Hertfordshire Polo Club

From the Herts Mercury

 27 September 1884




While searching online I found a page of the Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News (27th September 1884) full of pictures of the Hertfordshire Polo Club tournament held at Panshanger. It is being sold by prints-4-all on ebay and if you want to see the full page of pictures visit the advert before it is sold. I decided to look at the Herts Mercury to see what it says and the follow text comes from the paper (courtesy British Newspaper Archive) - plus selected miniatures from the advert.


The Hertfordshire Polo Club concluded their season on Friday last by a tournament in which, besides themselves, the Royal Artillery and the West Essex Polo Clubs competed, and on Saturday the sports and races for polo ponies took place. Lord Cowper had been kind enough to place a beautiful stretch of Panshanger Park at the disposal of the Club, and on both days a large number the surrounding gentry availed themselves of the Committee's invitation to be present.

On Friday the weather, although somewhat dull in the early morning, cleared about noon, and at three o'clock, when the matches were timed to commence, the sun shone brightly and greatly added to the brilliancy of the scene. The first to try conclusions were the Essex and the Royal Artillery, and after the first quarter of an hour the marking-board showed the latter to be one goal to their adversaries none. The next game was between the home team and the “Gunners," but at call time both had failed to score. The third game was between the Essex and Herts Clubs, and on the conclusion of the first half of the rubber the scores were Herts 2, Royal Artillery 1, and Essex 0. So far the game had been but tolerably fast, the ground playing rather untruly, but on the resumption of the contest a grand display of all round play took place. The Artillery played well together, and the individual runs of some of the Hertfordshire team were most brilliant; again and again did they bring the ball into close proximity to the "Gunners" goal, only to be ridden off by their plucky opponents; and at the call of time the Military Club were returned the winners by 5 goals to the Hertfordshire team’s 4, and Essex 2. The players were: For the Royal Artillery, Lieut.-Col. T. A. Studdy, Mr. W. H. O’Neill, Mr. H. E. de Robeck, and Mr. F. B. Lecky. with Mr. H. Morrieson umpire. For West Essex, Mr. A. Waters, Mr. B. Dickinson, Mr. S Chisenhale Marsh, and Major J. C. Tait, with Mr. H. E. Jones as umpire. For Hertfordshire, Mr. F. L. Vaughan, Mr. E. Barnard, Mr G. Holdsworth, and Mr. W. A. Elin, with Mr. E. B. Boucher umpire.

A tent was erected on the ground, in which the Hertfordshire Club entertained a number of their friends.

The sports took place on Saturday afternoon, commencing shortly after half-past two, the details of which are given below, the ponies, with one or two exceptions, being ridden their owners in each race.

Post Scurry, in heats, in and out of posts 15 yards apart, across polo ground and back.

Mr. F. L. Vaughan’s “Viva” 1
Mr. W. Elin’s "Stella" 2
Mr. Chisenhale Marsh’s "Wheel of Fortune" 3
Mr. H. W. Morrieson’s "Scot" 0
Col. Studdy’s "Nancy" 0
Mr. O’Neill’s "Mollie” 0
Mr. F. L. Vaughan’s "Melrose” 0
Mr. F. B. Lecky's "Vixen" 0
Mr. H. de Robeck's "Paleface" 0
Mr. W. Elin’s “Jack” 0
Mr. A. Waters’ "Tommy Dodd" 0
Mr. A. Waters’ "Spinnaway" 0
Mr. G. Holdsworth’s "Puzzlepate” 0

The twelve competitors were divided into three heats, which were won respectively by Mr. Vaughan’s “Viva,” Mr. Elin’s "Stella," and Mr. Chisenhale Marsh’s "Wheel of Fortune"; and on running off the final Mr. Vaughan came in first and Mr. Elin second.

Open Hurdle Race, for ponies not exceeding 14.1 hands, 11 stone 7lbs. each; under 14.1 hands allowed 7lbs, per inch; a winner once, 71bs.; twice or more, 14lbs. extra. About 1 ¼ miles, over eight flights of hurdles. Three times round the course.

Mr. Maurice’s "Drumstick,” l0st 7lb 1
Mr. de Robeck’s "Paleface," 11st 7lb 2
Mr. G. Elin’s “ Lord Grey" 0
Mr. W. Elin’s "Kate Coventry" 0
Mr. B. Dickinson’s “Benjamin” 0
Mr. B. Dickinson’s “The Lamb" 0
Mr. H. Ellen’s "Kitty Wells” 0
Mr. E. Barnard's ” Kitty,” ridden by Mr. Wilson disq

This was an exciting race, and was won by Mr. Barnard’s Kitty,” but an objection was raised to her on the ground that she was above the stipulated height, and she was disqualified, and the prize awarded to "Drumstick.”

Ball Race, in heats, across polo ground, through goal and back through goal.

Mr. F. L. Vaughan Mr. S. C. Marsh
Mr. F. B. Lecky Mr. H. de Robeck
Mr. A. Waters Mr. W. Elin
Mr. J. B. Toms Mr. H. Elin
Mr. H. W. Morrieson Mr. H. Yerburgh
Col. Studdy Mr. G. Holdsworth
Mr. O’Neill  

This race was run three heats, and in running off the final Mr. Vaughan came in first, Mr. Lecky second, and Mr. Waters third.

Cheroot and Umbrella Race. Saddle pony, light cigar, and open umbrella, before starting. Cigar must be alight and umbrella open at the finish. Paper umbrellas not allowed. Across polo ground and back.

Mr. Elin’s "Kate Coventry" 1
Mr. A. Water’s “Tommy Dod" 2
Mr. W. H. O’Neill’s "Susan" 0
Mr. H. Robeck's "Paleface" 0
Mr. H. Yerburgh’s “Limerick” 0
Mr. H. Elin's “Jack" 0

 This was a very amusing race, the interest being centred chiefly in the start. Mr. Elin and Mr. Waters got first away, and were home again before some of the others had finished saddling their ponies. One rider started before his umbrella was properly opened, and his efforts to keep it from closing caused a great deal amusement.

Postilion Stakes. Ride one pony and lead another. Once round the course, over flights hurdles.

Mr. H. de Robeck’s "Paleface" and “ Nancy ” 1
Mr. H. Yerburgh’s “ Limerick” and “Binjimin" 2
Mr. W. O’Neill’s "Mollie” and "Susan" 0
Mr. Marsh’s "Wheel of Fortune” and “Fairy” 0
Mr. F. B. Leckv’s “The Silver King” and “Vixen” 0
Mr. W. Elin’s "Jack" and "Electric" 0

This was a very interesting race, the competing pairs starting off at a rattling pace, and the majority of them taking the hurdles capitally. A close struggle ensued between Mr. Robeck's and Mr. Yerburgh’s teams, which ended after an exciting finish in favour of the former.

Tandem Scurry. Ride one pony and drive another. Once round the course.

Mr. Morrieson’s "Mollie Bawn" and  "Soot"  
Mr. W. Elin’s "Stella" and "Jack"  
Mr. Lecky’s "Silver King" and "Vixen"  
Colonel Studdy’s "Nancy" and "Paleface”  
Mr. O’Neill’s "Mollie" and "Susan"  

This scurry was one of the most “sporting” events the day. The five teams started off well together, but three of them very soon ran out of the course, leaving only Mr. Elm’s and Mr. Lecky’s teams apparently in it, both of them keeping well together, but at the last turn they both ran out of the course, and enabled Mr. Morrieson, who had brought his ponies into the course again but was long way behind, to win easily, Mr. Elin’s pair coming in second.

Side-Saddle Race, once round the course, over three flights of hurdles.

Mr. W. Elin’s Jack,” ridden by Mr. H. Elin ... 1
Mr. Lecky’s "Vixen ” 2
Mr. J. B. Tom’s "Satan" 0
Mr. W. Elin’s "Kate Coventry” 0

This race afforded great amusement to the spectators, the four riders being capitally “made up” as ladies, one of them assuming quite mediaeval costume. Mr. H. Elin, on “Jack,” started off with the lead, and making all the running won easily, Vixen,” who was a long way behind, being the only other pony in it.

Consolation Stakes, for ponies that have not won aprize. Once round the course, over three flights of hurdles. To ridden bare-backed.

Mr. G. Holdsworth’s "Puzzlepate" 1
Mr. B. Dickinson’s "Benjamin" 2
Mr. J. B. Tom’s "Satan" 0
Mr. W. Elin’s "Stella” 0
Mr. G. Elin’s "Lord Grey" 0

Two of the riders fell at the second flight (the only mishap during the meeting) and a third pony refused. so that Mr. Holdsworth and Mr. Dickinson had the finish to themselves.

At the conclusion of the sports the prizes, all of which were very handsome, were handed to the winners by the Countess Cowper. Hearty cheers were given for Lady Cowper and her noble husband. Her ladyship, in acknowledging them, said she had been requested by Lord to say how sorry he was he could not be the ground that afternoon, and she was sure he would regret it all the more when she told him what an enjoyable afternoon it had been. Cheers were also given for Mr. W. A. Elin for the excellent arrangements made for the meeting. The President of the Club, it should be stated, is Earl Cowper, K.G.; and the Committee comprised Viscount Grimston. Viscount Kilcoursie, Mr. A. M Blake, M.F.H., Mr. Reginald A. Smith, Lieut.-Col. Studdy, Mr. F. L. Vaughan. Col. Daniell officiated as starter; Mr. H. Fane Gladwin as judge; Mr. Douro Hoare as clerk of the course and scales; and Mr. W. A. Elin (to whom is principally due the success of the meeting) as secretary.

Amongst the visitors on one or both days we noticed: Lord and Lady Cowper; Hon. H. F. Cowper, M.P.; Lady Frances Bushby and party ; Sir Henry and Lady Selwyn Ibbetson ; Mr. and Mrs. Abel Smith and party; Mrs. Robert Smith and party, and Mr. Reginald Smith ; the Hon. Mrs. Fremantle; Baron and Baroness Dimsdale and party; Col. and Mrs. Somerset and party; Mrs. Vaughan and party; Dr. and Mrs. Elin and party; Col. and Mrs. Daniell; Mrs. G. Faudel Phillips and party; Col. and Mrs. Bell; Capt. and Mrs J. Parker and party; Capt. and Mrs. Murray; Rev. W. Bennett and Mrs. Bennett; Dr. Woodhouse; Miss Erica Robertson and Miss St. John; Mrs. Deacon and party; Mr. and Miss Hoare and Mrs. Vernon; Mr. W. Baker; Mr. and Mrs. W. C. Baker and family; Mr. and Mrs. and Miss Demain Saunders; Miss and party; Mr. and Mrs. Percival Bosanquet; Mr. F. E. Loyd: Mr. and Mrs. Hohler; Mrs. Ricardo and party; Mrs. and Miss Blake; Mrs. T. Sworder; the Misses Sworder; Mr. C. E. Wodehouse; Dr. White; Mrs. E. R. Evans; Mr. and Mrs C, E. Phillips; Mr. and Mrs. A. P. McMullen; Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Butler ; Mr. and Mrs. J. C. Allen; Dr. and Mrs. Shelly ; the Mayor of Hertford, and Mrs. Willson and party; Mrs. Tasker Evans and Miss Green ; Mr. and Mrs H. C. Heard; Mr. and Mrs. Crookes and party; Capt and Mrs. Klingender; Mrs. C. Butler and party ; etc., etc.

Summary of other 1884 press coverage of the Club's matches

Polo Match. - A match was played on Wednesday last, at Hartam, between the Herts Polo Club and the Royal Horse Artillery Club at Woolwich, and resulted in a victory for the Herts Club by three goals to nothing. ...

Herts Mercury, 7th June, 1884

Polo Match. - Another polo match was played in Hartham on Monday evening, between the Hertfordshire Club and Cambridge University, but unfortunately it was spoilt, like the previous one, by rain. ...

Herts Mercury, 14th June, 1864

Hertfordshire Polo Club v. Royal Artillery. - The return match between the above clubs was played at Woolwich, on Thursday last. Play commenced at 4.30, Mr. Vaughan and Mr. Heygate galloping for the charge. ....

Herts Mercury, 9th August, 1884


Under the auspices of the West Essex Polo Club a series of sports took place in the club ground, Gaynes Park, Epping, on Saturday afternoon. ...

Herts Mercury, 16th August, 1884

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