The WA polo family greatly values the contribution of it’s members, both past and present. Not only have they provided the sport with tests of splendid horsemanship but they have also left an equine knowledge legacy that is passed down to new generations of polo riders. Enjoy reading about the feats of our life members and take the chance to chat with them at one of our tournaments.
|First Season||1953 at Minninooka Polo Club in Walkaway with the legendary Harold Readhead Esq|
|Highest Handicap||5 goals Aust, 6 Goals Malaysia|
|Best Ponies||I owned and sold several hundred polo ponies over my playing career, many of which were exported overseas. Of these my favourites were, Bobo, Shannon, Stubber, Clytie, Remus, Nicodemus, Nikita, Aussie, Amy and Seamaster to mention some.|
|Best Team||Walkaway Blue and White Rodney Ludgate, Laurie Bain, Leonard Hamersley, Evan Hamersley (14 goals)|
|Career Highlights||Winning A, B & C grade Association cups including Campbell Trophy and AA Hardie Champion Pony on two separate occasions at WAPA seven day Showground Tournament with Walkaway Polo Club which I founded in 1965.|
|Career Highlights||Being chosen in two teams to play against Sinclair Hill who gained ten goals the following year.|
|Career Highlights||Recieving an invitation from HRH The Sultan of Johor to organize, take and captain the first polo team from WA to Singapore and Malaysia together supplying all the ponies for the tour. Won six of the ten games we played.|
|Career Highlights||Playing an exhibition match with HRH Prince Charles at The Royal Agricultural Society Grounds, Perth.|
Leonard’s Advice for Young Players
1. First and foremost it is imperative you go and learn to ride a horse correctly, with full knowledge of the aids, flexions, footfalls, collection and how to ride a horse forward on a straight line and fill the bridle at your speed, in the brace position. Failure to gain this ability is why we see so many players plateau and so many people wonder why.
2. Learn how to hold the stick so you never change the grip for any shot you may make.
3. Keep the ball “away” from the horse when playing shots, be out over the ball and hitting early.
4. Play and maintain the inside possesion of the ground as the shortest way to the winning post is “up the rails”. Your opposition has 15% control or possesion of the ground while you have 85%.
5. Don’t fiddle the ball in mid field, use the speed of the ball 140kms as to the speed of the horses 40kms. Only play one hit across the ground before correcting.
6. Learn to “arc”on the new line of the ball in the game as this gives you the right of way over your opponent at all times.
7. There are no exceptions to these rules.
8. I learned my polo from many great players, but I gleaned most from Sincair Hill and the late Bob Skene to whom I offer my sincere thanks.
|Highest Handicap||6 goals|
|Best Ponies||Wyndetta, The Crooner (NZ), Ching(NZ), Lindy, Winsome|
|Best Team||Gold Cup 1956 E House, H R Hardie, R N Russell, G W Fisher|
|Career Highlights||Charles Cup 1954 first time ever for Kojonup G W Fisher, S W Haggerty, R N Russell, D P Reid Gaining selection in 1956 Gold Cup team|
|First Started Playing Polo||in 1947 aged 15 when lent a horse by neighbour, Cliff Tidy played at the first Serpentine Polo Club practice. Played consistently from 1948.|
|Last Played Polo||in 1994 played in a family team with sons Wayne and Brett and daughter Deanne.|
|Highest Handicap||4 goals|
|Favourite Horse||“Gannon” Evan Hamersley’s father in law owned it and then I bought it off Adrian Gannon.|
|Favourite Team/Team mates||Enjoyed playing with Brian Parry, Bruce Lefroy and George Elliott.|
|Career Highlight||Playing a chukka of polo a the opening of the Murrayville Stud Polo Field (now Serpentine Polo Club ground 1).|
Keith’s Advice to New Players
Learn to ride well.
|First Started Playing Polo||1976 (with Serpentine Polo Club)|
|Last Played Polo||2006 (Charles Cup Tournament)|
|Highest Handicap||3 goals|
|Favourite Horse||A horse named Freda, who really taught me how good a great horse can be.|
|Favourite Team/Team mates||I played with many teams and wonderful players over the years and enjoyed playing with all of them and thank them heartily for putting up with me.|
|Career Highlight||Being in teams that won the Charles Cup and defeated Laurie Connell’s team in their defence of the Australasian Gold Cup here in Perth.|
Ron’s Advice to New Players
Always buy the very best horses you can find and afford, as your horse power affects your enjoyment as well as being crucial to your success in the game.