Irish summer polo season opens in Wexford

THE long wait for winter to end and the Irish summer season to open finally ended when 10 polo teams met on the field at Bunclody, Wexford.

Bunclody Polo Club Patron Robert Hogg presented the Service Cup to Jess Whitney, patron Ian McCulla, professional player Brad Rainford-Blackett and Jo McCormac of Sixt Rent a Car in Bunclody, Wexford

 

Locked down like the rest of the world during the pandemic, it was late spring – well into the usual summer polo season – and mid-July before the first tournament in Ireland received the government nod to go ahead.

As in all equestrian sports, polo ponies must be prepared for the season weeks before it begins, and not a few players need to up their fitness routines as well.

The Keelings team of Jennifer Healy (l-r), Caroline Keeling with Bunclody Polo Club Patron Robert Hogg, Keeling’s Siobhan Herbst and Michael Connolly won the Perpetual Cup at Ireland’s first tournament of the summer

 

The island of Ireland’s first summer polo tournament attracted a very welcome 10 teams of four players each, who divided into two leagues; the higher handicapped, more skilled league in for the Bunclody Perpetual Cup while lower league teams took aim at the Bunclody Service Cup through two days of tournament action.

“It was a great start to the season, and well done to all the teams,” said Bunclody Polo Club patron Robert Hogg. “When (our) Polo Manager Alejo Aita Tagle first put the teams together it was for a small tournament, just four teams. The next thing there were 10 teams so well done to all.”

The Wexford, Ireland team of Bunclody captained by Paddy Casey put in a good effort for the Perpetual Cup to start the summer polo season

 

The Perpetual Cup was won by Keelings over two days of the tournament, led by Caroline Keeling with six goals earned to four and a-half from Horseware Ireland in four chukkas, the half-goal awarded as part of the overall score as always to the weaker team to equalise the playing field.

Sixt Rent a Car led by Ian McCulla won the Bunclody Service Cup with five goals to two and a-half from the lower handicapped North of Ireland Polo Club in four chukkas.

Irish lady polo player April Kent for Tyrone backs up teammate Brad Rainford-Blackett while Pegus’s Mark, David J and David Stone wait their chance to steal the polo ball at Bunclody, Wexford, Ireland

 

The Irish polo summer season will continue until September and for more about visiting Bunclody Polo Club see online at www.visitwexford.ie

Kim Mullahey

Kim Mullahey is Pynck.com’s Ireland Correspondent. She holds an honours undergraduate degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Chicago and has taught Adult Education Creative Writing Studies. Through a media career spanning nearly 25 years Kim has written and photographed regional news, national and international horse sports, fashion and lifestyle. Kim lives with her husband and son in Kildare Ireland, and a stray marmalade cat who has adopted the family.

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