independent

Wednesday 16 August 2017

Ireland win thrilling encounter

The game in progress
The game in progress
Joe Keeling and Róisín Corkery
Margot and Lara Bearpark
Annalise and Emer Morrin
Mary and Eamonn Laverty

A weekend of international polo took place at Polo Wicklow where Ireland took on the USA for what was a closely contested tournament.

On Friday, April 28, a practice game took place at the Kilpoole Hill venue, giving the USA team a chance to shake off their jet lag and give some of the more novice Irish players a chance to play the USA team.

The Irish team consisted of Michael Herbst, Sean Reynolds, Marco Herbst and Elaine Rice while the USA team were joined by Sophia De Angelis, the 11-year-old daughter of Jim De Angelis. This match ended up a draw.

On Saturday, April 29, a very fast game took place, with Robert Patton, Fred Sheehan and Francisco Acosta taking to the arena for Ireland against the USA team of Liz Braboy (substituted for one chukka by Eileen Flint), Jim De Angelis and Branden Van Loon.

The USA team held the Irish team close but were unable to break away with the game ending once again in a draw.

There was all to play for on the Sunday as Ireland's team of Siobhan Herbst, Colm Kelleher and Caroline Keeling started out in full force. The game remained equal up until the last chukka where the team play from the Irish overtook the USA team winning by four goals.

Prior to the match, 50 guests enjoyed a fabulous lunch, catered by Tinakilly House Hotel, in the luxury of the Polo Wicklow Clubhouse while enjoying the beautiful Harp music from Fiona Gryson. After lunch, guests were able to watch the match from the clubhouse balcony.

Polo Wicklow was established by Michael Herbst in 1993 with a dream to play polo all year round and invite International players to come and play.

The USA team have been coming from the very beginning, led by Eileen Flint who was head of the polo programme in Yale University. Since then they have returned every winter to battle out three Irish teams over a weekend. Ireland, in return, sends a team to the USA every July to compete in the Newport International Series.

And it was an extra special weekend for Eileen Flint as on the Friday, she received her citizenship of Ireland.

Wicklow People

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