New Zealand prepares for the historic Savile Tournament

images-news-2014-winners-Cambridge-copyRangitikei Polo Club plays host to 24 teams at the end of the month

The oldest and most prestigious polo tournament in New Zealand is soon to get underway with 24 teams entered across four handicap levels. The Mackenzie Salver -5 – 0 goal has six teams whilst The Riddiford and Levin Cup 2 – 3 goal, which was first introduced in 1928 as a junior section, has nine teams including British 1 goaler Will Brasher. The Hamish Wilson Cup 6 goal, which was first introduced in 1976 when the tournament saw a staggering 32 teams entered, welcomes five teams for 2015. The final section is The Farmlands Savile Cup 12-16 goal, which boasts four teams including Nina and JP Clarkin playing for Cambridge, the Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club’s Polo Manager Simon McDonald and 3 goaler Matt Pitts from Cowdray. Other familiar names from the UK polo circuit include Lochie Hunter, Tommy Wilson and Simon Keyte. John Paul Clarkin will be looking to equal his victory last year when he joined Kit Brooks, Alan Browne and Michael Weston to win The Savile Cup at Kihikihi Polo Club. They beat a Rangitikei line-up of Mark Dunca, Glen Sheriff, Angus McKelvie and Ross Ainsley 10 goals to 6.

The tournament is due to start on Wednesday 21 January with Wanstead A vs. Waimai PH and Cambridge A vs Rangitikei in Savile Cup league games.

First held in 1890, just one year before the formation of the New Zealand Polo Association, this year’s tournament will be hosted by the Rangitikei Polo Club with the Finals scheduled for Sunday 25 January.

Photograph: JP Clarkin and the winning team from Cambridge for the 2014 Savile Cup