Cowdray welcomes hundreds of young guns

The culmination of months and months of hard work came to fruition at Cowdray Park Polo Club yesterday, Sunday 11 August, as hundreds of children and their families gathered for the annual Pony Club Polo Championship Finals in mixed weather conditions – sun, wind, rain… and everything in between. The Surtees, Langford, Loriner, Rendell and Gannon series were all in attendance, whilst the Jorrocks Final took place the previous day, Saturday 10 August, at the Club. Following months of hard work from both youngsters and parents, as well as two days of competitive qualifying play, the teams proved their mettle on the Cowdray Lawns, with the quality of the polo being played by these young guns akin to something you’d find from a national tournament regularly making appearances.

The Gannon Final, ultimately won by the South Oxfordshire Hunt South, was an outstanding four chukka match, with impressive teamwork from both sides. The match began with an awful injury to The Cotswold’s Monte Swaine-Grainger, who took a ball to the face, halting play. He was rushed off the field to hospital, with young Frankie Barlow luckily on the sidelines to take his place. The players were later informed that he was doing ok and was on the mend. Angus Rowan-Hamilton’s dark bay gelding Taboo, which he played in the third chukka, was awarded the Polo Times Best Playing Pony rug. Awards and prizes were given out to all the section winners and respective runners-up at the presentation, in a fortunate hour of glorious sunshine. Amongst these awards, the Handley Cross Polo Times Best Playing Pony went to Into the Wind (Dreamer) owned and played by Mimi Evans. Bel McLaughlin and her pony Phoenix, who has previously picked up a Polo Times Best Playing Pony rug or two, were awarded the 2019 Jambo Trophy and given the honour of leading the parade and subsequent charge off the field. To round it off, Kiki Severn was awarded the Catherine Yates Prize, whilst the Pony Club Player of the Year, winning a beautiful SATS saddle, went to Angus Rowan-Hamilton from South Oxfordshire Hunt South. The September issue of Polo Times will feature The Pony Club Championships report in full, so click here to make sure you and your friends don’t miss out! Photograph: Hundreds of Pony Club children and their steeds line-up for the parade ahead of the final matches. By Polo Times

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