This year there was more polo than ever before with three high calibur polo matches taking place on the beach during the weekend.
Saturday 5th July – 4.00pm
Never before seen at Watergate Bay, or in the UK, two teams of ladies took to the sand in the opening match of the weekend. Teams from South West Polo and Veuve Clicquot stared in a line-up of rising female players from across the country.
Former Miss Wales and TV Gladiator Amy Guy captained Veuve Clicquot, joined by team mates Emma Boers and Charlotte Sweeney, who both hold a two-goal handicap. Rosie Ross, playing with a three goal handicap, captained Team South West Polo with Georgia Sweeney and Phillipa Fitz-Henry.
The match consisted of four closely-fought seven minute chukkas with competitive play from both teams. At half time, Veuve Clicquot held a narrow lead of half a goal, but in the fourth and final chukka South West Polo fought back, led by Phillipa Fitz-Henry, who harried the opposition to secure the seventh and winning goal for her team. Rosie Ross completed a lap of victory in the arena, waving the flag of St Piran to mark South West Polo’s victory of 7 goals to 5.5.
Playing to the same rules as the mens’ polo, the ladies match showed off some fast paced riding and nimble turns. With a slightly lower centre of gravity than the men, ladies have excellent equestrian balance, and are usually quick to turn and promote a tactical game.
Watergate Bay Trophy Mens’ Match
Saturday 5th July – 6.00pm
Representing First Great Western was Caspar West (3 goal handicap), Andrew Blake Thomas (5), and captain Jamie Le Hardy (7). Tim Vaux (4) returned to the sand as captain of Joules with team mates Daniel Loe (3) and Richard Blake Thomas (5).
Joules started with a two goal handicap advantage, but after intense back and forth play First Great Western scored their first goal of the match through Jamie Le Hardy. Richard Blake Thomas quickly retaliated, scoring with a long-range shot from 25 yards. First Great Western pulled level for the first time in the third chukka thanks to a penalty scored by Jamie Le Hardy. A thrilling fourth chukka ensued, with the scoreboard level at six goals each following an early penalty from First Great Western. As the clock ran down both teams fought for the winning goal, with a great move involving all three players from First Great Western resulting in a decisive strike from Tim Vaux to take the win at 6-7.
Cornwall vs Rest of the World Match
Sunday 6th July – 4.30pm
Back by popular demand the returning Cornwall team were fired up and looking to defend their trophy from a revised and rejuvenated Rest of the World team. Captain Daniel Loe (3), Tim Vaux (4) and Ben Marshall (1) were flying the flag for Cornwall against Amy Guy (0), Algy Sim (3) and team captain Richard Blake Thomas (5).
Chasing an initial lead by HSBC, the Cornwall team fought back to level the scores at four goals apiece going into the final chukka. In a dramatic move Tim Vaux scored a victory goal seconds before the final hooter blew, with Cornwall winning by 5 goals to 4 to the delight of the crowd.