Ponies create iconic 60m sand drawing to launch GWR Polo on the Beach

Wednesday 10th June 2015
Polo ponies have made their mark across two miles of Cornish coastline to celebrate the return of GWR Polo on the Beach festival.

A unique 64 metre sand drawing made by the ponies themselves was created at Watergate Bay, Cornwall, and will mark the launch of the three day polo event, sponsored by GWR, the premium brand for rail operator First Great Western.

GWR commissioned the impressive equine art 54 metres (492 hands) wide and 64 metres long (582 hands) to mark the scene of a polo pony and player in motion ahead of the festival which will open on Friday 26 June. First Great Western is expected to carry thousands of passengers to Cornwall this month and worked tirelessly through the night with the polo team to prepare the stunning marriage of art and horsemanship.

The art stretched over 400 metres end to end and was created by an estimated 3,840 cantering hoof prints, 50 mallet marks and took two hours to come to life but just moments to wash away as the tide came in.  

Renowned Polo players Andrew Burgess and Rohan Kelly took to their saddles on Tonka and La Sophia respectively, who made for perfect equine artists as the steeds are known for their agility and fast-paced turns reaching speeds of 40 mph. 

Andy Burgess added “It was an incredible experience. As a professional polo player it’s not often you get to really cut lose with your horse like that. Galloping across those sands in the sun is not something I’ll soon forget.”

Philip Edgerton, First Great Western Head of Sales and Marketing “We really wanted to show our support for this incredible event and bring the beauty of Watergate Bay to a wider audience. It is amazing that the picture was made by the horses themselves, and helps show the array of beautiful destinations right on our doorstep. ” 

Drones captured the panorama over the stunning bay while unsuspecting passers-by snapped the site from their phones from the surrounding cliffs. The two-mile stretch of golden sands will set the scene for the free event, which will host three exhilarating matches, entertainment and live music from Friday 26 to Sunday 28 June.  

Experts in high speed travel, First Great Western last year impressed the crowds with a large-scale model railway – complete with Cornwall to Devon Tamar Bridge – where polo spectators were able to race trains around the picturesque West Country sights. 

To book train tickets to this year’s top-class sporting event visit www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk.