Mettingham charity polo match repays air ambulance for life saving work

A FAMILY polo club has relaunched with a charity event to help thank those that helped to save the life of one of the founders.

In December 2008 the East Anglian Air Ambulance had to be called when James Servaes dislocated his neck and damaged his spine playing polo.

Today, Mr Servaes, 64, is wheelchair-bound but the club that he helped to run with his family has now restarted.

And last weekend his wife Harriet, 56, and daughters Becky, 30, and Alice, 28, held a charity polo event at their home in Carlton House Farm, Mettingham, to help raise money for the East Anglian Air Ambulance and St Elizabeth Hospice.

Mrs Servaes said that they had stopped running their club after the accident happened.

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'It was just after Christmas in 2008. Polo is not particularly dangerous but the pony went in one direction and he toppled off and dislocated his neck,' she said.

The air ambulance was called and took Mr Servaes to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, before later being taken to intensive care in Sheffield.

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Now he is back home and running their farm.

Mrs Servaes said: 'He is very well running the businesses from the office, and he is very proud of the efforts at the polo weekend.'

The club previously ran annual charity events at their arena, raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support in 2006 and 2007, but with the relaunch of their club this year the decision was taken to raise money for Spinal Research, the Air Ambulance and St Elizabeth Hospice.

On Saturday and Sunday the club welcomed teams from Norfolk Polo Club, Suffolk Polo Club and the Longdole club, from Gloucestershire, for the charity competition.

Longdole Polo Club won the higher division while a team sponsored by Paul Green of Renewable Technologies, won the lower division.

In all �4,000 was raised for the charities and Mrs Servaes said was very grateful for the generosity shown by those involved.

'We had a fantastic weekend of great polo with fast play and good crowds,' she added.

An event is also held at Boxted on August 5 for Macmillan Cancer Support and Spinal Research.

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