I’m a great believer in the saying ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’ and probably on the strength of that phrase alone I have ended up in some unusual, amazing and down right odd situations. Let me elaborate….
Last summer (which is becoming a bit of a habit) I went along to The Rundle Cup Polo Tournament. It’s a local event to me, great for spectators, and the perfect opportunity for some “competitive picnicking”. If you like lounging about in the sun, quaffing back Pimms with chums, watching fast horses gallop inches from your face, and pottering about the luxury trade stands with an ice-cream then polo is the spectator sport for you!
I already have a love for polo because I played it for a few years during my pony club days and it was INCREDIBLE. It still stands in my opinion as the most enjoyable equestrian sport I’ve ever done (and I’ve done polo-crosse, mounted games, dressage, show jumping, cross country, le trec and carriage driving), yes even better than eventing! I simply couldn’t afford to hire or run a team of ponies and so once no longer eligible for Pony Club competitions I gave up and concentrated on (marginally less expensive!) solo equestrian pursuits.
Whilst watching the match my heart rate was increasing and I think a combination of adrenaline, sun and champagne gave rise to the thought ‘I’d love to play in this match’. That was it! Before I knew it I had sent off a speculative email (because YOLO!) and was eagerly awaiting the reply.
Then I sort of forgot all about it…..as with many of my ‘bright ideas’ they are fleeting and quickly replaced with my next obsession…but then….I got a reply!
Slightly gob smacked and uber excited the news sunk in that I was IN THE TEAM!!!!!
The next few minutes went a little something like this….
OMG what if I can’t hit the ball!?
Urgh I have to squeeze into white jeans, immediate diet required!!!
OMG this is SO exciting I can’t wait!!!!
*Lots of jumping about and interpretive dance moves until out of breath*
So *deep breath* I shall be taking part in the charity match at The Rundle Cup on July 9th made up of two teams of non-polo players (typically Jockeys Vs Eventers) This match is held to raise money and awareness for The Inspire Foundation, a charity solely focused on overcoming spinal chord injury with technology. A worthy cause to champion I believe when you consider the high risks of equestrian sport.
I think I last picked up a polo mallet back in….uummm…1996 (see pic above for proof!)….20 years!!!…..so there’s a high possibility that I will be frankly….pretty rusty and possibly quite rubbish without a little refresher session!
This Sunday I’m getting stuck in to a refresher day at Cirencester Polo Club to blow away the cobwebs and remind myself of the rules of play.
3hrs instruction, theory, stick and ball and then a chukka will hopefully remind me what to do eg hit the round white thing between the 2 white sticks!!! There’s also a possibility that I might get to meet England team member and 2 goal player Tamara Fox, eeeeeeeeeeeke! I hope she has lot of tips, because I’ll need them.
Wish me luck!