|Mon 6th Jul 2015|
A Golden Weekend
Updates from The Jaeger-LeCoultre Gold Cup
Two weeks into the tournament stages of The Jaeger-LeCoultre Gold Cup, the stars of the game are rapidly making themselves known. Most teams have, by now, played three out of four of their set matches of this stage of the tournament. So far the strongest line-ups look to be Dubai, who have played and won all four of their matches already, King Power Foxes, who have won their first three matches and will face Salkeld on Tuesday 7 July, and UAE Polo Team, another three-win triumph, who face Thai Polo on Wednesday.
The weekend saw Apes Hill Club win 10-9 against La Indiana on Friday 3 July in an extra chukka. Michael Bickford's La Indiana side, contesting their first Gold Cup, have yet to win a match but have played strongly, having met competitive teams King Power Foxes and El Remanso in their previous matches, losing 11-10 and 12-7 respectively.
The King Power Foxes vs Talandracas game promised great things and didn't disappoint. A 13-8 win for the Foxes against this well-established side highlights just how influential King Power and King Power Foxes will be in this Gold Cup. King Power Foxes will now play Salkeld on Tuesday 7 July, while Talandracas face El Remanso, the young but experienced team, which unites George and Charlie Hanbury with Ollie Cudmore and 10 goaler Pelon Stirling.
There was only one game on Saturday 4 July, which saw the UAE Polo Team dominate over King Power, 15-6. Sheikha Maitha's team must be making their patron very proud with their performance this tournament; they are yet to win a match by a margin of less than eight goals.
Sunday 5 July saw RH Polo lose to Dubai 8-6. RH Polo have had a mixed tournament so far; having lost out to the UAE Polo Team 14-6 in the very first game of the tournament, they then rallied to beat HB Polo 13-10. The results of this match, however, come as a surprise to many, who were expecting stronger play from Dubai.
In the last match on Sunday, HB Polo won against Thai Polo 10-7. The Pailloncy brothers were visibly delighted to be presented with the Argentine Ambassador’s Cup in front of a large crowd who had been guests of the Ambassador during the afternoon, sampling the best food, drink and products from Argentina in a super-chic reception in blazing sunshine. Harald Link was philosophical after the defeat that signalled the end of his Thai Polo Team’s Gold Cup hopes, honestly stating to Polo Times, “We should have played better.”
For full teams, times and tournaments, click here.
Photograph: The winners of the Argentine Ambassador’s Cup HB Polo pictured with The Ambassador of Argentina Alicia Castro, The Hon. Lila Pearson and the Thai Polo team. Courtesy of the Argentine Embassy Press Office
Mon 6th Jul 2015
RoR Racing to Polo Challenge
RoR will be holding its Racing to Polo Challenge at The Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club on Monday 7 September
After last year’s successful competition in which Roddy Matthews, Ben Eeley, Ben Turner and Alan Kent all picked up prizes, RoR are returning to The Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club this September.
There will be five classes in total, with the following restrictions on eligibility:
In the four main classes, all horses must have raced in Great Britain and be registered with RoR under their registered racing name.
A new class will be held for horses that are unraced, but have been registered in-training within Great Britain.
Passports must accompany ponies to the competition for inspection and verification by microchip scanning.
Riders must be 2 goals and above, unless approved by the panel, riding their own pony or for the stable they are attached to, and dressed for polo in whites and a polo shirt.
On arrival at the competition, ponies will be subject to a vet check. Any pony that fails the vet check will not be allowed to compete.
The judges will be from a panel of leading polo players, polo pony producers and representatives from RoR and The HPA. Judges may ask to ride ponies in the six-year-olds and upwards section. A doctor or paramedic and vet will be on duty throughout the competition and tea and refreshments will be available throughout the day.
The competition will be divided into four classes in the following age groups: three-year-olds, four-year-olds, five-year-olds, six-year-olds and upwards. In the six-year-olds and upwards age group, any previous winners of the RoR Racing to Polo Challenge will not be eligible to enter the competition again. A new class for three-year-old and four-year-old registered thoroughbreds, named officially on their Weatherbys passport and Stud Book record is for horses that have not raced.
– In all classes ponies will be judged on conformation, a mark for this will be awarded. Movement, responsiveness and willingness will also be marked. Each rider will have one and a half minutes of freestyle display. There will also be a mark for turnout.
– Judges will look for three-year-olds to show balanced transitions through steady paces, rating, some lateral movements and early stages of polo moves, checking and turning, optional change of lead canter, optional introduction of mallet (foot mallet acceptable). Marking – performance 75%, conformation 20%, turnout 5%.
– Judges will look for four-year-olds and five-year-olds to rate smoothly, move laterally at canter, check and turn and accept the mallet. Use of a foot mallet is acceptable. Marking – performance 80%, conformation 15%, turnout 5%.
– For six-year-olds and upwards, judges will mark a freestyle display of the rider’s choice, expecting to see complete polo moves. Higher marks will be awarded for more comprehensive moves including mallet. Marking – performance 85%, conformation 10%, turnout 5%.
Prize money will be given down to sixth place in each class. Classes will be balloted if necessary. The prizes for each of the four classes will be £1,000 to the winner, £500 for the second placed pony, £300 for third, £200 for fourth, £100 for fifth, and £100 for sixth place. Grooms’ prizes will be given for the Best Turned Out in each section and a special prize given to the groom of the Overall Best Turned Out Pony.
The first two ponies placed in each section of the main classes will be asked to come forward for prize-giving. The Overall Champion will be judged from the five-year-olds and six-year-old and upwards sections, and will receive The Balding Trophy and an additional prize of £500. The Overall Champion will also be nominated for a bonus award of £1,000. Should they win the overall award, the owner or a representative will be asked to attend the RoR Awards ceremony in November at Newmarket.
To enter the competition, download the entry form by clicking here, or to contact RoR for further information click here. Entry forms should be returned by either emailing them to email@example.com or be posted to: Racing to Polo Entry, Retraining of Racehorses, Ash Cottage, Back Street, East Garston, Hungerford, Berkshire RG17 7EX.
Photograph: Roddy Matthews with Tiny Tittle, winner of the 2014 five-year-old class and Overall Champion. Courtesy of RoR
Mon 6th Jul 2015
The Pony Club and British Junior Polo Championships set to start
Dates and venues for this year's Youth tournaments
Looking forward, we are eagerly anticipating the start of the Pony Club tournaments that pave the way to the Championships in early August. These games form a vital part in the education and training of the next generation of polo players, as well as being good fun for all. In fact, the current England team can boast that they all played Pony Club polo when they were younger!
Pony club tournament dates for July:
Vaux Park: 13 July
Taunton: 14 July
Frampton: 16 July
Rugby: 17 July
Suffolk: 18 July
Epsom: 19 July
Kirtlington: 21 July
Ascot: 22 July
Hurtwood: 23 July
Cirencester (Qualifying Pony Club Tournament): 27 – 28 July
Longdole (Qualifying Pony Club Tournament): 29 – 30 July
Tidworth (Qualifying Pony Club Tournament): 3 – 4 August
Jorrocks Championships at Hurtwood: 5 August
Pony Club Championships Cowdray: 7 – 9 August
Additionally, tomorrow, Tuesday 7 July, sees the first Buckmaster match of the British Junior Polo Championships played at Guards Polo Club, followed by games at The Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club on Thursday 9 July, and Cirencester Park Polo Club on Monday 13 July. The Buckmaster section is open to players under the age of 18, in teams of -2 to 1 goals.
Games for the Hipwood division (for players under 15, in teams of -8 to -5 goals, with no players of 0 goals or above) starts on Wednesday 8 July at Kirtlington Park Polo Club, followed by play at a private ground at Trewsbury, near Cirencester, on Saturday 11 July. Further games will be taking place at Beaufort Polo Club on Friday 17 July, and Black Bears Polo Grounds, Shiplake, on Monday 20 July.
The Finals of both tournaments will be played at Cowdray Park Polo Club on Thursday 6 August for the Hipwood, and Friday 7 August for the Buckmaster.
Polo Times wishes everyone involved the best of luck!
Photograph: Play from the 2014 Pony Club Championships at Cowdray. By Michael Chevis