1944 – 2022
Major Christopher Hanbury died unexpectedly yesterday, Tuesday 10 May, our thoughts are with the Hanbury family at this difficult time. Christopher was a well-known and respected figure throughout the polo community. Born in 1944 in County Mayo, Ireland, from a young age Christopher was involved in equestrian sports, hunting with the Maeth and Ballymacad foxhounds until he moved to England at the age of 18. As a student at Cirencester in 1963, he began to play polo, but did not play seriously until he commissioned into the Irish Hussars in 1965, moving on to play regimental polo in Germany.
In 1994, Christopher was sent as the Equerry to the Sultan of Brunei, who he encouraged to take up polo. From here on out, the Sultan embraced polo wholeheartedly, building the state-of-the-art Jerudong Polo Club and bringing world class players to both Brunei and England with the help of Rob Cudmore. Christopher was Chairman of Cirencester Park Polo Club for five years (1995 – 1999) and served with the Hurlingham Polo Association (HPA) for 17 years (1995 – 2012) including as Chairman from 2005 – 2008. In 2018, Christopher’s commitment and contribution to polo was recognised with the HPA’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
He invested widely in the polo community, building Longdole Polo Club in Gloucestershire and El Remanso in Pilar, Argentina, with its world-class embryo breeding centre. Christopher himself notched up wins in the Gerald Balding Cup, the Dorchester and Humphrey Butler Trophy, while his Lovelocks team won The Gold Cup for The British Open in 2018, with his son Charlie Hanbury part of the winning line-up. Christopher’s passion for polo continues through his family, with his children and grandchildren representing the family name from grass roots to high goal and with some top polo ponies being produced. Christopher is survived by his wife, Bridget, his children, Zahra, Emma, Arabella, Jessica, Charlie and George, and his many grandchildren. A full obituary will follow in the June issue of Polo Times.
Photograph: Christopher Hanbury passed away yesterday.