Former professional polo player Chris Bethell is the new polo manager for Cowdray Park Polo Club.

Bethell has been Tournament Director at the club for the last two years, so he is hardly new to the role. He will be in charge of scheduling matches and tournaments and co-ordinating all plays.

“I bring to the post a thorough understanding of players’ priorities and needs, and more than 20 years’ experience at all levels of playing and coaching,” he said. “Cowdray has a reputation for the highest standards of professionalism and fair play in a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. I intend to safeguard this reputation.”

Bethell, who is a qualified HPA Instructor Grade I and Umpire Grade A, has strong ties with Cowdray Park. His father, Bryan Bethell, was master of the horse to the 3rd Viscount Cowdray while his mother, Annette, is match assistant at the polo club.

Bethell’s polo career started off when he accepted an offer to work and play for the late Lord Cowdray 25 years ago. He then played professionally at venues around the world, from the US and Argentina to Continental Europe and Kenya.

He has played polo at all levels, including the Gold Cup for the British Open, and runs a polo livery yard at Burton Mill, near Petworth.

Bethell’s appointment is in line with Cowdray Park’s mission to promote “the game of polo in West Sussex and in Britain.”

“Young people in the UK want to make a living from the sport. Chris has been lucky enough to make a living [from polo] so he understands where young people are coming from, but he also understand the game at the highest level,” says Cowdray Park Polo Club spokeswoman Liz Higgins. “For us, polo is always the first consideration.”