The 101st Varsity match played at the Cambridge and Newmarket Polo Club on Sunday 10 June saw Cambridge running out the winners 3 – 1.
The match, traditionally played off scratch was supported by a heaving crowd of partisan students from both Oxford and Cambridge, sustained by Cobra Lager.
The day had been moved back home from the Guards Polo Club who have sadly had to cancel their season due to FMD restrictions. Sponsorship by Antec International, disinfectant manufacturers, enabled the day to go ahead. Cambridge were 2 goals stronger on paper but Oxford¨s secret weapon Lt Col Stuart Cowen proved his experience on the field.
During the first chukka Cambridge’s time spentpractising together in recent weeks showed and strong tactics and Prince Rashid el Hassan on his fast ponies allowed them to score two goals.
During the next two chukkas both teams fought hard and no goals were scored despite several near misses.
In the final chukka Oxford opened their account early on and it looked as though they could come back with more but Cambridge’s Captain Edmund Higenbottam was determined to win back the Varsity cup in his final year at Gonville and Caius.
Much singing and cheering in the crowd, worthy of a rugby match, spurred Cambridge on to a third goal to win the trophy, which has been played for since 1878 .
Earlier in the day, the Old Blues had contested the magnificent rose bowl with the return of veterinary surgeons, Emma Tomlinson and Jeremy Allen meeting up with old rivals Cameron Walton-Masters and Alistair Lamb. A fast an open match saw some galloping polo and strong marking with Emma determined to shut down Cameron. Nevertheless he managed to streak away on a couple of occasions with the final score of Cambridge 6 Oxford 41/2.
The Varsity and Commonwealth Day at CNPC is traditionally the day when the huge Udaipur Cup is played for. Andrew Reid’s team Belmont were defending the trophy and thanks to some awesome hits by Juan Bollini, managed to win 5 – 31/2.
This was despite some spectacular play from the ‘Sultan of Swing’ himself, John Horswell playing for Tom Lampl’s Los Sapos. The teams were only half a goal apart for most of the match but two goals for Belmont in the final chukka clinched it.
The most moving part of the day was a two chukka match between members of the Riding for the Disabled Association who have now been learning polo at CNPC for two years .
This is thanks to members of the Club teaching them and lending polo ponies and support from local RDA volunteers. This is now a recognised RDA activity thanks to help from the Hurlingham Polo Association and has dramatically benefited the riders¨ confidence and team spirit. Wearing team shirts sponsored by Colt Tojeiro, the Yellow Colts beat the Red Colts 2 – 1.