Archives from 2010

End Of Season Report 2010

Published in RAF on 30 Nov 2010

The Royal Air Force enjoyed another excellent season with the highest number of players ever, polo being introduced to Cranwell IOT cadets, the Cranwell Tournament extending to eight participating teams, more players becoming horse owners and even some success on the field of play!

There were 33 paid up members of the RAF Polo Association in 2010 of which 15 represented the RAF at some level and four had their handicaps raised at the end of the season. Seven players are pony owners with an eighth actively seeking to start his own string.

Whilst the centre of gravity in terms of handicap remains below zero the base membership is constantly expanding and significant emphasis is and will continue to be on player development. The elusive plus goal players will come sometime!

Tidworth Polo Club remains the home club of RAF polo but an excellent relationship has been built with Leadenham Polo Club, not far from RAF Cranwell, which has proved very beneficial not least in introducing IOT Cadets to the game. 2010 was the first season to see high levels of interest from IOT cadets; 13 cadets took up the sport attending regular lessons at Leadenham Polo Club and culminating in a Senior v Junior Course matchette. This will continue in 2011.

The Cranwell Weekend tournament was extended this year to include a three-day training camp on the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday before. This was based at Leadenham polo club and was extremely well attended. The Tournament itself was again structured to emphasize player development and attracted a record eight entries, a mixture of Service and civilian teams. This year’s Tournament and training camp will take place along the same lines except that the handicap level of the Tournament will be adjusted to allow a maximum of two 0 goal players (no plus handicaps) and at least one -2 player per team. The social activity will revert to being based at College Hall Officers Mess.

In addition to the training camp at Cranwell a number of team training sessions were run which proved to be of great use. Similar systems of subsidised instructional chukkas, club chukkas and match chukkas with bigger discounts targeted at encouraging match play are operated both at Tidworth and Leadenham Polo Clubs. This will continue in 2011. A training tour to New Zealand took place over the winter of 2010/11.

A full fixture list was again played with wins at the Cranwell Tournament, Crabs v Cav, the Captains and Subalterns Tournament (Div 2) and against the Army in the now established Sassoon Cup. In addition a very good performance saw the RAF as runners up in the Cornwell Affiliates.

Polo is alive and well in the RAF. Despite Operational commitments we continue to attract more and more Service players into the game and develop the ones that we have. This will remain the basic strategy. The RAF PA acknowledges the support given to it by the RAF Sports Board, the CSPA and Tidworth Polo Club. We are very grateful and look forward to the 2011 season in good heart and anticipating yet another summer of this wonderful game amongst Service and civilian friends alike.

The Adjutant General’s Corp Polo Cup

Published in Army Polo on 30 Aug 2010

The third annual AGC Polo Cup was held in the beautiful grounds of Tidworth Polo Club on August Bank holiday Monday in aid of SSAFA.

In Division II, AGC White, the Royal Logistics Corps and 2 Royal Artillery teams fought closely to see AGC White beating the RLC in the final 5 goals to half. It was fantastic to see the RLC team back into the fold of Army polo, particularly with so many new players.

In Division I, the Royal Navy, Infantry, AGC Black and the Honorable Artillery Company played hard to see the final scores of AGC Black 1 and a half goals to 1 against the HAC, and the RN beating the Infantry team in the final to 2 goals to half. Major General Andrew Cumming CBE kindly presented the RN with the AGC Polo Cup for the second year running.

A huge thanks to Brigadier John Wright CBE and his team at Tidworth Polo Club for their brilliant organisation and efforts, and to Lt Col Simon Ledger LD for his great tournament commentary on the day and for his strong support and encouragement over the years. Finally, also to the Regimental Colonel of the AGC, Colonel Jon Ward ADC for his and the Regimental Headquarters equally supportive efforts for AGC Polo.

For 125 years, SSAFA Forces Help has made an unfailing commitment to the men and women of Britain’s Armed Forces, continually adapting to meet the changing needs of those who serve, those who used to serve and the families of both. The charity’s support is as significant today as it has ever been. From their very first day of military service, SSAFA Forces Help is here for our servicemen and women and the people they love.

Army Team Line Ups

Published in Army Polo on 24 Jul 2010

SAT 24 July – St Albans Polo Club – Exhibition Match in aid of H4H

1. Maj Ben Marshall RGR -1
2. Capt Mathew Blakiston LD 0
3. Capt Mathew Eyre-Brook 9/12 L  +1
4. Capt Robert Gourlay RWXY +1

SAT 31 July  –  TPC – SASSOON Cup – RAF v HACKETT Army Development Team

1. Sgt Horn RA and BdrWoodhouse RA * -2
2. Maj Will Williams REME and Maj Ben Marshall RGR* -1
3. Maj Cameron Humphries SCOTS 0
4. Brig Piers Hankinson (late RTR) 0

SAT 21 Aug – Cirencester PC – Yeomanry v HACKETT Army Senior Team in aid of BFF

1. Capt Mathew Eyre-Brook 9/12L +1
2. Maj Nick Cowley QRH +(1)
3. Capt Jack Mann RHG/D +2
4. Lt Col Nick Hunter KRH +2

Friday 3rd, Saturday 4th, Sunday 5th September – CPC – MGs Tournament – HACKETT Army Team

1. Lt Col Crispin Lockhart RHG/D -1
2. Capt Mathew Blakiston LD 0
3. Maj Rupert Lewis RHG/D +1
4. Capt Mathew Eyre-Brook 9/12L +1

Marcos Llambias

Published in News on 19 Jul 2010

REPORTS of Marcos Llambias’s death in this year’s CSPA Magazine have proved – very fortunately – to be rather premature!

In fact Marcos is very much alive and kicking in El Retiro and is looking forward to welcoming more CSPA members to Argentina

“The walls of my club house are covered by pictures of the army, the navy and the air force visits, plus all the coats of arms I had received as presents after each visit,” said Marcos.

“So, anyone who would like to come to play some polo and groom for themselves, I’m ready to provide them with full board accommodation, airport pick up and local transports, plus stick and ball and daily chukkas, for u$s 1.000.- per week.

“Laundry is included, but on departure, they will have to take a taxi, as we cannot cancel the polo school activities for traveling to the airport. Booking in advance is very important, in order to start with the horses’ training in time.”

Needless to say the CSPA is delighted that it still has such a good friend in Argentina. In his letter of apology, Mark Cann, CSPA Director, wrote: “I am very sorry to have written you off so readily and reported your demise – at least you now know the affection and gratitude we at the CSPA have for you1”

Mabway Captains & Subalterns Tournament

Published in News on 17 Jul 2010

Two exciting days of competition but which of the teams covered themselves in glory.

THE MabWay Captains & Subalterns 2010 Polo Tournament produced a record-breaking entry of 17 teams, from all three Services.

Four teams competed in Division One, the same number again in Division Two, six in Division Three and two in Division Four (one of the initial entries had to withdraw at the last minute).

The standard of polo over the weekend was much higher than in previous years – which indicates the success of coaching both by individual Service arrangements and by the standard of courses run at Tidworth polo Club.

Competition was tight in Division One. The Royal Navy took on the Infantry in the first of the matches and came out on top in a tough contest to set up a final with the Royal Wessex Yeomanry, who’d secured a win over 9/12 Lancers. This was a repeat of this year’s thriling Inter-Regimental Final when the Royal Navy took the honours, but on this occasion RWxY were determined to hold on to their Captains & Subalterns crown and succeeded in doing so.

In Division Two ADC black were easily overcome by the RAF, while RMAS has a close fought tussle with HAC. In the close scoring final between Sandhurst and the RAF, the newly presented Mabway Fox Trophy went to the RAF.

In Division Three, the series of chukka matches meant that KRH overcame HCMR blue team – eventually with some ease – to win the Lancer Cup..

Division Four winners were the Army Novice teamwho beat RLC by six goals to two to lift the Grenadier Cup.

The Most Valuable Player prize went to Captain Mathew Eyre-Brook of 9/12 Lancers.

Chairman of the Army Polo Association, Lt Col Simon Ledger, said: “Our thanks to Mabway once again for their support of this tournament which was, agreed by many, to be the best yet.”

Div 1 : Main Trophy:  RWxY

Div 2: The ‘Mabway Fox’ Trophy: RAF

Div 3: The Lancer Trophy: KRH

Div 4: The Grenadier Cup: Royal Artillery ‘Red’

Connaught Search United Services Cup & Hackett Inter-regimental Final

Published in News on 16 Jul 2010

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

THE Republic of South Africa completed a whitewash the 2010 Chapple Cup Series with another emphtic win in the third and final match of the contest.

Already two nil up, the the visitors completed a hat-trick of victories with the Connaught Search United Services Cup game at Guards Polo Club.

The CSPA knew they were up against it from the start having lost by four and five goals respectively in the first two encounters at Sandhurst Polo Day and the Hackett Rundle Cup Day.

They began the game with a one and a half goals advantage but this was quickly wiped out in the first chukka. There were superb rubs by Lionel Foster and some hard riding by Tikkie van Eeden.

The CSPA showed signs of a recovery in the second chukka, scoring a goal to give them the lead by 2_ goals to 2. However, that was the last time they had their noses in front.

By half-time the score was 4 goals to 2_ and in the third chukka the South Africans had stretched that scoreline to 6 goals to 3_.

The CSPA’s Ben Vestey added another two, with some wonderful play, but after that the goals for the hosts simply dried up. In contrast the visitors continued to score and by the end of the final chukka it was 8 to 5_. The deserved winners were presented with the Connaught Search United Services Cup and the coveted Chapple Cup.

In this year’s Hackett Inter-Regimental Final, the Household Cavalry Regiment, holders of the trophy, took on the Royal Navy buoyed by their triumphover the Army in the Hackett Rundle Cup the previous day.

The handicaps meant that the Royal Navy, who had played well as a team all season, started the match with a half goal advantage. Mason and Suzuki in particular were in fine form.

Despite some excellent play by the HCR’s Lewis it was the Royal Navy who just had their noses ahead by half-time by 2- goals to 2.

In the third chukka the HCR came back hard with a quick goal following another good run by Wales – and it looked as though the tide had turned.

Goals for both teams followed leaving the HCR with one hand on the trophy with only seconds remaining. However, from the line-up, Suzuki launched a do or die attack. He picked up the ball and charged down the field unleashing a shot. The final bell sounded a split second after the ball crossed the goal line to give the Royal Navy a memorable 5 to 4_ goals victory.

The Navy’s Hero Suzuki was presented with the Pringle Cup for the player who played best to his handicap on the day.

Hackett Rundle Cup Day

Published in News on 15 Jul 2010

THE 2010 Hackett Rundle Cup Day at Tidworth Polo Club proved yet another memorable event in the polo calendar.

The Royal Navy sank a strong Army side in this year’s Hackett Rundle Cup. With a half goal advantage and a quiet confidence about their own form they set about the task straight from the first chukka.

There was excellent team work, and in particular some fine play by Lt Cdr Wilson, which meant by the end of the first chukka the Army found themselves 1_ goals down. Despite their well-ordered play and three good chances in front of goal they failed to convert their chances.

The second chukka, however, did bring the Army reward with Capt Eeyre-Brook getting his name on the score sheet twice in quick succession, reversing the teams’ fortunes by the half-time mark.

In the vital third chukka the Army pressed to extend their lead but a stubborn Royal Navy defence held firm. A wily counter-attack by Cdre Mason then put them back in the driving seat at 2_ to 2.

And that lead was extended through Sub Lt Suzuki – the Royal Navy’s new secret weapon – with a wonderful 60 yard run and score.

The Army had high hopesof clawing back the deficit in the fourth and final chukka but like their barren third, once again they failed to find the flags.

Instead it was the Royal Navy who added to their tally, again through Wilson, to secure a 4_ to 2 victory..

Earlier in the afternoon the crowds watched the CSPA battle it out with theRepulic of South Africa Zulus team for the ICOA Troph, sponsored by DRS Technologies. This was the second match in the three-game Chapple Cup series with the tourists having a comfortable victory in the first round tie at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst two days earlier.

Having already found their stride the Zulus began the match as they intended it to go on, scoring two quick goals – although Capt Mann did make a reply for the CSPA.

In the second chukka, despite the close attention of Capt ffrench-Blake, the South Africans went on to score two more goals to leave the CSPA trailing 4-1 at half-time.

The Zulus upped a gear once more for the third chukka with some great play by van Eeden and Foster combining at 1 and 2 who found the flags twice more – and again the CSPA could only muster a solitary reply.

Any thoughts of a CSPA comeback in the fourth and final chukka were quickly extinguished. Although the CSPA added to their total so too did the Zulus to finish the match 9-3.

The victory ensured, even with one game still to play, that it would the Republic of South Africa on the Chapple Cup for 2010.

Team News For Chapple Cup Series 2010

Published in News on 12 Jul 2010


The Republic of South Africa – Zulus team is challenging th CSPA for the Chapple Cup Series 2010. Team news is as follows:

Sudan Cup at 3pm at RMAS Thursday 8th July 2010

Captain Eyre-Brooke 1 Tikkie Van Eeden 1
Major Cowley 1 Don McHardy 3
Trooper Wakeford 2 Lionel Foster 2
O/Cdt Purbrick 0 Angus Williamson 2

 ICOA Trophy at 2.30pm at TidworthSaturday 10th July 2010

Sqn Ldr Adcock 0 Tikkie Van Eeden 1
Major Hunter 2 Don McHardy 3
Captain Mann 2 Lionel Foster 2
Capt ffrench-Blake 4 Angus Williamson 2

United Services Cup at 3pm at Guards Sunday 11th July 2010

Major Cann 0                                           Tikkie Van Eeden 1
Major Hunter or Captain Mann 2 Don McHardy 3
Captain Vestey 3 Lionel Foster 2
Trooper Wakeford 2 Angus Williamson 2

Team News For Chapple Cup Series 2010

Published in News on 08 Jul 2010

THE CSPA team sheets have been confirmed for the visit of the Republic of South Africa – Zulus in the Chapple Cup Series 2010.

Cornwall Affiliates Cup

Published in Army Polo on 03 Jul 2010

The Hackett Army Team taking part in the Cornwell Affiliates Cup at Ascot Park Polo Club on Saturday July 3rd is:

1. Captain Mathew Blakiston, Light Dragoons 0
2. Trooper Wakeford RHG/D +1
3. Captain Mathew Eyre – Brook 9/12 L + 1
4. Major Cameron Humphries SCOTS  0