With more fixtures and clubs than you could shake a (polo) stick at, property expert Carla Passino explains why Berkshire should be top of your list of places to live if you want to get in on all of the action
Why is this county the place to be if you want to play polo?
Berkshire is home to six polo clubs — plus Guards (pictured), which straddles Surrey — and more than 100 fixtures take place in the county.
Who are the top players you will find here?
Many of the top players are based here for part of the year, including Sebastian Dawnay and Jamie Morrison who are both members of the Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club, and Richard le Poer, who keeps his horses in the county for part of the year.
Where can you hone your skills?
Berkshire is brimming with training centres, such as Cool Hooves Polo (at the Royal County of Berkshire and Emsworth Polo Ground) and Oscar Mancini’s La Brava, based at Ranelagh Farm.
Where can you get competitive?
The Spring Tournament at Guards Polo Club is the first highlight of the local season, followed by the Valerie Halford Memorial Trophy at Coworth Park. After that, tournaments come fast and furious: La Martina Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother’s Centenary Trophy (at Guards); the Prince of Wales Trophy (at the Royal County of Berkshire); the Cartier Queen’s Cup and the Bentley Royal Windsor Cup (both at Guards); the Indian Empire Shield (at Coworth Park and Guards), and the Coronation Cup and the Duke of Wellington Trophy (at Guards), plus countless other fixtures.
What are property prices like here?
Polo homes are in a category of their own, which transcends local price trends.
“Properties with first-class polo facilities are worth considerably more per acre than those with other types of equestrian use — the reason being that the costs associated with creating full-size and stick-and-ball pitches are considerable,” says Paul Finnegan of Savills.