Derby Tournament paves the way to new energy in the game of Irish polo
THE debut of professional standards in umpiring the game of polo in Ireland has paved the way to a re-energised horse sport, launched with the debut of umpire Tristan Pemble earlier this month at the Derby Tournament in Dublin’s All Ireland Polo Club.
Under the arbitration of the former Guards Polo Club 2-goaler some of the best polo ever played over two days on the grounds in Phoenix Park involved eight teams in two handicap leagues, the 4-goal dominated by Northern Ireland’s Glenpatrick team, and the 0-goal by the Moores. The pace was fast, the matches clean and well played and the fuss ranged from minimal to entirely absent.
“I’m not just there to spot where the fouls are,” said Tristan Pemble after umpiring his first tournament in Ireland. “I’m there also to keep the horses safe, to set the environment. My job is quite important for the safety of play.”
Glenpatrick beat the hugely successful Wexford team in the qualifiers, earning the first slot in the higher goal final that followed. Northern Ireland’s Tyrone team lost their qualifier to LHK Insurance, the team that faced off in the final against Glenpatrick and failed in their bid for the President’s Cup.
With the new advantage of ‘Ref Radio’, a wireless communications system that maintained contact between pro umpire Tristan Pemble and a designee from participating teams at each match the introduction of professional standards to the game of Irish polo has without question, brought renewed energy that has already been taken up at tournaments around the country.
“They (the teams) invited me here to Ireland because they wanted an independent,” said the UK-based professional umpire of six years. “I was over here to control the players, make sure there was a good experience on and off the field.”
The Moores won the 0-goal for the Stanley Corcoran Cup on 6 goals to 4 from Wicklow.