Tasmania’s first polo team in 100 years takes to the field at Barnbougle

The Barnbougle Polo event this year marked a momentous occasion for the sport of polo in Tasmania, with the first state team taking to a field in 100 years.

The event’s polo organiser Lach Mackinnon said it was the first Tasmanian team in 100 years, which was fantastic.

“It’s a great thing, a centenary is always good but you want a centenary to be a continuous one not a break in the centenary,” he said.

“We’re very happy to be playing and have a Tassie team playing, don’t get me wrong we will be under pressure today but we’ll see how we go.

“We’ll be out there to have a bit of fun and those kids running around this is what it’s all about, being in the bush and enjoying our time out here.”

There were four teams playing against each other during the day, the first match was between Barnbougle Tasmania and Barnbougle Victoria.

The second match of the day was between Pipers Brook and Stella Artois.

In the historic first match marking the state’s return to polo, Victoria sadly took the lead early in the match but seconds before half time Tasmania equalised to make it 1-1 going into the second half.
VIC took the early lead again in the second half to make it 2-1, before making it 3-1 and later 4-1. The home side was unable to catch the lead and the historic match ended 4-1 in the visitor’s favour.

Mr Mackinnon took part in the second match of the day.

“Today is all about having a heap of fun and trying to get people involved in polo in Tasmania and just enjoying what is a great part of Tasmania in the north-east,” he said.

“Everyone’s really really keen to play but there’s obviously the problem with shipping which we’re trying to work with and it puts pressure on us, as you can see we don’t have as many horses as we did last year, we probably have two-thirds of them.

“Horses are great and everyone travelled down, it’s absolutely fantastic and there was absolutely no issues so we’re just happy to be here.”

Event manager Penny Sattler said the event attracted world class polo player’s every year, including Australia’s own Ruki Baillieu this year.

“He has captained Australia‚Ķand he has played all over the world and he is currently one of the best Australian players so we’re really fortunate to have him here,” she said.

“We’re really fortunate that they’ll kind of come down to Tassie, because there’s not that many players in Tassie so we really need to have that commitment from people from interstate and international.”

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