St Albans polo match raises cash for Help for Heroes

HORSE-power drew crowds to St Albans Polo Club for a charity event which is expected to have raised even more than when it was launched last year.

Polo for Heroes is in its second year and was conceived by polo fanatic Clare Dingwall, rising culinary star and head chef of celebrated London restaurant Launceston Place in London, Tristan Welch, and members of St Albans Polo Club in Chiswell Green Lane.

The event, which involved both local and forces polo teams including one captained by ex-World Middleweight boxing champ Steve Collins, is held to raise money for Help for Heroes.

Tristan prepared the food during the day, cooking personally for VIP guests.

Polo for Heroes got off to a stylish start with the Irish Guard piper and mascot leading the way and Deputy Mayor of St Albans, Cllr Geoff Harrison, throwing the ball to start the action.

Clare said: “It was a fantastic day with some great polo and some great entertainment for the whole family – and all of course for such a worthy cause.

“As always with events like this, we are very grateful for all the effort and energy put in by so many people who helped make it such a big success.”

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Steve added: “The day was made even more special by our guests of honour, Guardsman Manneh and Guardsman Jarju of the 1st Battalion Irish Guards, seriously wounded in Afghanistan, the true heroes.”

Polo for Heroes was sponsored by Camino Real Polo Country Club in Argentina and looks as though it has raised more than the �18,000 it made last year. Among the fund-raising activities during the day was a silent auction with prizes such as a seven-course meal with champagne and wine at the Lanesborough Hotel in London, a weekend stay in Malta and a main auction which included a polo lesson at the Royal Berkshire Club.