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Tue 15th Aug 2017

The Sun Shines on Pony Club

Children from across the UK gather at Cowdray Park Polo Club

The culmination of months and months of hard work came to fruition at Cowdray Park Polo Club yesterday, Sunday 14 August, as a whopping 168 children and their families gathered for the annual Pony Club Polo Championship Finals. The Surtees, Langford, Loriner, Rendell and Gannons series were all in attendance, whilst the Jorrocks Final took place the previous Wednesday, 9 August, at Hurtwood Park Polo Club. 42 teams had travelled from as far afield as Inverness to take part in this iconic event, immortalised by the parade on Lawns 2 as all the children lined up to applause from the grandstand before being allowed to canter, or in this case stampede, off the ground back, to the safety of the pony lines. 

As the sun shone down on the beautifully tended Lawns, the 42 teams battled it out for the coveted trophies. The quality of the polo being played by this next generation was truly impressive, with plays akin to something you’d find from a national tournament regularly making appearances. The Gannon Final between the North Cotswold Hunt and the Beaufort Blue was an outstanding four chukka match, with impressive teamwork from both sides. Beaufort Blue lifted the trophy high after a competitive game and Tom Coid’s beautiful bay, Rum, was awarded the Polo Times Best Playing Pony award. 
Awards and prizes were given out to all the section winners and respective runners-up at the balmy presentation ceremony, the cherry on top of the already marvellous day. Amongst these awards, the Handley Cross Polo Times Best Playing Pony went to Phoenix, owned and played by Lucy McLaughlin from the Beaufort, who was so excited, she dragged the pony straight over the presenter’s foot, much to the amusement of the onlookers! After receiving The Jambo Trophy last year, Squidge Grayson was awarded the Most Promising Loriner’s Girl Award, whilst Fiona Campbell from the Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire Hunt was awarded the Most Promising All Round U21 player. The Pony Club Player of the Year, winning a beautiful SATS saddle, went to Harry Hickmet from the Beaufort Hunt Blue, whilst this year’s Jambo Trophy went to George Telfer and his pony Toffee. 
The September issue of Polo Times will feature The Pony Club Championships report in full, so if you’re not a subscriber, click here to make sure you don’t miss out!
 
Photograph: The youngest player to ride in the 2017 parade, Matias Maldonado, from the Grafton Hunt Jorrocks team. By Polo Times

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