Tag Archives: polo

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POLO POWERHOUSE MALCOLM BORWICK ANNOUNCED AS HORSE SCOUT POLO AMBASSADOR

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We are excited to welcome professional polo player and global ambassador Malcolm Borwick to the Horse Scout network. With over 50 caps for the England team to his name and player contracts for teams in USA, Argentina, South Africa, Spain, France as well as the UK, his life and career has been a richly varied one since turning professional at the age of 18. Equestrian Journalist Ellie from HorsescoutPR.com team caught up with the 42 year old at the International Polo Club in Palm Beach.

 

Malcolm comes from a long line of polo enthusiasts. His great grandfather was a contender for the prestigious Westchester Cup in 1902 and his grandmother played in the first ever women’s test match in 1924

 

Much of Malcolm’s time is taken up as a polo ambassador for a number of brands and organisations, but he still plays at the top end of the sport and plays off a 6 goal handicap. His life has been a unique and thrilling adventure, involving globetrotting to polo hot spots and playing in some of the most significant polo events.

 

As well as supporting the brands he is involved with and helping to try and grow the sport with his enthusiasm. His wife Alexandra and three young children- Ines, Jaime and Lucas are lucky enough to join the ride. They travel the world as a polo family and the children are educated at local schools in each country, speaking both English and Spanish fluently.

 

 

Where did it all start? 

 

I was born in Hampshire but grew up in Northamptonshire. As a child I did everything- hunting, jumping team chasing and Pony Club until I was 10. Then I started playing Pony Club polo at 10 and that took over as my main focus.

 

Why polo?

 

It’s the sum of all sports. I played cricket, tennis, rugby, golf growing up. You add in a horse and the dynamic nature of the sport of polo, team mates, the complexity of the sport, the adrenalin, the opportunities for travel. It encapsulates what you would want out of every single sport. The interesting thing about polo is you can never have the perfect day. I’m good friends with a guy who has the record for the number of goals scored in the most difficult competition in the world. Even he says he wished he’s scored that extra shot and he scored 17 goals that day. I think that keeps you striving for success.

 

As a global polo ambassador, which brands and organisations are you involved with? 

 

Piaget, Maserati, Royal Salute Scotch Whiskey, La Martina are the main ones. I have come to Palm Beach to be a global ambassador for the International Polo Club. It is quite simply the best polo club in the world and has all the makings and positioning to be the power house not just in North America but in World Polo.

 

 

Reflecting on your life and career as a polo player, what have been the highlights? 

 

As a child, my aspiration as to put on an England shirt. I played a lot of cricket before I played polo. Back then, if you had given me the choice between walking on to the pitch at Lords and playing Test cricket or playing polo, I might have said Test cricket. But putting on my England polo shirt for the first time was a very special day. Then winning the Coronation Cup three times during the peak of my career, they are great memories.

 

Rumour has it you are friends with the Royals and went to Prince Harry’s wedding?

 

I have been very lucky to be involved with the Royal Family. I’m not even sure how I stumbled into it. I ended up playing an awful lot of polo with Prince William and Harry over the last 15 years so we have a great relationship. I have been lucky enough to play with them at all their charitable events and we have raised millions for their charities.

 

What is going on at the moment for you and what is on the horizon?

 

I am heavily involved with Gladiator Polo right now. It’s a new concept in the sport. It takes place in a much smaller arena so the audience are up really close. It is different from normal polo- three a side rather than four. There will be no amateur or patron playing so all the players will be professionals. This will make it very fast and furious and it’s a shorter format and shorter chukkas. The sponsorship will be much more mainstream than luxury- brands like Coca Cola and Mars.

 

We want the audience to interact and engage with the sport and become followers. We would love more people to take up the sport and this is casting the net wide and trying to find as many more interested people to either just enjoy watching or get involved.

 

 

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Because it’s Great to be British!

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Celebrating a great equestrian summer with Horse Scout

Oliver Townend

We may have lost the football and are about to be politically screwed by the rest of Europe but the UK have plenty to celebrate in the Equestrian world.

 

For starters, British riders occupy the top three spots in world ranking for eventing. In showjumping and dressage, we still possess the individual Olympic gold medal. In horse racing British trainers, jockeys and breeders continue dominate the sport, as was evident at the Investec Derby, at Royal Ascot and in recent bloodstock auctions.

 

It has been a brilliant year for our Horse Scout advocates too and we are proud to put our brand behind all of them. William Funnell has just won the Al Shira’aa Derby at Hickstead on the exciting homebred Billy Buckingham. The pair have also been named as part of the British squad for the Nations Cup at Hickstead later this month. A good result here could see them heading out to Tryon for the FEI World Equestrian Games in September.

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Not only is Oliver Townend World Number One event rider, he has an unbelievable three horses listed for the British squad heading to the World Equestrian Games, whilst Emily King recently won the Under 25 National Championships at Bramham.

 

The busy season is in full flow and we have a long tradition of hosting some of the greatest events in the world. With a most memorable Badminton, Windsor, Bolesworth, The Hickstead Derby and Royal Ascot behind us, we look ahead to the Polo Gold Cup, The Royal International Horse Show, The Festival of Eventing, the London leg of the Global Champions Tour and Burghley. At Horse Scout we have our finger on the pulse and it’s important for us to be in the thick of this sporting action, so we have a presence at all of these events.

 

We also have some great ticket giveaways and offers coming up so you can celebrate the best of British sport ringside.

 

Horse Scout are in partnership with the team at The Longines Global Champions Tour for their forthcoming London leg, which takes place at Royal Hospital Chelsea from 3rd-5th August. This means we can offer an exclusive 20% discount on tickets over the weekend. Plus we still have limited tickets available to join us in the GC Champions Lounge. Starting from just £50, the premium package offers access to the Champions Lounge Bar, where you can mingle with the riders, chairs and high tables, panoramic views and a free welcome drink. https://www.horsescout.com/longines-gct-london

 

Written by Ellie Kelly

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Hazel Jackson-Gaona: Where to be seen on the Polo scene

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Hazel Jackson-Gaona: Where to be seen on the Polo scene

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World No 3 ladies Polo Player, Hazel Jackson-Gaona talks to Ellie Kelly about the busy season ahead and offers her top picks of the best British Polo events to attend.

 

“We are just getting into the UK season. So the horses are ready to roll

With all the pre-season fitness complete. We had an England squad meeting for the development of the sport. Good sports psychology session and we have an all Africa team coming to play us at Cirencester, which is exciting.

 

It’s a busy summer ahead for me I have just come back from Italy, which was an amazing trip and am in Switzerland next month. But it’s all about British polo and here are the events you should put in your diary.


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June 3rd is the Help for Heroes Polo day at Tidworth.

All girls team against an army team. Heloise Wilson, Rosie Ross (Two goals at Mixed) Sarah Wiseman. All on England squad, should be a good team. It’s great fun to play and to watch, with a relaxed atmosphere. Of course, it’s for a great cause too.

 

June 8-10th is Polo in the Park at The Hurlingham Club. I’ve played in this unique tournament which is fast a furious with it’s own set of rules. It’s a great day out for Londoners and is a real party atmosphere but the standard of polo can be quite high too.

 

From May 22nd to June 17th is The Queen’s Cup. This is 22 goal mixed tournament at Guards Polo Club. It is one of the most famous. All the highest players come from all over the world, so it’s a great way to see polo at it’s very best. The Queen usually does all the presentations too.

 

Lots of people come from London. Stunning location and it is full of beautiful people dressed expensively so it’s great for people watching. The polo is magnificent. It is likely that World No1 Adolfo Cambiaso from Argentina will be playing as well, as Max Charlton who is probably the best player in the UK.

 

We might be lucky enough to see Prince William and Prince Harry playing this season. I played with Prince William last year- he’s very good considering he hardly plays and very easy going. I did ask him for a selfie- he said he didn’t like selfies so he got his bodyguard to take a photo. We were both stuffing Haribo at the time, so it was pretty relaxed. He rocked up on his private motorbike under cover which was so cool. Actually Harry and William are so normal and easy- going, you wouldn’t think they were Royals by they way they act.

 

Then there is the Gold Cup at Cowdray, which starts on 26th June and finishes on 22nd July with a truly spectacular final. Where Guards Polo Club is more new money, fresh out of the city types, Cowdray is more old school money. Again it is the highest level of polo and a stunning setting in West Sussex.

 

The Queen’s Cup and the Gold Cup are the two best tournaments in UK and among the greatest in the world. So if you’re looking for the best polo and a real sense of occasion this summer, they should be on your bucket list.

 

Then comes the Coronation Cup on 28th July- this year held at Berkshire Polo Club. Thats England Ladies versus rest of the world. There will be top players from Kenya, Argentina, Australia to make the standard really high.

 

Also in July I’ll be playing a mixed 8 goal tournament called The Holdon White. It’s a really prestigious tournament so that is a big deal for me in UK right now.”

 

Hazel is a Horse Scout advocate. See link to her bio
https://www.horsescout.com/professionals/hazel-jackson/profile/183

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Photo from hopedeamer1-4

Meet the Cinderella of the Polo World

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You could say British polo player Hazel Jackson has the world at her feet. The 27 year old  is ranked equal second in the World amongst her female counterparts. She is rated with a nine goal handicap for Ladies and two goal handicap in mixed polo. She has also captained the British Ladies polo team. But far from the VIP lifestyle we envisage polo players to lead, Hazel explains that the reality for her, is somewhat different and even the most talented women are still alienated from the higher levels of the sport.

 

Her passion for polo started in the Pony Club at just nine years of age. “My family were horsey but it was hunting and point-to pointing, we weren’t serious polo players” she says. She grew up in the New Forest, attended the local school and then Brockenhurst College where she qualified as a personal trainer and sports masseuse “After college, I moved to New Zealand for six months for a polo grooming and playing job and then spent every winter in Argentina but I have always worked. I think this has been a good thing though. I’m not sure I would have got this far if it had all been handed to me on a plate.”

 

In order to play full time, Hazel still has to work for her keep and balance the books, despite her impressive accolades and obvious talent. “I have never owned more than four horses myself and base myself with a patron, looking after, riding and schooling their horses and they cover my costs in return” she explains. In the UK, Hazel is based with Roger White and rides for his Coombe Place Polo Team. “I am on the yard every day, schooling and mucking out. I love polo but sadly not all of us are millionaires.”

 

Hazel plays the UK polo season, which runs from May to September. Then she spends October to December playing the Argentine season but is travelling around the world to polo hotspots, throughout the year. Sounds glamorous right? But what this really amounts to, is her days off are spent on a plane or in an airport lounge and often driving a lorry full of polo ponies. “The top pros are paid millions and are flown around the world with their whole families. I have never even flown business class in my life and still haven’t found time to take my honeymoon” she laughs.

 

Hazel got married to Polo Manager Ivan Gaona last September but since their wedding, has spent just two weeks at home. Other than the UK and Argentina, Hazel plays in locations such as Thailand, Barbados, Singapore, America and Switzerland but her favourite place to play is the Club Ampurdan in Barcelona. “I play a tournament over there that is just so much fun. It is a family run club and has a lovely atmosphere.”

 

There have been many highlights so far. “Captaining the England Ladies team in Zambia in 2016 was a amazing. Partly because we have family there and they came to watch. Then in 2017 we made the finals of the first ever Argentinean Open. It is the highest Ladies Tournament in the World, held in Palermo in the middle of Buenos Aries.”

 

Playing in both Ladies and Mixed teams has its advantages according to Hazel. “I learn more from playing with men, it challenges you, makes you work harder and pushes you to your physical limits. But I would never usually be the main player in the team. Then I can put what I learn into practice in Ladies polo. When I am playing Ladies, I am usually running the team so have more responsibilities which I enjoy.”

 

As a woman in a heavily male dominated sport, naturally there are challenges. “It is a brutal game and you get shouted at but everyone gets heated and I can cope with that. What is frustrating is that there is a lack of opportunities to play high and medium goal polo even for the best ladies. You will never see a lady play medium or high goal in the UK, for example, it would be nice to see more girls getting a chance”. Hazel explains that whilst many patrons who own the teams, pick men because they are physically stronger, polo is 75% about horse power. So if you are never given access to good horses by patrons, then it is harder to prove yourself.

 

“To buy a top horse, you would probably need £200,000 and the bloodlines in Argentina go for crazy money It costs millions to run a high goal team. I paid £5000 for my best horse and a lot of my horses have been gifted to me by friends.” Like most of us, Hazel favours a certain type of horse. “I like them slightly bigger- around 15.3 hh (polo ponies are notoriously small to allow you to be closer to the ball). They have to be super fast, agile  and quick off the mark to “win the play”. But with a soft mouth and they have to be really tough”

 

Polo is a physically demanding game and of course it comes with risks. “I have been lucky to escape serious injuries but I have fractured my collarbone and had a hole through my lip from a stick. But I have friends who have lost eyes and had falls so bad they have had to retire and of course there have been fatalities.” Hazel highlights that protective gear is a must. In a game, she will wear goggles, a gum shield, protective gloves, knee pads and a helmet.

 

Outside of polo, Hazel says there is a little time for much else but she enjoys Yoga and surfing and her perfect holiday would be a beach one. “I am also starting to do more fitness. During the season, I am playing two or three matches a week so you need to be fit and strong and I want be at the top of my game. The aim for me is to get up to a 10 goal handicap. Then I would love to play in a medium goal mixed game one day too.”

 

“Horse Scout is the complete answer to networking for the future of equestrian. I love working alongside them and it has already opened many new doors for me. Horse Scout is a company which offers so many contacts and platforms throughout the equestrian and horse world. They are always working with new products, the right people and looking to the future for ideas to benefit the horse world in general.

I am excited to see what comes next.”

 

Written by Ellie Kelly

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Mud, sweat and germs

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Mud, sweat and germs
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It is time for spring cleaning. That smell of ammonia that has hung around the yard, those bacteria infested stables you have not had time to get on top of. Beyond the bugs and bacteria, even just the grease and grime eating its way into your tack and equipment. Let us introduce you to a new range of products from The Logical Range.

Already these products are being favoured by professional yards. If it is good enough for the prized animals found with an international eventer, a high goal polo player and a top dressage rider in Emily King, Hazel Jackson and Ellie McCarthy, then it must be good enough for the rest of us.

Germ Kill

Did you know, strangles is responsible for 30% of infectious disease in the equine industry worldwide? Furthermore, data from the Animal Health Trust implies that the disease is on the rise in the UK. It is a disease that can impact any yard or equine individual, professionals and happy hackers alike and even those with excellent management. As well as being extremely distressing for both the animal and the owner, this disease causes major economic losses to the industry due to its contagious nature, prolonged course and associated complications, which can be fatal.

The Logical Range’s product ‘Germ Kill’ has been produced to kill 99.9% of germs including Equine Strangles. Not only does it disinfect and keep the dangers of micro-organisms at bay, but it is a product that also cleans. It can be used on stables, yards and horse equipment. It is safe to use for humans and environmentally friendly.

  • Effective against Equine Strangles.
  • Powerful cleaning and disinfection in a single environmentally friendly product.
  • Safe to use around animals and humans.
  • Effective at killing bacteria, viruses, fungi and yeasts.

 

Stable Cleanse

Do you wish you could replace stable smells with a fresh minty aroma? Now you can with Stable Cleanse – the ultimate odour eater for use on stables, yards, horseboxes and trailers.

If you think how that strong smell of a stable yard can take your breath away, imagine what it is doing to your horse’s airways, as well as your stable staff.

This is a product that is safe and effective:

  • Kills the unpleasant odour under rubber matting but without eating into the matting.
  • Can be used with any bedding and on any floor surface.
  • No special handling requirements. Safe for your horse and you.
  • Great value: one five litre lasts up to six months on a standard size stable.
  • Money back guarantee, if you’re not happy.

 

All Rounder

So here is quick and easy to use product that every yard should have – for safe use on all your equipment. Have a bottle on the yard, in the horsebox, even by your kitchen sink. You can stop buying washing up liquid which can eat into fibres and enjoy not having grime embedded in your nails any more. This is a product that will not damage your skin and you will not harm the environment either.

  • Effortlessly removes sweat, grease, grime, mud etc.
  • Can be used on rugs, saddle cloths, clothing, synthetic and leather tack.
  • Safe to use for you and your horse, in the home and on trailers and horseboxes.
  • A highly versatile natural orange cleaner- environmentally friendly.

For more information visit the website:  http://thelogicalrange.co.uk 

 

Written by Ellie Kelly