“The Polo Tournament isn’t all about the sport. Foremost within the St Andrews events calendar, it’s the place for our guests to show off their spring/summer ensembles.”
Sporting events often feature on the social calendar and offer an ideal opportunity for the gentleman to demonstrate his mastery of sartorial style on every occasion. While it’s important to follow any mandatory dress codes, one should retain an element of sophisticated individuality in order to stand out from the crowd.
Crombie were delighted to sponsor the annual University of St Andrews Charity Polo Tournament this year and support a team wearing our colours. Our players fought bravely but didn’t quite manage to secure victory over the side sponsored by Whispering Angel. However, the day was really all about raising money for the brilliant Help for Heroes charity. Congratulations to the organizers on hosting such a successful event!
Official Tournament Report
The finals of the St Andrews Charity Polo Tournament were held at the picturesque Errol Park Estate On Saturday the 21st of April. With 100+ players competing over three days and 1,700+ spectators to help tread in the slightly soft pitch, it made for a full packed day of polo accompanied by beautiful sunny weather for the largest polo tournament in Scotland. Each year the tournament proceeds go towards Help for Heroes, so far over £25,000 has been raised since the tournaments conception in 2015, with £16,000 being raised during last year’s event alone.
The University teams battled it out on Thursday and Friday for the chance to play in the much anticipated main event on Saturday. Exeter and Warwick made it through from the beginner’s division; having only played polo for less than a year, this is the first time many of them had ever played on grass. After a hard fought chukka, Warwick came out with the win. Warwick’s Ahad Khaan was notably impressive, having only first sat on a horse in October 2017. Following his exceptional play, Khaan was awarded with the MVP for beginners. The Novice finalist teams were St Andrews and Warwick. Longstanding rivals at the tournament, the crowd watched this contest carefully as players galloped up and down the pitch. Looking to for redemption after last year’s loss, the St Andrews team of Jim Bliss, Catherine Thomson, Charlie Campbell, and Sheyan Adenwalla came out out victorious, returning the trophy to St Andrews. Adenwalla and Bliss (the president of the polo club) both played so well they were nominated for MVP.
Visiting teams took centre stage in the second half of the day, beginning with the annual Hayward and Stott Cup between St Andrews and the Scots Dragoon Guards. Since the Charity Polo Tournament’s rebranding in 2014, the Scott Dragoon Guards have successfully defended the Cup without fail. Fielding a strong team of seasoned players, the St Andrews contingent had much to prove in what for many would be their last University polo chukkas. With Nathan Denby hitting some incredible back hands and Jonathan Gregory scoring a hat trick, St Andrews’ road to victory proved to be an exciting one. Rounding out the winning St Andrews team were James Whitford and Mhairi Campbell.
Following the Hayward and Stott cup came the much anticipated Help for Heroes Team exhibition games. The teams were comprised of disabled veterans fielded by the Help for Heroes organization and professionals as well. Veterans Vicky Adams, Rebecca Halliwell–Coutts, and Cliff O’Farrell were supported by pro Players Cameron Humphries and Kate McKinney to make up the White shirts. Veterans Elaine Corner, Agne Manson-Matthews, and Lucinda Baker, supported by pro players Alisdair Archibald and Thom Bell, rounded out the Green shirts. Coming into the final session of play down 2-1, the Whites gave it their all to make sure they didn’t end their weekend with a double loss. Witnessing an exceptionally high level of skill, a myriad of guests sat alongside the pitch anxiously engrossed in the exhibition. Goals rolled in from both sides, with the Whites’ O’Farrell, Halliwell-Coutts, and Humphries making key contributions to their side’s efforts. The teams finally drew 4-4, concluding a few minutes of exceptionally engaging play. Baker would go on to receive the MVP prize for her two goals scored early on in the match.
The final match off the day featured the two teams provided by tournament sponsors Crombie (in striking blue, white and gold) and Whispering Angel (in soft pink). Despite the handicap difference, Whispering Angel came through with a resounding victory supported by the players Sophie St Clair Tisdall, Jim Dukes, Wills Younger and Ben Humphries.
The Polo Tournament isn’t all about the sport, though. When guests stepped off the buses and on to the property, their eyes first wander towards the others in the crowd. Foremost within the St Andrews events calendar, the Polo Tournament is the place for guests to show off their spring/summer ensembles. From above, the venue resembled a colourful ocean full of brightly-coloured blazers, flora ornamentation, and the occasional fedora to spice things up.
The whole tournament was a resounding success and couldn’t have been achieved without the effort of the Tournament committee, our generous sponsors, umpires Mikey Goodwill, Cam Humphries and James Douglas, Commentators Peter Munnoch and Thom Bell, and horse hirers Kinross Polo Club and Greenpoint Polo Club.