Polo players raising funds to compete at Argentine Open

A FUNDRAISING lunch, raffle and auction due to take place at the Polo Wicklow Clubhouse will help two Irish ladies make history in the Argentine Ladies Open taking place in December.

The event will also feature a polo match and will celebrate the bronze medal secured by Ireland at the Ladies European Championships.

Siobhan Herbst is a Wicklow native and currently runs Polo Wicklow, Ireland’s only all year round polo facilities and National Training Centre. Siobhan, and Abbeyleix native April Kent are aiming to become the first Irish people to compete at the World Cup of Ladies Polo later this year.

The pair have just returned from the Ladies European Championships in Italy, where the team was sponsored by Keelings, whose CEO, Caroline Keeling, played on the Irish side with Siobhan and April, along with fellow team-mate Ina Lalor.

Siobhan has fond memories of the tournament.

“It was a very exciting time for Irish ladies polo as it was the first time an Irish team had taken part and we certainly turned many heads as we were the unknown underdogs of the tournament.

“Our first game was against England and we beat them 4 goals to 7.5, which was the largest goal difference in the whole tournament in any of the games. We then went on to play Germany where we narrowly lost by half a goal and in the semi-finals we took on Italy, the eventual winners, who beat us after forcing them into extra time. In the subsidiary final we beat Germany 4 to 6 in a penalty shootout,” she said.

Now Siobhan and April are focusing on raising the funds required to take part in the Argentine Open.

Siobhan added; “As polo is not an Olympic sport it’s not recognised and therefore we get no governmental funding and it’s down to us to raise all the funds. As you can imagine the majority of our funds go towards the horse rental while out there.”

The lunch and raffle takes place on October 31 and also features a polo match in the arena, at which Siobhan, April and Caroline will all play, alongside some new players to the sport. This will be followed by a two-course lunch. Tickets at €35 each are available at www.ladiespolo.ie or email siobhan@polowicklow.com.

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