Coun­try Mouse

Ponies power to glory

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country -

THE Pony Club polo trav­el­ling cir­cus is on the move. For four weeks, chil­dren aged 6 to 21 and their ponies tour round some of the best grounds in Eng­land, play­ing in friendly and then qual­i­fy­ing tour­na­ments. Hurt­wood Park, our lat­est stopover on Fri­day, was founded at the foot of the Sur­rey Hills by Kenney Jones, who played drums for the Small Faces and The Who.

Nonie and Ru­fus were as­sisted by their grooms (who also hap­pen to be their par­ents) to pre­pare for the six-minute chukkas. Ban­dages have to be art­fully wrapped around the ponies’ legs to pro­tect them from the wooden ball, which can travel at high speeds when struck well. Studs need to be care­fully screwed into the hind shoes to give ex­tra grip for War­rior and El­lie. The Cow­dray team plays in yel­low, which made a star­tling con­trast to the Hamp­shire Hunt’s bright crim­son. The Meynell, from Der­byshire, looked smart in turquoise.

The cham­pi­onship fi­nals take place in just over a week’s time at Cow­dray Park, where, only 10 days ago, the best play­ers (and ponies) in the world vied for the Jaeger-le­coul­tre Gold Cup. The win­ners were the King Power Foxes, whose pa­tron’s fam­ily also owns Le­ices­ter City foot­ball club. I know at least one 11-year-old boy hop­ing to em­u­late the suc­cess of both those teams. RU

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