Victory for IG HAC at The AGC Cup


Bank Holiday Monday. Sun soaked Tidworth Polo Club. Four brave men of The Honourable Artillery Company. The stage was set… The sixth annual AGC Polo Cup was held in the beautiful grounds of Tidworth Polo Club and saw #4 Sgt Tim Johnson (0), #3 Capt Ben Loxton Edwards (-2), #2 Cpl Dale Langan (-2) and #1 Tpr Cain Hayward-Hughes (-2) take to the field.

IG HAC Polo Team Line-up

Having been narrowly beaten out the previous year by the mighty Royal Navy Team, the HAC were positively charged with the glory of keeping their season’s undefeated winning streak alive. The excitement was palpable.

The weather couldn’t have been better – bright sunshine and a gentle breeze. With three big games to play the HAC were first pitched against The Royal Air Force.


The HAC started a goal behind on account of Sgt Johnson being so darn good at polo. They fought hard and secured an early lead. The team pulled together as a unit and executed some spectacular set pieces. The RAF team battled back and marked their men closely, when one HAC horse moved an RAF horse was right on its tail. Cpt Loxton Edwards smashed a cracking back-hander to further press home the HAC advantage and with only seconds remaining the RAF mounted a fierce last ditch press for glory - alas the gods were not in their favour with a number of their shots sliding narrowly wide and the HAC came out the victors.

A quick debrief, team talk, squirt of water and pony change – the HAC were again mounted and back on the field.

Facing the Royal Logistics Corps the HAC had no time to warm up their ponies. For one Tpr this was a problem. The game started quickly with Sgt Johnson scoring two quick goals. The RLC pieced together some hard ride-offs to bring the fight against the HAC. Tpr Hayward-Hughes struggled to control his pony coming out of a gallop and found himself staring up at the hind-legs. Bruised but not broken he was quickly back on and back in the game. Capt Loxton Edwards headed a high ball to keep the line and lay-up for a quick drive towards the goal.

The minutes flew by and the HAC were again victorious. A hard won game indeed. We were in the final.

Glad of a three chukka respite the HAC team loaded up on scones, ginger beer and hearty back slaps. The clock seemed to tick at a record pace and the team was again mounted. The HAC were to face The Royal Artillery in a two chukka showdown.

An experienced team the RA boasted a Col, two Capt and a 2Lt. A -7 team. This would be close. Sgt Johnson rallied his troops at the line-up. HAC supporters cheered on at the sides. Dogs chased errant polo balls.

The anticipation, excitement and hunger for victory was etched in to each and every players face.

A quick ball in from the umpire and the game took off at break neck speed. Sgt Johnson gaining the advantage over his opposite Capt, Cpl Langan riding off the 2Lt, Cpt Loxton Edwards marking his Cpt and Tpr Hayward-Hughes bringing up the rear knee-to-knee with the Col. The opening gambit was intense.

The HAC took an early goal and settled into its rhythm. Shouts of ‘Come on HAC!’ spurred the team forward. Moving as one the HAC drew out the RA and rode them off at every opportunity. The RA responded in kind. Breaking away, they galloped clear and went straight for goal.

The powerful combination of Capt Loxton Edwards and Cpl Langan saw the line of play reverse. The HAC were pressing for the lead. A lay-up to Sgt Johnson. A chance of goal. Just wide.

Undeterred the HAC gathered themselves. The dying minutes of the first chukka of the final. Everything to play for. A sprint from Sgt. Johnson. A goal!

A whistle. The final chukka. Victory was firmly in our sights.

The RA gave no quarter. No man left unflanked. The riding was hard. The ball quick. The HAC gunning for silverware. The 7 ½ minutes went in the blink of an eye. Ponies charging up and down the length of the field. Long plays, set pieces, lay-ups. Everything was thrown in to the mix. Both teams fought valiantly.

A lone bell rang out across the grass and it was game over: Final score HAC 3  - RA 0.5

To the victors – the spoils. A Cup and an undefeated winning season. The 105 Cup now looms large on the horizon...

Victorious IG HAC Polo Team

With special thanks to Capt Janet Johnson and Capt Mariane Van Straaten for organizing a brilliant day and tournament.

IG HAC Polo Team Training Camp at Rugby Polo Club

The 2013 polo training camp saw the HAC return once more to Rugby Polo Club in Northamptonshire. Phil Baker re-established Rugby Polo Club in 2000 and was our coach for the weekend; he had previously played Pony Club polo with Tpr Luke Hartley, although there was some confusion over this fact due to the more advanced hair style that Tpr Hartley has taken to wearing of late. For three members of the team the day started on the nose of 1000 on Monday morning; regrettably, the talismanic figure of Sgt Tim Johnson was absent for much of the first session after being held up between his house in Clapham and the M1 motorway by the unexpected presence of London. Not one to be put off easily he pushed on, arriving midway through the first stick and ball of the day. While Phil admired some of the more idiosyncratic elements of the HAC style he felt that a focus on timing and smooth strokes would be beneficial, and after working us through a number of exercises we were all hitting the ball with improved fluency. LCpl Gearoid O'Connor was particularly impressive that afternoon, consuming twice the number of lunches that anyone else managed over the course of the day. Phil very kindly invited us to join club members at the leaving BBQ for Katie, a Rugby Polo Club groom who has looked after the HAC during a number of matches in the past. After some excellent food and a few drinks we retired back to the Toft House bed and breakfast so as to be well rested for the following day's play.

Fortunately the weather held and we were greeted once more with brilliant sunshine. Sgt Tim Johnson surprised everyone at breakfast by espousing his theories on the socio-economic benefits associated with increased Romanian immigration. After digesting this information the team mounted up to focus on tactical match play and positioning, both during open play and in set pieces. This developed into a practise match in which we attempted to execute everything we had been taught over the previous two days, no easy feat given the depth of content that Phil had covered.

A huge thanks to Rugby Polo Club and to Phil Baker for an excellent two days of polo. We all thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to coming back to Rugby Polo Club again soon.

IG HAC vs Royal Artillery - The Sabre Cup returns to Finsbury barracks!

It was a sweltering day with the mercury hitting 32 degrees as these two familiar teams lined up at Fifield Polo Club, Windsor. The crowd sought shelter under gazebos armed with iced Pimms ready to watch battle commence. Starting as underdogs with a half point handicap, IG HAC quickly gained possession and charged down the Royal Artillery team's goal. A 30 yard penalty followed which LCpl Ben De Rivaz slotted home with his usual calm finishing. Back to the centre and this time it was the RA's turn. A quick pick up and long shot up the pitch left the HAC team in their wake as the RA knocked home their response within one minute. The game found its pace now as some excellent paired marking went end-to-end. Finally a long shot up the pitch from Tpr Luke Hartley found LCpl O'Connor who smoothly picked it up from 60 yards out and drove it through the centre of the goal with a delightful lofted finish to close the chukka at 2.5 goals to 1.

The HAC had their tails up now and the second chukka started with a 60 yard penalty. Again De Rivaz calmly wound up to put it in to make the score 3.5 goals to 1. The RA were far from beaten though as they responded aggressively. Some excellent riding off left two of the HAC standing as they closed the gap to 3.5 to 2. A cheeky pass to the centre from Tpr Clark on his HAC debut found O'Connor and with some frantic goal mouth chipping he kept his head well and completed to give the HAC a comfortable 4.5 to 2 lead going into half-time. The pause was a welcome relief as iced drinks were quaffed and ponies sprayed down in the sweltering heat.

The HAC seemed to lose a little form in the third chukka with the Royal Artillery team punishing them as wave after wave of attacks on the goal were seen off by the relentless backhands of Hartley and De Rivaz. Eventually a chink in the armour was found and well deserved goal from the RA put them within striking distance for the final chukka. 4.5 goals to 3.

Weary ponies and players rode out and soon found their final push as some nail biting end-to-end plays unfolded in flat a gallop. Both teams threw everything they had at it with a skilfully finished goal for De Rivaz completing his hat-trick for the day, followed shortly with a response from the RA. As the final chukka bell rang out, IG HAC rode in victorious as holders of the Sabre Cup for 2013.

Final score: IG HAC 5.5 - Royal Artillery 4

Grants Whisky Agree HAC Polo Sponsorship deal


HAC Polo is delighted to announce that Grant's Whisky have agreed to be HAC Polo's Gold sponsor for the 2013 season. The deal which had been agreed in principal in March was approved by the HAC Court of Assistants on the 25th of June 2013. It involves a significant four figure sum plus product. The main facets of the deal will see the shirts carry the new Grant's Whisky logo on all regimental squad shirts and jackets. It also involves product for the use as prizes at HAC Polo hosted events as well as presence on promotional material such as the match program for the IG HAC Polo Cup on Saturday 31 August 2013.

HAC Polo would like to thank Grant's Whisky for their confidence and support and look forward to a long and fruitful relationship. We would also like to thank Col Simon Ledger, Col Simon Goldstein and Maj Goodinson for their assistance in ensuring this agreement was signed.

Inaugural IG HAC Veterans v Royal Artillery


The inaugural IG HAC Veterans v Royal Artillery Polo match took place at Kirtlington Park Polo Club on Saturday 22nd June. The -5 HAC line-up was as follows: 1) Ben Loxton-Edwards 2) Justin Roberts/Stuart Atkinson 3) Marcus Vivian de La Pendrosa 4) Mark Selway

On arrival the Gunners were a little surprised to see Selway's (ex 1SQN) limousine parked next to the Club house.

For a moment, they wondered if they had stumbled across the Serbian mafia. They were reassured by the realisation that limos are standard issue at the HAC.

The exuberant and partisan crowd delighted in the opening salvos as IG HAC V got off to a flying start. Selway weaved through the hapless Gunners to score within the first 30 seconds.

Two more goals followed in quick succession. IG HAC V were on the rampage and seemingly unstoppable. By the close of the 1st chukka HAC V were leading 3 goals to 0.

A valiant fight back by the unfazed and experienced RA team saw them claw back two goals in the 2nd chukka. HAC V responded and then it was neck and neck through the 3rd chukka.

Marcos Vivian de La Pendrosa (ex HQ) stayed on his horse for the whole of the 3rd chukka. He even displayed some of the old panache with a brilliant individual effort. Unfortunately his final shot missed the goal by an inch.

As the match drew to a close the RA started to show more consistency and their attacks gathered momentum. For a brief and horrifying moment the RA went ahead 5 goals to 4.

A penalty saw HAC V equalise at 5:5 and the final whistle went.

A fierce match had been fought leaving honours even.

We would like to thank Pete Fewster and Jen Liggins from KPPC who supported us in hosting the match.

Narrow Victory for IG HAC over Grenadier Guards


The annual match for the prestigious William IV Cup was the HAC’s first visit to the wonderful facilities at Dallas Burston near Leamington Spa.  This was an exhibition match as part of a Ladies Day Charity fundraising event in aid of cancer.  As ever the HAC took on their great rivals the Grenadier Guards in what has historically been one of the most eagerly awaited confrontations in the army polo calendar.  To face a rather formidable looking Grenadier team on paper the HAC brought out its big guns, Sgt Tim Johnson (0) and the slightly smaller but no less effective Cpl Ben de Rivaz (0) and joined by the reliable duo of Cpl Gearoid O’Connor (-2) and LSgt Alasdair Grant (-2). The HAC started with a 1.5 goal handicap lead and fought ferociously to keep ahead.  Ben de Rivaz seemed to have more luck with his penalties than the Grenadiers who seemed to have some trouble aiming between the posts perhaps the forceful Westerly blowing was a factor.  In fact Ben’s only missed penalty was an incredible goal saved from fellow teammate Alasdair Grant. Solid play from Maj Ben Marshall and Lt. Col Howard Flood helped and break a number of HAC attacks. With initial dominance going towards the HAC team the Grenadiers soon settled into the game and clawed back to within a half goal margin. This put the HAC under some pressure and fouls were conceded but thankfully none too near the goal mouth to punish teh HAC too dearly.

This was very much a fight to the death with no shortage of incidents including; stirrups coming off, broken mallets (Both Sgt Johnson and Captain Kuku managed to decapitated their mallets during play) and Captain Kuku’s incredible rugby tackle of his own goal post was a manouevre not often seen.   However after yet another goal by young de Rivaz, LSgt Grant decided there was time for a short lie down in the middle of the pitch to catch a breath before the final push.  With most of the HAC team oblivious to how close the match really was due to some interesting scoreboard antics, they managed to hold onto the lead to the end for a great HAC victory 4.5 goals to 4!

HAC Veterans v Grenadier Guards Veterans, 15th June 2013, Carlitos Polo Club

The weekend saw the newly created HAC Veterans team play their first ever match against the Grenadier Guards Veterans. Playing against an experienced -3 handicap Guards team were no.1 Ben Loxton-Edwards (-2), no.2 Justin Roberts (-2), no.3 Stuart Atkinson (-2) and no.4 Marcos Vivian (-1).

The glorious British summer was in full force with driving rain up to 30 minutes before the start of the match as the HAC team agreed a defensive strategy against the strong Guards team. Justin Roberts playing in his first ever match seemed more perturbed by how much his new helmet had cost him.

The weather gods relented and the match commenced in fine sunshine with a 2.5 goal handicap advantage to the HAC. The first two chukkas were a closely fought affair with the HAC defensive strategy preventing any score by the Guards team.

The third chukka saw the experience of the Guards team come to the fore and the Guards made the breakthrough with some well taken penalties by Nick Swift and strong play to score 3 goals.

The final chukka saw 2 further goals for the Guards against some valiant defending from the HAC to end the match with the final score HAC V 2.5 - Grenadier Guards V 5.

Thanks must go to Kim and her team at Carlitos Polo club for a fabulous Argentinian barbecue after the match for the players and their guests.

William IV Cup line-up confirmed


Dallas Burston Polo Club House

IG HAC Vs The Grenadier Guards

In 1830 King William IV ordered that the HAC should regard itself as his personal guard in the City of London much as the Grenadier Guards were when he was at other locations. He decreed the units should co-operate closely and that the HAC should base its uniform on that of the Grenadier Guards. The annual William IV Cup honours the deep ties between these two historic units. This year the event will take place on Sunday 23rd June at Dallas Burston Polo Club as part of its annual Ladies Day. The event will be in aid of a military charity.

The incredibly fashionable DBPC Ladies Day will see society's finest  donning the most spectacular hats in the County. This is an event for every self-professed fashionista on the land to attend!  Tickets can be bought directly through Ticket Factory, please click here

Non ticket holders can still enjoy the polo action and shopping pavilion free of charge, simply bring your own picnic, pre-order one from the club to be ready for your arrival or you can purchase food around the ground on the day.  Bring your own picnic blanket or chairs and you and your friends can enjoy a wonderful day out for free! Contact the club for details on ordering picnics.

IG HAC – Team Colours: Maroon


1. LCpl Gearoid O'Connor  -2

2. Tpr Luke Hartley -1

3. LCpl Ben de Rivaz 0

4. Sgt Tim Johnson 0

Grenadier Guards –Team colours: blue and red quarters.


1. Lt Col (rtd) Howard Flood -1

2. Capt Folarin Kuku 0

3. Mr Tayo Awogboro 0

4. Maj (rtd) Ben Marshall 0

Cholderton Cup, 25th - 26th May 2013, Tidworth Polo Club


The Bank Holiday weekend presented an exciting opportunity for HAC Bullecourt stalwart Cpl Dale Langan to play for the Hackett Army Polo Team. Playing in Sunday's final match of the Cholderton Cup against the Royal Navy, Cpl Langan (-2) took up the #2 mantle and joined #1 Capt Dan Von Barloewen (-2), #3 Capt Robert Freeman-Kerr (1) and #4 Maj Matt Eyre-Brook (1). British Army Polo Team

The match commenced in glorious sunshine with a 0.5 goal handicap advantage to the Navy and was a closely fought affair. The Army team quickly took the lead with an early goal but were reined in by some tenacious play by the Navy. Both sides found the unique Tidworth rule a challenge - i.e. plus handicap players were not allowed to score if their team had the goal advantage.

The final minutes of the match found the Hackett Army Polo team once again in the lead at 3 goals to 2.5. However, a foul by the Army in the closing seconds of the match presented the Navy with a final chance at goal. With a penalty 4 given, the ball was set up 60 yards from the goal. Both teams positioned their players in anticipation of the strike but the Army found victory snatched from them as the lofted shot cleared their heads and dropped in to the goal.

Cpl Langan said,

"it was an honour to represent the Hackett Army Polo Team and especially playing against the Navy. Special thanks must go to Jax and her team for providing ponies for the match."

Final score: Royal Navy 3.5 - Hackett Army 3

IG confirm third year as main polo team sponsor


HAC Polo is delighted to announce that we have agreed a third year of partnership with our main sponsor - IG Group. The contracts which were recently exchanged represent the commitment of IG to continue to support military polo. The sponsorship was announced at HAC Polo's start of season launch held in the Prince Consort Room of Armoury House. The launch saw the unveiling of the 2013 season kit with the new IG logo. IG and HAC continue to grow their partnership. 2013 sees the first season of a third IG HAC Polo team - IG HAC V or Veterans team. IG have also increased their sponsorship by 25% on the 2012 season. HAC Polo chairman - Gearoid O'Connor stated;

"The fact that IG have agreed to support HAC Polo for a third year is a real endorsement of the success of the partnership between IG and the British Army's most dynamic polo team. It has been a partnership that has grown year on year and we hope it will continue to ensure those who serve in the HAC continue to gain access to affordable polo"

RAF Cranwell starts the 2013 polo season

The Polo Teams of Martyn Bebbington Memorial Trophy Tournament on the Steps of Cranwell College The 2013 polo season is finally underway and the IG HAC team took on a number of teams in what is now hopefully an annual fixture for the HAC. The RAF tournament has been an excellent way to shake off the winter cob webs and this year was no exception. The IG HAC team fielded were:

1. Col. Simon Goldstein (-2) 2. LSgt Alasdair Grant (-2) 3. Lt Christian Roberts (-1) 4. LCpl Gearoid O'Connor (-2)

IG HAC (1 .5) Vs (2) Hackett Army

Saturday afternoon saw the first of the IG HAC's matches against a Hackett Army development team fresh back from a three week polo camp in South America. The match was played in fantastic good humour and competitiveness. Despite the lack of previous play together the HAC held off the Army and disrupted their play. The first chukka saw the team grow in confidence but marking remained loose. This loose marking led to the Army development team take the to half a goal somewhat exasperatingly when a good defensive interception saw the ball unluckily come off a HAC ponies hoof  and slide through the goals. LSgt Grant then recaptured the lead for the IG HAC when the team broke down the right hand side and LSgt Grant was able to slice a neck shot at a tight angle from 6oyds. The second chukka saw our Col Goldstein's pony get a tad excited and a swift swipe of its head connecting with the Colonels face saw an unauthorised dismount and blood on the grass. A quick substitution for the final two minutes saw the HAC cling narrowly to a lead of half a goal. This would be stolen in the cruellest of fashions when the ball was intercepted and the army development team broke for the HAC's goal. With just 2 seconds to spare from the full time buzzer the Army snatched victory from defeat.

IG HAC (1.5) Vs (8) Rutland

The IG HAC team then faced its stiffest challenge. Rutland were winners of the tournament in the previous two years and were aiming to complete a triple. With a generous handicapping they were a formidable team. Despite one of the largest defeats in IG HAC's history the team actually managed to mark reasonably well and disrupt the Rutland attacks. Lt Christian Roberts helped launch a number of breaks although one may have been momentarily in the wrong direction it was impressive nonetheless. Where IG HAC fell foul was quiet literally on the fouling. The conceding of multiple spot penalties in front of goal were to cost the HAC dearly.

The Saturday evening saw a group of about 90 guests dine in College Hall. The HAC squad were joined by Col. Robert Murphy and Mrs Murphy for the black tie dinner, the Colonel having turned up earlier in the day to watch the HAC’s matches.

IG HAC (4.5) Vs (8) Army Reserves

The tale of conceding fouls was to continue apace in the Army Reserves match with Maj. Ben Marshall steadily converting a number of 30yd penalties to punish the HAC team. The first two chukkas saw the IG HAC settle into the match and despite a 5.5 goal difference going into the third chukka the IG HAC managed to close it to 2.5 in the space of three minutes with a penalty converted ably by Lt Christian Roberts and a break by LCpl O’Connor which saw a goal. The possibility of a comeback was momentarily considered and the pace of the match stepped up accordingly. The ride offs were aggressive but balanced. The game opened up and the cheers from the stalwart crowd encouraged the IG HAC on as the underdogs. Alas the IG HAC team dream of a comeback were dashed by a final goal from Maj. Marshall.

Our thanks to the newly fledged RAF Polo Club for hosting us we hope to return next year.

Mount! Start up! HAC Polo Taster Days 2013

Mount, Start up. Polo Taster Day One of the stated aims of HAC polo is to encourage people to take up the sport of polo. In order to help people decide if polo is for them (we're biased but we think its unmatched as a sport!) we run a series of taster days. Its a chance to learn what the sport entails, what it takes to learn the sport, the kit and any costs involved. In an environment amongst other people who are in a similar position.

Any members of the regiment, company or saddle club can speak to the instructors about the courses offered. Of course, it wouldn't be  a taster if you ultimately didn't try your hand at it. So there will be a quick introduction to the basics of the sport including the key rules, the swing and the ride off. The day ends with everyone getting on a polo pony and learning how its controlled and gently trying out some of the swings. No previous riding experience is required. Snacks and refreshments are served to keep you energised.

Our Taster sessions are hosted under the watchful and friendly eye of Hon Georgiana Crofton at Fifield Polo Club, Windsor - the Home of HAC Polo.

Georgiana Crofton - HAC Polo's Instructor

So why not gather some friends and spend a day out in the country trying out the unique sport of polo. Our Summer Season Taster Days are as follows:

  • Saturday 20th April
  • Sunday 21st April
  • Saturday 27th April
  • Sunday 28th April
  • Saturday 28th September
  • Sunday 29th September
  • Saturday 5th October
  • Sunday 6th October

How much does a taster day cost?

Regimental: £75 Company and Saddle Club: £85 Prices inclusive of snacks and refreshment.

Book your place now, simply Contact Us