Spotlight on Riverview and Polo
Friday, 4 August 2023
Its not well know that there is a long history in country NSW of Riverview Old Boys playing Polo. I caught up with Ted Cahill (OR59) at the Nostalgia Lunch in 2022 who began by telling me he played polo in Young with my Uncle John Bolger (OR59) at the local Toompang Polo Tournament. Ted started playing the Narromine Team in 1960 straight out of school, and joined his father Tom. Ted's dad started playing in the early 1920's, whilst Ted played through until 1971. Ted rattled of names of "View boys that played in NSW, including Richard Walker and his son, Peter Walker who played for Yass and Canberra. John and Richard Bray from Forbes, John Garry from Binalong; John Gorman (The Galloping Major) from Queanbeyan; Max Graham and his son Angus (Australian Representative) for Gundagai; Roger Fagan, Sydney; Tony Tonkin and the Doolins, North Star; Michael and John Bolger, Toompang (Young), Camerons and Brain Veech Wellington; John and David Loneragan, Mudgee; Jim Darmody, Gouburn; John Kilmartin, Canberra.
Speaking to John Bolger about playing polo in the bush, the challenge was getting good good horses and travelling long distances. He began playing with his brother Michael in 1952. "You would put the crate on the truck and load four horses and all the gear" He also mentioned that one of the main grounds in Sydney after the war was at Kyeemagh next to the Cooks River. The land was resumed by the Government when the airport expanded.
Another opportunity for Sydneysiders to see the game was at the Easter Show at the Paddington Site, where Polo was played under lights in front of 50,000 people, an earlier version of T20 in the 1960's.
We ended chatting about playing in Goulburn during one winter. I asked John what were the conditions like. He looked at me and said "Bloody cold" !!