Jamie Morrison will play this weekend in the 2012 Maserati Miami Beach Polo Cup on the sands of South Beach alongside teammates Luis Escobar and Thomas Kato for Lufthansa Private Jets and once again against Nacho Figueras.
Morrison sat down with Anna Tyzack and shared his history with the sport of polo and what he calls the perfect weekend.
Unless something extraordinary happens, I play polo every weekend, which is exactly how I like it. I look forward to it all week and take it very seriously. On Friday night I never want to go too crazy as I’m worried about being off form for the game on Saturday morning. My ideal would be a quiet dinner with some friends at the local pub – it’s a far cry from any of the racy antics portrayed in Jilly Cooper’s book Polo.
Saturday morning is invariably an early start as the game gets under way at 10am and I’ll want to spend some time getting focused beforehand. People often assume polo is only played on grass in the summer in Britain – which used to be the case – but now, with arena polo, it can be played all year round. I have two strings of ponies; one for winter and one for summer. I adore all of them but Twiggy is my favourite for winter and Louisa is my top pony for summer.
It was my dad, Bryan Morrison [former music mogul, manager of Pink Floyd and publisher of music by Elton John, the Bee Gees and Wham] who got me into polo. He started playing when he was about 30, having never so much as sat on a horse before. He went to watch a game at Ham Polo Club on the edge odf west London and that was that: love at first sight. He learnt to play and soon afterwards founded the Royal Berkshire Polo Club with Prince Charles as the first member. Prince William and Prince Harry have played with us on many occasions.
That said, our membership is much more diverse than you might think. It ranges from successful entrepreneurs to kids just taking up the game. My father’s view was that if anyone wanted to play polo, they should have a right to do it. Back when he started, the game was a bit stuffy and old money and Army; the arrival of an Essex boy made good changed everything. Whenever Dad saw something he thought was special, he believed everyone should be able to do it, not just the privileged. He once saw a real tennis club he liked; so he bought it, and opened it up to new members. That’s what he was like.
It was Dad who brought arena polo to Britain. He was in Chicago on a business trip for George Michael and saw a sign for polo. He followed the signs for a few blocks until he reached an underground arena. When he got back home he built a similar all-weather arena at home and we started playing through the winter. Now, 18 years later, arena polo is a serious business, ensuring the top players don’t necessarily zip back to Argentina or Barbados during our winter. On Wednesday I’m playing at London’s O2 Arena for the Gaucho International.
*Posted story By Anna Tyzack, of The Telegraph – “Jamie Morrison, England polo player, shares his favourite weekend”.