A Spectacular Tournament to Round Off the Season for Chester Polo Club at The Boodles Roodee Challenge Cup.
On Friday 7 and Saturday 8 September 2018, Chester Polo Club held its annual Roodee Challenge Cup, this year sponsored by Boodles.
Four teams made up the six-goal tournament, Boodles (6), Laurent-Perrier (5), Signature Living (6) and Quilter (6). With high-profile players including Mike Henderson (4) made up the team sheet. The final tournament of the year for the club provided to be a thrilling season finale with team Quilter, captained by Katie Jenkinson, taking home the silverware and the £10,000 in a fierce final game.
Playing on the historic grounds of Chester Racecourse, the first semi-final saw team Boodles (6) Captained by Richard Thomas (0) triumph against team Laurent-Perrier (5), captained by Guido Basile (-1) in an impressive 12–2½ finish.
Next up to take to the pitch, Signature Living (6) captained by Hadley Aylott (1) fought against Quilter (6) captained by Katie Jenkinson (0). Quilter secured their place in the final game after taking the lead and finishing in favour of 9-4.
Between chukkas, guests were welcomed onto the pitch to take part in the polo tradition of stomping the divots. As a Chester Polo tradition, a silver cork was hidden on the pitch, the finder, winning a bottle of Laurent-Perrier courtesy of Eversheds Sutherland.
Conditions on Saturday made for a harder playing field. The rain didn’t stop the competition between teams and the battle was as fierce as ever. Quilter had pushed into the lead by half time- at a close 3-1. Unfortunately, conditions took a turn for the worse and players were instructed by the umpires, Tony Kite and Tristan Pemble to “slow down and take it easy.” The nail biting final game saw Quilter finish on a 5-2 lead.
Matchday commentator, Steven Wundke commented:
“Under these conditions it was always going to be an advantage to team Quilter who play quick, short, close contact Polo and this was the kind of game their high goal player, Christian Chaves, was brought up on and so it proved. In the first chukka, it was intense… On the balance of play, Quilter were the worthy winners.”
The victorious team were joined by their team sponsors and presented with The Roodee Challenge Cup and the £10,000 prize money.
Despite the weather, crowds of people came down to cheer on the teams, with families arriving early to secure a pitch-side spot. Chester Polo Club handed out free programmes and team sheets to spectators on arrival, which included all the valuable game information for those new to the sport.
Over in the Family Zone between chukkas, a festival atmosphere was created as parents danced to a live DJ set, that kept spirits lifted during the afternoon as kids celebrated the end of the summer.
ParentFolk added a curated family twist to the Polo in 2018, as children enjoyed their own afternoon line up of activities, courtesy of the parent publication, including screen printing polo posters, decorating pony masks, participating in flower craft and luxury treatments at the glitter bar! Younger spectators inspired to play the thrilling sport had the opportunity to practice their swing on the ‘have a go polo pony’ and enjoy the pony rides on offer.
ParentFolk founder Nicola Spindler said: ‘We were delighted to collaborate with Chester Polo Club to deliver a dedicated activities and entertainment area for families at last weekend’s Polo. The Polo is such a great event for families, and there was such a sociable atmosphere. It was wonderful to see parents introducing their children to this superb sport, and there were so many wide-eyed little ones mesmerised watching the matches.
We had great fun delivering the themed contemporary arts and crafts for younger visitors and parents seemed to enjoy the ParentFolk DJ who delivered a great soundtrack of beats to get down to between chukkas. We are looking forward to teaming up again next year.’
Details of Chester Polo Club’s 2019 fixtures will soon be revealed. For the most up-to date information and on-sale dates visit chester-races.com/polo or follow Chester Polo Club’s official social media channels @ChesterPoloClub