POLO+10 spoke to Tim Ward, polo player from England (+4) and coach at WIN Polo School in Hamburg and the Engel & Völkers Polo School, about his career as polo player and coach.

POLO+10: Tim, you are now 32 years old and are counted as one of the best polo coaches in Germany. When did you start to play polo?
Tim Ward: I began playing polo when I was ten years old and I have ridden since I was six. I started playing in the Pony Club in England. The Pony Club is a wonderful organisation and is very popular in England. It continues to be the most important place for young polo talents.

POLO+10: And what came next?
Tim: I played polo throughout my school career and then I went to New Zealand on a scholarship during my gap year. Back in England I studied at Exeter University and after I graduated, in Geography and Biology, I started my first real polo job in England.

POLO+10: What kind of job was that?
Tim: During the first years I worked a lot with the horses, my focus being on education and training of young polo horses. I was also playing a lot of polo on the young horses especially in England and New Zealand. Later the training and coaching of the players became more and more part of my work. I have been lucky enough to travel and have played and taught polo in over 15 countries. A most important post for me was at the Beaufort Polo Club, where I worked for Claire and her son Luke Tomlinson. They are two great personalities and both outstanding polo players.

POLO+10: After that you came to Hamburg to Thomas Winter, right? How did this contact come up?
Tim: When I trained at Harald Links Thai Polo Club in Thailand with the fantastic polo coach Rege Ludwig, I became friends with Stephan Louis, who unfortunately has since died. Stephan was a close friend of the Winters and told me about the polo school which Thomas Winter runs at the Hamburger Pologestüt. Shortly afterwards I got to know Thomas personally, because we played in the same team – and he offered me this job. I am still based in Hamburg and still travelling. I have been teaching more and more in Mallorca and taking clients to play and watch polo in Argentina and Florida and this year, England.

POLO+10: What are currently your most important goals and how do you like living in Hamburg?
Tim: I am concentrating in playing the best polo I can on the best horses. I want to get to at least 6 goals. Coaching is also very important to me. To teach polo is a fascinating task. And Hamburg… it is simply great. I have now been here for four years and am very happy.

POLO+10: What is your personal insider’s tip for striking the perfect hit?
Tim: Work on the riding first, make sure you have the correct grip and swing slowly.

POLO+10: And what is the worst habit when playing polo?
Tim: To forget about the horses. Spend as much time as you can in the saddle and work on your riding skills.

POLO+10: Are you playing a lot of tournaments this year yourself?
Tim: Yes, I have a full season ahead of me during which I will play tournament polo 3 weekends per month and run compact courses in between. The climax of the season for me will be playing the German high goal finals on the Maifeld in Berlin. It’s an incredible location.