Rutland Polo Club Cups

Even though Rutland is pleasantly tucked away in the heart of rural England we are proud of our trophies and the competitive spirit which prevails during our tournaments. We are most grateful for our benefactors generosity and are pleased to recount the details of some of them. Those not mentioned are only omitted through lack of space but are equally cherished.

THE ASSAM CUP

Shortly after the formation of the cub, the first trophy now known as the Assam Cup was acquired. The cup has interesting history being a large and splendid example of Victorian silver, originally commissioned as a challenge cup by a club located in the Assam area of India. Polo continued to be played there for many years. After the Second World War, Mr Ian Leetham organised a team which won the cup for three years in succession. Then unfortunately polo ceased, so when returning to this country, he brought the cup with him, offering it to the Hurlingham Polo Association. The then secretary of the H.P.A. Col Alec Harper, knowing that Rutland had been formed only recently, suggested that the Club might have the cup and put us in touch with Mr. Leetham. Col. A.P.Gilks recalls collecting the cup from the home counties.
Mr. and Mrs. Leetham took a great interest in Rutland Polo although Mr. Leetham was unable to play owing to a polo injury sustained in India; Mrs. Leetham played with us occasionally for a few years. They both came to Rutland regularly to see the Assam Cup Tournament and to present the trophy up to Mrs. Leetham's sadly premature death in the early 1990's. Ian Leetham's interest continues and we hope t o enjoy his support over many years to come. Recently Ian sent the secretary a letter confirming that he wished the club to retain the possession of the cup indefinitely.
 

THE RUTLAND CUP

Peter Harvey was a keen playing member of Rutland in the early 1970's. He presented a handsome silver cup as a challenge trophy. We christened it the Rutland Cup which is played for annually in a 0 to 4 goal tournament. We are pleased that the Peter Harvey is usually able to join us on the finals day to present the cup.
 

THE SPRING CUP

Again in the 1970’s John Tinsley gave us a silver cup to be competed for each year as a challenge trophy. John remains a very active member of the Club, both as a player and Treasurer. Additionally he is an H.P.A. Steward, and Chairman of the National Handicap Committee.
 

THE SEAVILL BOWL

Colin Seavill was an early member of the Club. He and his three sons played at Rutland for a number of years starting during the mid 1970's. He served as Hon. Secretary for a considerable time. Later he and his family moved to the Cowdray area where there were of course better opportunities for two of his sons who became polo professionals, and where Colin had inherited a family home. Soon after he left Rutland he presented a handsome silver Rose Bowl which is used as the main Challenge Trophy at the annual 6 goal tournament and known as the Seavill Bowl.
 

THE BRONZE HORSE TROPHY AND THE FINDLAY CUP

The first Club President was Col. Sir Rowland Findlay, BART, who died while still in office in 1980. As a memorial to him, the Club with most generous help from Lady Findlay, acquired a fine bronze statue of a polo player in action. The Bronze Horse Trophy is played for annually. Lady Findlay also gave the Club a small silver, a miniature replica of the English Inter-Regimental Challenge Cup which Sir Rowland won as a member of the Scotts Greys team in 1937. The Findlay Cup is the main trophy for one of the Club's internal competitions annually.
 

THE CORINTHIAN TROPHY

Using a legacy left to the club by its second president Col. Stephen Eve, who died in 1988, we were able to have made a fine trophy in the shape of a Hussar Busby commemorating Stephens long service in the Queens own Hussars. Known to us as the Corinthian Trophy, it is a challenge cup for the All Amateur competition usually held during August of each year.
 
Ruddles Cup

THE RUDDLES CUP

For a good many years the Club ran a low goal tournament towards the end of each season with the assistance initially of the Cambridge University players who were then using Rutland as their base. This tournament became very popular and received considerable sponsorship from Ruddles Brewery, primarily through the influence of Tony Ruddle. Sadly Cambridge University moved to the Cambridge and Newmarket Club which set up much nearer to the University. However, the tournament continues; before Tony Ruddle ceased to run the Brewery, he kindly arranged the presentation of a handsome challenge cup. This is now the main trophy for the 0 to 4 goal competition known as the Ruddles Tournament.
 

THE WILKINSON SWORD

Some years ago Messrs. Wilkinson presented us with a Ceremonial Sword to be a challenge trophy. It is displayed on a mahogany mount and always attracts a retinue of young boys when ever its on show. It is played for annually by teams from within the Club.
Wilkinson Sword
 

THE WHITBREAD CUP

The Whitbread Cup Tournament is an HPA competition which the association has authorized to be held at Rutland. The competition is open to all affiliated clubs. It aims to introduce young players to competitive polo and hence there is an age limit on at least three members of each team. The tournament was started by Col. Whitbread in the 1950's. The trophy is a magnificent silver tankard mounted on a plinth which lists all winning teams since the inception of the competition. The semi finals and finals of this competition are played in mid July. This trophy belongs to the HPA, and is not Club property.
 

THE MOBIL CUP

The Mobil Oil Company presented us with the cup in about 1980. In addition they generously provide sponsorship. We are pleased that they have taken an interest in our activities.
 
In order to provide further entertainment for both players and spectators, on tournament days we run a subsidiary match where again trophies are presented. These were kindly donated to the Club by members and others who enjoy Rutland Polo.


 

Club History

The nearest Polo Club to Rutland was established at Melton Mowbray in 1909, having been raised by Col. E. H. Baldock who had commanded The City of London Yeomanry “Sharp Shooters”. They first played near Sysonby Lodge and later at Brentingby.

After the First World War polo was played but the Club ceased to function in the 1930s. In 1971 Colonel Tony Gilks, Major Charlie Humfrey, Mike Seckington and other local enthusiasts started up the present Club which was recognised by the Hurlinghan Polo Association in 1972.

Play was originally at Luffenham Airfield and then moved to Cream Gorse and the Oakham Showground. On the 14th July 1984 the Club moved to ground at Langham owned by Mr. Ronnie Anker. Access was via the former Ruddles Brewery site by kind permission of Mr. Tony Ruddle. A new access from Burley Road was made in 2007 with kind permission of Mr Ronnie Anker.

In 1993 the Club gave up renting the Rutland Showground and made a second polo ground at Langham.

Rutland Tournaments have become very popular and many teams come from all over the country to compete in Major Tournaments.

Pony Club polo has been actively encouraged by the Club and teams based at Rutland have won Pony Club Championships at Cowdary Park. Many ex. Rutland Pony Club members are now medium and high goal players.

His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales has, on occasion, played at the Club and more recently, on the 26th May 2002, Prince Harry played at Rutland in the Eton V Uppingham schools Match.

In recent years, Rutland Polo Club has helped in raising standards of play and the grounds at Langham.

The Rutland Polo Club welcomes new members, both those who would like to learn to play polo and social members

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Contact Information

Email: secretary@rutlandpoloclub.co.uk
Telephone: N/A 2014
Mobile: 07870 212902

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Email: polomanager@rutlandpoloclub.co.uk
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