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The Audi Pony Club Polo Championships 2014

The Audi Pony Club Polo Championships, held 8th to 10th August at Cowdray Park, West Sussex, culminated in a hotly contested, but unfortunately also quite damp, end to the season from 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, Langford, Rendell and Gannon, as well as the Hurlingham Polo Association (HPA) British Junior Polo sections for the Hipwood Trophy, Buckmaster Trophy and John Cowdray Trophy.

The action kicked off for all the sections on Friday morning with the mission to secure a coveted slot in the Sunday afternoon finals, held on Cowdray’s hallowed Lawns I.  The few initial showers on the Friday evening certainly did not dampen the spirits of the near 200 players, who had taken part in friendly qualifying matches all over the country to secure their Championship slot, as they watched the HPA British Junior Polo finals. Alongside a drinks reception courtesy of Bright Young Things, the evening saw victory for the Silver Leys Team in the Hipwood Trophy, the Oatleys Team in the Buckmaster Trophy and fittingly the Cowdray Park in the John Cowdray Trophy.

Saturday enjoyed some needed sunshine and hard fought play for the remaining sections, followed by the ever popular BBQ and disco in the evening giving young players the chance to relax and forge friendships with others from across the country.

With ‘Bertha’ looming on the horizon Sunday began a very damp affair, and after waiting several hours to see if the torrential rain would subside it was with heavy hearts that the organizers decided that play would have to be abandoned, but all was not lost for those who had fought so hard earlier in the weekend! Based on an aggregation of scores during the weekend a system was cleverly produced by the HPA to ensure that winners, as play stood, were able to be awarded and the following Pony Club’s claimed their section victories; Handley Cross – South Berkshire / South Oxfordshire Hunt (South), Surtees – Cotswold Hunt, Loriner – Strathearn, Langford – North Cotswold Hunt, Rendell – Vine Hunt and Gannon – Hampshire Hunt.

“It has been a wonderful season all except for the slightly sad end, and not being able to play the finals due to hurricane Bertha soaking the Cowdray Polo Club grounds” commented Charles Whittington, Chairman of Pony Club Polo. “Many thanks must as always go to our sponsors Audi, the HPA, Polo Splice, Roxtons, SATS and Bright Young Things; alongside the small army of volunteers and polo clubs who lend grounds. Across the season we saw players improve their polo, horsemanship and technique and look forward to winter training and the 2015 season”.

The Pony Club Polo Championships have been held at Cowdray Park since 1977, and have enjoyed the generous support of Audi since 2009, which has allowed for continuing development of the three day competition.

Jon Zammett, Head of PR for Audi UK, comments “The Audi Pony Club Pony Championships is a showcase of the highest level of youth polo in the UK, following qualifying games around the country.  It provides the opportunity for some of our very best young players to compete in a major tournament and to refine their game play and skills.  We hope our contribution makes a difference to these young talented players, who will be our polo stars of the future.  However, the Championships would not possible without the hard work and the impressive team efforts of The Pony Club, the HPA and the army of volunteers – a huge thank you to you all.”

A full set of results can be found HERE

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