Hooked on polo

25 Oct 2017

Fast, exciting, challenging, requiring balance, coordination, superb reflexes; man and horse together facing down the opposition. College has an enthusiastic stable of young equestrian polo players and its top team recently travelled to the USA to compete in California and Hawaii.

The whistle-stop tour took place from Friday 22 September to Monday 2 October. With four games – one win and three losses – and huge gains in skills and confidence, plus an inside look at the American polo lifestyle, it was a fun and enjoyable trip. Master-in-Charge of Polo Monique Ellis-Martin says it was an incredible experience and they were made very welcome by their hosts.

“It was awesome,” says Year 13 student Charlie Dyer. “I just loved the fact that we were playing in such amazing locations on amazing horses. Polo in New Zealand is more of a grassroots sport, more laid-back and anyone can play. There, it’s something else ... but it still comes down to riding, enjoying horses and working as a team.”

As an outcome of the trip, Charlie has been invited to return to Hawaii early next year to focus on playing polo. “I’m planning on a gap year playing polo. I love it, love the power of it, love everything about it. I want to do it while I can – and who knows where it might lead.”

The College team was composed of Charlie, along with his fellow Year 13 students Freddie Cameron and Jack Tracy and Year 12 student Rohan Tennekoon.

Monique hopes to strengthen College’s links with polo clubs in America and aims to establish a reciprocal agreement with Danny Scheraga, President of the Polo Training Foundation of America, setting in motion opportunities for more polo exchanges, training clinics and competitions.