THE LA MARTINA VARSITY MATCH
HISTORY OF THE LA MARTINA VARSITY MATCH
The first match was played in 1878 and the event has been held annually with the exceptions of the two World Wars as well as 1894, 1900, 1960-61 and 1963. The first match was won by Oxford 5 -0, and was held on the Bullingdon Cricket ground in Cowley on the 27th November 1878. The team from Cambridge was as follows:
William Chute Ellis (Captain), Trinity Hall
R A Bayley
Henry Cumberland Bentley, Trinity Hall
S C Mitchell
Henry Robert Jameson, Jesus
After this first match the Varsity match began to be played at the Hurlingham Club, but moved to Woolmers Park as well as to Cowdray Park after World War II.
From 1962 onwards, the venue for the match was decided annually, with the choice alternating with each university. Since 1994, the Varsity Match is played at Guards Polo Club. Unlike many other University sports polo is co-ed, so women and men play on the same teams together. In 1994 for the first time both teams were Captained by women (Jacqui Broughton Oxford and Emma Tomlinson Cambridge), and the match was won by Cambridge that year (2-1). The match is also played unhandicapped.
From 2016 the match has been sponsored by La Martina, who is our official kit supplier. The Match is played for a Challenge Cup presented by the Hurlingham Club in 1920. For the previous wins and loses of the Varsity Matches click here.
Notable Past Players:
John Wodehouse, 3rd Earl of Kimberley
Prince Henry, Duke of Glouscester
Charles, Prince of Wales