4 July 2012 - CUPC goes on summer vacation
CUPC has closed operations for the summer - but what a year it has been!
First and foremost, our Varsity team mauled Oxford at Varsity Polo with a final score of 13-2, scaring the dark blues so badly that they didn't dare to play the B match. Our top level has been incredibly strong this year, winning off-the-stick against teams with significantly higher handicaps and playing some great polo to inspire our beginners and novices.
We have also had superb lower level teams! Some very talented and keen beginners and novices have joined us, leading not only to a series of victories at SUPA Nationals and local matches against other universities, but also to visions of a strong future. While we lose some strong players after graduation this year, there are many who are hungry and fighting to take their spots. Much of our enthusiasm as well as our success is a result of the hours and dedication put in by our coach, Dean Lines, who has been an invaluable asset.
While we have had lessons during the terms, we have also had intensive training sessions in the form of Polo Camp at the start of Michelmas and Lent term, as well as the fantastic and notorious Argentina trip in December. The Argentina trip this year was as unforgettable as ever, with large amounts of polo, gauchos and yerba mate.
On the pony front, we have expanded from 9 to 13 ponies in the past year, and are still looking for more ponies that fit our purposes. This is mainly a result of the increased interest in the club, and by having more horses we are also able to separate our string into beginner, novice and intermediate horses. This led to Easter being named Most Valuable Pony at Varsity Polo, instead of numerous hired professionally trained horses.
And outside of the stables, there have been many highbrow and/or hedonistic social events. Our main events of the year, the Christmas Dinner, London Drinks and Annual Dinner have been interspersed with more casual parties, enabling our members to meet and socialize without smelling of manure.
We have also strengthened our bond with our sponsors EFG and Jack Wills, and hope to see some interesting things happening this coming year. We already have a new website with online payment, and some great new stash, but we have some really exciting deals in the pipeline as well.
All in all, this has been a great year for CUPC, and we hope that those of you who have been involved as members, alumni, sponsors etc. have enjoyed yourselves and all that we have to offer. We think next year will be equally good - see you in Michelmas!
17th June 2012 - Cambridge Dominate at 108th Varsity Polo
The 2012 Polo Varsity match at Guards Polo Club on Saturday 9th June was one of the finest examples of dark blue trashing in the 134 year history of the match. Despite a difficult and frustrating lead up to the match due to poor weather conditions the light blue side were on top form thanks to the resourcefulness of the team’s weather beating tactics and stoicism in the face of ridiculously muddy training sessions. Cambridge went in to the historic match the underdogs with a poor track record in recent years, but after intense training both in this country and abroad in Argentina, the team was confident of sticking it to the old enemy.
Two veterans of previous varsity matches, Alex Rose playing at 3 and Jamie Hepburn at back, were accompanied by the baby of the squad Sam Browne and the last minute surprise player up front James "Willy" Marshall. Superb team play and support from behind led to a famous victory with 8 goals including converted penalties from Sam Browne. James Marshall had a few grievances with gravity and hit the ground at high velocity on several occasions in a dubiously tactical manner, whilst both players at the back held their nerve and delivered calm defensive play. From the off some highly aggressive play from Cambridge put Oxford onto the back foot with five goals rammed home in the first chukka. A strong Oxford team talk brought the dark blues two hard earned goals, but some strong ride-offs and accurate backhands from the Cambridge 1 and 2 up front turned any defensive play to tatters. Chukkas 3 and 4 saw the goal margin increased with some enormous shots from the back from Jamie Hepburn and Alex Rose. Despite his team falling apart around him, some impressive individual play was shown by Oxford’s Tom Meacher, although this achieved little in the face of the Cambridge onslaught. At one stage he was even pushed off his horse by the ever-aggressive Cambridge number 1, James Marshall. After the dust settled the final score was 13-2, one of the largest margins of victory ever seen in the varsity match. Sam Browne deservedly won the Most Valuable Player award, and one of the Cambridge ponies, Easter, won Best Playing Pony - a clean sweep for the light blues.
Cambridge Old boys also performed well with a win despite poor ground conditions as well as Eton trouching Harrow.
Many thanks go to the Cambridge University Polo club’s sponsors EFG International for supporting the team throughout the year and to Jack Wills for hosting the match day and casually flying both Harvard and Yale teams across the Atlantic. A special mention must also go to the team coach DeanLines who stood by the team with his typically agitated enthusiasm through the highs and lows of their preparation. GDBO!
16th May 2012 - Annual Dinner
Seventy students, alumni, sponsors and guests of CUPC gathered on Friday 4 May for the third Annual CUPC Dinner at Old Hall, Queens College.
The Annual Dinner provided an opportunity for all those involved in the club past and present to celebrate its successes, with speeches from Mark Johnston, Broderick Munro-Wilson and head coach Dean Lines giving a flavour of where the club has been and where it is heading. EFG bank continue to support CUPC and we were delighted Keith and his guests were able to attend.
As we head towards the culmination of the univerisity polo year, Varsity Polo, the shortlisted Blues Team was announced by Dean. The squad announced was: Alex Rose, Jamie Hepburn, Imran Jumabhoy, Sam Browne, Simon Bewsey Dyke, James Marshall and George Ulmann. The final four and reserve will be announced later this week, following the Town vs Gown match to be held on Thursday.
Varsity Polo is to be held on 9th June at Guards Polo Club, we look forward to seeing you there.
13th May 2012 - Another new pony - Pico
One of our old members, Yanni Zographos, has very kindly donated one of his polo ponies to us. He is a 21 year old dark bay gelding, Pico Blanco, who has played up to 15 goal for many years. We are incredibly grateful to Yanni, and hope Pico will serve us well for the next few years.
Our other recent acquisition, Nochera, is now available for use by all players from beginners up to intermediates, at the coach/polo manager's discretion, as is Mimosa.
10th May 2012 - New Pony - Nochera
If you've been down to Haggis recently you will see we have a new pony! An 8 year old Argentine chestnut mare called Nochera. At present she is for upper novices and intermediates, until we suss out her suitability for beginners. We hope before too long she will be suitable for all to ride, but we need to let her settle in first.
24 April 2012 - Welcome back everyone to sunny (rainy) old Cambridge.
A few pieces of news from the holidays:
1) Our intermediate team finally played their Nationals final match against ULU, which had to be postponed in February due to the weather, and I'm pleased to tell you they won convincingly, making them the University International Champions. Great result for Cambridge - we are now champions at Beginner, Novice and Intermediate levels!
2) Unfortunately Nidia had to be rushed in to the vets last week for emergency colic surgery. You'll be pleased to hear she's home and doing well, but she will be spending the next few months recovering, so won't be in work at all this season. We hope to have her back playing polo at the start of the arena season.
3) Our new ponies from last term, Supressa, Whitsun and Mimosa, are getting fitter and have started playing chukkas. It will be a couple of weeks still until they are introduced into general use, but we hope that at least two of them are going to be suitable for all standards of player.
I know you're all gagging to be out playing on the grass, but with this weather it is a bit hit and miss at the moment. The main pitches at Haggis are not ready to use yet, but the back pitch can be used as long as it's not too wet. The pitches at Hare Park are better, so we may well be playing more chukkas there for a while until we can get out on the Haggis pitches. The arena is still usable though.
20 April 2012 - Welcome to our brand new website!
This has been kindly created for us by our prime sponsor, EFG International, and here you can find our fixture list, results table, lesson timetable, contact details, as well as information on the club. If you haven't already (which, let's face it, you should have done as it is on the homepage), please take a moment to read the letter Prince Charles kindly wrote to us, which really sums up all we are about at CUPC.
Two things to note about the website at the moment:
1) Our online lesson sign up is not yet back, but we hope to get that up and running in the next few days, in time for the start of lessons.