Archives from 2009

The Adjutant General’s Corp Polo Cup

Published in Army Polo on 30 Nov 2009

Despite the dismal weather at the start of the day, the sun shone in the afternoon and a great day was had by all.

There were eight teams entered, split in two divisions. Division One consisted of teams from the RAF, RN, RMAS and the Infantry. Division Two consisted of AGC White, AGC Red, LUOTC and the RA.

After two hard fought games LUOTC eventually triumphed over AGC Red 3 – 1 to win division two. The winner of division one was the Royal Navy who beat the Infantry 3 1/2 to 0 in the final.

Polo Times coverage


Commonwealth Cup

Published in News on 13 Sep 2009

THE British team achieved an outstanding victory to lift the Commonwealth Cup for only the fifth time in the past 25 years. Their strength and aggression rocked the home-side and they had the edge at crucial moments in the game.


Major General’s Cup

Published in Army Polo on 04 Sep 2009

The Hackett Army team for the Major Generals Cup on September 4th, 5th and 6th at Guards Polo Club has been announced.

The team will be: Capt Matthew Blakiston (0), Capt Hugh Arbuthnott (0), Capt Matthew Eeyre-Brook (1) and Col Justin Stanhope-White (1).


Rmas Heritage Polo Day

Published in Army Polo on 02 Aug 2009

The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst’s Heritage Polo Day, organised by James Gaselee, proved a very busy and successful weekend.

Several international teams – from Argentina, the USA, Malaysia, Pakistan, British Army Officers and Helvetica – fought it out for the Heritage Cup.

A number of five and six goal players bolstered the teams to produce some high standard polo matches. From Argentina there were the Riglos brothers, Pepe and Martin, Charlie Maldoon from the USA along with Richard Blake-Thomas.

The teams played in an American style tournament and the winners were the Royal Pehang team of Malaysia, captained by O/C His Highness Prince Amir who commissioned from Sandhurst in early August.

Prizes were presented by the Commandant of Sandhurst, Major General David Rutherford Jones.


The Sassoon Cup

Published in Army Polo on 01 Aug 2009

This inaugural first formal fixture between the Army and the RAF took place at Tidworth Polo Club on August 1st and it will be a permanent fixture for both Associations.

Playing in driving wind and rain on the Fisher Ground, the Army lost Paddy Boulter within the first ten seconds of the first chukka. He was replaced by a minus two goal player and from that point on the Army struggled to match the co-ordinated and well-skilled RAF team who deservedly ran out the winners 9-1.

The Sassoon Cup, named after the 1938 War Minister who inaugurated what was to be the Houlton Cup for the RAF, will prove to be a popular fixture and will hopefully attract sponsorship for next year.

The Army team were: Lt Gen Barney White-Spencer, Maj Victoria Phillips, Capt Ben Marshall, Lt Patrick Boulter and Maj Cameron Humphries. The RAF team were: Sqn Ldr Piers Hammond, F/O Vicky Woodhead, Flt Lt Dave Black and Gp Capt Tim Brown.

The second match played on the day was for the Reserve Forces Trophy ‘Petersen Challenge’. The TA lost to the Royal Navy Reserves 8-2.

The TA team were: O/Cdt Alex Keighley, Pte Emma Steed, James Spring and Maj Tom Petersen. The RN Reserves were: Gnr Nicky Hewer, Lt Nick Phillips, Lt Cdr Al Wilson and Surg Cdr Mike Bowen.


Mabway Captains & Subalterns Tournament

Published in News on 19 Jul 2009

The MabWay Captains & Subalterns 2009 Polo Tournament produced a record-breaking entry of 16 teams, who were split into three divisions.

This was the highest standard of essentially novice polo seen in this competition and is proof that polo at this level is not only very popular but improving.

The Royal Wessex Yeomanry retained their crown in Division One but only narrowly. They were hard-pressed by the 9/12th Lancers over from Germany who really rattled them until the final chukka.

Third in Division One were KRH, with HAC fourth, RAF fifth and RSDG, also over from Germany, in sixth place.

Division Two was won by the Royal Navy who rather overwhelmed the Grendadier Guards who, through no fault of their own, had to replace a player at the very last moment.

In joint third place in Division Two were AGC and HCMR, while RDG finished fifth and an RA team finished sixth.

In Division Three, London University OTC triumphed over the Irish Guards, while an AGC side were successful against another RA team.

Chairman of the Army Polo Association, Lt Col Simon Ledger, said: “It was a cracking tournament and the continued sponsorship by Mabway meant that all teams returned home with something to show for their endeavours.”


Mabway Captains & Subalterns Tournament

Published in Army Polo on 19 Jul 2009

THE MabWay Captains & Subalterns 2009 Polo Tournament produced a record-breaking entry of 16 teams, who were split into three divisions.

This was the highest standard of essentially novice polo seen in this competition and is proof that polo at this level is not only very popular but improving.

The Royal Wessex Yeomanry retained their crown in Division One but only narrowly. They were hard-pressed by the 9/12th Lancers over from Germany who really rattled them until the final chukka.

Third in Division One were KRH, with HAC fourth, RAF fifth and RSDG, also over from Germany, in sixth place.

Division Two was won by the Royal Navy who rather overwhelmed the Grendadier Guards who, through no fault of their own, had to replace a player at the very last moment.

In joint third place in Division Two were AGC and HCMR, while RDG finished fifth and an RA team finished sixth.

In Division Three, London University OTC triumphed over the Irish Guards, while an AGC side were successful against another RA team.

Chairman of the Army Polo Association, Lt Col Simon Ledger, said: “It was a cracking tournament and the continued sponsorship by Mabway meant that all teams returned home with something to show for their endeavours.”


Connaught Search United Services Cup & Hackett Inter-regimental Final

Published in Army Polo on 17 Jul 2009

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

THE CSPA has got its hands back on the Chapple Cup after two years, with an emphatic win over the Eastern Circuit United States Polo Association.

Already two nil up in the competition, the home side completed the whitewash in the Connaught Search United Services Cup game at Guards Polo Club.

It was an overwhelming victory for the CSPA with Martin ffrench-Blake (4) playing an excellent match at number three. He was ably supported by Nick Hunter and, in particular, Mark Cann who successfully snuffed out any US attack playing at number four.

The match finished 8-2 with the CSPA lifting both the United Services Cup and the Chapple Cup.

This was the first time this fixture had been sponsored by Connaught Search but not a new experience for the company’s owner, Charles Whittaker, who played at Guards in the 1989 Inter-Regimental Final. His 13/18th Lancers side narrowly lost that day to the Royal Navy.

In this year’s Hackett Inter-Regimental Final, the Household Cavalry Regiment pulled off a bit of an upset with a victory over defending champions, The Royal Wessex Yeomanry.

It was a very close match between two well balanced teams, and the play flowed both ways.

HCR’s Captain Jack Mann won the Pringle Cup for the player who played best to his handicap. He anchored his team, kept his head and executed some fine plays – scoring two goals from the 60 yard line.

RWxY, stubbornly defending their title, were just unable to overcome Mann’s accuracy and the score finished 5_ goals to 5 to crown HCR as the new champions.


Hackett Rundle Cup Day

Published in News on 10 Jul 2009

THE 2009 Hackett Rundle Cup Day at Tidworth Polo Club proved yet another memorable event in the polo calendar.

REVENGE is sweet – and so it proved for an Army side determined to make the Royal Navy pay for their shock victory in last year’s Hackett Rundle Cup.

The Hackett Army team was captained by Colonel Michael O’Dwyer (Irish guards) who led his team with steely resolve. He created some fine play that resulted in both Philip Kaye and Quentin Hicks scoring freely.

They were ably assisted by Hugh Arbuthnott who played well above his nought goal handicap to find the flags on three occasions.

This match was played in difficult conditions with driving wind and rain. There was an unfortunate accident to Arnie Lustman, the Royal Navy Polo Secretary, when his horse slipped in the goalmouth and came down on his knee. He had to be replaced by Adrian Aplin’s wife Susie who valiantly tried to stem the flow of an Army team who had been well drilled and prepared by the Army coach Gaston Deverient, a plus five Argentinian player from Guards.

By the end of the final chukka the Army team had romped to victory by 8 to 2_ and avenged the previous year’s defeat.

Earlier in the afternoon the crowds watched the CSPA battle it out with the Eastern Circuit United States Polo Association for the ICOA Trophy – the second match in the three-game Chapple Cup series. Having lost heavily two days earlier at Sandhurst in the opening first game, the touring side were hoping to level the honours.

But it wasn’t to be, and again the CSPA were too strong and simply over-ran the Americans for another crushing victory.


Royal Military Academy Sandhurst Polo Day

Published in News on 09 Jul 2009

THE CSPA took on a touring team from America at Sandhurst in the first of three clashes to decide the Chapple Cup Series.

THE CSPA soundly thrashed the touring American team in the first match of the 2009 Chapple Cup Series.

Playing for the Sudan Cup at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst’s Polo Day, the home side scored a comfortable 8-4 victory over the Eastern Circuit United States Polo Association.

The CSPA were quickest out of the blocks in the first chukka and first blood was drawn by the late substitute and veteran Mark Cann who shot through the posts after picking up a ball knocked on by Ben Vestey.

Goal maker almost became goal scorer moments later when Vestey broke clear up the field, only to miss a sitter with the defence trailing in his wake. However, his time was to come.

Seconds before the end of the first chukka Cann too missed an open goal but Vestey was there on the follow up to slot the ball home. But the effort didn’t count as the umpire ruled that the ball hadn’t crossed the line before the second bell had sounded to signify the end of the first period of play.

Tim Brown (having got through the traffic) replaced Cann at the start of the second chukka. Early in the second chukka, the Americans levelled the scoreline – thanks to a husband and wife effort. Alan Nash picked up the loose ball in the middle of the pitch and got his pass away to Deborah French Nash who, from a wide position, angled the ball between the posts.

Honours even were short lived. Vestey, taking the ball from his own goal line, rode the length of the pitch to put the CSPA into the lead 2-1. And it took him just 30 seconds later to increase that lead with an almost impossible shot from under his pony to make it 3-1.

In the third chukka, ECUSPA closed the gap to just one goal again – this time through a beautifully struck penalty by Jonas Larguia. But thoughts of a comeback were quickly snuffed out as Vestey, once again, pounced on a mistake in the American defence to make it 4-2.

It proved the killer chukka as goals five, six and seven followed thanks to some great play between Tim Verdon and Nick Hunter – Verdon’s shot for goal seven just having the legs to cross the line while Hunter rode off Nash to prevent any chance of a goal line clearance.

In the fourth and final chukka Larguia pulled one back for ECUSPA and then had the chance to make it 7-4. The American team were awarded a 60 yard penalty and Larguia’s high and powerful drive looked certain to help the visitors close the gap. But goal scorer turned defender Vestey, on the goal line waving his stick in the air, somehow managed to get a touch on the ball which deflected it wide of the post.

By the end of the chukka and the match, Verdon had scored another to make it eight for the CSPA, while Luis Echeverri bagged a consolation fourth for ECUSPA.

The prizes for both teams were presented by Geoff Smith of ESS.