The Beaufort Polo Club
Polo is the oldest ball sport in the world dating back to 600 BC. The word is derived from the “pulu”, the willow root from which the polo balls were crafted in Tibet over 2000 years ago. The sport gradually spread through Asia to India, where it was introduced to tea planters and British soldiers, who brought the game to England. The first match was played in the UK in 1871 between the 9th lancers and 10th Hussars. One of the players in this match was Captain Frank Henry who started the Beaufort Polo Club in 1872.
A Brief History of the Club
The Beaufort Polo Club, though in it’s present form only nineteen years old, is really a revival of a hunt polo club which must have been one of the first if not the first, of the country polo clubs. The old Club was inaugurated in 1872 by Colonel Frank Henry, who had just returned from the ninth Lancers, which was the regiment responsible for bringing the sport of polo to England, and had, just three years previously played the historic polo match against the 10 hussars.
The present Club was formed during the Winter of 1928-1929 by a few members of the Beaufort Hunt under the presidency of the Duke of Beaufort. An ideal site was found in the Big Field at Norton, between Malmesbury and Hullavington on the Pinkney Estate.
The Beaufort Polo Club as it is known now is a small friendly polo club set alongside the Westonbirt Arboretum in one of the most beautiful parts of England. The serenity and tranquillity of the surrounding Cotswold countryside are in complete contrast to the speed and energy of the sport of polo. It is simply one of the most exciting games in the World for player and spectator.
Simon and Claire Tomlinson revived The Beaufort Polo Club with two main objectives: to encourage young players to learn and improve their game; and to provide first class polo facilities for players and spectators alike.
The Club now hosts polo at the very highest standard including the Argentine Club Cup, which provides the highest standard of tournament polo in Europe; and the Williams de Broe Test Match which will see England take on New Zealand.
Beaufort Polo Club Facilities
The Club has 7 boarded polo grounds, a number of stick and ball areas, a polo pit and indoor riding school. The grounds are free draining and playable in the very wettest conditions.
The Clubhouse has comfortable changing rooms and a relaxed bar area where players and members can relax.
The Club offers full livery, stabling and schooling as well as the opportunity for riders to hire ponies for lessons, chukkas and even tournaments. Courses are run for the Pony Club and schools and as soon as possible children are integrated into adult polo.
Riding and polo tuition from Hurlingham Polo Association Approved coaches is available thoughout the year for anyone wanting to learn or improve their skills.
For more information on playing membership and coaching see our Membership section.
From May until September matches are played every weekend and on some week days. Members of the public are welcome to all matches - the dates and times of events can be seen on our fixture list and can be confirmed by phoning the Polo Office on 01666 880 510.
The Club house is open for refreshments to members on Wednesdays, between 4pm and 9pm, and at weekends between 10am and 6pm approximatley. For non-members, a day membership may be purchased in advance of the event. Please check in advance to avoid disappointment.