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In Defense of the Townsend International Challenge Cup

Alex Webbe

Tommy Biddle, who will be returning to the International Polo Club again this year on Steve Lefkowitz’s 20-goal Heathcote polo team will be taking a United States arena polo team to the Empire Polo Club in Indio (Palm Springs), California on Saturday, January 12 in defense of the Townsend International Challenge Cup.

Tommy Biddle - Townsend International Challenge Cup - arena polo

   Biddle, the only 10-goal arena polo player in the game today, and only the fourth 10-goal arena polo player in history will be joined by Kris Kampsen (7) and Rob Yackley (6). They will face the English team of Chris Hyde (9), Oliver Hipwood (7) and Max Charlton (7), with Sebastian Dawnay (8) as an alternate.

   In their 2011 meeting, the United States handily defeated the English, 15-9, reminding them that the game of arena polo was created in the United States back in 1876.

   Chris Hyde will be the only starter from the 2011 roster (Dawnay played in 2011 and will appear as a substitute), being joined by 7-goalers Oliver Hipwood and Max Charlton.

Tommy Biddle - Townsend International Challenge Cup - arena polo match between England and US

   The historic arena polo cup was first offered for competition in 1923 when John Townsend offered it up for international competition between England and the United States. It was successfully defended by the United States in 1923, 2004, 2008 and 2011.

   This will be first time appearances for US team members Kampsen and Yackley, but Biddle is confident in their abilities in the arena.

   “We’ll be ready for them,” promised Biddle. “I have no intention of losing this match.”

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