Archives from 2008

End Of Season Meeting 2008

Published in RAF on 30 Nov 2008

The Chairman welcomed the members to the End of Season meeting and thanked them for attending. The pertinent points drawn out from the 08 season were as follows:

  • A promising number of people had come into the sport, predominantly thanks to the efforts of OIC Development, who organized a 3-day introductory course as well as regular chukkas for beginners in the Cranwell area.
  • The Chairman congratulated Wg Cdr Bambridge on going up a handicap at the end of the season, from -1 to 0, despite her injuries from the previous year.
  • With regards to new members, he suggested contacting Clarence House to gauge whether William Wales would be interested in playing for the RAF.
  • Finally the introduction of subsidies for beginners playing up in the Cranwell area as well as for representative pony owners has proven a success and will be kept in place until further notice.

1. The Chairman started by expressing his gratitude on behalf of the whole association to the Treasurer for the clarity of the RAFPA Accounts.
2. The treasurer gave his end of season report. He stated that funding for the association increased from £8300 in 07 to £11850 in 08 but cautioned that whilst this went some way to meeting the running costs of the association, a personal contribution of £3600 along with £2000 from our sponsorship fund had been used over the past year. Whilst sustainable for a further year, any successive years would require either an increase in funding from the RAFSB/Sponsorship or a reduction in fixtures.
3. It was reported that there were still some outstanding account actions for the year including a Brett Horsepower payment still awaiting invoice and payments from both the Sports Development Fund and Equipment Fund which would be cleared within the next fortnight.
4. Expenditure for 08 was £17400 up from £8100 in 07 but the EGM were reminded that this was solely due to the revised accountancy procedures introduced for 2008, to ensure that all Op Costs incurred by the association are reflected in the accounts (ie pony hire costs that are largely bourn by the individual).
5. Having used £2000 from the sponsorship fund to cover the Op Costs overspend the treasurer informed the EGM that £3400 will be carried forward to next season reflecting a £840 loss over the season.
6. The treasurer reported that bidding for 09 Equipment/5yr plan was agreed and that Sports Development Fund was due. Further it was stated that the RAFSB had decided not to hold a formal bidding process for Op Costs 09 and that this could potentially disadvantage the association.
7. The treasurer closed by seeking approval of the accounts, which was unanimously agreed.
8. Decision. The Equipment Fund for 09 would stand at £1700. Ideas on how to make the best value out of it to be brought forward at the AGM. Suggested help new players with initial equipment.
9. Decision. The Chairman and Treasurer will lobby the RAF Sports Board at Halton especially with respect to the 09 Op Costs grant.
10. Decision. The £1000 remaining in the Development Fund was to be transferred to the Tidworth ‘behind the bar’ scheme, towards subsidising both practice and instructional chukkas for developing players.
11. Decision. It was agreed the subsidy rate at Tidworth was to be increased back up from £10 to £20 per chukka to come in line with the Navy.

1. New players. This season, 5 new players had shown considerable enthusiasm, commitment and promise for the future. Three were introduced to polo at Cranwell through OIC Development, and the other 2 had approached the association mid season from Benson. This was a positive influx and the Committee was keen to ensure a steady support system was in place to get these developing players on the pitch and improving as quickly as possible.
2. Courses available. OIC Development had arranged for a 3-day introductory course to take place at Leadenham Polo Club, near Cranwell for £300 pp. A further course would be organised at the same location in 09 following the positive uptake the previous year. Beginner and advanced courses were still available at Tidworth, and the PR Rep added that military discounts were also available at Inglesham Polo Club.
3. Subsidies. The Treasurer stated that the subsidy rate could be increased back up to £20 per chukka per person both at Leadenham and Tidworth, thus bringing the RAF back in line with the Navy. This would be reassessed mid season according to uptake. At this point this subsidy does not apply to match chukkas, the latter to be revisited at the AGM.
4. Scholarship. The Committee was keen to encourage committed and talented young players, and to this end a scholarship was discussed. The Treasurer advised that although individuals could not be granted money, their local club could invoice the Association.
5. Decision. A scholarship of £400 would be awarded to SAC Turner-Wright as the most promising young player. The scholarship would be paid to Offchurch Polo Club to subsidise chukkas and lessons during the season.
4. Article. The Chairman congratulated the PR Rep on the Active article she wrote. It was decided a further article would be useful, giving step by step details on what to do if you want to learn to play polo, and how the Association can help.
5. Membership Fee. It was decided that a membership fee would be applied from the 09 season onwards. £10 for Other Ranks, £20 for Officers. A list of members would be put behind the bar at both Tidworth and Leadenham, and only those on it will qualify for the chukka subsidy.
6. End of Season Development Fixture. OIC Development suggested putting on an RAF v RAF exhibition match at the Cranwell Equestrian Day in Sep 09. Fixture to be confirmed at the AGM after further investigation.

1. The Treasurer stated that the Op Cost Fund was set up to cover 14 fixtures per season. He suggested revisiting the fixture list to tailor the training and added that two teams had cancelled shortly before their match in 08.
2. Decision. The fixture list was to be divided in two, allowing 7 fixtures for each team. This would provide a good run up to their respective main fixtures of the season, namely the Duke of York and the Captain and Subalterns. The Milfield match was to be cancelled since they had been unable to provide a team for two consecutive seasons. The President’s Cup proved a useful team run-out before the Capt and Subs, and it was also decided to enter an RAF team into the Inter-Regimental Cup for the first time.
3. The fixture list to be as follows:

  • Senior Team: Cranwell(2), Inter-Regimental(2), Crabs v Cavs, Cornwell Affiliates, Duke of York.
  • Junior Team: Eton, Cranwell(2), President’s Cup(2), Capt and Subs(2)

4. Dates to be confirmed with Tidworth at their pre-season meeting in Feb.

1. OIC Development proposed organizing a tour for 6 people to Sotogrande Polo Club, near Gibraltar, 16-23 Mar 09. The tour would consist of 7 days training, stick and balling each morning and playing chukkas in the afternoon, leading to a match on the final day. Members would stay at Gibraltar Officers’ Mess, situated within a 20min drive from the Polo Club. Transport would be provided by hiring two cars or a minibus, and Easyjet fly into Gibraltar. The tour would also include a battlefield tour of Op Phoenix.
2. After initial research and negotiation, the costs came to approx £1,750 per person, with the main burden being the training, pony and ground hire and coaching costs, which amount to £1,550 per person.
3. Personal contribution would ideally amount to no more than £1,000 per person, and OIC Development would apply to the Sports Board, CSPA, Sponsorship fund and each station to contribute to the costs of the tour and staff ride.
4. Decision. It was agreed that OIC Development should go ahead and arrange the tour as per the details above. The tour was to be open to all members, and a £100 deposit would be requested to allow flights and hire cars to be booked early. The Committee thanked Flt Lt Black for taking the time to organise the 09 Tour.

1. OIC Development was keen to confirm the format and teams for the Cranwell Weekend in 09. The dates were confirmed for 1-3 May 09.
2. Decision. The weekend had proved a success each year, and the format would remain the same as the previous year with some minor improvements as well as a greater emphasis on military polo.

  • Fri 1 May. Introduction to Polo for new members in the afternoon, as well as team selection and training. Coach to be confirmed. AGM at 6pm in CHOM, followed by a meet and greet in CHOM bar.
  • Sat 2 May.
    -2 to 0 RAF v Rutland
    -6 to -4 RAF v Army, RAF v Navy
    Players Dinner, CHOM
  • Sun 3 May.
    Final RAF v Rutland
    Final RAF v Army, RAF v Navy

3. Tasks.

  • OIC Development: investigate possibility of bringing in professional Umpires, invite the teams.
  • Sec: invite Sqn Ldr (Ret) Robert Burke to commentate and if possible coach the training session on Fri afternoon. Send the list of those members who qualify for the award of RAF Colours to the RAFSB.
  • Tour Coordinator: ensure the Trophy was delivered to OIC Development.
  • PR Rep: advertise the Fri taster day as well as the weekend tournament, design the programmes and provide the prizes.
  • Chairman: liaise with the Stn Cdr at Cranwell to investigate the possibility of using the practice ground behind the sports track for the Fri training. Present RAF Colours at the Players’ Dinner. Present the Scholarship to the most promising developing player of the 08 Season.

1. Sponsorship. The Treasurer had approached the President during the Season on the subject of sponsorship suggesting that a sponsorship of ~£2000 per year would be needed if no additional RAF Sports Board funding was forthcoming. The Chairman agreed to check with the President on progress.
2. Meetings. The Treasurer thought that the Committee should meet more than twice a season to evaluate progress. A mid season committee meeting was suggested, and would be arranged if required.
3. Training Days. In order to capture the most number of people, it was suggested that training should not just be centred around Tidworth and Cranwell, but at different locations across the country. It was thus decided that a pre-season, pre-tour training day would be arranged at Druids Lodge Polo Club, and further training days at Maywood and Inglesham.

The next meeting is the AGM, to be held at 18:00 on Friday 1st May 2009 at the Officers’ Mess, RAF Cranwell.


Published in Army Polo on 29 Nov 2008

The APOLOA Annual General Meeting was held at the KRH Officers’ Mess in Aliwal Barracks, Tidworth, on Friday 29 February 2008.

Click here to view Minutes

Adjutant General’s Corps Polo Cup July 2008

Published in Army Polo on 30 Jul 2008

2008 has been a fantastic year for AGC Polo. Not only did the AGC hold its own polo tournament at The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, but the AGC polo team that entered the Captains’ and Subalterns’ Cup at Tidworth Polo Club won their division, beating the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment in the final.

These are remarkable achievements when looking back just five years ago, AGC Polo consisted of five Army lawyers, led by Major David Phillips and Major Victoria Phillips. Five years on, both officers own their own polo ponies and are still at the forefront of AGC Polo (juggling family life with the birth of their son Edward, two years ago).

Major Gillian Shaw (SPS) joined them four years ago, becoming the AGC Polo Secretary and team Captain. With the Phillips’ help, and a number of other committed individuals, Gillian has nutured and developed AGC Polo. It now boasts over 20 players of all ranks across all branches of the AGC.

“Without the help of the Combined Services and also the Army Polo Association, the AGC wouldn’t have been able to achieve so much,” said Gillian. “We have always been made to feel very welcome within the CSPA and APOLOA, and Brigadier John Wright at the Combined Services Polo Club at Tidworth. We have had excellent tuition and support from Mr Sean Dayus and we are very much helped and encouraged by the AGC Sports Board and Regimental Headquarters.”

Held in support of ‘Phil’s Million’ Help for Heroes ( the AGC Polo Cup was held at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst on 13 July. The first match was between the AGC Red Team and 47 Regiment Royal Artillery, the AGC Reds running away with victory 7 – 0. The second match saw the AGC White Team being beaten by London University Officer Cadet Team, led by Major Tom Petersen 9 –0. Elbows and boots were spread liberally as the RMAS Cadets took on the RMAS Members in the final match of the day. A low scoring game in the end, but highly energetic and charged with pride as the two teams battled it out in the first of three chukkas. The score finished 3_ – 2 to the RMAS Members.

The AGC Polo Cup was presented to the team who scored the most goals, therefore London UOTC had pipped the AGC Red Team to the post. Major James Gaselee, the RMAS Polo Officer and OCdt Richard Holtum provided excellent commentary throughout the day, and Miss Barbara Zingg the RMAS Polo Manager helped Major Gillian Shaw round the clock to organise the event. Sponsors included La Chamiza Wines, Blacklocks Bookshop, La Martina, Roxtons, Style Exchange and Seamless Events.

The icing on the cake for AGC Polo was winning their division at the Captains’ and Subalterns Cup at Tidworth Polo Club on July 19/20 . The team consisting of Maj Gillian Shaw, Capt Aishling Lyford, Lt Janet Johnson and Cpl Kolin Ralph beat 47 Regiment Royal Artillery, 6 – 1 on the first day of the tournament. The second day of the tournament and a win against the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment was a dream come true for the all girls team. Cpl Kolin Ralph came off his horse on day one and so battered and bruised, Maj Victoria Phillips stepped in and came to the rescue. Winning 5 – 3 they were absolutely thrilled.

The year has also seen Maj Gillian Shaw and Lt Janet Johnston play for the Army Team at RAF Cranwell, Janet scoring a number of goals to ensure the Army Team beat their RAF opponents.

The Ladies’ Army Polo Team also made its debut at the Ladies’ Heritage Cup at RMAS during the summer months, coming runners-up in a much higher level of polo than used to. The team comprised Maj Victoria Phillips, Maj Rachael De Renzy Chenner, Capt Aishling Lyford, Capt Lucy Anderson and Lt Janet Johnson.

Major Gillian Shaw can be contacted at

Mabway Captains & Subalterns Tournament

Published in Army Polo on 19 Jul 2008

A RECORD-BREAKING 14 teams took part in this year”s hugely successful MabWay Captains & Subalterns Polo Tournament.

The event was played at Tidworth Polo Club over the July 19 and 20 weekend, with the entrants coming from throughout all three services.

And the polo played over the two days was of a far better standard than the tournament has seen in recent years, emphasising how the Captains & Subalterns has grown with MabWay on board.

The tournament had three seedings which culminated in the finals’ day on Tidworth’s excellent Fisher Ground.

In Division One the teams included The Royal Wessex Yeomanry, RAF, Coldstream Guards, Royal Navy, Light Dragoons and Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. The Royal Wessex Yeomanry were up against the RAF for the coveted trophy and it was RWxY who ran out winners by the slim margin of five goals to three.

In Division Two, the Adjutant Generals Corp beat the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment by five goals to two, and in Division Three it was the Grenadier Guards who were victorious over the Royal Dragoon Guards with the score 1-1_

Chairman of the Army Polo Association, Lt Col Simon Ledger, was delighted with the success of the tournament and paid tribute to MabWay for their support.

Berenberg Bank United Services Cup & Hackett Inter-regimental Final

Published in Army Polo on 15 Jul 2008

TWO finals, one venue, made for a thrilling climax to the Chapple Cup Series and the oldest tournament in polo.

FOR the second year running – and for only the second time in its history – the Chapple Cup went to the visiting team, leaving the CSPA empty-handed.

This year it was The British Forces Foundation polo team – the sport’s equivalent of cricket’s Lord Taverners – who took the honours.

Having thrashed the CSPA side at the Hackett Rundle Cup Day at Tidworth, they then repeated the feat, albeit in a much closer game, at the Berenberg Bank Finals Day at Guards Polo Club, 24 hours later.

The BFF polo team evolved from Mark Cann’s ‘Leopards’ team playing very badly at the turn of the century. The players get together in aid of the Charity and have included the likes of Hollywood legend Tommy Lee Jones, rock stars Mike Rutherford from Genesis and Kenny Jones (The Who and Small Faces), HRH The Prince of Wales, Prince William, Prince Harry, George Milford Haven and polo greats like the Englishmen Howard and Julian Hipwood, Adam Snow, plus Gabrielle Donoso, and the amazing Argentine Nachos Figueras.

The team come together for a few matches a year, raising money for the Foundation in both America and the UK. The BFF Polo Trophy is competed for every year at different and wonderfully varying venues such as Houston, Richmond Virginia, Palm Beach and Tidworth and has been won by some illustrious teams like Isla Carrol and Gololphin.

The team who squared up against the CSPA the day before at Tidworth for the ICOA Trophy consisted of Pedro Lopez–Valido 1, The Hon Tristan Phillimore 1, Ben Vestey 3 and Mark Cann 0. They dominated from the start and relentlessly increased their stranglehold on the game, snuffing out any hopes that the CSPA may have had of making a comeback. The final score 9 goals to 4_.

But at Guards, with the United Services Cup up for grabs and the overall Chapple Cup Series, the CSPA fielded a stronger side determined to share the honours. However, in an excellent spectacle, they were ultimately out-gunned and it was the unchanged Charity team who ran out victors by 10 goals to 7.

There was more action on the field with the Hackett Inter-Regimental Final between the King’s Royal Hussars and the Royal Wessex Yeomanry. The RWxY defended their crown winning the final by 6 goals to 4_.

Berenberg Bank Finals Day: Click for photos

Hackett Rundle Cup Day

Published in Army Polo on 14 Jul 2008

THE 2008 Hackett Rundle Cup Day at Tidworth Polo Club proved yet another memorable event in the polo calendar.

THE Royal Navy pulled off one of the biggest shocks in recent Hackett Rundle Cup Day history giving the Army a bloody nose to lift the coveted title.

The two and a half goal handicap suggested that the team in blue would be overwhelmed as soon as the match got underway – but far from it.

It was the Navy who took the game by the scruff of the neck. Captain Richard Mason was imperious at the back but also opened the scoring. Goals also followed from Aplin (two) and Lustman with the only riposte before half-time coming from the Army’s main man Lt Col Michael O’Dwyer.

They started the third chukka with the scores at 6_ goals to 1 and, in torrential rain, there was just one more addition to the scoreboard courtesy of the Army’s Capt Phillip Kaye. Mason nullified all other threats and with just one chukka remaining the result looked a foregone conclusion.

However, the Navy had spent all their firepower and the Army sensed the chance of a dramatic comeback. Kaye spearheaded the attack slotting three more goals to set up a thrilling climax.

But although they had the momentum behind them, time wasn’t on their side and the Navy held firm in the dying seconds to run out memorable winners by 6_ goals to 5.

Earlier in the afternoon the crowds were treated to another exciting – if slightly one-sided – game in the ICOA Trohpy fixture, sponsored by DRS Technologies, between The British Forces Foundation and the CSPA.

The British Forces Foundation polo team – the equivalent of cricket’s Lord Taverners – were triumphant. Pedro Lopez–Valido 1, The Hon Tristan Phillimore 1, Ben Vestey 3 and Mark Cann 0 dominated from the start and relentlessly increased their stranglehold on the game, snuffing out any hopes that the CSPA may have had of making a comeback.

The 2008 Hackett Rundle Cup Day at Tidworth Polo Club was yet another triumph for polo, spectators and organisers alike.

Thousands of people soaked up the unique atmosphere. Events had begun with the Jockeys versus Eventers clash in aid of the charity Inspire, and the crowds were also treated to a freefall parachute display.

During the prize-giving, the PQ Saddle – awarded to a member of the Combined Services who has significantly contributed to the work of the CSPA – went to Cdr Adrian Aplin MBE.

Hackett Rundle Cup
ARMY (3 goals): 1 – Lt Matthew Blakiston (Light Dragoons) 0; 2 – Capt Phillip Kaye (Kings Royal Hussars) 1; 3 – Capt Quentin Hicks (Kings Royal Hussars) 1; Back – Lt Col Michael O’Dwyer (Irish Guards) 1.
ROYAL NAVY (-1 goal): 1 – Lt Cdr Allan Wilson -1; 2 – Cdr Arnie Lustman 0; 3 – Cdre Richard Mason 0; Back – Cdr Adrian Aplin 0.

Indian Cavalry Officers Trophy
CSPA: Squadron Leader Martin Adcock 0, Major Rupert Lewis 1, Major Tom Moon 2, Colonel Justin Stanhope-White 1
The British Forces Foundation: Pedro Lopez–Valido 1, The Hon Tristan Phillimore 1, Ben Vestey 3, Mark Cann 0

For the Hackett Rundle Cup Day photo galleries click here

Cranwell Polo Weekend

Published in RAF on 01 May 2008

This year’s polo extravaganza is set for May 1st to 3rd. Training and team trials will be on Friday afternoon from 13:00, followed by a tri-service tournament (-4 to -6 goal) on the Saturday and Sunday. Everyone welcome, including beginners. Please contact Flt Lt Dave Black on 95751 Ext 6332.

Tidworth Polo Club

Published in News on 15 Feb 2008

TIDWORTH Polo Club has unveiled its list of courses for the 2008 season aimed at individuals or corporate clients looking to learn to play polo. Download


Published in News on 14 Feb 2008

THE CSPA Annual General Meeting took place on Thursday February 14 2008 at the Cavalry & Guards Club, London.

Download the Minutes.

Hackett Inter-regimental Tournament 2008

Published in Army Polo on 13 Feb 2008

The Hackett Inter-Regimental Tournament 2008 will be played over the period 5th May – 12th July 2009. The Tournament will be organised by The Army Polo Association (APOLOA) on behalf of the Combined Services Polo Association (CSPA), the governing authority for the tournament. The Inter-Regimental will be played under HPA rules.

All rounds must have been played by 28th June 2009. A breakdown of “played by” dates will be forwarded to team captains once the total number of rounds has been determined. The final will be played on 12th July 2009 on the Duke’s Ground at the Guards Polo Club.

There will be exceptions, but players should, in the first instance, play for regimental teams; composite teams consisting of more than one regiment will be accepted only once it is clear that a single regimental team is not possible. Teams from regiments posted outside the UK are eligible to enter and the committee will make every effort to accommodate them. The Inter-Regimental should serve as a means of demonstrating Services polo at the highest possible level and it is hoped that all teams that enter do so to maintain the spirit of the tournament.

The following dates apply and are to be adhered to by team captains:
a. Deadline for entry forms and entry fees Tuesday 5th May 2009
b. Draw Thursday 7th May 09
c. Announcement of draw Friday 8th May 09
d. First round (depending on entries) by Sunday 31st May 09
e. Final Sunday 12th July 09

Team captains will be informed of the order of play following the draw on 8th May 2009. The Chairman of the CSPA will conduct the draw.

The Tournament will be overseen by Chairman/Secretary APOLOA. He is responsible for the collation of entry forms and collection of entry fees and is to ensure the “play by” dates are adhered to. He is also the authority for decisions over any discrepancies encountered. All queries should be directed through the contact details above.