The weekend of the 10th – 12th January saw the All England Polo Club host their 4th annual Inspired Arena Polo Masters tournament. With teams coming down from all over the country it was set to be a fantastic weekend of Polo!
On Saturday, Simon Arber’s ‘Astra’ team, with son Emil Arber and professional player Tom Morley, played Ana Escobedo’s ‘Bulldog Games’, with Nell Jacobs and the infamous Jonny Good. Bulldog Games went 5-0 down in the first chukka, but managed to pull back to win 14-9. Great effort from Johnny and the girls! This put them through to the final on Sunday
John Bunn’s ‘Playnation’ team, consisting of himself, Niall Donnelly and Charlie Wooldridge, played Hugo Baldwin’s ‘Bell Fruit Games’, with Harry Muddle and Maurice Ormerod. It was a fantastically hard fought match, with John Bunn’s team taking the lead in the second chukka and holding on to beat Bell Fruit Games seeing them through to play Bull Dog Games in the final.
The sun was shining for the first match of the day, the subsidiary final between ‘Astra’ and ‘Bell Fruit Games’. ‘Astra’ went down in the first and second chukka 9-4, but a few two point goals from Tom Morley put them back in the lead 12-10. His fantastic little bay pony ‘Turtle’ making the difference in the final chukka, just having the edge over Muddles super chestnut pony ‘Olive’ allowing them to hang on to the lead and take the subsidiary final prize.
After a brief pause to reset the arena ‘Playnation’ and ‘Bulldog Games’ headed into the arena to fight it out for the weekend’s trophy.
John Bunn started the first chukka with a great goal in the first 20 seconds, which was closely matched by Johnny Good with a two pointer. The scores stayed even throughout the game, until the final chukka where a great two point goal from Niall Donnelly put ‘Playnation’ up by three, almost matched by Johnny Good but for an outstanding in air save by Wooldridge allowing Playnation to take the win 16-9. Niall with a fantastic pony ‘Pumba’ and John Bunn with his best pony ‘Flake’ gave the Playnation team the extra edge to score 6 goals in the final chukka!
All England Polo Club would like to thank Inspired, the tournament sponsors, the patrons and players and everyone involved in making the weekend such a huge success. Dates for 2021 will be announced shortly.