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01/08/2012 - General, National Championships
The Audi Pony Club Polo Championships culminated at the weekend (10 to 12 August) at Cowdray Park, West Sussex, with thrilling play by some of the best young players in the UK.
The Championships host the annual finals for both The Pony Club Polo sections of Handley Cross, Surtees, Loriner and Rendell, as well as the Junior HPA Polo sections of Hipwood, Langford and Gannon.
A weekend of glorious weather greeted the 170 Pony Club players, who had taken part in friendly qualifying matches all over the country in early August before securing their Championship slot.
The action kicked off for all the sections on Friday morning with the mission to secure a coveted slot in the Sunday afternoon finals, which culminate in Junior HPA Gannon section final - the pinnacle of achievement for any Pony Club Polo player. As well as the play, there was also time to soak up the atmosphere during the weekend, including the BBQ and disco on the Saturday evening, attracting players, parents and supporters alike.
After two days of hard fought play, the fantastic parade of all players and their ponies on Lawns I marked the start of the finals on Sunday. The Handley Cross section, for those aged 14 and under riding ordinary Pony Club ponies, kicked off the action and saw the Newmarket & Thurlow Branch enjoy the first taste of victory, as they clinched the Handley Cross title.
The eagerly awaited Gannon final saw the 2011 title holders, Cowdray Park, take the stage against the Grafton Hunt. The play was fast with terrific youth polo talent on display, and Grafton Hunt doing all they could to hold off their opponents, but in the end it was not enough and Cowdray Park were again victorious , taking an incredible seventh Gannon title in a decade!
The Pony Club Polo Championships have been held at Cowdray Park since 1977, and have enjoyed the generous support of Audi since 2009, allowing them to develop the three days of competition, that always deliver fantastic youth sporting talent, displays of sportsmanship and a lot of fun!
A full set of results can be found HERE