Ipswich: International polo, camel racing and more at Trinity Park

Hopkins International Polo will include camel racing

Hopkins International Polo will include camel racing - Credit: Archant

As well as some of the world’s finest polo players you’ll be able to enjoy some expert racing camels too when England take on Clogau Wales as Hopkins International Polo returns to Ipswich’s Trinity Park.

Hopkins International Polo will include camel racing

Hopkins International Polo will include camel racing - Credit: Archant

Trained and raced by Joseph Fossett, part of one of the oldest circus families which has trained all sorts of large animals from tigers to elephants, he and wife Rebecca abandoned plans to perform a lion act when she fell pregnant.

Looking for a less risky act, they settled on camels. Taking six-12 months to train the best age to race them is from four-years-old as their bones have developed and are nice and strong. Having flat leathery pads instead of hooves they don’t churn up the turf as they reach speeds of 10-20mph.

Six camels will race, but will they be faster than the horses during the June 29 event?

Gates open at 10am with the medium goal patrons cup teams going head to head at 11.30am. To increase the audience’s understanding of the game, which is played at an average 20-30 miles an hour, players will give an on-pitch demo of some of the rules and methods of play with commentary.

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The first camel racing starts at 12.30pm before the Home International test match at 2.30pm, followed by the young players challenge cup featuring the debut of the Trinity Park team versus a young four from Stowe School. There will then be more camel racing and music for all in the members’ enclosure.

“It’s going to be an exciting day and one full of fun and surprises,” said Peter Over, chairman of the Suffolk Agricultural Association’s business development committee, which stages the event.

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“The team from Wales had a busy season last year and is fired up to beat us, but England will be putting up a good strong opposition so visitors can expect to see the game played at its best.

“We are delighted Hurlingham Polo Association, the game’s governing board in the UK are once again backing us and giving their support. It’s the perfect way to give your family a great day out and all enjoy experiencing a sport you don’t see played often enough in Suffolk.”

Chef d’Equip of the Welsh team, and Wales Polo Association, Harry Legge-Bourke added: “The Clogau Wales Polo Team are delighted to have been invited to play at this years’ Suffolk Polo Tournament and cannot thank the organisers enough for allowing us to showcase the team and the Principality. The team, although established only recently, has set some very high standards and impressive results against many international sides - most recently nailbiting matches against our old adversary England. We look forward to crossing the country and providing some serious sport for all spectators.”

Adult admission is £10 and public grandstand tickets, which must be ordered in advance, are £10 each. Admission for 15-18 year olds is £5 and 14s and under go free. For more ticket options and information, visit www.internationalpolo.co.uk

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