The polo community will fondly remember Robert Graham who sadly died unexpectedly back in August 2019. Robert forged a successful career as a professional player reaching a handicap of 6 goals and played in several Gold Cup tournaments. He later became a Grade A umpire in the high goal and was appointed as Chief Umpire for the HPA in November 2003. He remained in this role for 16 years and played a key role in bringing in rule changes to help improve the sport on both a playing and spectator level.
Robert received an HPA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2020 for his work. As well as being a highly respected figure in the sport, he was also widely regarded as being the nicest man in polo. In further recognition of his contribution and services to polo, from 2022 onwards the Robert Graham Umpires Trophy, commission by the Graham family in collaboration with the HPA, will be presented annually to the two umpires of the Gold Cup Final as part of the prize giving ceremony.
The stunning silver salver, which is etched with a silhouette of Robert playing in Sotogrande (image above) was presented by John Tinsley, former Chairman of the HPA, to Betsy Graham at a special dinner which took place on Monday 23rd May at Park House Hotel, West Sussex.
Charlie Graham and Betsy and Vanessa Graham are pictured below with high goal umpires Julian Appleby, Jason Dixon, Peter Wright and Tim Bown.