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Action Packed Arena Challenge

Pony Club Polocrosse players from all over the UK displayed their skills in The Bombers Arena Challenge at the Dallas Burston Super Arena in Warwickshire, which saw a weekend of nail-biting action and two new Best Player awards being presented.

It was a double win for the North Warwickshire Branch, who fought off strong competition to successfully defend their Open and Open Junior titles.

Their Open team of Katie Loutisou (19), Amy Harper (17) and Danny Woodward (19) were delighted with their 1 goal win over the St Warwickshire team, and the Open Junior team of brother and sister Fin (15) and Tegan (12) Bristow and Theo Cornforth (15) proved unstoppable; securing the top spot for the second consecutive year by beating the Rockwood Tigers team by 8 goals to 2.

Tegan Bristow had another reason to celebrate later in the day when she was crowned Best Female Player; a new award for 2017 along with Best Male Player.

Tegan impressed the judges with her abilities, who remarked that her contribution to the team win was outstanding for such a young player.  Tegan also played in the Minis competition, for players who are 12 years and under, where she showed support to her teammates and players from other Branches who were less experienced than her.

Tegan said: “Being awarded the Best Female Player prize was a huge surprise! I feel honoured and privileged to be the first name on the stunningly eye catching trophy.

“I was fortunate to play in two grades for my Branch - one very experienced team and one very young, inexperienced team which kept me very busy and on my toes but both of my ponies played their socks off! I lent my young horse Peaches to a new Polocrosse player from another Branch and it was rewarding to watch them together. I’ve made so many friends through Pony Club Polocrosse that I hope to have for life.”

The long trip to Warwickshire was worthwhile for the Llangeinor Hunt team of Abbie Phillips (14), Malkia Beadle (14) and Jaz Cuggy (15) who won the Novice Juniors competition, beating the Warwickshire Hunt by 1 goal.

Ten teams took part in the Minis grade competition, held across two days. The Warwickshire Hunt team of Will Holland (12), Harriet Wasdell (12) and Georgie Wasdell (10) were victorious on day one, and the Rockwood Harriers team of Harry Thomason (11) Phoebe Sykes (9) and Paige Wilson (11) were winners of day two.

The inaugural Best Male Player award went to eleven year old Harry Thomason, who the judges deemed to have shown exceptional playing ability for his age, calmness under pressure and sportsmanship qualities.

“We all had a fabulous weekend, the arena was magic and the sun was shining,” commented Harry. “It was a big surprise and an honour to win the Bombers Award. I am only one part of the Rockwood team and without Paige and Phoebe I am sure someone else would have got it!”

Iain Heaton, Pony Club Director of Finance and Operations, said: “The Bombers Arena Challenge provided both novice and more experienced players the opportunity to take part in a thrilling competition which saw some close matches and displays of incredible skills across all four grades of play. We’d like to thank Bombers for their generous support in providing prizes and equipment for the competition.”

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