Kings Head Hotel Ladies International Match – England vs USA

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An exciting day for women’s polo, Cirencester Park Polo Club was host to the Kings Head Hotel Ladies International Match. Team USA had travelled across the pond to meet the Swarovski England Team in a heated 4 chukker battle.

I had great chats with Tamara Fox and Nina Clarkin, who are #SistersInMallets and in real life as well. These two have been playing polo together and against each other for over 20 years, with only a few years missed due to big pregnant bellies. Now they are both back on the field at the same time representing their country! In two weeks time the sisters will be playing against each other in the high goal Ladies Polo Championships, stay tuned for more on that (subscribe on the right or below to get blog posts right in your e-mail inbox).

 

I was invited by the Kings Head Hotel in Cirencester to a lovely polo treat. Greeted by a glass of bubbly Taittinger Champagne followed by a delicious lunch buffet spread from the Kings Head Hotel.

First up on the field was the final of the Bledisloe Warwickshire Cup – a 22 goal handicap tournament and featured the El Remanso team vs. Bardon, where Bardon came out the victors.

I took this opportunity to explain the basic rules of polo to my fellow lunchers, who had never seen polo before, so they were ready to watch the ladies play. One person who definitely had seen lots of polo before and even wrote a very successful book about the polo lifestyle was Jilly Cooper. I had a total fan moment and loved talking to her, she is so sweet and considerate (Nick Hine from Polo Times told me how Jilly writes hand-written thank you notes to them every month, mentioning which articles were her favourite)

Fan moment with Jilly Cooper

By 5 pm is was time for some Ladies Polo Action!

USA:  KC Krueger 7, Maureen Brennan 6, Erica Gandomcar 6, Courtney Asdourian 6

Swarovski England Team: Carina (Nina) Clarkin 10, Tamara Fox 7, Heloise Wilson-Smith 5, Izzy McGregor 4

Tamara and Nina ready to roll, it was quite difficult to tell the two apart once they were riding at full speed out there.

Battlefield

Four intense chukkers were played. Starting out very even, the girls had to find their footing and come together as a team. Izzy McGregor told me after the match “I was so excited and nervous for the entire first chukker, it was like I had forgotten everything. Then my dad shook me up and reminded me that it is polo, and I know how to play polo. That helped and I relaxed and did my best.”

Fast and furious

Nina Clarkin taking control of the ball

The first half of the match saw USA score twice and England had put 4 points on the scoreboard. After half time the Swarovski England ladies had really found their groove flying up and down the field scoring every chance they got. The final score being 11-3,5 meant that it was a definite win for the Swarovski England Team and they could hold the trophy proudly and with big smiles!

Champagne showers

Two half Brazilians bonding over polo (and champagne in a trophy)

Tamara’s lovely grey pony Lego received the RJ Polo Best Playing Pony award.

RJ Polo Best Playing Pony, Tamara’s Lego

Nina Clarkin was the Most Valuable Player of the match, which was no surprise since she scored several of the goals and is one of the top ladies in polo.

Nina Clarín being awarded the Polo Magazine Most Valuable Player

After all the excitement it was time to celebrate.

Such an amazing group of ladies, very inspirational to hang out with them and hear their polo stories.

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