A 25-year-old polo player from Kent is proving the sport is not just for the elite.
Following a string of successes, Alice Walsh made the reserve for the GB Ladies Team’s recent tour of South Africa, and she’s determined to not let money – or the lack of it – hold her back.
Alice lives with her mother in a rented flat and has two self-trained ponies, Mabel and Margery. She said she was able to buy the pair “cheaply” as they were bred for racing but didn’t grow tall enough.
She is now preparing them for the polo season, alongside working to raise the money she needs to add to her stable.
“I’m not your typical polo player by any stretch of the imagination, as I simply don’t have the funds,” she said. “But I know I’m at the top of my game – and so are Mabel and Margery – so I’m determined to give it my best shot.”
Alice’s love of horses started in childhood. She attended New Forest Polo School and after a stint in Argentina she was able to work with 10-goal player Sebastian Merlos.
In order to fund her progress through the sport, Alice worked in London as an IT consultant after graduating from Warwick University and set up her own business, Lineup Polo, which supports players and clubs worldwide by streamlining tournament management and sharing data for spectators to follow the sport.
“I know how hard it has been – and still is – for me to keep going in this sport,” she said. “The business is an income stream, but it also enables me to encourage other young players – men and women – to take up polo and progress within it.
“It’s my whole world and although it’s not easy, I’m proof that you don’t need to be rich or privileged to enjoy it and succeed.”