Hyde to lead England in arena polo clash against Ireland at Hickstead
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The feature match of the day is the Inspired International Arena Polo Test Match for the Bryan Morrison Trophy, in which England will face Ireland. The last time the two teams met at Hickstead was in 2022, when the home team won 16-13.
Captaining England for the first time is Hickstead test match regular Jack Hyde, 26, who plays off an arena handicap of 8. He is joined by Warwickshire-based Matias Amaya (handicap 7) and Sebastian Hancock (5). The England coach (and off-field reserve) is Max Charlton.
Facing them will be the trio for Ireland, captained by 8-goaler Richard Tyrone. Experienced arena player Richard will play alongside Michael Henderson (7-goaler) and Hickstead-based Niall Donnelly, who plays off an arena handicap of 5. The Ireland coach reserve is 5-goaler Evan Power.
“What an exciting line-up we have for this year’s Bryan Morrison Trophy, with two very strong, equally-matched teams,” says AEPC Chairman John Bunn.
“Ireland will be keen to win this match after losing to the home side here in 2022, but England has an excellent track record in the Arena Polo Test Match and I’m sure they’ll be equally keen to extend their winning run at this fixture. We hope lots of polo fans – and newcomers to the sport – will join us for what’s bound to be a superb day of sport.”
The day's action will kick off with the British Junior Match, which gets under way at 11.30am. The two teams are Junior Blue, captained by 15-year-old Estanislao Mariano Darritchon (2), with 16-year-old Archie Heseltine (2) and 17-year-old Hugh Bate (1); and Junior Red, captained by Rafi Bruckner (2), with 17-year-old Logan Anderson (2) and 15-year-old Wilfred Bate (1), who is the younger brother of Hugh from the Junior Blue team.
This means visitors will get to witness two thrilling games of arena polo for just £8 per ticket when bought in advance, with advance discounts ending on Monday 15 January. After this point, tickets will be £10 when bought online or at the gate.
There is also a post-match dinner, held in the Beethoven Suite overlooking Hickstead's famous International Arena. Diners will enjoy three delicious courses, and will have the chance to reflect upon the day’s action with the polo players and various supporters of the sport. Tickets are £60 each, including admission.
Hickstead has played host to arena polo since 2006. Unlike summer polo, there are only three members per team instead of four, and the game is played with a larger and softer ball. The arena is also boarded throughout so shots and angles can be played off the sides of the arena, which is much smaller than in the summer version of the game. At the All England Polo Club, the Clubhouse and bar overlook the arena, so visitors are guaranteed a superb view of the action.
To book tickets for the Hurlingham Polo Assocation's International Arena Polo Day go to https://hickstead.ticketsrv.co.uk/tickets/1829 .