Polo is an exciting, fast and challenging sport that is open to anyone. It has been described as both the ‘sport of kings’ and ‘chess on horseback at great speed’. Polo relies on team spirit, dexterity and quick thinking, and the sport crosses the age range with boys and girls playing together.
Pupils can opt for polo on either a Tuesday or Thursday via the College activities and sports options. In the Michaelmas Term, we offer two Sunday introductions to polo and a newcomer course for half a term which opens the way for players to join the Lent and Summer Term group should they wish to continue. Newcomers should have some riding experience and be happy in walk, trot and canter before they begin this discipline. More experienced and returning players train together for an afternoon once a week and tuition is tailored to suit all levels.
From a small group, the school has produced a good level of core team players who have gone on to make their mark at university, national and a few at international level. Pupils are encouraged to appreciate and respect the ponies and their fellow teammates as we encourage a supportive learning environment.
Head of Polo
We are lucky to benefit from the excellent standard of coaching provided by Giles Ormerod at Druids Lodge Polo Club near Stonehenge where we take players by minibus each week. Druids and the Ormerod family have an international reputation.
Pupils joining polo have one lesson a week which is charged on a monthly basis or via the end-of-term bill. Well-trained ponies are provided by the club along with all the necessary equipment. The size of the group is limited to take full advantage of the Hurlingham Polo Association (HPA) teaching. There is a good-sized outdoor arena with floodlights and the four generous grass polo fields have an idyllic setting looking towards Stonehenge.
All advanced players are encouraged and usually expected to play both the Lent and Summer Terms. Such practice is vital in order to form and develop the teams and to build valuable experience for Lent and Summer Term matches.
Druids is our home base but Marlborough travel away to matches and competitions that take place all over the country. We look to have at least one inter-school instructional match each term and play school match fixtures in both the Lent and Summer Terms that include Eton, Harrow, Millfield and Sherborne.
As members of the Schools and Universities Polo Association (SUPA), we play a full role in the SUPA National Schools Championships at every level and support the SUPA girls tournaments as well as playing matched players from school to university, including the military on occasion. A high point of the Summer Term is the Invitation Copenhagen Cup weekend at Guards where our players meet the most competitive, prestigious school-level opposition.
Our HPA coach is Giles Ormerod who, together with his sons Eden and Robin, provides a wealth of experience and structured teaching.