The UK Open Team claimed the top prize at the Polocrosse Extreme Cup as they won the OJ Polo Challenge but not before Celyn gave them a real scare in an absolutely thrilling final game of the weekend. Celyn lead by 12 goals to 11 at the end of the fourth chukka as Simon Amor, Dean Chappell and Jonathan Swift kept the UK men firmly under control and kept eating up the slim leads that the UK ladies managed to build against Max Pedley, Bryony Cross and Anniemieke Mitchell. The Celyn boys played out of their skins as they beat the UK 10 goals to 2 in their first two chukkas, although the UK men didn’t help their cause as they gave away 3 penalty goals in that time.

However, in the fifth chukka the UK ladies again built a three goal lead to make it 16-13 and then in the final chukka Jason Webb dominated. He grabbed nearly every ball going and scored an eight goal chukka. Simon Amor answered with two of his own late on but the UK squad managed to win by 24-15. However, Simon Amor grabbed himself best number 1 for his displays over the weekend, while Joel Sic picked up best number 2 and Charlotte Pykett best number 3. Rachael Gayler’s Lola won Best Horse in the grade while Simon Amor’s Santi was voted overall Best Horse for the competition, a prize sponsored by Polo Paramedic.

In the Trip Africa B Grade it was Cotswold who got the win as they overcame Kent Target by 18 goals to 9. Both had won their pools, though Kent only just overcame Vale Impi in the pool stages after the latter team fought back hard in the last chukka to eventually lose by just one goal. Cotswold had a number of their A grade players playing down on young horses but they still proved more than enough to deal with the Kent threat and were duely crowned the champions. Emily Walsh picked up Best Number 1 for Cotswold but Olly Halcrow of Kent picked up Best Number 2 and Wayne Henning picked up best Horse

In the Baileys Horse Feed C Grade, the final was incredibly close with never more than a couple of goals in it. There were missed chances by both teams early on but in the end it was Vale Impi and Friends who got the win, just overcoming the Kent Target team by 12 goals to 11, thanks to Mikey Turner (editor’s note: who was one of the ‘Friends’ for the weekend but normally plays for Kent) grabbing a goal in the closing seconds. Mikey Turner won Best Number 1 and Best Horse but Jake Hall of Vale Impi picked up Best Retrained Racehorse with Scarlett, a prize kindly sponsored by Retraining of Racehorses.

In the Platypus Events D grade it was another mixed team, Pennine and Friends, who were the ultimate winners. They overcame a Kentlyn Juniors team (which consisting of two sections of Kent Juniors and Celyn Juniors) by 15 goals to 9 in the end. It was all tied up at 9 all at the end of the fourth chukka but in the last two chukkas Pennine and Friends scored six goals and the Kentlyn Juniors could not find an answer. However, they did dominate the Best number and horse prizes as Jack Brown won Best Number 2 and Best Horse and Mollie Edwards won best number 3.

In the Granary Estates E grade it was a Vale Impi one-two as their two sections overcame the two Finnish sections playing in the grade in a Round Robin competition. The Finnish players had made the trip over and played on borrowed horses in what was their first real taste of competitive polocrosse and they did themselves proud as they improved hugely throughout the weekend and in the final couple of games made life hard for Vale Impi. One of their borrowed horses, Snitch (owned by ‘Uncle’ Pete Wherret) won the best horse for the grade at the tender age of 21 years old, as he showed he hadn’t lost much of his ability over the last couple of years of semi retirement.

In the Polocrosse Extreme Juniors the result went down to goal difference but in the end it was Ledbury who emerged victorious with Rugby in second place and Vale Impi in third. The competition was played as round robin with each team playing each other twice. On the saturday Rugby managed to overcome Ledbury but Ledbury won the same match on Sunday and scored more goals to win on goal difference. Rugby’s Fintan Bristow picked up Best Number 1, Josh Smith picked up Best Number 2 and Jack Pickering Best Number 3 and Best Pony.

All in all it was an excellent weekend, the pitches played really well, there were a few heavy showers on Saturday but for the most part it was dry and quite sunny, everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and hopefully we can do it all again next year! Thank you all for coming!

Full Results

The OJ Polo Challenge
The Trip Africa B Grade
The Baileys Horse Feed C Grade
The Platypus Events D Grade
The Granary Estates E Grade
The Polocrosse Extreme Juniors
1st UK Open Team Cotswold Vale Impi and Friends Pennine and Friends Vale Impi Ledbury
2nd Celyn Kent Target Kent Target Kentlyn Juniors Vale Impi Rugby
Best Horse of the Competition – sponsored by Polo Paramedic Santi – Simon Amor (Celyn)
Best retrained Racehorse – sponsored by Retraining and Racehorses Scarlett – Jake Hall (Vale Impi)          
Best Horse Lola – Rachel Gayler (UK Team) Wayne Henning (Kent Target) Mikey Turner (one of the Friends) Jack Brown (Kent Target) Snitch – Owned by Uncle Pete, Played by Leena Litikalo of Finland Jack Pickering (Vale Impi)
Best Number 1 Simon Amor (Celyn) Emily Walsh (Cotswold) Mikey Turner (One of the Friends) Jo Tizzard (Vale Impi) Charlie Hewitt (Vale Impi) Fintan Bristow (Rugby)
Best Number 2 Joel Sics (UK Team)  Olly Halcrow (Kent Target) Laurie Cam (Welsh Dragons) Jack Brown (Kent) Robin Winder (Vale Impi) Josh Smith (Ledbury)
Best Number 3 Charlotte Pykett (UK Team)  Livvy Foley (Vale Impi) Gabi Jones (Welsh Dragons) Mollie Edwards (Celyn) Hazel Heaton (Finland) Jack Pickering (Vale Impi)