Barbour Polo Guards Club

In the summer of 2011 I spent a day learning to play polo with Barbour at Coworth Park. Imagine my glee when I was invited again this summer for another go. This time, because Barbour are the sponsors of the Household Cavalry Polo team, we were to assemble at Guards Polo Club at Smith’s Lawn. Crushingly my Sacroiliac is still not happy, so my agent Richard was pressed into service as my polo playing ringer. Well, we are both blonde, right?

I do not get on well with early mornings. However, when a Land Rover with charming driver (thank you Steve) is scheduled for a pick up at 8am, it’s amazing how quickly the leap from a comfortable bed can be achieved at the alarm’s first shriek. It also helps that I can be showered, hair washed & dried, fully made up and ready in under thirty minutes although, as I knew that Richard is always early, there was a tossup between drying my hair or ironing my dress first. I figured (correctly) that he would be less horrified by wet hair than a state of undress. (I’m in my favourite new Whistles frock, Panama here, and ancient old Pierre Hardy for GAP sandals)

Barbour Polo Guards Club

Richard and I picked up the divine Henry Conway en route, and arrived cheerily  in Windsor Great Park by 0930hrs, after a blissful hour of swapping salacious gossip en route.  Mr Conway and Mr Gibb:

Barbour Polo Guards Club

A very promising looking Barbour-laden table for lunch.

Barbour Polo Guards Club

After IV coffee, a change for the players into Barbour kit, and some email checking, we were whisked in a convoy of Land Rovers to the other side of the ground for the instruction to commence.

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Barbour Polo Guards Club

Barbour Polo Guards Club

This *is* how you play polo, right?

Barbour Polo Guards Club

I took up a station on a chair in the sun, and tipped my Panama over my eyes.  This rather lovely Terrier felt that my handbag and my thighs were obvious places to stash polo balls…

Barbour Polo Guards Club

Very pleased that Susanne Madsen, my Monaco partner in crime was invited too. She’s a dressage rider, but looked equally home on a polo pony.

Barbour Polo Guards Club

Here’s Phoebe from Ponystep (middle), and Cosmopolitan’s Shelly Vella (left).

Barbour Polo Guards Club

And again: Cosmopolitan’s properly lovely Fashion Director, Shelly:

Barbour Polo Guards Club

We had CB, a rather dashing member of the Household Cavalry as one of the instructors. Seated here (left), with Mr Conway.

Barbour Polo Guards Club

Barbour Polo Guards Club

Emma Akbareian from The Independent

Barbour Polo Guards Club

 

Lovely Lily from Grazia (left), Rose Gamble from Country & Townhouse (middleand Sophie from Dust PR (right)

Barbour Polo Guards Club

Barbour Polo Guards Club

Richard and Shelly:

Barbour Polo Guards Club

Tommy, the Argentinian pro, who was instructing.

Barbour Polo Guards Club

The first chukka from the editors (not so notable for its speed, but amusing to watch, nonetheless).

Barbour Polo Guards Club

Remembering my efforts last time I played polo, the fact that most of them were actually hitting the balls whilst on the move was impressive enough.

Here’s Richard being shown how to grasp his polo stick by Tommy.

Barbour Polo Guards Club

Barbour Polo Guards Club

Lily (left) and Beth from Barbour (right)

Barbour Polo Guards Club

Lily, Beth, Rose, and Henry Conway:

vBarbour Polo Guards Club

The real stars of the day: the long suffering beautiful ponies

Barbour Polo Guards Club

Barbour Polo Guards Club

And then lunch.

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Afterwards we went off to watch the Household Cavalry team play their match against Buck’s Club.

Barbour Polo Guards Club

Barbour Polo Guards Club

Both the turn of speed and acceleration of the ponies when in the hands of serious players is quite extraordinary to watch

Barbour Polo Guards Club

The Household Cavalry team.

Barbour Polo Guards Club

The inherent danger in charging down the field on ponies, whilst wielding what are essentially mallets on poles, was hammered home when one of the Household Cavalry players was felled momentarily.

Barbour Polo Guards Club

Barbour Polo Guards Club

And lest we forget why we were there, we got a preview of the AW13 Barbour collections. I long for this jacket.

Barbour Polo Guards Club

Barbour Polo Guards Club

This tailored tweed piece is from Amanda Harlech’s first collection for Barbour.

Barbour Polo Guards Club

And there is a scarf in a pretty horse print designed by Emily Bond exclusively for Barbour. (The jacket is lined in the print too.)

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Barbour Polo Guards Club

I feel sure that Guards don’t normally have fan-wielding Henrys for divot treading on the field. A shame, really, as he brings a certain je ne sais quoi to the proceedings.

Barbour Polo Guards Club

This really is my summer of polo. I’ll next be at Coworth Park on the 4th August for the Audi Polo Challenge charity polo match.

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5 comments

Reply

Looks like an enjoyable day! I love the brown tweed jacket so much.

Lucy x

Reply

@Lucy: It’s fab, isn’t it? I have a serious case of the wants too. LLGxx

Reply

I do love this new horsey element to your blog! I am intrigued to know what was in the Barbour goody bags, are you allowed to say? x

Reply

@Rosie: It was the lovely Emily Bond horse & dog print wool scarf. Lucky editors! LLGxx

Reply

I need a new waxed jacket. I think that new AW13 number will be just the ticket. Also that scarf is gorgeous. And there’s no such thing as too much tweed… And… And… *Bankrupts self*

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