Perth International Challenge 2018
The weekend of the 3/4th March saw Perth Polo Club host its third South East Asian (SEA) International Challenge. Following an afternoon at Duncraig Stud trialling horses kindly lent from the WA Polo community, the SEA Allstar team members were welcomed to Perth with a beautiful dinner, hosted by the Perth Polo Club at the Prendiville families Duncraig Stud.
Games began on Saturday, with the SEA team consisting of Peter Abisheganaden, Rashid Hasnan, Saladin Mazlan and Patrick Furlong, who took on local boys from the Alka Polo team (Stuart Bolingbroke, Adrian Cobley, Peter Trethowan and Daren Smith). It was a great step in the International Challenge weekend to introduce the Welcome Cup for Saturdays’ game, giving more exposure to other local players and helping to further our relationship as a state association with Polo in the SEA region. Despite a three goal handicap difference, Alka Polo was able to hold the SEA Allstar team throughout the first two chukkas. The second half however saw the strong combination of Patrick Furlong (3) and Din Mazlan (3) take command over the game and secure a convincing win for the visitors. At the conclusion of Saturday’s play, the Swan Valley Polo Club hosted a marvelous BBQ for all to relax and enjoy following a strong day of Polo.
On Sunday, a large crowd picnicking from their cars on both sides of the ground were attracted by the beautiful setting of Kings Meadow that has been so well presented through the efforts of Len Hamersley. Throughout the morning the crowd was entertained by the local grades while the international match saw a local combination of players from the Perth Polo Club and Swan Valley Polo Club unite to take on the 8 goal SEA Allstars. Stepping in for Sam Prendiville, Zac Johnson (0) pulled on the number 1 shirt for the local team, backed up by fellow SVPC player Eru Barlow (3), while Perth Polo Clubs’ Hugo Fischer (3) and Sam Hamersley (2) rounded out the team. The game started off a little shaky for the local team, giving up an early lead in the first chukka with a penalty scored by Din Mazlan before they were able to rebound and take the advantage throughout the second chukka with a score line 3-2 in favour of the locals. The visitors combined well and upped the pressure in the third chukka to score two goals in succession and take the lead. With the competition heating up and blood running hot, a fierce bump between Rashid Hasnan and Eru Barlow saw some spectacular, albeit frightening, acrobatics from Eru Barlow resulting in a leg injury that prevented him from being able to continue any further in the game. Barlow was then substituted by Andrew Gebbie (2), and with a quick reshuffle that saw Sam Hamersley in the number 2 position and Andrew close out the back door at number 4, the Perth team appeared to regain some composure and managed to regain the lead early in the final chukka. A late foul gave the visiting team the opportunity to draw level at 5-5 and from there it was a race against the clock to see if either team would be able to claim victory. In the end the bell tolled and for the sake of horses and good sportsmanship, the decision was made to finish on the draw.
An overall successful weekend that saw strong relationships founded on good polo, it was an event that the WA polo community can reflect proudly on. A number of people stepped forward and combined to loan horses and help ensure that the Perth Polo community is held in good standing when it comes to hospitality and international rapport. Special mention to the following for their generous support, arranging for the loan of horses – all of which were highly regarded by the visiting players:
- Adrian Cobley
- Darren Smith
- Greg Rodwell
- Neville Stewart
- Dick Lester
- The Fischer Family
- The Johnson Family
- The Prendiville Family
Perth Polo Club would also like to take the opportunity to thank the Prendiville family for their on-going support with the availability of their fantastic Duncraig Polo Fields.