Scotland emerged as the champion nation from the 2023 Four Nations as they won both the Minis and Seniors competitions and came second in the Juniors. They went into the competition as the only nation to have never claimed a trophy in the competition since its inception in 2015 but they finally got to the top step of the podium this time around and very nearly achieved a clean sweep of the grades, losing out to England in the Juniors on goal difference.
Though Scotland ended up winning quite a few of the trophies the overall competition was very close, with a number of games separated by a single goal and the opening Minis match between Scotland and Wales ended in a draw. All weekend all four nations competed incredibly hard with the players and their horses demonstrating some brilliant skills. They were all great representatives of their branches and centres and though the teams competed hard on the field there was also a huge amount of support and friendship between the different nations.
Maggie Flower and Maggie Clark do battle for Ireland and Wales. Photo by Zoe Williams
As well as the four traditional trophies there was also a new trophy in 2023, the Field Shield, which was awarded based on the horsemanship, horse and pony care and team spirit demonstrated during the camp week by the teams. It was a very close competition with only five points between all the teams but it was Wales who emerged victorious and get to be the first name on the trophy. Fittingly the field shield this year was dedicated to the memory of Chuna, who was a fabulous polocrosse pony that was sadly lost by her owners, the Stone family, earlier this year. Isabella Stone, who along with her sister Daisy was in the Welsh Junior team, accepted the trophy on behalf of the Welsh team.
Team Wales with the Field Shield
The Mark Simkin Memorial Trophy, which is traditionally awarded by the Simkin family to a senior player who is not only a good polocrosse player, horseperson and demonstrates good sportsmanship but has also done a lot to help support the sport and help other players develop. This year it was awarded to Asheligh Saunderson of Ireland, who is a member of the North Down branch and who has done a lot in the last few years to help other pony club members in Northern Ireland learn to play polocrosse.
Ethan Campbell and Bailey McGuile of Scotland and Ireland. Photo by Zoe Williams.
The coaches and managers from each nation also picked one player who they felt had really demonstrated exceptional team spirit and support for their team mates during the training camp and competition. They all said that it was incredibly hard to pick just one player but they ultimately selected the following four players:
Scotland – Ethan Campbell
Ireland – Ashleigh Saunderson
Wales – Keegan Jacobs
England – Kiki Flower
A huge thank you must go to all the sponsors and the people who made the event happen. The teams were sponsored by Smurfit Kappa (Wales), Gransha Equestrian Centre (Ireland), Timports Ltd (Scotland) and NRH Mechanics (England). Simplex, Polocrosse Extreme, Waterco and TC polocrosse all sponsored the event. Their sponsorship all helped keep the cost down for the members involved and we are very grateful for their support.
The event would not take place without the hard work of the coaches, managers and all the volunteers who umpired and field marshalled over the weekend. A particular thank you must go to the volunteers and Pony Cub office team members who organised everything in advance, from ordering the team’s kits to booking water park excursions for the teams rest day on Friday! We are very grateful to everyone for all their hard work and support.
The event was hosted by Celyn Polocrosse Club at the Cheshire Polo Club and we are very grateful to both Celyn and Cheshire polo for their hosting of the event, the organisation of the grounds and the catering over the camp week.
The full results for each grade of the competition was as follows:
The Triple Diamond Trophy
The Scott Senior Trophy
The Nvable Junior Trophy
The Kimber Tarbuck Minis Trophy