History of New South Wales Polo Association

NSW Polo Association

The New South Wales Polo Association (NSWPA) was formed in 1892, the same year as Banjo Paterson composed his famous poem, The Geebung Polo Club.

Prior to this, the first known polo in Australia is recorded as being played on 15th August 1874 at Moore Park in Sydney.

From 1890 - 1909 polo was played at Rosehill Racecourse.

By 1910 polo was played by the Sydney Polo Club, the first polo club in the southern hemisphere, on a single field at Kensington Racecourse which is now the site of the University of New South Wales. That same year, the State Championships was established following the gift of the Countess of Dudley Cup and played at Kensington until 1934.

From 1934 the Countess of Dudley Cup moved to the Kyeemagh ground where 2 fields had been laid out for the Town and Country Polo Club and was played there until 1939. Polo was suspended for the duration of the Second World War. The Kyeemagh ground, which was located almost under the current international runway of Kingsford Smith Airport, was resumed in 1947 for airport expansion and the re-routing southwards of Cooks River.

As there was no city venue available to the NSWPA after the war, the Dudley Cup was played at Forbes in 1948 and was then played at Maitland and Goulburn until 1956 when a field was built in the centre of the track at Warwick Farm Racecourse.

Warwick Farm became the main base for the Association to conduct the Countess of Dudley Cup, the Hector King cup 10 goal Championship and International matches. However eventually the high cost of maintaining two fields used only a few times each year caused the Association to stop play at this venue. Since then, the Association's tournaments have been held mostly by Windsor Polo Club at their Richmond grounds.

The last Test match played at Warwick Farm was in 2001 with tests since played at Windsor Polo Club.


Further Reading on the history of Australian and NSW Polo

The NSWPA office holds a copy of Geebung: The Story of Australian Polo, by Chris Ashton, published 1993.

In 1985, the then Secretary of the NSW Polo Association, Sally Weedon, wrote Countess of Dudley Cup Tournament 1985: a short history of the polo clubs in New South Wales and their participation in the Countess of Dudley Cup 1910 - 1985. Click here to download this 42 page booklet. It contains information on the history of polo; polo in Australia; history of NSW polo clubs and the Dudley Cup tournament; information on various polo playing families and individuals and ends with polo songs & poems!

The 1933 Program of the NSW Polo Association Australasian Polo Cup and Hordern Cup is available to download Here (3.9mb)


NSW Polo Association Past Presidents:

1892 - 1920 J. M. L. Macdonald
1921 - 29 J. C. Ryrie
1929 - 1933 C.C. Stephen (from 1935 Sir Colin)
1934 - 1944 A. Hordern
1945 - 55 J. H. Ashton
1956 - 64 F. L. Bragg
1965 - 73 J. K. Mackay
1974 - 76 G. M. Osborne
1977 - 78 O. P. Tait
1979 - 82 J. E. Gilder
1983 - 84 P. G. Cudmore
1985 - 86 J. D. Kilmartin
1987 - 90 G. E. Tait
1991 - 93 I. F. McGuiness
1994 - 96 J. W. Ashton
1997 - 99 R. J. Maple-Brown
2000 - 01 B. C. Wilson
2002 - 05 M. J. Graham
2005 - 08 W. M. Ashton
2008 - 2010 G. L. McGregor
2010 - 2013 I. D. McDuie
2013 - 2016 J. P. Curran
2016 -  S. B. Philip