Monday 21st August 2017
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Words: Baron Halpenny
Photography: Baron Halpenny
Featured in the March 2017 issue

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Leadenham Polo Club has a new manager and coach for 2017, none other than ex-international polo player Jack Kidd. With well over twenty years of polo experience, he brings valuable knowledge to the club as well as a celebrity status.

I met Jack at the ground and we headed to Leadenham House, and sat alongside a lovely crackling fire. It was soon obvious to see that Leadenham Polo Club has struck gold with its new manager and coach.

Jack is bubbling with fantastic ideas that are surely going to put Leadenham and Lincolnshire as a clear glowing beacon on the polo map. Just one of the ideas being put forward by Jack is Legend Weekends, where many of the great and good polo players will descend on the immaculate and impressive pitch at Leadenham to bring their skills and prowess to share with those in attendance.

The focus for Jack and the Leadenham team is with the traditional Country House Polo style. Jack feels that Country House Polo has somewhat lost its way over the years and his intention is not to focus on championships, trophies or awards, but instead, on teaching first class polo mixed with thrilling action and friendly games, where they are played for fun in a relaxed atmosphere.

It remains to be seen if Jack is tempted to introduce Snow Polo for winter as he, Tony Pidgeley and Tim Bown were the first winners of the Kitzbühel Snow Polo tournament founded in 2003 (earning them a place in the history books of the event). This event is now one of the most prestigious polo events in the world.

Since the age of 12, Jack Kidd has been playing polo after he was introduced to it by his father who was then a five goal player and amateur at Cowdray Park Polo Club. His father is the only person ever to have played on both the full British polo team and competed on the full British showjumping team in the ’60s, jumping for over twenty years all over the country.

Whilst Jack was growing up his father was also a long standing committee member and steward of the HPA (Hurlingham Polo Association, which is the governing body for polo in the UK, Ireland and many other countries throughout the world) and the UK representative for the FIP (Federation of International Polo, the world governing body to the sport). So Jack is well grounded in the sport and a two-time winner of the European FIP Gold Medal, one of the original HPA coaches and co-founder of Polo in the Park. He has been handicapped up to five goals on the grass and up to eight goals in the arena on which he has won the Gold Cup.

It’s fair to say some famous faces will soon be appearing around Leadenham and we are in for a cracking season of polo this year.

Leadenham and Lincolnshire are going to shine brightly on the polo map.

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