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Bloxham crowned national arena polo champions 2010


Bloxham School has won the 2010 Division One National Senior Schools Arena Polo Championships after an exciting day of polo involving the top 16 polo playing schools in England, played at Longdole near Cheltenham this month.

The 16 were divided into two ranked divisions of eight. Rugby School, who Bloxham share facilities and coaches with at the Rugby Polo Club, were the winners of the second division beating Stowe comprehensively in the final.

Bloxham’s final warm-up match had been against Rugby on Thursday and it was apparent that the match had done both teams a great deal of good.

Bloxham were ranked in Division One along with Milton Abbey, Millfield, Harrow, Cheltenham College, Uppingham, Wellington, and Marlborough.

Milton Abbey were their first opponents but Bloxham proved far too strong and scored freely to record a 6-0 victory over a fancied opponent. Millfield had beaten Uppingham to become their semi-final opponent and again Bloxham set the pace and ran up a 3-0 lead that might have been extended before Millfield launched a strong come back scoring twice and giving the Bloxham contingent some concerns. They hung on however to book a place in the final where Marlborough lay in wait.
The final started badly for Bloxham and they were one down within 20 seconds. It took the team some time to recover from that start but they came back strongly and lead 2-1 going into the closing stages of the first chukka but conceded an equaliser. Fresh ponies and a better start in the second chukka saw Bloxham move ahead with two goals in quick succession. Some great marking and determined riding saw them run out winners to claim a title that has been out of their possession since 1998.

The Bloxham team was made up of Robin Spicer, Charlie Aprahamian and Thomas Falkingham. Robin was the popular choice as MVP at the event and he received great support from both Charlie and Tom who made some superb interceptions, breaks and goals of their own. “I am really proud of the Bloxham team and what we have achieved. With two thirds of the team available next year I hope that polo at Bloxham will go from strength to strength. We need now to focus on the outdoor, 4 a side, version of the game but with confidence boosted by the National Arena title and with the great coaching we get from Rugby Polo Club, we hope to be competitive," commented Robin Spicer, Bloxham Team Captain

The Teams would like to give special thanks to Glynn Henderson, their coach at Rugby Polo Club and Old Bloxhamist Phil Baker the club owner and co-coach. Given that Glynn coaches both schools you could say that he did the double! Both teams benefit hugely from Glynn's great knowledge, encouragement and no - nonsense approach to the sport and are grateful to him, to Phil and to all at Rugby Polo Club for their help and encouragement throughout.
Pictured are
Schools & University Polo Association (SUPA) Chairman Charles Betz with the Bloxham team after the presentations.