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Coutts Polo International – Chester

With Chester Polo club running it’s annual Coutts international polo competition, at Chester Racecourse, and having missed it last year, I took the opportunity to soak up some of the atmosphere (plus lots of sun too) this last weekend.

Polo is something I’ve always wanted to watch, but even when we lived down in Berkshire, just didn’t get around to doing something about it. So when a friend reminded me that it was on, I made sure that we made the time to pop along. The Coutts Polo International is the highest prize paying UK polo tournament, with a £10000 cheque for the winning team. Considering the cost of running just the one horse, let alone the four or more horses each rider generally runs in over a game, I’m sure the prize money helps but doesn’t go that far.

It turned out to be a great day, with the combination of a great picnic, the location and the weather all coming together brilliantly. I hope some of the shots can highlight what an aggressive and highly paced game polo really is. Even with the polo pitch being 300 yards in length, it was still real end to end stuff and you couldn’t really take your eye off play without fear of missing some of the action taking place.

Saturday was the finals, which involved the first game being run to determine third place and the big final later on in the afternoon. The final was won by the San Miguel team who led against the Gibro group for the vast majority of the game.

It was a great day and something we’ll definitely be looking to do again next year.

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Just in case anyone was wondering why spectators needed to sit well behind the wooden boards! This happened on a number of occasions and woke up the spectators who might have been a little too interested in their picnic basket to notice what was going on in the game.

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Jonathan Yearsley

Jonathan Yearsley is a qualified and award winning wedding and portrait photographer with a fashion edge, based on the outskirts of Chester, Cheshire.

He photographs in stunning venues and locations in Cheshire, North Wales and around the UK.
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