Polo player Alice Servaes found love in polo at 19 years old. “I started playing polo while studying at the Royal Agricultural University in Cirencester. My first polo experience was in Australia when I worked as a groom on my gap year. That got me totally hooked, and after a lesson at Cirencester, that was it,” she recalls.
Like all polo lovers, there’s no going back after taking that first step. She started looking for a club close to her home in Suffolk and continued playing during the summer holidays. Eighteen years later, she still finds herself captivated with the action on the field—now a 1-goal for mixed and 5-goal in ladies handicaps.
And along the way, Alice happened to find love in the sport, too—literally. “My partner’s name is Corentin Mahe, but everyone calls him Coco,” the polo lady proudly shares. “We play mostly in Cowdray and are based in Great Trippetts Polo Club during the UK season. We have a small private club at my home in Suffolk, too, where we produce the young horses, retrain ex-racehorses, and take on some clients’ horses.”
They met a few years ago through mutual friends in the club where Alice built her house, Capilla Del Señor. It was love at first sight, then a few chukkas, regular conversations, and a visit to Coco in France later, they decided to be together.
“To share polo with the man I love is the best possible thing,” she tells POLO LADY. Having the same interests and passion for the sport of kings and, especially, horses made them more compatible. “I don’t have to worry about boring him by talking endlessly about horses, and that is a lovely thing! We understand each other. We help each other a lot, too. My game has improved so much because of Coco,” she adds.
Alice believes that polo strengthens their relationship as they can share everything. “We are very similar in our way of seeing the game and thinking towards it. We are ambitious within it and have set goals for our future. It’s definitely a ‘we’ and not an ‘I,’ which is a great and lucky position to be in,” the 37-year-old further shares.
And yes, they have already competed against each other. Although not regularly, when it happens, it’s all about the game on the field—bringing out their inner competitiveness as players. But if you ask her, it’s their games playing together (and won!) that’s much more memorable. “It’s always good to play together,” she smiles.
While she’s delighted to be with Coco right now, Alice admits that it isn’t always easy to find love within the polo circle. “It isn’t easy, as people move and travel a lot, and it’s difficult to spend time together sometimes. I got lucky, but I had a few bad relationships in polo before Coco. There are a lot of people who leave just after a short fling, and it can be very upsetting sometimes,” she shares.
So her advice in looking for romance in the sports of kings? It’s to find that love within yourself first. “My advice would be to be happy within yourself and enjoy your life, and the right person will come along. Definitely, always be yourself and always have your opinion.”
Almost five years into this happy relationship, they’ve done more than hitting penalties on the field. Alice and Coco also enjoy other activities that other lovebirds do! They like walking their dogs, traveling, skiing, snowboarding, and of course, eating. They are also looking into going into horse racing sometime in the future, too.
In a word, their relationship puts them in balance. “We are meant to be, I think,” Alice muses. With communication lines always open between the two and a shared passion and happiness, they’re able to make it last—on to their version of forever, hand in hand.
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Mariel Abanes is the Managing Editor of POLO LADY Magazine.