Cheltenham take the Open National Senior Schools title
On Sunday 21 June at Kirtlington Park Polo Club, nine schools were represented at SUPA National Senior School Championships. Cheltenham College (Tom Severn, Araminta Lawson-Smith, Alicia Williams and Ollie Severn) took the Open title with Stowe School as runners-up and Radley College in third place. Robert Flemings’ pony Zorro was awarded the Polo Times Best Playing Pony Award after an excellent chukka. In the Under 16s, Radley College (Jonty Barlow, Freddie Jodrell, Freddie Younger and Freddie Barlow) took a deserved win after defeating Marlborough, Tudor Hall and Felstead. Sam Whisby, who wore the red, white and blue shirt for Felsted, was awarded a Most Promising Player Award after scoring a magnificent goal on Greenpoint Polo’s pony Calloy, at a speedy gallop from the halfway line with three nearside forehands.
In the Intermediate section, Rugby School (Alex Stasinski, Hassan Usman, Ellie Shepherd and Benji Bradshaw) played exceptionally well for this level to take the trophy. St Bartholomew’s took second place and Stowe School third place. Despite taking a hard ride-off and a tumble in his first chukka of the day, in which he took his pony’s bridle with him, Hassan Usman was awarded The Most Promising Player Award for the Intermediate section. Hassan played on Rugby Polo Club’s piebald pony, Bogtrotter and was undoubtedly the linchpin for his team’s win.
In the Novice section, with three-a-side teams, Rugby School (Lauren Wright, Eliza Williams & Charlie Tuite-Dalton) defeated Cheltenham College to take the trophy in four slightly shorter chukkas over the course of the day. In the Combined section, Dean Close ( Tamar Gibbons, Jake Nainbridge, Charlie Hitchman & David Gibbons) took the trophy with Tudor Hall taking the runner-up spot. Thomas Coid was the awarded The Most Valuable Player Award, which for the last 20 years has been gifted by The Worshipful Company of Saddlers to SUPA National Senior Schools Championships.
The standard of play really was very high this summer, and with plenty of polo surnames on the pitch from Barlow to Berner, Rumsey and Severn, the future of British polo looks strong with well mounted and talented youngsters ready to take on Club level polo. Lucy Wilson, Club Liaison and News Manager for Polo Times was on hand all day to offer subscriptions to the schools, players and parents. All the players that participated in the tournament received a complimentary copy of Polo Times and The Polo Magazine. Winners of each section also received a Polo Times trucker hat as a prize. A report of the day will feature in the forthcoming July issue of Polo Times.
Photograph: SUPA National Senior Schools Championship at Kirtlington Park Polo Club. By Lucy Wilson