The goodbyes are always the hardest, and it is with a sad heart that we recently bid adieu to one of the best women players in the world. Claire Tomlinson, a 77-year-old polo legend from the United Kingdom, breathed her last on the 12th January 2022—but her memories and tremendous influence will always stay with us.
A lady with an innate talent for horses and the sport of kings, Claire was one-of-a-kind for many reasons. She has achieved many feats throughout her polo career that marked her name in history books—the sportswoman helped revive polo in England, was a renowned and well-regarded pony breeder, and re-established the Beaufort Polo Club more than three decades ago.
She also claimed a lot of firsts in the field, such as reaching a 5-goal handicap during the 1980s, something that no one else had achieved back then, according to her son Mark. The 77-year-old was also the first woman to win prestigious tournaments, the County Cup in 1972 and the first woman to claim the Queen’s Cup in 1979.
Furthermore, her presence as a coach is simply a huge contribution to the polo community. Claire had assisted in the success of top players in the scene, including Milo Fernández Araujo, Martín Aguerre, Juni Crotto, and even British royalties Prince William and Prince Harry.
No matter how heartbreaking a goodbye is, however, Claire Tomlinson will be alive in our hours forever. The legacy that she left in polo will continue to inspire and nurture generation after generation of players to come.
Photograph courtesy of Beaufort Polo Club