Women set to shine at International Polo event

THE Ladies Polo International and Hector King Trophy event starts tomorrow – and this year a Queenslander will be out to lead her team to victory.

The event, which is in its ninth year, draws the best polo players from around the country and overseas, and Beaudesert rider Phillipa Fitz-henry said her couldn’t wait for the event – which is run by the Windsor Polo Club – to get started.

“This has been the main ladies tournament in country for the past few years. It’s a stand-alone sort of thing,” Fitz-henry said.

“I’m pretty excited. For ladies polo, this is pretty highly rated. In fact we haven’t seen a ladies tournament this highly rated ever which is really cool.”

The 23-year-old, who will be competing at the Windsor Polo Club grounds on Old Kurrajong Road for the third time, is the captain of her team and will have to beat off at least seven other squads to claim victory.

Fitz-henry normally plays in attack in a men’s side, but now must adjust to a new role that requires extra responsibility.

“I play in the men’s polo, but coming back to ladies polo means I’m now captain of the team, so I’m the driving force of the team,” she said.

“It’s a totally different thing to being up the front and in the attack when I play with the men. Now I’ve got to know where everyone is so I can guide them – I have to worry about more than just my job.

“It will be challenging, but really rewarding.

“I’m expecting my team to go awesome, I’ve got a pretty cool team. We’ve got a couple of people from Adelaide coming over and they’re strong in attack.”

Fitz-henry said the Hawkesbury event is one that all women players look forward to every year and she assured fans that they will see a good show put on by some of the best in the business.

“It’s an opportunity for the women to shine,” Fitz-henry said.

“As a woman you can easily get overlooked while playing with the men. People don’t think you’re fast enough or strong enough, but here we can show that we are and we can play good polo.

“A lot of people don’t realise that we’ve got such a massive amount of women playing in Australia, so it will be a real eye-opener to those who come and watch.”

The public day is on Sunday and gates open from 11am. Tickets are $20 per person and kids under 16 are free.

Spectators are also welcome to watch on Saturday.

Phillipa Fitz-henry with her polo horse Camilla. The pair will be out to win one of Australia’s best tournaments. 	Photo: Kylie Pitt

Phillipa Fitz-henry with her polo horse Camilla. The pair will be out to win one of Australia’s best tournaments. Photo: Kylie Pitt