Irish Polo Fest draws the crowds in Wexford

BUNCLODY Polo Club in Wexford was a festival of Irish polo, attracting nine teams across three handicap leagues just in time for the traditional onset of autumn.

Emily Beere for LHK Insurance in front of Tyrone’s Brad Rainford-Blackett while LHK team mate Michael Connolly backs her up at the Bunclody Polo Club Patron’s Cup in Wexford, Ireland

 

It was brother against brother as Michael Connolly for LHK Insurance and younger brother James (right) vied for the Bunclody Polo Club Patron’s Cup in Wexford, Ireland

 

Working out tournament scores at Polo Fest in Bunclody, Wexford Ireland were Juan ‘Johnny’ Hearne (left), Robert Hogg and his wife Margaret

 

While there was no dancing at the crossroads to commemorate Lughnasa on 1st August, there was plenty of polo action on the Hurlingham Polo Association regulation size polo ground beside the River Slaney, just outside of the town of Bunclody.

Bunclody Polo Club Manager Alejo Aita Tagle said just after prizes were presented to the winning teams that he was happy when everyone among the nine teams of four players each got to play the Patron’s Cup tournament. The summer season had appeared doubtful until the Irish government approved Phase 3 in the post-pandemic recovery programme.

Former All Ireland Polo Club President Johnny Kavanagh and his daughter, AIPC Committee member Julie at Polo Fest in Bunclody, Wexford Ireland

 

An evening barbecue was on the menu for the Bunclody Polo Club Polo Fest, watched over by Paddy Casey (left) and David Thompson in Wexford, Ireland

 

Bunclody Polo Fest medium goal winners Kieran ‘Bottle’ Doyle (l-r), Stephen Power, Polo Club Patron Robert Hogg, Sinead Doyle and Juan ‘Johnny’ Hearne in Wexford, Ireland

 

 

“If you had asked me two months ago would we have polo in Ireland this summer I would have said no way,” Alejo Tagle said at the conclusion of two days of polo in the Irish countryside. “We managed to have nine teams this weekend so it was so good and everyone got to play.”

The annual Polo Fest in Bunclody, Wexford is open to everyone from the most amateur beginner to professional players and includes mixed teams of men, women and children.

The Curraghmore polo team led by Lord James Beresford with Irish saddle maker Tom Berney, the young Sam Driver and Hazel Valentine won the low goal league prize, beating out Bunclody and the North of Ireland Polo Club. The Killenagh Warriors including Kieran ‘Bottle’ Doyle and daughter Sinead, Stephen Power and Juan ‘Johnny’ Hearne won their medium goal tournament against Wexford and Bishopland.

 

Bunclody Polo Fest winners James Connolly (l-r), Will Clarke, Ian Magahey and Jock Thompson with the Polo Club’s Patron’s Cup in Wexford, Ireland

 

Irish restaurateur and former polo player Graeme Beere and his wife Margaret at Polo Fest in Bunclody, Wexford Ireland

Top of the list in the high goal tournament was the Dublin, Ireland-based CJ Law led by William Clarke with James Connolly, Jock Thompson and Ian Magahey against LHK Insurance and Tyrone.

Polo Fest in Bunclody included an evening barbecue at the clubhouse.

 

For more about learning how to play polo at Bunclody Polo Club contact Alejo Aita Tagle on the Bishopland Polo Facebook page.

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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