Sporting Stars Take to the Polo Field







Stars from the world of horse racing and Olympic sport, are set to experience a taste

of polo when they play in the Gloucestershire Festival of Polo’s inaugural celebrity

match. Taking place on Sunday 19th June at the Beaufort Polo Club near Tetbury in

Gloucestershire, the Jockeys vs Olympic Legends Polo Match will be a highlight of

the Club’s weekend long Festival of Polo. The top class line-up of players includes the

renowned Sir Antony McCoy MBE, who will captain the Jockeys team, plus Zara

Phillips who will lead the Olympic Legends on the polo field.


Jockeys vs Olympic Legends – line-up unveiled

Trading their racing silks for polo whites, the Jockeys team comprises as Team Captain, Sir

Anthony (A P) McCoy OBE, star of the horse racing world and 20 times Champion Jockey,

who retired from competitive racing last year. Alongside him will be John Francome MBE,

another former Champion Jockey who is now considered one of the horse racing world’s top

racing pundits as well as being a best-selling fiction writer. Another legendary name from the

horse racing world, three-times Champion Jockey, Richard Dunwoody MBE, will be taking

up a polo stick on 19th June. Dunwoody is an enthusiastic charity supporter who can count a

48-day trek to the south pole, plus a 1,000-mile walk in 1000-hours among his fundraising

challenges. Squaring up the Jockeys team, Marcus Armytage is a former national hunt

jockey with 100 wins to his name and one of the few amateur riders ever to win the Grand

National. Armytage is a highly respected journalist who is a long-established racing

correspondent for the Daily Telegraph and who writes a regular column in Horse & Hound.


Representing the Olympic Legends, another top line-up includes as Team Captain, Zara

Phillips MBE. Zara is a World Champion Event rider, multi European and World medal winner

and holder of an Olympic Silver Medal which she won as a member of the British Eventing Team

at London 2012. She competes at the top-level of her sport, including at the recent Mitsubishi

Motors Badminton Horse Trials which is held less than five miles from the picturesque

Beaufort Polo Club. Festival of Polo organisers are excited to announce that multi-Olympic

track cycling medallist, now amateur jockey, Victoria Pendleton CBE, will also be playing in

her first polo match at the event. Victoria hit the headlines earlier this year, when she

realised her ambition to race at the renowned Cheltenham Festival, finishing 5th in the

Foxhunter Chase only 12 months after her first riding lesson. The all-female team of

amateurs on the Olympic Legends team also includes multi-medal winning dressage rider,

Laura Tomlinson (née Bechtolsheimer) MBE who secured a Team Gold Medal and

Individual Bronze at the London Olympics in 2012. Laura is married to Mark Tomlinson, one

of Britain’s top polo players and whose family owns the Beaufort Polo Club, so she may well

be getting some behind-the-scenes polo tips. Heather Fell completes the line-up of Olympic

Legends. Heather was a modern pentathlete, who won a Silver Medal at the 2008 Summer

Olympics and then finished that season ranked number one in the World. She has also won

multiple individual and British team medals on the European and World circuit.


Amateurs in the Jockeys vs Olympic Legends Polo Match are receiving advance training

from Beaufort Polo Club experts before the big day, and each team will have input from a

polo professional who will guide and assist them throughout the match. Proceeds from the

charity lunch and polo match will go to LAPResearchUK ( – the

only charity in the UK dedicated to research into diseases affecting the liver, pancreas,

gallbladder and biliary tree. The charity was founded by two surgeons specialising in this

area of medicine and tickets for the VIP charity lunch are available from the Beaufort Polo

Club :


Players look forward to the challenge

Commenting on his plans to take to the polo field in June, Sir A P McCoy said: “I’ve ridden a fair

few horses in my time, but I’ve only had a go at polo once and it wasn’t easy. I play a bit of golf

these days, so in theory I can hit a ball, but I found doing that from the back of a horse a real

challenge. I’m excited to have another go though.”

Zara Phillips is also looking forward to the challenge: “I’ve watched a bit of polo and played

a couple of times in the past, so I know polo ponies are extremely responsive and very

quick. It’s a difficult sport but great fun and I’m confident that the Olympic ladies will find our

true competitive spirit and do ourselves proud!”


The Gloucestershire Festival of Polo

A weekend-long celebration of its sport, the Gloucestershire Festival of Polo promises

impressive top-class polo plus fantastic entertainment and a tented shopping village. Two

classic fast-paced matches on Saturday 18th June include The Maserati Charity Polo Trophy

with Maserati and Piaget sponsored teams, plus the Beaufort International – a test match

that will see Piaget Young England pitched against Ireland. Sunday 19th June’s highlight will

be the Jockeys vs Olympic Legends Polo Match, and spectators can watch two additional

matches including the final of a charity U15s tournament that will take place in the afternoon.


The Gloucestershire Festival of Polo

Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th June 2016

Beaufort Polo Club, Westonbirt, Tetbury, Glos, GL8 8QW

Opening times : 10:30am–6.00pm / Jockeys vs Olympic Legends Polo Match : 3.00pm (Sunday)

– ENDS –

For press information and Accreditation Application please contact:

Jess Shiach / Jo Musson

Gloucestershire Festival of Polo Events Team

Tel : 01666 500902 E-mail :


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