On Saturday 18 June 2016 The Norwegian Polo Club, based at Stall Kubberød near Moss in southern Norway, hosted Norway’s first ever polo tournament. The Norwegian Polo Open, organized and run by founders and owners Thea and Nick May, aimed to bring the excitement and passion of polo to Norway. But it wasn’t all about polo. Inspired by their longtime friend and the captain of the Australian polo team Glen Gilmore, a two time cancer survivor, the couple also wanted to use the event to raise money for the Norwegian cancer research charity Kreftforeningen.
After a final week of frantic preparations whilst being glued to weather predictions Thea and Nick delivered an event that saw international players join their Norwegian counterparts to play some fast, open and exciting polo on the clubs newly opened full sized ground at Norway’s first and only polo club. It was a day of historical firsts as Norwegian players Thea May and Johan Backe were joined by international players Casimir and Tiva Gross from Kenya and Ross Ainsley and Chloe Warren from Australia to show a crowd of over 200 VIPs and general public why they are so passionate about polo. After a last minute change Whitney Warren (Chloe’s sister) stepped in to umpire the match ensuring the horses and players safety.
“What Thea and Nick have done is incredible” said Ross. “To have launched polo in Norway is a huge achievement anyway, but to launch such great polo, on fantastic horses on a world class ground in the most stunning setting is unbelievable. The base they have built here and the support they have from their members is something most clubs only dream of.”
“The support we have had has been very humbling” said Thea. “We can’t thank our members, friends and family enough. It’s been a real team effort. We have been so lucky to have such great sponsors from the team sponsors of Varsity Headwear and grooming powerhouse Alexander Sprekenhus to the event sponsors Blair Bygg, Refnes Gods Hotel, Veuve Cliquot, Kristin Brande Backe Tannlege, Kvernhuset, the equestrian publication Equilife and contributions from Anette Ringnes. We really can’t thank them enough. We were also lucky enough to be able to capture the day with our photographers Kraftwork Photo and Film and Hanne W Photography. We are also very excited to have been supported by the team from Horseplay and The Polo Channel whose film footage of the event and the polo is simply indescribably cool.”
“With such a successful event we are already looking to take the battle against cancer in to next year.” said Nick. “We are already planning to run the next Norwegian Polo Open on 17 June 2017. We can’t wait!”