Ipswich: Hopkins International Polo at Trinity Park

Young England and Australia teams go head ot head in first international polo event in Suffolk in 20

Young England and Australia teams go head ot head in first international polo event in Suffolk in 2012 at Trinity Park, Ipswich - Credit: Archant

The SAA’s Business Development team, chaired by Peter Over, will stage the Hopkins International Polo on Saturday June 29. This is the second international polo event held at Trinity Park and a fantastic opportunity to bring the whole family for a fun, good value for money day out to see England play South America in this exhilarating sport played at the top level within our own county.

Rarely are internationals played outside of the home counties, but based on the success and standard of last year’s event, which drew crowds of 5000 plus, the Hurlingham Polo Association, the game’s governing body in the UK, has ratified the occasion. Rarely too can five people watch a game of polo costing £25 entry fee with parking between them!

James Hopkins of Hopkins Homes, has come in as the main sponsor and is determined to put the county on the map for international polo. His wife Selina is the joint chairman and a former amateur player.

The day comprises three matches all at different goal levels. At 11.30 the Patrons, amateurs who pay professionals to play with their teams, play the first match. Suffolk based James Craven will play with his Las Marias team.

Then it is time to support the young county players as an Ipswich side sponsored by David Overy-Owen at J M Finn comes head to head with the Newmarket team fielded by the Suffolk Polo Club and Jeremy Allen.


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Following a lunch break the big match starts at 2.30pm and will comprise five chukkas, each lasting seven minutes, with an interval for the crowds to go onto the pitch to trample in the divots – pieces of ground torn up by the horses’ hooves.

If you want to dress up, Picketts is sponsoring the prizes for the best dressed man and woman treading in the divots at half time. Expect to see horses racing at about 25 mph to the ball.

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SAA Members’ tickets for access to the enclosure with full pay bar and choice of hot foods are £35 each, £25 for SAA members, and include access to Grandstand seating. It is £5 to walk in and watch, £25 per car - find a friend with the biggest and fill it with family and friends and the picnic - or if you are celebrating or would like your own private space then a pitchside gazebo with table and chairs for 10, forward parking and Grandstand passes with access to the Members area and Members Grandstand seating costs £500 and will give you a real piece of the action.For information and to order tickets online visit www.internationalpolo.co.uk and follow on Facebook and Twitter.

People tend to think the game is difficult to understand but as Selina Tollemache Hopkins says,” there are two teams, two goals and the ball has to go in one of them!” Prolific international commentator Peter West will be on hand to explain all. This year a post polo party featuring The Flaming Cheeks band is open to all visitors from 5pm in the Members’ Enclosure.

Although you do need a good five figure sum to afford to play polo, whether you are an amateur or professional, you can enjoy the day according to your budget.

Sponsors include Hopkins Homes, Adnams, Archant, Binder, Brewin Dolphin, Bruisyard Hall, J M Finn, Lavenham Rugs, Pickett and Savills. Programmes will be available on the day priced £2.

SAA Members’ tickets for access to the enclosure with full pay bar and choice of hot foods are £35 each, £25 for SAA members, and include access to Grandstand seating.

It is £5 to walk in and watch, £25 per car - find a friend with the biggest and fill it with family and friends and the picnic - or if you are celebrating or would like your own private space then a pitchside gazebo with table and chairs for 10, forward parking and Grandstand passes with access to the Members area and Members Grandstand seating costs £500 and will give you a real piece of the action.

Picnics can be ordered in advance and there is a fully stocked bar as well as full catering facilities on site.

Gates open at 10.30am when the tradestands will be open for business. Grandstand spaces must be booked in advance and cannot be purchased on the day.

“This day is now a real annual fixture for Suffolk,” said Peter Over, joint chairman of the Business Development committee that has organised the event. “Games of this standard are usually only played at the big well-known polo venues in Berkshire, Gloucestershire and Surrey. We are really fortunate to have it at Trinity Park and are looking forward to another successful day.”

Sponsors of the event include Hopkins Homes, Adnams, Archant, Binder, Brewin Dolphin, Bruisyard Hall, J M Finn, Lavenham Rugs, Pickett and Savills. Programmes will be available on the day priced £2.

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