On Saturday, March 7th, the International Arena Polo Test Match 2015 was held at the All England Polo Club, in Hickstead (UK). The England team of Chris Hyde (+9), Jamie Le Hardy (+7) and Jonny Good (+8) beat Ireland 18-13 to claim the Bryan Morrison Trophy and become the winners of the Test Match 2015.
For the first time in the history of the Test Match, the two highest-goal teams fought for the trophy in an even and passionate match. It was not until the final 2min 30sec of the match that England increased their lead to five goals and left the final score in 18-13, defeating Ireland, formed by Richard Le Poer, Sebastian Dawnay and Ryan Pemble.
After the match, England’s captain, Chris Hyde, explained their tactic during the second half of the match: “It was part of our team play. We had used our weaker horses by the end of the second chukka, knowing we’d need a strong third chukka and then would have the wind for the last chukka”. He was pleased to be on the winning side once again, after the USA ended England’s unbroken winning streak in last year’s Test Match.
The prize for the Most Valuable Player was for Jamie Le Hardy, while Irish team player Richard Le Poer’s ride Dig Deep was the Best Playing Pony.
In the Hickstead 12-Goal Challenge, which preceded the Test Match, the Irish team (Richard Fagan, Niall Donnelly and Michael Henderson) won 20-9 against Wales (Ricky Cooper, Roddy Matthews and Roddy Williams), ending the Welsh sides three-year winning streak.