British teams took the top three placings at the first ladies’ snow polo tournament last week (19-21 February).
A mother and daughter team from the UK won the tournament, held at Bad Gastein in Austria.
The pilot event was organised by the Polo Instructors and Players Association (PIPA) following demand from players.
Six teams took part in the tournament with three coming from England, one from UAE, Austria and France. Each team consisted of two players.
The final last Sunday (21 February) was a tight game between England’s Happy Horse and ADASTRA teams.
“Until the last chukker the game was open” said Uwe Seebacher PIPA president.
The winners were 14-year-old Emma Talbot Rice and her mother Elspeth from the Happy Horse team.
“It was an unbelievably close game with great team play from both teams,” Elspeth told H&H.
“Emma and I were breathless with excitement and exhaustion in equal measure by the end, and absolutely thrilled to lift the trophy.”
She added playing on snow was an “amazingly exhilarating, if chilly” experience.
“We are so grateful to Women in Polo for giving us this unparalleled opportunity to play snow polo on an international stage,” she said.
Clare Macnamara who took part with Robyn Evans in the second placed UK team said she found playing two on two in the tournament “really thrilling”.
“There was no let up and you were in the thick of it from start to finish. I’m totally hooked on snow polo and can’t wait to come back next year,” she added.
Tina Flatau who was in the third placed UK Chocalan team with Mimi Figgins and Larissa Westall sharing the second place.
- ‘Fast, furious and action-packed’: first ladies’ snow polo tournament to take place in Austria
- Top British players head for Snow Polo World Cup
- 4 places to watch snow polo this winter
Tina said initially she was worried about the ponies slipping but said “the snow was soft and deep and they coped really well”.
“We had to swap to a much bigger and lighter ball on finals day because the snow had started to melt,” said Mimi. “It was to help keep it moving better but it was really difficult to hit it straight.”
Following the success of the pilot event PIPA has approved to run a Ladies’ World Cup on Snow Tour next year.
The tour is being organised jointly with Women in Polo (WIP). There are three events starting next January, with the final at Bad Gastein on 16-19 February.