Welcome visitor you can log in or create an account

103rd Anniversary Goulburn Polo Club

  • Parent Category: Polo Profiles
  • Uploaded by SOPHIE and WALLACE ASHTON
  • Published in Patrons
  • Hits: 9112

On Saturday 4th of March it was the 103rd Anniversary of the Annual Goulburn Polo Club Match.

 Ashton Polo pony Sale1 2Ashton Polo pony Sale1 3

The Goulburn Polo Club has a rich history. The club was started in 1920 when Col McCarthy of the Royal Artillery gathered the young men of the district to play polo in an attempt to recruit them to the Army. The Club became a huge success for polo, not such a success for the Army recruitment! Their colours were Blue and Red of the Artillery. One team captained by Jim Ashton, was the famous Goulburn Polo Team which played with distinction in both England and America in 1930 and were foundation members of the Club in 1920. The four Ashton brothers used to ride their horses over 90km every Friday from their property at Markdale to the Goulburn Polo and play fast polo over the weekend. Exhausted from the activities, they got the grooms to do the return ride on the Monday following. 

 Ashton Polo pony Sale1 4

The Maple-Browns were also an important family for Goulburn Polo over the years. Erwin Maple Brown, who was possibly the best player in Australia between the wars supported the club immensely and Jimmy Maple-Brown's commitment through the late 70s and 80s is what kept polo alive in the south. One of the Ashton Brothers, Bob also provided advice and coaching during this period which helped Richard Walker to make Goulburn the dominant Club team between the 70's and 80's. That team comprised a Bell and a Maple-Brown.

The Goulburn polo club is a family club in the old tradition. Since the 1990s up until now, Wal Ashton and the Bells, and many others have put a lot of energy into keeping the club alive- an issue so many regional areas are facing.

.

 

The Event had been postponed by three years due to Covid and then last year due to huge rain. Historically this event has been played at Springfield , Goulburn over the Mother's Day weekend in May. However, Goulburn is bitterly cold at this time of year and so several months ago the date for the celebrations had been brought forward to 4th March. A month before play, it became clear that due to the rains and the substantial time that the field had not been played on and prepared it was decided, for safety reasons, to transfer the game to Muddy Flatts polo field in Richmond, Sydney. This beautiful polo field, owned by Wal Ashton, a resident of Goulburn since 1975, looked magnificent.

 

The weekend of 4th March was a challenge match between Goulburn Squares and Goulburn Stripes. The family ties of polo were demonstrated when Jim Ashton's son Wal Ashton and his Great Grandson Toby Goodman played for the stripes. The Bell family are also long standing members of the Goulburn club and were represented by Henry and Sinclair Bell and their cousin Rob Archibald playing in the squares. The Walkers and Maple-Browns were at the game who have played a central role in the club over the last century. There was an enthusiastic crowd, many having travelled from Goulburn. It was played at 6pm to escape the heat and the event had the real feel of a garden party.

 Ashton Polo pony Sale1 1

In a very exciting six chukka game Goulburn Squares won 9 to 8. Jimbo Fustner (English 5 goals) playing for the stripes said it was one of the fastest high standard games he had played in Australia. The last goal was scored with just a minute remaining.

 

The evening transported the significant spectators back to another time. It captured the essence of what polo has meant to so many of us over the years, the impossible dream of it, the addiction, the love of horses and above all else the people.
For that precious moment in time we were surrounded that night by fellow survivors of that era.
Even the next generation visibly took on something of the ambience that was expected of those around polo, regardless of wealth or privilege .
If only we could bottle that precious night of polo.

 

Wal Ashton, who is about to turn 76, mounted the Goulburn Stripes team. He is having a dispersal sale of his ponies for the first time ever on 12th April 2023 as he is retiring from all fast goal polo over 4 goals.   

mini AZ6D 3865mini AZ6D 3871mini AZ6D 3885mini AZ6D 3897mini AZ6D 3909mini AZ6D 3914mini AZ6D 3921mini AZ6D 3949mini AZ6D 4048mini AZ6D 4150mini AZ6D 4171mini AZ6D 4247mini AZ6D 4360mini AZ6D 4369mini AZ6D 4380mini AZ6D 4465mini AZ6D 4752mini AZ6D 4787mini AZ6D 4795mini AZ6D 4811mini AZ6D 4818mini AZ6D 4826mini AZ6D 4841mini AZ6D 4845mini AZ6D 4848mini AZ6D 4852mini AZ6D 4853mini AZ6D 38651mini AZ6D 38652mini AZ6D 38653mini AZ6D 38711mini AZ6D 38712mini AZ6D 38851mini AZ6D 38852mini AZ6D 38971mini AZ6D 39091mini AZ6D 39141mini AZ6D 39211mini AZ6D 39212mini AZ6D 39491mini AZ6D 39492mini AZ6D 40481mini AZ6D 40482mini AZ6D 41711mini AZ6D 42471mini AZ6D 43801mini Z6D 3799mini Z6D 3802mini Z6D 3805mini Z6D 3933mini Z6D 4700mini Z6D 4701mini Z6D 4702mini Z6D 4703mini Z6D 4706mini Z6D 4707mini Z6D 4708mini Z6D 4709mini Z6D 4710mini Z6D 4711mini Z6D 4712mini Z6D 4713mini Z6D 4714mini Z6D 4715mini Z6D 4717mini Z6D 4719mini Z6D 4721mini Z6D 4723mini Z6D 4725mini Z6D 4726mini Z6D 4727mini Z6D 4728mini Z6D 4729mini Z6D 4730mini Z6D 4732mini Z6D 4733mini Z6D 4734mini Z6D 4735mini Z6D 4736mini Z6D 4737mini Z6D 4738mini Z6D 4740mini Z6D 4741mini Z6D 4745mini Z6D 4746mini Z6D 4747mini Z6D 4751mini Z6D 47011mini Z6D 47021mini Z6D 47031mini Z6D 47061mini Z6D 47062mini Z6D 47071mini Z6D 47072mini Z6D 47081mini Z6D 47082mini Z6D 47091mini Z6D 47101mini Z6D 47111mini Z6D 47331mini Z6D 47341mini Z6D 47351