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Harper Adams' student in polo competition

Posted 11 May 2006

A STUDENT from Harper Adams University College has vowed to challenge other students at a national polo tournament.

First year BSc Agriculture student, Simon Haley, first started playing polo in January before he and two others competed in the National Universities Arena Polo Tournament in February.

Now Simon, 21, has dedicated his weekends to working at Cheshire Polo Club – and picking up lessons and competing in practice club chukkas in the process.

Simon, who used to work on a polo yard, is set to join his team mates at Harper Adams to pitch their skills against some of the top university teams in the country at the National Universities Outdoor Polo Tournament at Offchurch Polo Club on the weekend of the 10th and the 11th June.

Simon, from Preston, commented on the training: “Being able to play with club members at Cheshire has definitely aided my development, and the situation has worked out to be beneficial for both parties.

“They get extra help with the exercise and training of their horses and I get to hone my skills in a competitive environment”

And speaking on the forthcoming tournament, Simon said: “Playing outdoors is a lot more exhilarating, both for horse and rider, and the university tournaments gives people, who would not normally play otherwise, the chance to compete.

“It is also great for beginners at Harper Adams learning to play, as they get the opportunity to put all their practice into a match environment”

Before the games in February, Simon and team mates Rachel Lumley and Sarah Barker followed an intense training programme. During the four-day event they competed in the knock-out stages as well as more informal competitions.

The team is on the lookout for more students wanting to get involved in polo and try it out for the first time. They have already secured sponsorship from animal feeds company, R & E Bamford Ltd, and are currently looking for more financial assistance.

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