Julius Baer Junior Polo British Championships 2010
“Investing in the future of poloâ€
If the future of a sport lies in the hands of its young players, then polo has nothing to worry about. Over the last week Hurtwood Park Polo Club, in Ewhurst, Surrey, hosted some of this countries finest young players in the Julius Baer Junior Polo British Championships. Hurtwood Park has long been an advocate for providing a place where children can compete in chukka matches and leagues. Hurtwood Park Polo and Country Club with the generous support of Bank Julius Baer, have created the perfect program to accommodate them. Ten great teams emerged on to the fields to play some quite extraordinary polo, which impressed the spectators over the preceding week.
Saturday saw the finals of both levels, first up were the 19 and under group Forgather made up of Theo Banner, Tom St Aubyn, Harry Muddle and Mamie Powell went up against Sangres Jovenes consisting of James Hislop, Jamie Oâ€™Neill, Alex Jacob and Bryony Taylor. A hard and fast game was always expected but this was furious from the out set. First blood went to Banner with a great little run in, only to have Jacob fire in a sixty followed by a great run in from the next line out. In the second all was brought level with another Banner knock in but otherwise it was tight end-to-end play with many goal line clearances. The third chukka saw a feast of goals, first off a tap in from Taylor followed by a Banner tap in, only to be followed by a long run from Hislop. Not to be out done Banner shot one home straight from the lineout with Muddle then knocking in another. Into the last chukka with the scoreâ€™s very close, at both ends there were misses but neither team were giving an inch. Moments from the end Jacob had a sixty, but it was beaten away only to find her right there and knocking it between the posts. Sangres Jovenes had won the cup 6 Â½ to 4. A great game.
Next up were the 15 and under teams, King Dragons made up of Cody Jones, Izzy McGregor, Hector Fair and Will Batchelor against Jaeger Le Coultre with Tommy Beresford, Jack Taylor, Ralph Richardson and Camilla Beresford. This game could have gone either way, tight, or open and fast. The spectators were not to be disappointed. King Dragons started with half a goal. The scoring was opened by Tommy Beresford with a very well struck 30, but with all the end to end plays it was not long before Batchelor managed to get one back with a well worked goal. The second Chukka opened with a spot hit from Tommy Beresford who once again found his mark. McGregor then met a glorious Jones backhand, which she happily ran to goal. With Beresford off the pitch changing ponies Richardson had the chance of taking the next 30, which he blasted through with ease. The third chukka was extraordinary with both teams missing penalties and the King Dragons hitting the post twice. There were no goals in this chukka but there most certainly were some nervous parents; this game could be won or lost in an instant. The fourth chukka started with a Jones spot hit to put them ahead again, but Tommy was having none of it, running out of his own 60 he drilled a glorious goal for the team to go back in front. A well-struck 30 from Jones moments later reversed the score, and the crowd could only wonder if they could hang on with two minutes to go. It seemed that their defence would hold until an unfortunate foul was given away. Beresford set himself up with the pressure shot; he drilled it home, the teams never made it back to the middle. Jaeger Le Coultre had it 5 to 4 Â½ in a stunning game of polo.
â€˜Hydeâ€™ the runners up in the subsidiary final for the 15 and underâ€™s should come in for a special mention as a team to keep a very close eye on in the future playing some outstanding polo at all times for such young players.
Polo is the focal point of Bank Julius Baerâ€™s global sport sponsorships since 2006. Its support for this traditional equestrian sport complements the Bankâ€™s long-time commitment to art and culture. In 2010 the Bank sponsors the St. Moritz Polo World Cup on Snow, the Cartier International Dubai Polo Challenge, the Audi Polo Awards, the Westbury Shield and the Julius Baer Argentina Snow Polo Cup to name just a few polo commitments.
The new Julius Baer Junior Polo Programme in cooperation with Hurtwood Park Polo & Country Club is a joint commitment to develop and to nurture young talents in this magnificent sport. In the Junior Polo British Championships 2010, Julius Baer had supported the juniors and the kids responded by delivering some stunning polo. These boys and girls are not just good they are great. Some, if given the chance, could be Englandâ€™s next hope. Thank you Julius Baer and La Martina (The Shirt Sponsor) the Polobaerâ€™s have arrived!