at their barracks on the vast steppe, advising on everything, from horse care to the finesse of a back-hand. Horses roam wild across the Steppe, being caught the day of a match to play a game of polo. Indeed, whilst unconventional, the Mongolian seat is unique and well-
76 ■ Household Cavalry Sports Round-up
A Mongolian Cowboy tends to his herd nearby the barracks on the steppe
Mongolian’s have a lot to teach the Spanish Riding School