An interview with Tomas Beresford


It’s no exaggeration to say that polo is in the blood of Midhurst local and polo star Tomas Beresford. His father and two uncles on his mother’s side were all professional players and Tommy learnt the game from playing with polo legends. When he was fifteen, his parents gave him the opportunity to be home-schooled, enabling the fledgling player to make polo a priority and practice year-round. While some disagreed, their support for Tommy and his determination paid off.

Playing his first tournament – a 4-goal at Knepp Castle – at the age of 9, he rode out alongside his father Charles Beresford, Charles Seavill and Nick Johnson and continued to practice at Great Trippetts Farm with family and friends, witnessing many of the game’s top players based there over the years that followed.

Now at the end of a superb 2023 season and with a Gold Cup win under his belt, we caught up with Tommy to find out how he prepares to play his best polo, the experience of playing to elite level at his local Club and achieving his childhood dreams.

Top level polo is all in the preparation

“Polo has many variables to get right before the game” explained Tomas. “Working hard in the gym to improve strength, flexibility and reaction time is just the start. Then I need to prepare the 10-12 horses I expect to play. And not least, get together as a team to review game tapes, go through our strategy and practice.”

“As we approach game day, eating well and getting enough sleep are key. I don’t like to be too active on the day, so I usually go to the stables and polish my boots, which isn’t common amongst other pros, but I’ve always used it as a way to concentrate, it helps me to focus.”

“The adrenaline I get when I’m preparing for an important game still excites me” enthuses Tommy, who also has an eye on the rising stars and future competition. “Leon Donoso and Rufino Laulhe are both only 13 years old, but they read the game week and they are very tactically aware. It’s difficult for young English pros to be at their level, especially at that age, but the HPA are working on pathways to help the younger generation.”

From England Captain to Gold Cup Champion

The promotion to England Captain has not changed Tommy’s pre-game routines or attitude. “I try to be a team player and a leader, on and off the field, in any team I play for. Luckily, whenever I play for England, there are always more experienced players on the team, so I try and learn as much as possible from them.”

“I’m very proud to have won the Coronation and Westchester Cups as England Captain, but this year’s Gold Cup definitely tops the list. Riding out on Lawns on a sunny day with friends and family on the sidelines is the best feeling in the world. I’m very lucky to have a tight-knit support group who follow my career very closely. Even when they can’t be there to watch in person, they don’t miss a chukka.”

“Winning the Gold Cup has always been my childhood dream. Being local to the Club, it was an incredible feeling to have support throughout the tournament. Winning the Cup with UAE made it even more special. Sheika Maitha and Lucas Monteverde have helped me so much over the past few years, and it’s always extra special when the team achieves the results everyone works so hard for.”

Next season and beyond

“I’ll be playing with UAE Polo Team again,” confirms Tomas as we look ahead to the 2024 High Goal season. “Lukin and I went up a handicap this season, so we will be playing with a 7-goaler.”

“I want to keep competing in the most important tournaments around the world. I’m yet to play the Argentine Open, but I am working hard to get there. I aim to compete with a major team one day.”



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