Imagine a ball hit so hard that it comes at you at a speed of 110 miles per hour, so fast, you can hardly see it.
Your job is to stay at a gallop, get your polo pony in line with the ball, and either pass it ahead to a teammate, or carry the ball down the field for an attempt at goal - that’s exactly what eight of the region’s top polo players came together to demonstrate in an exhibition polo match at Rutland Polo Club for the annual British Marine Federation (BMF) Midlands summer meeting.
Organised and umpired by Paul Maxfield Gullett, of Wave International based in Colsterworth who is also currently chair of BMF Midlands, the teams were made up of the top players from Rutland and Ranksboro polo clubs, some of whom play polo professionally, such as team captains Tom Collie and Henry Browne, who is also manager at Rutland Polo Club.
The annual exhibition match brings together members of the federation and local polo enthusiasts.
This year’s match did not disappoint; with fast, skilful play, the teams etched up the scores quickly against each other.
However a last minute goal just before half time had Pontoon and Dock in the lead.
Despite some strong, attacking forward play by GJW Insurance, Pontoon and Dock continued to dominate with Alex Boucher of Uppingham scoring in front of goal, and Rutland’s own Paul Girdham scoring another two goals in the last few minutes to bring the final score to 8-3½ to Pontoon and Dock.
During prizegiving the most valuable player was awarded to Chris Tye of GJW.
It’s a great opportunity to bring together members of the federation to socialise and network whilst watching an exciting and exhilarating game of polo – something most do not normally get the opportunity to do.
“The sun shone and the polo was fantastic, we could not have asked for a better day,” said Graham Nisbet, regional executive for the midlands and north.