Archives from 2013


Published in Army Polo on 12 Dec 2013

The 2014 APoloA AGM that will held at the 32 Regt RA Officers’ Mess, Larkhill (same as last year). The meeting will start at 14:00hrs. Tea and Coffee will be available. ApoloA_AGM_Agenda_2014


Published in News on 17 Sep 2013

The CSPA AGM will be at The Cavalry & Guards Club London on Thursday 13th February at 1500 hrs.

Click for agenda AGMAG 14

Guards Finals Day 2013

Published in News on 15 Jul 2013

Guards Polo Club was the seting for the 2013 Hackett Inter-regimental Final and the last match in this year’s Chapple Cup Series.

With the series already gone to the US team – with wins at Sandhurst and Tidworth – this match was whether they could complete a whitewash.

The CSPA team though came out of the blocks in fine style with Eyre-Brook turning particularly well on the strong backhands of O’Dwyer ably assisted by Lewis who made some excellent runs and scored a wonder goal with the finest of angles with a tail backhander.

The pattern was set with the CSPA scoring freely and some great play by O’Dwyer in front of the crowd to take the ball from wide to score in fine style.

The US team kept at it though but the goal difference was too great for the US to close the gap. With two more goals to the CSPA by Lewis and Eyre-Brook they ran out the winners of the United Services Cup, sponsored by Connaught Search Solutions, by 8 to 2. They had of course already lost the Chapple series.

The return of the Hackett Inter-Regimental Final at Guards after a year away at Coworth Park saw the Kings Royal Hussars return to see whether they could win this trophy for the first time since 1986 and overcome the disappointment of losing to the Queens Royal Lancers last year. In their way stood the team from the Royal Navy.

With Hunter having played on 2 out of the last three days and having two new hips there was a question mark over his fitness. He proved beyond doubt that he was more than fit and playing better than ever as he launched long balls for Freeman-Kerr and Kaye to get onto.

With Walker under instruction to clear the way the goals started to come quickly with Kaye, Hunter and Freeman-Kerr having their share. At half time the RN had yet to score and the KRH had put 5 past them with some fine team play.

The third period saw some exemplary play and with Walker finding the flags for the first time and a 60 yard penalty by Hunter making the score 8 to 1 1/2 it looked all done.

However the RN are never ones to lie down and they had the last hurrah by scoring two quick and excellent goals by Suzuki. The affair ended with a deserved victory for the KRH by 9 to 4 1/2 and history was rewritten.

The excellence of Hunter’s play earned him the Most Valuable Player Pringle Cup and he went home a very contented man.

Hackett Rundle Cup Day 2013

Published in News on 14 Jul 2013

The 2013 Hackett Rundle Cup Day took place on a gloriously sunny day with soaring temperatures – the first for four years!

First up was the second match of the 2013 Chapple series – for the Steria Indian Cavalry Officers’ Association Trophy.

Newcomers Barsh Kazi and Albany Mulholland settled well and very soon the superior play of Barnes and Salinas-Bentley began to tell. After a fine run or two by Barnes they were three up by the end of the first chukka.

Giles Ormerod settled the team and got two back in the second but the US team continued to attack and by half time they were five up against the handicap advantage of 1 1/2.

Martin Adcock, just back after a bad accident, began to find his range and after a good run he passed the ball to Mulholland who scored to revive faint hope that the CSPA could come back.

It was not to be and Barnes and Gorman combined well to put the result beyond doubt in the fourth chukka to no reply by the CSPA.

So the ICOA Trophy went to the US team by 6 to 2 1/2 and with it the Chapple Cup series.

The big match of the day – the Hackett Rundle Cup – was next up. In the gloom of 2012 the Royal Navy put a superior Army team to the sword in fine style under the excellent watch of their coach Jason Dixon.

This year the RN fielded Steve Spillar to replace the long serving Richard Mason. The match got off to its usual frantic start with the Army striving to overcome the handicap difference of 2. This did not take long and by the beginning of the second both teams were level.

Eyre-Brook was combining well with O’Dwyer and with Hunter providing excellent work at the back the match took shape with two fine goals. By the end of the third the Army were leading5 goals to 3.

The RN though never lie down and they came right back into the wmatch with two quick goals by Suzuki. However, with a reply by Hankinson the goal difference was restored.

In the fourth chukka both teams pushed hard but it was the Army who scored to settle this excellent encounter by 7 goals to 5. The difference was the powerful striking by Hunter who richly deserved the Most Valuable Player award.


Sandhurst Polo Day

Published in News on 12 Jul 2013

Sandhurst Polo Day marked the first match of the 2013 Chapple Cup Series between CSPA and the touring team from Eastern Circuit United States Polo Association (ECUSPA).

It was a hot day on the flat and hard round ground. The CSPA scored first from a fine 60 yd shot from Giles Ormerod and the play ebbed and flowed up to half time with the US team scoring to edge ahead by 1/2 goal.

The CSPA came back strongly with some fine runs by Robin Ormerod who scored to put the CSPA ahead by 4 1/2 to 4 at the end of the third chukka.

MZ Kazi had a nasty fall but with Barnes and Salinas-Bentley combining well in the fourth they surged ahead to six goals with the CSPA only replying with Vicky Woodhead finding the flags.

So the final score of 5 1/2 to 6 saw the US team lift the Sudan Cup and draw first blood in the Chapple Cup series.

The second match on Sandhurst Polo Day was the Hackett Inter-Regimental semi-final match between Kings Royal Hussars and Household Cavalry Regiment. The winners of this  match would be meeting the Royal Navy in the final.

It started off a very tightly marked game with Jack Mann threatening from the beginning for the HCR, well backed up by Rupert Lewis. They were unlucky not to score but with increasingly effective marking by KRH and a well executed 60 yard penalty the KRH then went on to score 2 field goals to lead at half time by 3 goals to no reply.

The HCR rallied hard in the thrid chukka and got within a goal but with Hunter on form putting some long balls up, and some excellent marking by Walker, Freeman- Kerr scored twice to make it 5 – 3 1/2 at the start of the 4th.

A goal by both teams kept matters interesting but KRH held out to reach the Final for the second time in two years by 6 to 4 1/2.

Teams & Timings For July Fixtures

Published in News on 03 Jul 2013

The teams and timings have been released for the CSPA fixtures taking place next week (July 11 – 14).

The RMAS Polo Day on Thursday July 11 will begin at 15:45 between ECUSPA and CSPA – both teams of 4 handicap – competing for the Sudan Cup. The CSPA team will consist of  Cann 1, G Ormerod 2, R Ormerod 0 and Woodhead 0. The second match of the day, starting at 17:00, will be the semi-final of the Hackett Inter-Regimental Trophy between The Kings Royal Hussars 3 and the Household Cavalry 1. Both games will be umpired by Martin Fewster and Giles Ormerod will also do the second; ponies from Greenpoint polo; referee JJ Spark.

Next up is the Hackett Rundle Cup and ICOA Trophy at Tidworth Polo Club on Saturday July 13. The CSPA team taking on ECUSPA at 14:30 will this time consist of Mulholland 0, Adcock 0, S-W 1, and Humphries 0. Match two will be the Hackett Rundle Cup at 16:30 between the Army and the Royal Navy.

The third and final fixture is the United Services Cup at 15:15 on Sunday July 14 at Guards Polo Club – pending the Inter-Regimental semi-final results. Lining up for CSPA will be Cann 1, Eyre-Brook 1, O’Dwyer 1, and Hunter 1/Lewis 2 (TBC). The Inter-Regimental Final will follow at 16:30.

Any queries contact the CSPA Director Mark Cann on 01672 564911.


Hackett Inter-regimental Tournament 2013

Published in News on 15 Apr 2013

Click here for the 2013 Inter-regimental Tournmanet entry form. Click here for the Inter-regimental Tournament rules

2013 RAF Cranwell

Published in News on 11 Mar 2013

The RAF will be hosting the annual Cranwell Tournament, where teams will be playing for the coveted Martyn Bebbington Memorial Trophy over the weekend 4/5 May 2013. Please contact the secretary if you are interested in entering a team.

New Zealand Tour 2013

Published in RAF on 11 Mar 2013

Having had a successful tour to Kihikihi Polo Club New Zealand in 2012; Flight Lieutenant Vicky Woodhead decided to return for a couple of intensive weeks training to start the 2013 season. Here is her report:

I was able to base at the Kihikihi Polo Club again, kindly hosted by Club president and New Zealand national team member, 3 goaler Hamish Ormond.

Due to flight costings and to reduce time away from work I flew out after Christmas and headed straight down to Outlook Farms, where Hamish and his family are based. We wasted no time in getting down to business and I found myself the next morning out on the farm on a familiarisation ride with Hamish, the “points for improvement” were flowing thick fast and the benefit of riding constantly with a corrector on one’s shoulder were evident. Due to the New Years break, we had 2 intensive days of training before a 2 day break to let the muscles recover. The New Year started with chukkas and I had to jump into the deep end in blazing sunshine in fast club chukkas.  The national club tournament was being held earlier this year, so the club practises were more intense and aimed at team development. As I was unable to stay for the tournament I was either allocated as opposition or had the opportunity to develop solo hitting skills. As ever the faster paced game was an eye opener but the benefit of playing in faster polo is huge and it makes you a sharper, more aware player.

The gap between chukka sessions was spent on working on riding techniques and ensuring my position is correct to enable a stable hitting platform. On match days I had concentrated stick and ball sessions, trying to implement all the corrections and improvements, while still hitting the ball.

This year one of my goals was to increase my knowledge and experience in the training of polo ponies, something I had worked on several years ago with Hamish. Several days were spent working with the young ponies, repeating turns and movements to increase flexibility and responsiveness. We then progressed to an often harder task of correcting bad habits in the older ponies. To make the exercises more fun for the ponies, and to get some farm work done, we would go and round cattle up, using stopping and turning techniques as you would in a polo match. The polo pony can make or break a game so it is vital to be able to school and train them correctly.

Overall this year I focussed much more on my riding technique and getting the most out of my ponies, starting from training at home to schooling before a match. The re-learning of techniques and correction of bad habits takes time and practise and I found New Zealand to be a perfect opportunity to do both. I have learnt many skills to take home to train my own ponies and to pass on to other club members. As ever the unique nature of NZ polo ensured I was immersed with knowledgeable and experienced polo players who were very willing to advise and educate me. I look forward to trying out my new skills and techniques on my ponies and in RAF matches.

Many thanks to Kihikihi Polo Club and Hamish Ormond for having me and the RAF Sports Board for assistance in funding the trip.

RAF Polo Season Report 2012

Published in RAF on 11 Mar 2013

Amongst the highlights of the 2012 season was the ever flourishing Cranwell tournament; a successful rematch in the now well established Ham Challenge as well as an increase in members, in particular amongst the lower ranks. Air Cdre Tim Brown, after over 10 years as Chairman of the RAF Polo Association, handed the reins across to Wg Cdr Martin Adcock in July.

Membership.  The RAFPA membership went up from 20 to 23 in 2012, particularly pleasing is the increase in ORs, largely thanks to the increased support from the RAF Sports Lottery as well as better publicity.  The RAF now counts 3 SACs, 2 Cpls and 2 NCOs amongst its members, one of whom played in the winning team against the Army in the Novice section of the Sassoon Cup.  The RAFPA has 7 pony owners.  No handicap changes this season. Two members were selected to play for the CSPA.

Fixtures and Results.  Of the 20 matches played in 2012, the RAF had 7 wins, 2 draws and 11 losses, the highs being at Cranwell, Ham and in the Novice section of the Sassoon Cup whilst the lows losses against both the Navy and the Army in the Duke of York and Sassoon Cup respectively.  New fixtures include the notable event put on by the HAC at Ham in September and two training matches at Druids.  The Cranwell Tournament saw a full 9 teams enter in early May with some of the only polo played in the rain swept Country.  This tournament was a great start to the season for all involved and goes from strength to strength each year.  We hope to see the Navy take part in 2013..

Training.  All potential members are encouraged to attend a beginners’ course either at Tidworth or Leadenham, all of which are now partly supported by the RAF Sports Lottery.  On top of this, the RAF organised a 3 day refresher course at Cranwell prior to the tournament which was opened to the Army opposition and proved a great success for all, adding to the excellent comraderie between the Services over the tournament.  Individual developing players benefitted from subsidised chukkas at Tidworth and Leadenham.  In order to improve the A team, the RAF entered tournaments at Druids under the tuition of Giles Ormerod, whilst the B team got together to attend several team training sessions at Greenpoint Polo.  These developments should stand the RAF in good stead for the 2013 Season.

Overseas Tour.  Following the success of the previous year’s tour to New Zealand, 5 members returned to Wanstead and Kihiki Polo Clubs for part of their winter.  The players’ game improved visibly from their time in the saddle there, although operational requirements kept them away for a large proportion of the UK Season.  Again, there should be better player availability for 2013.

Sponsorship and Support.  The RAF secured a sponsor for the Cranwell Tournament, former CSPA player Kris Bebbington and his family.  This will continue into the 2013 season.  The RAFPA would not function without the outstanding support from the RAF Sports Board, the CSPA, the Sports Lottery and Tidworth Polo Club, as well as the many clubs that support our individual players.  Our thanks to you all.  2012 should prove to be a good building block for the 2013 season.