Earlier this month 43 former racehorses competed at The Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club to contest the RoR Racing to Polo Challenge, kindly supported by Lycetts.
The event continues to grow in popularity and is open to all RoR registered horses who have been in training or raced under any recognised racing authority.
As the rain fell, competitors arrived to declare their horses for one of the four classes being held on a ground at this prestigious Polo Club. This year, for the first time, an award was presented to the best playing lady rider.
Polo action with ex-racehorses
Photo John Simpson
The judges panel included Judith Balding, Senior Judge for conformation, joined by Rob Cudmore, Will Brasher, Nick Evans, Chris Price and Piers Plunkett who were judging performance. Each competitor presented their horses to the Conformation Judge prior to commencing their one and a half minute performance element of the Challenge.
The first class of the day was for three-year-olds, with nine horses coming forward to compete and demonstrate their adaptability to a second career on the Polo field. Judges focussed primarily on performance with type and conformation being taken into account in case of a tie, the winning combination was Ireland’s Angel, ridden and owned by Sebastian Chiavlo. The filly, by Lethal Force, was formerly trained by David Evans with whom she had four starts on the flat before retiring in September 2018. Second place was awarded to Cheeky Lola, formerly trained Tim Easterby, ridden by Nick Johnson and owned by Alan Kent
The four year old class, saw 11 horses come forward and was won by Whererainbowsend, formerly trained by Bryan Smart, owned and ridden by Ed Hitchman with second place awarded to Newton Place, formerly trained by Pat Fahy, ridden by Adam Buchanan and owned by Aurora Cotton-McKean.
The five year olds then came forward with 14 horses entered, the winner was Powerpuff owned and ridden by Ed Hitchman with No Luck Penny owned and ridden by Ben Eeley receiving the second prize.
The day culminated with the six year old and upwards class where nine horses were presented to the judges and proved to be a good class for Ed Hitchman who took first and second place with Sweets‘N’Sheets and Mrs Frosty respectively. Sweets’N’Sheets, part owned by Will Brasher, was in training with Paul Midgley when she ran twice finishing plum last in both starts. Clearly she has found her calling on the Polo field.
Lady riders, Katrina Thomas and Hannah Parry-Jones were awarded the inaugural overall Ladies prizes for their performances in the four classes.
RoR would, again, like to thank the Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club for hosting this wonderful event and also the judges, players and organisers for making this event such a success year on year. Special thanks to the HPA and Lycetts for their continued support.
Class 1 – 3 year olds
1st. Ireland’s Angel owned and ridden by Sebastian Chialvo
2nd. Cheeky Lola ridden by Nick Johnson, owned by Alan Kent
3rd. Annie’s Bow ridden by Monty Campbell and owned by Jack Richardson
Class 2 – 4 year olds
1st. Whererainbowsend owned and ridden by Ed Hitchman
2nd. Newton Place ridden by Adam Buchanan, owned by Aurora Cotton-Mckean
3rd. Runway Bay ridden by Nick Johnson, owned by Alan Kent
Class 3 – 5 year olds
1st. Powerpuff owned and ridden by Ed Hitchman
2nd. No Luck Penny owned and ridden by Ben Eeley
3rd. Joy ridden by Miguel Ayala, owned by Pedro Harrison
Class 4 – 6 year olds and upwards
1st. Sweets’N’Sheets owned and ridden by Ed Hitchman
2nd. Mrs Frosty owned and ridden by Ed Hitchman
3rd. Palavicini’s Girl ridden by Rupert Lewis, owned by Richard Le Poer