Heroes Polo Day – 28th July 2017
A strategic day of spectacular polo at Tidworth Polo Club… With the Heroes! For the Heroes!
Summer arrived at Tidworth Polo Club for Heroes Polo Day as record crowds gathered in front of the absolutely mint condition Fisher Ground at Tidworth Polo Club for Heroes Day. With an estimated 3000 people the trade stands were buzzing, champagne tent full, sponsors chinking glasses, private parties with gazebo’s preparing their picnics and hospitality tents enjoying the start of what was to come for the day’s entertainment.
The opening match was the annual skirmish between the Royal Navy and the RAF. A great game to open the day with some excellent skills on show from both sides; however if the RAF had access to the Royal Navy’s classified information they would have seen that Lt Hiro Suzuki was not to be left four foot loose and fancy free. Sadly the memo never reached the RAF HQ and Sukuki literally had a field day running circles around everyone. Literally it was ‘Easy Peasy Japaneasy’! Lt Cdr Steve Spiller for the Royal Navy showed he was clearly happy to be back in the driving seat having arrived back from Afghanistan just 24hrs prior to the match. And to celebrate his 12 days back he displayed his happiness with a wonderful angled backhand straight through the posts. The RAF fought with low level attack but lost tactical concentration in the final chukka leaving the final score Navy 7 to the RAF’s 3 ½. Prizes were sponsored by Exton Park Wines.
With the overwhelming success of the 2016 Heroes Cup match the 2017 Heroes line up didn’t disappoint. With the poignant setting and backdrop of the Help for Heroes rehabilitation centre Tedworth House, the Independent Living Solutions Team went to battle with the Wilsons Solicitors team in the most courageous, bold and very plucky exhibition match showing that despite life changing injuries they continue to go strength to strength. A sheer display of polo brilliance that ignites strategic passion from players and awe-inspiring for everyone to witness! Cliff O’ Farrell was continuously ready in defence and enthusiastically eager in attack taking his team Wilson’s Solicitors to victory finishing 1 goals to 0. Congratulations to Angela Mason-Matthews who showed accomplished solid play just 12 weeks after having her first baby ‘Duncan’.
Paddy Selfe commented “This is the first time commanding a side for the Help for Heroes Polo Team and an honour to play in this incredible exhibition match”
Strategic Polo Team Peter O’ Rourke this year playing as ‘Strategic Help For Heroes’ in the 8 goal Victor Ludorem series commented how excited he is about how both teams will be supporting each other at the various matches around the country. Support works both ways! Strategic had donated the Heroes Cup and it was presented to the winning Wilsons Solicitors team by Peter O’Rorke. Kate McLean of Independent Living Solutions (ILS) presented prizes to her team.
The Tempus Wealth Best Playing Pony went to Tidworth Polo Clubs ‘Goz.’ Fine Wines Direct sponsored the prizes of Magnums of Rose .
The final match of the day was a heart stopping performance right from the first throw in. Both teams really meant business however; Lolly Stanhope-white had the ball smashing through the goal posts in literally the first 30 seconds! Explosions of adrenaline and excitement erupted from the crowds and more so from the commentary box as Tidworth Polo Clubs very own Miles Underwood thrillingly lifted the volume leading spectators into roars of commentary induced laughter.
It was polo warfare at its best with the first two chukkas playing an evenly matched game of ‘Tit for Tat’!
Lots of unauthorised action from the Hackett Army Polo team causing penalties, but at ground zero the WIP girls showed they were stomping their authority, riding hard and deploying some heart thumping plays that seemed to provoke the Hackett Army boys. The WIP girls desired command striking the ball and opponents like they were a weapon delivery system! For spectators this really was the quickest your heart will beat sitting down!
Selfe got themselves out of trouble on more than one occasion however by the closing fourth chukka the WIP girls were faster, quicker thinking and always that one step ahead. Play was dynamic and justifiably the WIP girls dominated this tactical affair to win 6 goals to the Hackett Army polo teams 4 ½.
Women in Polo (WIPS) Sarah Wood commentated post-match “For the second year running we are absolutely elated that the Women in Polo Girls showed what they are made of. A fantastically exciting match that had crowds on the edge of their seats and once more the girls ending up on top!”
Most Valuable Player, given by Tidworth Polo Club, was justifiably Rosie Ross.
We would like to thank our sponsors Wilsons Solicitors, Independent Living Solutions, Tempus Wealth, Exton Park wine, Fine Wines Direct
Charlie Fraser |Tidworth Polo Club