International players will swap the rarefied polo fields of establishment England for a Cornish surfing beach next month as the UK’s original beach polo event returns to Watergate Bay.
The third edition of Veuve Cliquot Polo on the Beach will see two teams play an exhibition match of arena polo – a fast-paced and exciting form of the sport – on the evening of Monday September 14.
The free event will bring top-level polo to a venue more used to seeing crashing waves than thundering hooves, with spectators able to watch the action at close hand.
Will Ashworth, managing director of event organisers The Hotel & Extreme Academy, commented: “Last year more than 2,000 spectators packed the beach to watch a fiercely contested match for the Watergate Bay Trophy, and we already have some of the top names in British polo confirmed to play this year.
“We have several former England international players in the frame – Richard Blake Thomas has confirmed he will be back for a second year, and if match commitments allow we will have Richard’s brother Andrew Blake Thomas and Arena Gold Cup winner Jamie Le Hardy as well – all hugely talented high goal players.”
Also taking part will be Royal Military Academy Sandhurst Polo Manager Barbara Zingg, and Wadebridge resident Andrew Burgess – both of whom played last year.
More than 20 ponies will be required for the match which will be played over four chukkas (periods of play each lasting seven and a half minutes). The playing area is much smaller than grass polo – approximately 100 x 50 metres – requiring speed and agility from the players while making the game easy to follow for spectators.
Commentators Captain Ben Marshall and Richard Eldridge will bring their wealth of polo experience, explaining the rules and strategy of the game during the match, and summarising the action for the spectators.
Murdo Mace, Executive Director from team sponsors Midas Construction said: “Midas is delighted to be supporting this unique event which brings polo to a difference audience.”
A public champagne bar and beach barbeque will be open from 5.00pm, with the teams riding out to start the first chukka at 6.30pm.
A limited number of hospitality packages are also available.