Sandbanks British Beach Polo
In my mind Beach Polo and Britain are not exactly a perfect match, especially not after the summer we’ve been having…But the stars aligned for the weekend of July 8th and 9th in Sandbanks, on the Southern coast of England.
The grandiose setup of the British Beach Polo Championship on the beach near Bournemouth along with warm weather and the occasional sun beam made up for a very fun social polo tournament, where the key word was exactly that: FUN!
A lavish lunch in the hospitality tent and several pizza and grilled burger spots in the common area made sure nobody was hungry and the long bars were serving up Pimm’s, Rekorderlig cider and Piper Heidsieck Champagne by the gallons.
The first polo spectacles were on Friday when the four teams battled on the sand pitch and the finalists for next day where nominated. A exhibition match between the Oxford, Oxford Brooks and Exeter teams was played.
Saturday was another day full of entertainment for the 3000 spectators. First up was an exciting match of beach polo between teams Clogau and Saxe Coburg.
Shortly after, the pitch was made much smaller and a net was set up in the middle. It was time for a match of Beach Volley, featuring the very athletic women from Great Britain and Poland competing for the REVO Sand Slam trophy.
The pony club polo teams from Sandbanks and Poole also had a chance to show off their skills in a 2 chukker match. Apart from being the cutest thing ever, these kids showed real skills on their ponies, proving that you can be both small and mighty.
A traditional race between the horsepowers of a sports car, on this occasion it was a Porsche Cayenne 4-wheel drive, against the actual horsepower had us all on our feet. The sand was loose and difficult for the car to get proper grip, but the horse and rider had to do two rounds around the cone, so it was fair game and they both won one round. Jamie Morisson and his trusted polo horse won the final race.
Roddy tried to participate with his mechanical “wooden horse” as well and it’s safe to say that he should keep that on the grass fields for polo novices to practice on.
The final polo match saw team Jets against team Piper Heidseick, which was in reality a battle between two prominent polo clubs in Windsor, The Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club and the Westcroft Park Polo Club. The battle was tight until the end, but finally the boys in blue could take home the trophy once more.
A lovely prize-giving ceremony lead by the Mayor of Poole and then it was time to spray champagne and drink it too!
The British Beach Polo Championships have been held in Sandbanks for 9 years and is a success loved by the local community. It is a fun day out for everyone and with lots of partying afterwards, I’m already looking forward to see how they will celebrate their 10th anniversary in style!