Can England take the honours in 10th anniversary Test Match?
The teams have been named for the Bryan Morrison Trophy, the international Arena Polo Test Match held annually at Hickstead, with England taking on the USA on Saturday 3 March.
(c) ImagesofPolo.com / Tony Ramirez
It will be the fifth time the teams have met at the All England Polo Club, having previously clashed in 2009, 2012, 2014 and 2016. England has won all but one of those fixtures, with 10-goaler Tommy Biddle leading the USA team to victory in 2014.
The mighty Biddle is on the sidelines for this year’s encounter, however, as he has sustained a bicep injury. Instead he is coaching the American trio of 8-goaler Pelon Escapite (Captain), Shane Rice (7-goals) and Tommy Collingwood (6-goals).
Chris Hyde makes a welcome return to Hickstead after a year’s absence from the Test Match. The 9-goaler will captain the Flannels-sponsored England side, with Sebastian Dawnay (7-goals) and Eden Ormerod (6-goals) completing the line-up and Tom Morley acting as coach.
“The Bryan Morrison Trophy is set to be another thriller, and we’re delighted to be the Hurlingham Polo Association’s venue of choice for their 10th annual international test match,” said AEPC Chairman John Bunn. “We’re very grateful to our sponsors for their support of this fixture, including Flannels for their support of the England team and Playnation, who are sponsoring the US team.”
The International Test Match for the Bryan Morrison Trophy will be preceded by the 12-goal challenge match between Simon Arber’s 4 Quarters team and the AEPC Hickstead team, which gets underway at 11.30am.
Admission costs just £5 with free parking, giving polo fans the chance to watch two games for a very affordable price. Arena Polo forms a superb introduction to the sport, with games played on a much smaller pitch, with three team members instead of four, and teams do not change ends after every goal, making it much easier to follow. With shots played off the boarded sides of the arena, new skills and tactics come into play, making for fast and furious action.
The Polo Clubhouse will be open from 10.30am onwards, serving a range of food and drinks and providing the perfect vantage point for the match. Following the Test Match, the traditional post-match luncheon will take place in the Beethoven Suite, which overlooks Hickstead’s famous International Arena. Tickets cost £49.50 each.