Racing and Polo A-listers lend their support to Racing to Polo Challenge

  • Trainer Martyn Meade and bloodstock agent David Loder join forces with professional polo players on judging panel
  • With ITV Racing’s Francesca Cumani and international polo players Rob Archibald and Nic Roldan in the commentary box

This week, on Wednesday 18th July, Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) holds its annual ‘Racing to Polo Challenge’ at Cowdray Park. The event is part of the entertainment on offer on one of the most prestigious days in the British polo calendar, semi-final day for the Jaeger-LeCoultre Gold Cup, and it features a host of big names from racing and polo.

The RoR Racing to Polo Challenge, supported by Lycetts, boasts a total prize fund of £3,200, with £1,500 to the winner and prize money down to sixth place. The challenge is open to ponies aged five years and older that started their careers as racehorses and a panel of judges will assess the polo skills and agility of the retrained racehorses.

Returning to sit on the judging panel are leading racehorse trainer and former polo player, Martyn Meade and ex-professional polo player and Australian international, Rob Cudmore. Joining them this year are bloodstock agent, former racehorse trainer and polo player, David Loder, and professional polo player, Olly Tuthill.

Spectators on-site will be treated to commentary from ITV Racing’s Francesca Cumani and her husband Rob Archibald, himself a former Australian international polo player, now working as an Assistant Trainer in Newmarket. Also giving his insight as a guest commentator will be Nic Roldan, the leading American polo player and captain of the U.S Polo Team.

The Challenge is scheduled to take place at 2.15pm, between the two semi-final matches for the Jaeger-LeCoultre Gold Cup. In addition to the cash prize, winning connections also receive a rug courtesy of insurance company Lycetts, and the Balding Trophy.

Di Arbuthnot, Chief Executive of RoR, said: “We are delighted to have such an experienced panel of judges, who are all giving up their time to show their support for the charity and highlight the versatility of former racehorses when transferring their speed and agility to polo.

“We also very grateful to Francesca and Rob, who together with Nic Roldan, probably make up the most international and glamorous commentary team you could assemble! Their presence serves to underline the close links between racing and polo.”

A total of fourteen horses will compete before the judging panel. Last year’s winner was the mare, Drastic Art, owned by Sally Turner and ridden by Henry Brett. The daughter of Dutch Art was originally in training with Michael Bell and Henry Spiller and on the racetrack only once finished in front of another horse in three starts but is now playing competitive polo