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FIP World Polo Championship

The Fresh Prince of Scone set to make history as youngest-ever Australian polo pro

October 8, 2017
October 8, 2017
Article by the Brisbane Times

It's considered the sport of kings but the Australian polo team will have one of the most talented princes in its ranks when the squad takes to the field at the World Polo Championships later this month. At 17, Lachlan 'Lachie' Gilmore will be the youngest-ever player to represent Australia in the sport of polo and at the world-class event in Richmond.

Not that he's daunted by the opportunity. Gilmore comes from good stock; the teenager is the son of Glen Gilmore, the former player who captained the Australian side for more than 10 years. Gilmore Snr spent many a northern summer piling his handicap on the British polo fields until 2014 when he returned home with his family to manage the Packer family's Ellerston teams.

Lachie, or "the Fresh Prince of Scone" as he is known to his teammates including Alex Barnet, Jake Daniels, George Hill, Jack Kiely, James Lester, Daniel O'Leary and Alec White, will take on Argentina, Spain and Team USA in the pool-A round-robin tournament that will be held at the Sydney Polo Club from October 21. However he'll be relying on his dad to organise the ponies as the youngster will be squeezing in a few chukkas in between sitting his HSC exams.

The Australian team will be captained by six-time capped national player Jack Archibald, 28, who is one of the most highly rated Antipodean polo pros. Archibald, who started riding horses at five on his family property near Scone, also comes from an impressive polo bloodline, his older brother Robert and cousin Henry Bell also played for Australia. At 28, he's now considered the Roger Federer of the sport after spending years playing in England, Argentina, South Africa, Barbados, Malaysia, China and India.

Despite playing overseas for about a decade and impressing fans like Queen Elizabeth, who presented his team with the trophy after they won the 2013 Royal Windsor Tournament, Archibald is looking forward to leading the Australian team, where he will play off of a five-goal handicap (for the uninitiated, that's damn impressive, Princes William and Harry only play off low-goals marks).

He plans on leaving "nothing in the tank" when he and his plethora of horses - about 12 steeds are used for just one game - take to the field. 

"Representing your country at any level is a great privilege but to be a part of the World Cup team and having the opportunity to compete in front of a home crowd makes it even more special and a once in a lifetime opportunity," Archibald said.

"Playing Argentina will be tough as they are the best and fastest players in the world but with some local support we are hoping to really take it to them."