Charlie Hanbury is back! After a couple of years absence from high goal in England, Charlie is back on the saddle for the 2024 season to play no less than with one of the three lineups La Dolfina will present in England. Like in the US, where they claimed the USPA Gold Cup and the US Open, the Cañuelas-based organisation is making their debut in England, and Charlie Hanbury will share the spot with the man himself, Adolfo Cambiaso, his daughter Mia, and a warrior like Alfredo Bigatti.


“The chance to be involved in such a big organisation is something I’m really looking forward to and I know that I will learn a lot from”, Charlie told to PoloLine. “My eldest daughter is more excited to watch Mia play than watch me!”, he adds with a laugh.


This current La Dolfina lineup is due to play the Queen’s Cup, Guards Polo Club’s premier tournament. And Charlie’s expectations are very high. “We have a really fun, competitive team, it’s going to be great to play with Adolfo. My horses are all ready and I can’t wait to be on the field”, he says.


How do you see the current scenario of English polo, including players, clubs, horses?

English polo is in a tough spot at the moment. The high goal looks busy with lots of teams, however the lower levels are struggling and there seems to be much less teams in the tournaments, hopefully this picks up. Guards looks to have taken a big step forward and done lot of work on new fields which look incredible and I’m looking forward to playing on them.

With regards to English horses, these are being made with more and more people breeding as well as retraining racehorses. I’m sure we will see a lot of them this season on the main stages.


After winning the Gold Cup for the British Open, at Cowdray Park, in 2018, with the all-British El Remanso lineup, Charlie Hanbury has somewhat been retired from the big tournaments in England, but played others like Warwickshire Cup, at Cirencester Park Polo Club, which he did in 2019, and was a winner in 2020 with Lovelocks, and also returned to the Gold Cup for the British Open in 2022, with Thai Polo); but he has been maily focused on the Lovelocks breeding, which is currently one of the most successful worldwide, with horses playing and being awarded in the most important tournaments. In order to achieve this goal, Charlie and his team have worked very hard, because, as he remarks, “breeding takes a lot of time, we are now in our 14th year of breeding in Argentina and so have had time now to work out our mistakes and change them, for sure there are many more to come but we are learning. I have an incredible hard working team who are so passionate about our horses and constantly trying to get them to the top.

Up until 2018 we kept most of the horses and either my brother George or I played them. Now that we are selling them they are being seen with a lot of other players. Last year we had 11 play in Palermo and 5 in the final”.


How many Lovelocks horses will you have playing in the English high season?

There will be 50+ playing in the UK High goal season in 14 of the teams. I know Adolfo has 3 he bought from us, that he will be playing. I am fully mounted on them, as is my nephew, Tommy Severn, who is playing for Thai Polo.


On a professional and personal basis, the development and remarkable growth of the Lovelocks breeding, has brought Charlie inmense pride, after several years of hard work in order to put the best bloodlines on the polo grounds all over the world. As Charlie points: “The breed is coming along really nicely, I’m incredibly proud of what it’s achieved so far. We have a fantastic team working with us and from day one the horses are given everything they can to achieve their full potential”.


And of course, as a proud breeder, Charlie Hanbury has the ultimate dream: “To win a rug in the final at Palermo, that will be the best. Last year Lovelocks Drogba won the prize at the Tortugas final and the year before in the semi of Palermo with Barto Castagnola, so we are close and hopefully one day we can make it”.