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TENGOAL | Groom of the Month


Centenary


Trophy, medium-goal fixture.


our


spring It was Lucas’s


attention to detail on game day, however, that was most impressive. Always arriving early at the field, he offers ponies a pre-match snack and packs hay nets to nibble on the homeward journey. This routine ensures Mark’s horses have optimal fibre intake, stimulating digestion,


encouraging drinking and


rehydration, and promoting a sense of wellbeing. Mark Tomlinson’s brilliant performance across our medium-goal fixtures is testament to his horses and Lucas’s superb preparation and care. High-goal hero


Hilario Ulloa’s


dream team of Agustin Menta, Alexis Gonzalez, Jose Omar Albarnoz and Diego Figueroa shared the award for the month of June. Hilario has impressive horsepower, largely from his family’s own breeding and training programme and he doesn’t leave performance to chance. “My grooms have amazing discipline, they’re really nice people, and they really take what they do seriously,” explains Hilario. “Having grooms like these allows you to feel safe knowing that the horses are in the best hands. The little details they observe make a big difference. You can just feed and train the horses every day, but when you treat every individual horse in a specialised way, you really get the best out of them.”


MAY 2018 Lucas Alvarez This summer was officially the


hottest ever recorded and July was the month that saw polo ponies, players and grooms doing their utmost to beat the heat. George Pearson’s team of Jackie Wright, Alejandro Roldan, Leandro Roldan and Jorge Maiden were observed to keep their cool and have ponies in peak condition. Always the last to leave the pony lines post-match, despite the long journey back home to Cowdray, the Pearson grooms’ attention to detail was admirable. Ponies were allowed to cool, rest and hydrate before loading onto the lorry, giving them every chance for optimal recovery. Proof of the grooms’ hard work was evident when George


won our 18-goal Indian Empire Shield, followed two weeks later by a dream weekend in which he won two major tournaments at 15- and 18-goal level in two days. Despite this hot and hectic polo schedule, all of the Pearson ponies remained fit and injury free and not one missed a game! Admirably, Jackie Wright has been


grooming for the Pearson family for a staggering


43 years, caring


for ponies for three generations of players. Understated regarding


her


achievements, she describes her career highlight as being presented to Her Majesty The Queen when Paul Withers won Best Playing Pony riding one of the late Lord Cowdray’s ponies on International Day at Smith’s Lawn in the early 1980s.


“Polo is something


you either love or hate,” she says of her remarkable career. “You can’t think of it as a job, it’s a way of life. I love it.” Ariel Hernandez learned to care for


horses working on the family farm near the rural Argentine town of Huanguelen. He has been working as a groom in the UK for more than 10 years and has plied his trade with a number of Guards patrons and professionals. Having


“My grooms have JUNE 2018 Agustin Menta,


Alexis Gonzalez, Jose Omar Albarnoz and Diego Figueroa


128


amazing discipline, they’re really nice people, and they really take what


they do seriously” HILARIO ULLOA


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