Down to the Wire races to deliver the latest Equine and Equestrian news to Counter-Canter Culture
There is a new benefactor to the UK horse business, and he’s got everyone asking: “Well, who are you? (Who, who, who, who?) I really wanna know…”
This partly because he recently submitted plans to the Waverley Borough Council for the creation of an all-weather arena for polo, showjumping and dressage, as well as stabling for 78 horses with grooms’ accommodation at Hurtwood Polo Club in Surrey. And probably even more importantly, it’s because “he” is former drummer for the Small Faces and The Who, Kenney Jones. Outside his life as a drummer, Jones is a passionate fan of polo and an accomplished player himself.
Just this past June he brought his two passions together in the Rock ‘n’ Horsepower benefit concert held at his Hurtwood Polo Club. The event raised funds for Prostate Cancer UK, an organization that promotes prostate cancer awareness and is close to Jones heart as he suffers from the disease. Jones reunited with The Who for the first time in twenty-five years for the concert, and brought his contemporaries like Jeff Beck, Procol Harum, and Mike Rutherford out to the polo field as well.
Now he’d like to see the elite in equestrian sport also grace his fair field. Jones and his wife said in a statement to the Surrey Advertiser: “We want to create something that puts Waverley even more firmly on the map. Our aim is to get leading equestrians living on the site; people living on Hurtwood Park who have an inherent interest in making sure that its current use is maintained for the long term.” The project also includes plans for 14 country homes, a 74-bedroom hotel, a luxury spa, conference facilities and perhaps even a Michelin-star restaurant.
The biggest hurdle is securing the permits necessary to proceed are concerns from the community about increased traffic. But the polo club is already licensed for 10 major events a year, each with a maximum attendance of 5,000 people. This will not be changing with the new developments, so there is a good chance the proposal will move forward.
If it does, “tell me, who” is up for the Hurtwood Horse Show and Concert 2016 “cause I really wanna know!”