The UK Pony Club Polocrosse Championships took place on the 15th and 16th of August at Draycott House, alongside the rest of the Pony Club Championships. Entries have increased by nearly 30% for two consecutive years now and this year the number of players stood at 99.
The teams played off across four different categories, based on age and also format on teams, and there was some wonderful polocrosse played. Most importantly all the players seem to full enjoy themselves as the sun shone on them.
In the Championship Class, where the Pony Club has to enter a full team consisting of one senior and junior section it was the North Warwickshire and in truth they won fairly comfortably. They played well throughout the weekend and fully deserved their win but their task was made easier thanks to the Pony Clubs such as the Rockwood Harriers choosing to enter the other classes and last year’s defending champions, the Flint and Denbigh, not being present. This left three reasonably inexperienced Pony Clubs in against the North Warwickshire and though they fought hard they couldn’t match the experience of the North Warwickshire players, most of all who are seen week in and week out playing for Arden’s Junior side in the UKPA. In the Championship final North Warwickshire defeated South Devon Moorland and in the Malven Trophy, which the third and four teams played off for, it was Hertfordshire Hunt who overcame the Cheshire Hunt North.
Rockwood Harriers didn’t have a Junior section this year but they did have two Senior ones and these were entered in the Charles Mason Open Championship, the grade for senior sections. Here they duly finished first and second. It was the section consisting of Tom Kitchen-Dunn, Katy Wise and Morgan Griffiths who emerged victorious, overcoming Beth Scott, Guy Harland and Rosie Townend. All the winning side played well but probably their stand out player was Katy Wise at number 2. So often it is possible for number 2’s to hardly feature in a match but not on this occasion. She won countless balls for the Rockwood side and linked up well with her number 1 to create many of the goals. Croome Hunt finished in third place, overcoming Brecon Hunt with a good display, particularly from their young number 3 Pip Rowland.
In the Stoneleigh Junior Championship, the Juniors section, it was Brecon Hunt’s day as they nearly got two full sections through to the final. The actual winning section was a combined Brecon and Llangibby section and they overcame a full Brecon Hunt side. Good link up play from Hugh Carthew at number 1 and Gabby Jones (who was the Llangibby in Brecon and Llangibby) at number 3 enabled them to build themselves a lead early on and once ahead they never looked like losing. Croome Hunt claimed 3rd place once again in Grade 3.
In the Brookes Mini Championship, which is the minis section, it was again Rockwood Harriers who ruled supreme, taking the top two places. The winning team featured Max Pedley at number 1 and he continued to show the good form he has been showing in the UKPA tournaments this year as he scored well to help his side to victory. The North Down Pony Club picked up third place, a good reward for the long trip they had made from Ireland. They were one of three Pony Clubs which made that trip, along with the Iveagh and the Mid Antrim.
There were some additional awards alongside the ones awarded for the actual polocrosse. The Brecon and Llangibby Junior team also won the Tack and Turnout award, sponsored by Carr, Day and Martin. It was also Brecon Hunt member who picked up Best Sportsman, Arthur Price. The Best Sportswoman award went to Jodie Moore of the Moorfield Centre team
There were also two Pony Club Achievement medals awarded to people who have done a great deal for Pony Club polocrosse and they both went to young men who have spent countless hours over the last few years coaching and helping out in anyway they can. They were Chris Chennells and Lewis Parr.