England holds off USA challenge in Arena Polo Test Match

A strong England side saw them lift the Bryan Morrison Trophy on Saturday (21 January), after beating the USA in the Inspired International Arena Polo Test Match by 19 goals to 13.

England holds off USA challenge in Arena Polo Test Match

The winning England side at Hickstead (c) ImagesofPolo.com 

Ground staff at the All England Polo Club, Hickstead had to work tirelessly throughout the week to ensure the fixture could go ahead, after overnight temperatures dipped to -6℃. Fortunately the arena surface stood up despite the chill, and the test match – featuring two of the highest-rated teams in arena polo – could take place.

With both the England and USA teams playing off a handicap of 24, the teams were very evenly matched, and the game remained close for the first three chukkas. The USA was the first to get on the scoreboard thanks to captain Tommy Biddle (9 goals), before England debutant Matias Amaya (7 goals) evened things up for the home side.

By half time, England was leading 9-7, before the USA’s Felipe Viana (7 goals) levelled the score with two quick goals. Things were still tight by the end of the third chukka, with England leading by 13-11. But in the final chukka, England’s captain Max Charlton – currently the only arena polo player with the highest-rated handicap of 10 – showed off the best of his skill to pile pressure on the visiting team, while his team-mates Amaya and seven-goaler Jack Hyde also added to the England tally to see the home side run out the winners 19-13.

“It was a tough game but we just pulled ahead in the last few minutes, and got the job done,” said Max Charlton. “We want to thank the Americans for coming to join us and making the trip, it was a big effort so thank you very much to them.”

Tommy Biddle, who was a last-minute addition to the US line-up, added: “We played really well for three-and-a-half periods then the last half of the last chukka we fell apart and got a little loose, but it was a shame because I don’t think the score was indicative of the game. I thought it was a great game, thanks to the HPA, and to the Bunn family for their arena – it’s the best one I’ve ever played in.”

Earlier in the day, the situation was reversed with the USA Collegiate team just beating the Great Britain SUPA team in the SUPA test match, winning by 12-11.  

The match can be watched on demand via https://www.clipmyhorse.tv/ 

The Bryan Morrison Trophy for the Inspired International Arena Polo Test Match

ENGLAND

Max Charlton - 10 goals

Jack Hyde - 7 goals

Matias Amaya - 7 goals

 

THE USA

Tommy Biddle (Captain) - 9 goals

Patrick Urtez - 7 goals

Felipe Viana - 8 goals

 

Most Valuable Player: Matias Amaya

Polo Times Best Playing Pony: Pixies, a 13-year-old mare owned and played by Max Charlton

 

The SUPA International Match

 

TEAM USA

Lea Jih-Vieira - 1 goal

Vlad Tarashansky – 2 goal

Joe Coors – 3 goal

Stephanie Lueders – 0 goal

 

TEAM GB

Jamie Baille – 1 goal

Frank Barlow – 2 goal

Tom Gordon-Colebrook – 2 goal

 

Most Valuable Player: Joe Coors, USA Captain