Norfolk Polo Festival raises thousands of pounds for East Anglian Air Ambulance
- Credit: Archant Norfolk
Generous donors attending the fifth annual Norfolk Polo Festival have raised enough money to pay for a mission by the East Anglian Air Ambulance.
The weekend event, held at Langley Abbey, near Loddon, had seen a record number of tickets sold in advance, and an estimated 2,000 people enjoyed watching the action during yesterday's balmy weather, although numbers were down during today's rain.
Lynne Baker, from Great Ryburgh, first visited the festival two years ago, and came back today with her daughter Millie and friend Gail Morley.
She said: 'The weather has not been too good but never mind, the game itself continues. It's a nice game to be a spectator at. It's not just the horses. It's the speed and excitement of the game.'
One of the highlights was yesterday's derby match between Norfolk and Suffolk, which the home side narrowly lost by half a goal.
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Miles Underwood, tournament co-ordinator, said: 'It was a fantastic match. The crowd got involved and there was cheering and shouting. It was like a football match. The passion was palpable.'
He added: 'The highlight has been people coming to polo who would not normally come, and experience it for the first time. There's a real elitist stigma to the sport, and I think we are breaking through that.'
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Holly Lambert, Norfolk fundraising manager for the East Anglian Air Ambulance, said an auction last night raised £2,000 for the charity, with another £1,000 from other donations.
She said the service was an appropriate choice for the event to raise funds for, as the air ambulance attends an average of one equestrian-related incident a week.
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