Winners Galore from Rugby Polo Club
The Midlands Polo Festival concluded on Sunday 11 December at Rugby Polo Club with the Finals of three different sections and a total of 11 teams over the 0, 4 and 8 goal sections. In the top section, the polo was tough and feisty with big guns David Ashby, who headed up Thompson Local, Karl Ude Martinez, for Twisted and Matt Simpson, the highest rated player, for Bush Pigs, giving each other a run for their money. David Ashby’s line-up came out the eventual winners after a round robin tournament run over the two days defeating both Twisted (second) and Bush Pigs (third). David Ashby was named Most Valuable Player.
The 4 goal Final was a four chukka horse race between local Mikey Henderson for Kylin Polo and Rugby Polo Club’s Dean Lines, who has made a return to playing arena polo. Lines held his own incredibly well despite playing green ponies, the story would have been very different if Lines had been mounted on more experienced ponies. The scores were pretty close throughout the game, but Kylin edged ahead in the last chukka to take the trophy with a score of 17-12 despite a last minute goal from Rugby’s Mark Morrison. It was a great match to watch, despite the ferocious speed, with plenty of laughter inside and outside the arena as Ude Martinez egged the spectators on with some comedy commentary. Dean Lines, most deservedly took home The Polo Magazine Most Valuable Player Award and Mikey Henderson’s steed, Rabbit was awarded the Polo Times Best Playing Pony Award.
In the 0 goal Final the Crazy Cat Ladies headed up by Lucia Mander, stole the show against The Incredibles with a final score of 6-3. Butchers took fourth place, whilst the Kangaroos took third place. Mander had a busy prize-giving as she was also awarded the 0 goal Most Valuable Player Award and Best Playing Pony for her pony Patch.
A full report will follow in the December issue of Polo Times.
Photograph: Winners of the 8 goal, Thompson Local. By Lucy Wilson