England victory in Hickstead polo

England secured a comfortable victory over France in the annual Playnation Arena Polo Test Match at the All England Polo Club, Hickstead on Saturday March 2.

It was the first time France had played in the International Test Match and they found the Flannels England team on dominant form, with the home side lifting the Bryan Morrison Trophy for the fourth year in succession.

England started strongly, scoring four goals in the first chukka to build a healthy lead over the visiting team. By half time, England’s Arena Polo experience was clearly showing and they led 9-0. But their rivals picked up in the second half, with captain Pierre Henri Ngoumou scoring to get the French off the mark, and by the end of the third chukka the scoreline read 15-7.

Flannels England win the Playnation Arena : Photo by Polo Test Match Images of Polo

An exciting fourth chukka saw both teams add to the scoreline, but France could not fully bridge the gap and Flannels England of Ed Banner-Eve (6), Eden Ormerod (6) and Will Emerson (6) rode out the winners 17-9.

“The whole match from beginning to end was fast, furious and flowing – which is how Ed, Eden and myself like to play,” said Will Emerson, who captained the winning England side.  “This made for a great match to watch, as well as being such fun to play in.

“England, of course, had home advantage, and our horses and players have far more experience and knowledge of arena polo. But the French players are quality players and they learnt quickly. The first half was dominated by England, however the second half was more closely contested.”

Emerson expressed how honoured he was to be asked by the Hurlingham Polo Association (HPA) to captain the England Team, and he also thanked the visiting team for their commitment to playing in the Test Match. “It was fantastic that France made such an effort for the event: getting the horses fit, playing practices in France, then transporting all the horses to England for the match.”

AEPC Chairman John Bunn added: “Congratulations to England for another superb victory in the Playnation Arena Polo Test Match. It’s always an honour to host this match and we are very grateful to the teams, the sponsors and the HPA for making the day such a success.”

Earlier in the day, the 12-Goal Challenge saw Centtrip Wales beat Hedonism Wines 19-13. At half time the scoreline was 7-7, but Centtrip Wales really picked up in the second half to take the win.

The sport was followed by the traditional post-match luncheon, where the players, organisers and supporters were able to celebrate the Test Match and the end of another successful Arena Polo season at Hickstead.

The Playnation International Test Match for The Bryan Morrison Trophy

Flannels England (18): Ed Banner-Eve (6), Eden Ormerod (6) & Will Emerson (6 – captain)

France (19): Clément Delfosse (6), Pierre Henri Ngoumou (7 – captain) & Patrick Paillol (6)

The Polo Magazine Most Valuable Player: Ed Banner-Eve

Polo Times Best Playing Pony: Pierre Henri Ngoumou’s Pulga

12-Goal Challenge

Centtrip Wales (13): Amy Guy (1), Richard Blake-Thomas (5) & Pete Webb (7)

Hedonism Wines (13): Evgeny Chichvarkin (1), Tim Bown (4) & Jonny Good (8)

The Polo Magazine Most Valuable Player: Pete Webb

Polo Times Best Playing Pony: Richard Blake-Thomas’ Gypsy

England v France in arena polo

This year’s Playnation Arena Polo Test Match on Saturday March 2 will see the Flannels England team play France for the first time at Hickstead.

Both teams will be aiming to pick up the Bryan Morrison Trophy, which is presented to the winners of the annual Test Match held at the All England Polo Club. England has an excellent record in this fixture, winning all but one of the matches since the first Test Match was held at Hickstead in 2008.

Fast action by England team in a previous match

“We’re delighted to once again be chosen to host the Hurlingham Polo Association’s annual international test match, and we are very grateful to Playnation for coming on board as title sponsors of this match”, said AEPC Chairman John Bunn.

A full day of polo gets underway with the 12-Goal Challenge at 11.30am, followed by the Test Match at 1.30pm. The Polo Clubhouse will be open from 10.30am onwards, serving a range of food and drinks.

Admission costs just £5, and parking is free. Spectators also have the option of upgrading to the post-match luncheon, which is held in the Al Shira’aa Suite overlooking the International Arena. Tickets for the luncheon cost £49.50 each.

In Arena Polo, there are only three members per team instead of four. The pitch is smaller, the ball is larger and softer, and shots can be played off the boards of the arena, making it an exciting game to watch. The All England Polo Club has fixtures nearly every weekend from October to March, while lessons, livery and pony hire are also available.

Tickets are available at the gate or can be purchased online in advance from www.hickstead.co.uk


London’s 2019 Polo in the Park

London’s first polo event of the summer season returns to Hurlingham Park, Fulham to host its tenth birthday. Kicking off the change in seasons with an ultimate three-day summer celebration, Chestertons Polo in the Park takes over the capital’s social calendar on June 7-9 2019.

Limited ‘Early Bird’ tickets have now been released with new prices in celebration of the event’s tenth birthday. Chestertons Polo in the Park will reward the keenest ticket buyers with £10 off. Group bookings of 10 tickets but only pay for 9 and finally, to celebrate the event’s 10th birthday, children 10 and under are now FREE. Tickets available now via http://polointheparklondon.com/

One of the biggest social sporting events of the summer, Chestertons Polo in the Park is one of the largest and most popular polo tournaments in Europe combining world-class sport in the perfect setting of sunny champagne gardens with fantastic food and music.

The three-day sporting spectacle has firmly established itself as one of the most anticipated and sought after events in South West London. Perfect for polo fanatics and social enthusiasts in equal measure, the rules have been uniquely simplified so that newcomers will be able to follow the fast and furious polo without needing any prior knowledge of the game.

International Day, Friday June 7, is set to be an action-packed opening day featuring the Flannels England Polo Team as they take to the hallowed turf against a rival country in a thrilling international match to kick start the tournament.

Ladies Day presented by Lancaster, Saturday June 8, provides the perfect excuse to dress up and enjoy a day out with your closest friends, watching quality sporting action while sipping champagne in the sun.

Finals Family Day, Sunday June 9, rounds off the weekend with a world-class finale match to crown the tournament champions. A day for all the family where parents can watch on from London’s best cocktail bars or Champagne Lanson garden while the children are entertained at the Little Hooves Kids Club and stampede onto the Sharky & George Pitch Invasion.

Over the course of three days, teams representing six different cities from around the world will be taking part in the hotly contested event.

There will be plenty more to see and do all weekend with the Grazing Paddock hosting top restaurants and delicious street food, the Champagne Lanson Garden returns alongside the iconic Mahiki pineapples, Slingsby Cocktail Bar and Fever-Tree Garden. Splash out in the Luxury Shopping Village housing, and on Sunday bring the whole family to enjoy  Little Hooves Kids Club and Sharky & George Pitch Invasion.

For more information and to book tickets http://polointheparklondon.com/

Arena polo test match at Hickstead

The Arena Polo Test Match for the Bryan Morrison Trophy returns to the All England Polo Club, Hickstead, on Saturday March 2 2019.

With the high-goal challenge match held before the Bryan Morrison Trophy, polo fans can watch two top-class games of arena polo for just £5 per ticket.

An International Arena Polo Test match at Hickstead: Photo Russ Kirby

A post-match luncheon will also take place following the Test Match for players and supporters, with tickets costing an additional £49.50 for those wishing to attend.

The Polo Clubhouse will be open throughout the day, offering a range of refreshments, while the Clubhouse viewing platform offers an unrivalled view of the Arena.

Gates open at 10.30am. Tickets are now on sale.  For more details contact www.hickstead.co.uk/polo/ 

Sponsorship & Trade Exhibitor Opportunities

The Arena Polo Test Match brings some excellent brand exposure and exhibition opportunities, from team shirt sponsorship to trade space and on-site advertising.

For further information on any of the above, please  call on +44 (0)1273 834 315.

Hickstead is premier venue for Arena Polo

The All England Polo Club at Hickstead was founded in 2006, and is now one of the premier Arena Polo venues in the country. It hosts tournaments throughout the winter season, including the International Arena Polo Test Match each March.

When the club first opened, former Chairman of the HPA Nicholas Colquhoun-Denvers said: “Hickstead has created one of the most modern and impressive arenas in the country. Not only has it hosted very successful international matches but it has worked hard to encourage the young to play.”

USA 10-goaler Tommy Biddle, who came to Hickstead for the first time in 2014, instantly became one of Polo at Hickstead’s biggest supporters: “This is the best surface I have ever played on. Hickstead has the best arena in the world!”

Exciting Arena Polo action at close quarters at Hickstead Photo: John Periam 01243 584718

Founder member Jack Kidd attributes this success to the huge surge in popularity of arena polo in recent years: “In the past ten years the science of arena polo has evolved to create the most passionate, gladiatorial, fast game that I have ever played.”

.A plus point  for arena polo is that it eliminates the need for a large string of ponies. A club member could happily play with two ponies throughout the season.

The Arena Polo Test Match, officially called the Bryan Morrison Trophy, returns to Hickstead each spring.  This is a significant spectator event, ensuring the crowd experiences one of the top highlights of the global winter polo season.

This is an outstanding day out at Hickstead with the chance to enjoy a drink on the clubhouse viewing deck and watch world-class polo action unfolding in the arena below

For more details about the Arena Polo programme see http://www.hickstead.co.uk/polo/

Dubai Beach Polo Cup

The Tonino Lamborghini Residences Dubai Beach Polo Cup Dubai 2018, presented by Oriental Pearls, started on Wednesday evening with the glamorous Player’s Presentation at the Desert Palm Polo Club.

Then, on Thursday December 13 and Friday 14 December, the following two action packed polo days with thrilling matches guarantee excitement at the stunning purpose built polo arena at the Skydive Dubai.

The brothers Tariq and Rashid Albwardy from the Desert Palm Polo Club return as the 2017 title defenders. This year, they will compete in different teams for the coveted trophy. Three consecutive years, Tariq Albwardy and his team made it to the very top of the podium. Next weekend, he will play for Team Hills Advertising L.L.C alongside Sam Instone from the UK, who is a very well known player in Dubai and the Argentinean Ramiro Cordero, new local instructor and professional 5-goaler at the Desert Palm Polo Club.

Dubai Beach Polo ground

The captain of Team Tonino Lamborghini Residences Dubai, Rashid Albwardy, will of course play to win as well and to relegate his brother Tariq to second place. Together with Saoud Khoory (UAE), who starts in the Dubai Beach Polo Cup for the fourth time and Maxi Malacalza from Argentina, this young team has agreed to take on the big task to emerge victorious.

Also a well known face at the Beach Polo Cup in Dubai is the UK based polo expert, player and commentator Jan-Erik Franck. He is already very much looking forward to the unique polo setting at the Dubai Marina.

He said; “Last year, tournament directors Gaby and Sam Katiela have once again raised the bar making the Beach Polo Cup Dubai 2017 an exceptional and amazing experience. The atmosphere in the stands and the action on the field was electrifying and enjoyed by everyone. We are excited to get the 2018 matches started.“

This year, the programme of the 2018 polo spectacle will be extended by a holiday market which offers a colourful choice of gifts, handcrafts and souvenirs.

Gaby Katiela said:”Tension is rising and we cannot wait to let the first bell start the polo action on Thursday evening under the arena’s floodlight. Many thanks to all our sponsors, partners and friends for supporting this event which we think is going to be a milestone in Dubai’s polo performance.“

The matches will be livestreamed on the Website www.beachpolocup.com and on www.poloplus10.com


Cowdray Park launches polo Memorial Cup

Following the tragic loss of King Power Chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha in a helicopter crash at the King Power football stadium in Leicester on Saturday October 27, Cowdray Park Polo Club has announced the launch of the Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha Memorial Cup in 2019.

Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha with his sons ‘Top’ and ‘Tal’ alongside Gonzalito Pieres Photograph by Mark Beaumont

The new trophy will be presented for the first time to the winning team of the Quarter Final match in the King Power Gold Cup for the British Open Polo Championship taking place at 3.00 pm on Sunday July 14 2019, and thereafter annually.

The King Power Foxes polo team won the Gold Cup for the British Open Polo Championship in 2015, 2016 and 2017, having first entered the Gold Cup in 2014.  In 2018 Cowdray Park Polo Club was delighted to see King Power take over sponsorship of the prestigious 22 goal British Open in a three year contract.

Club Chairman Roderick Vere Nicoll commented:  “We know that Vichai Srivaddhahaprabha loved being at Cowdray Park with his King Power team that included his sons ‘Top’ and ‘Tal’ in alternate years.  We are honoured to be marking his polo legacy by playing for his trophy during the Gold Cup for the British Open Polo Championship.”

Niall Donnelly takes over at Hickstead Polo Club

Irish international polo player Niall Donnelly has taken over the running of the All England Polo Club at Hickstead.

He takes over from Sarah Wiseman from Aspect Polo, who will be focusing on playing international polo on the Women’s Tour.

“Niall has been closely involved with the club for several years, and we are looking forward to a fantastic 2018/19 winter season under Niall’s stewardship,” said AEPC Chairman, John Bunn.

International Arena Test Match action at Hickstead

Niall began his polo career at the age of 14 and has gone on to play all over the world, including Australia, New Zealand, India and most recently, Barbados. He currently plays off an outdoor handicap of 4 goals and an Arena handicap of 6.

Niall Donnelly
Photo courtesy of Images of Polo which holds the copyright

He is a regular on the International Irish team and has won several best playing pony prizes while representing his country. As well as playing, Niall spends his time training polo ponies and coaching players.

“I am looking forward to the upcoming season at Hickstead, and I am hoping to introduce lots of new players to the excitement of Arena Polo, as well as coaching some of the talented young players in the area,” said Niall.

The All England Polo Club has a full-sized 100m x 50m arena, a popular clubhouse and stabling for more than 80 horses. Polo livery is available, as well as rental horses and lessons.

The Hickstead season gets underway with an open weekend of chukkas, followed by regular Club chukkas and tournaments most weekends throughout the winter. The season culminates with the Arena Polo International Test Match on Saturday March 2.

Tickets for the Test Match go on sale later this year, and will cost just £5 per ticket. Admission and parking for all the other tournaments is free of charge, and spectators are always welcome.

Cowdray Park Polo Club wins award

Cowdray Park Polo Club was the proud recipient of the award for Best Visitor Attraction at the recent Celebration of Sussex Life Awards.

Hosted by Sussex Life magazine at the Grand Hotel, Brighton, there were numerous categories of awards including Restaurant of the Year, Hotel of the Year, Food & Drink Product of the Year, Spa of the Year, Best West Sussex Pub and many more. Cowdray Farm Shop was also a finalist in the Farm Shop of the Year category.

Cowdray Park success at Sussex Awards

Club staff centred from 1-r Matt Simm, Vanessa Graham, Pip Menzies, Liz Higgins and Janey Delow receiving the award alongside Sussex Life magazine officials

The award is testament to the efforts made by Cowdray Park to bring polo to a wider, more inclusive audience.  The club’s pitch stated: “We proudly host the world famous Gold Cup for the British Open Polo Championship and Finals day is a brilliant family day out with spectators arriving early to grab the best viewing spot and enjoy wandering around the bars, delicious food stalls, children’s funfair and shopping village while enjoying a range of entertainments.  This year even the RAF Falcons Parachute Display Team dropped in.”  The pitch clearly resonated with the judges.

Jonathan Russell, CEO of Cowdray, said:  “I am proud of the whole team for the massive behind-the-scenes effort that goes into the Gold Cup Final.. We hope that this award will indicate to the wider Sussex community that we offer not just a fantastic sporting experience but also a great day out.”

Cowdray Park Polo Club’s Chairman, Roderick Vere-Nicoll adds: “I am delighted to see polo at Cowdray Park recognised in such a way. The Gold Cup Final showcases the very best polo in the world and we want to share it with the wider community.  We are delighted that our staff’s warm and inclusive welcome has been acknowledged.  Aside from the Gold Cup Final, we welcome everyone to polo throughout the season – it’s a great day out.

Cowdray’s final polo tournament of season

The 12 goal Autumn Cup, the final tournament in Cowdray Park’s series of six HPA tournaments, open to all-comers, has come to its conclusion.
Seven teams entered the 2018 Cup with Shane Finemore’s Gardenvale side keen to retain the trophy he first won in 2017. 
Facing up to Christian Staubach’s Bamboleo/ Madams Farm side, Gardenvale’s line-up saw Finemore (-1) at number 1, Will Harper (1 goal) at 2, Matt Perry (5 goals) at 3 and England captain James Beim (7 goals) at back.  With Christian Staubach (0 goals) at 1, the Bamboleo/Madams Farm side also included 2 goaler Nick Johnson at number 2, Glenn Sherriff at 3 and Matias Amaya at back.
The match got off to a lively start with James Beim making the opening goal for Gardenvale, two goals from Sherriff taking Bamboleo ahead befefore Beim equalized on 2-2 to end the first chukka. Chukka 2 opened with a spot penalty and it was not long before a nifty shot from Sherriff saw him take the lead for Bamboleo/Madams Farm once more. 
Then it was 3-3 when Beim equalised for Gardenvale but Amaya  went on to score twice to give Staubach’s side a 5-3 lead to go into half-time.

Autumn Cup winners KGB  for second successive year at Cowdray Park Polo Club Photo:Clive Bennett Photography

There was no let-up in pace as the second half got underway, but calm and controlled action by Beim enabled the Gardenvale side to re-position and Harper to make an impressive goal.  An infringement in front of the goal saw Gardenvale awarded a safety shot which gave Perry the opportunity to level the scores on 5-5.
Bamboleo/Madams Farm won the throw-in but a bold move from Harper saw him back the ball to Perry who went on the attack.  The crowd roared as first one then two goal posts tumbled down, but a cool Harper seized the chance to get the ball across the line and take Gardenvale ahead for the first time in the match.
However, in short order they gave away the advantage with a foul and Sherriff was able to whack through a 60 yard penalty and level the score at 6-6. The final chukka was just as exciting with an on-fire Perry stealing the ball away from Amaya and chasing off towards the Bamboleo goal only to have his shot go out. 
But once again Beim showed his class, swooping on the ball from the hit-in and, with a neat angled shot, take Gardenvale into a 7-6 lead and they went on for victory at 8-6 and retention of the Autumn Cup for a second year.

Autumn Cup Best Polo Pony  Bleach   Photo Images of Polo

Shane Finemore was delighted to receive the prestigious Autumn Cup from Lila  Pearson who also  presented prizes to all players.  The award for Best Playing Pony, sponsored by Polo Times, went to Bleach, owned and ridden by James Beim.  The prize for Most Valuable Player of the math, awarded by The Polo Magazine, also went to James Beim.
 In the subsidiary Final of the Autumn Cup, the Ephson family’s Poulton team beat Simon Arber’s Four Quarters Orange 7-4.
The appropriately named Farewell Cup, played for more than fifty years at Cowdray Park at 6 goal level, saw a second Bamboleo/Madams Farm side reach the Final, which resulted in a 6-5 victory  for Bamboleo/Madams Farm.
 Mr George Robinson presented his family’s Cup to Maya Staubach and prizes to all the players.  The Best Playing Pony Award was presented by Lila Pearson to Susie, owned by Alan Kent of Madams Farm and played by Nick Johnson.
 Earlier in the day, in the subsidiary Final of the Farewell Cup, Ice Craft beat Los Schatzies 5-4.

Farewell Cup both teams
Photo: Clive Bennett Photography


In the final presentations of the season, James and Will Harper won the Large Cup for Pony Welfare, Boyd Allen won the Millenium Plate for Umpiring and Alfie Hyde deservedly won the Pimms Cup for Most Improved Young Player. 
More than 450 matches had been played during the season, the glorious weather having contributed to an exceptional year for the club, the undoubted highlight of which had been the all British win by El Remanso in the King Power Gold Cup for the British Open Polo Championship.