At Black Bears Polo Club we are fortunate enough to not only have a wealth of experience and expertise amongst our staff - whether that be on a permanent or seasonal basis – our team is also blessed with a 'can do' attitude and an attention to detail that ensures that Black Bears Polo Club deservedly enjoys its reputation as being amongst the finest polo clubs in the UK.
Rob Cudmore – Polo Manager
A third generation polo player and former Australian international, Rob Cudmore brings a wealth of his experience to the role of Polo Manager at Black Bears. Responsible not only for the Black Bears ponies but also for the smooth running of all the polo that takes place at Lower Bolney Farm, his twenty eight years in the business of running polo clubs and teams stand him in very good stead as he steers Black Bears along its transition from private polo facility to one of the biggest and most prestigious clubs in the UK, with a huge number of players based on site, and tournaments every weekend across the levels.
Miles Properjohn – Head Groundsman
Miles is another very long-term employee who has honed his skills at Black Bears. Responsible for keeping all five fields and the arena in immaculate condition, as well as the overall upkeep of the facility. Miles lives on site and is to be found rolling out the irrigation system during the night when we get periods of dry weather. He is ably assisted by the rest of the grounds maintenance team – Chris Smith, Alistair Prentice, Ian Precious, Neil Properjohn and David Aitken.
Lisa Hughes – Operations Manager
Although Lisa’s background is in hunting and eventing rather than polo, she hugely appreciates being in an office surrounded by the hustle and bustle of a busy polo yard – especially when the setting is as beautiful as Lower Bolney Farm. Tasked with the smooth running of the facility she is always on the end of a phone or email ready to resolve any problem that may occur – and with a colossal number of people and horses on site and a busy schedule it is inevitable that there are issues to be resolved on a daily basis!
Sara Riesgo – Yard & Polo Assistant
Sara has worked for Black Bears ever since Mr Schwarzenbach had his first string of ponies back in 1988. Although she took some time out from grooming to have a family, she continued to work in the office but her preference is definitely for being hands-on with the horses and is based at Fawley Stud with a watching brief over the wintering operation there. She brings a wealth of knowledge about the breeding of each and every horse produced by the Black Bears breeding programme over the years.
Sam Gravestock – Young Horse Trainer & Driver
Sam is a very versatile member of the team! He has the job of riding the young horses and helping to turn them into civilised polo ponies, but is also responsible for driving the Black Bears ponies to tournaments. When he is not doing that he is to be found either on a tractor carrying out routine paddock maintenance, or fixing and repairing something around the property.
Chloe Evason – Head Groom
Chloe is a career groom who has decided to take on a permanent role at Black Bears, looking after a Guy Schwarzenbach’s own string during the season, and helping out with the youngsters, client horses and winter liveries all year round. In addition to the horses in her care being meticulously looked after and produced to a high standard, she very much shares the Black Bears ethos of ensuring that Black Bears Polo Club not only offers a fantastic polo experience, it is a very convivial place to be!
Naomi Dwight – Polo Office Administrator
Every busy work environment needs a safe pair of hands in the office ensuring that everything goes to plan. Naomi’s experience in a variety of different industries and her exemplary skills ensure that the administrative function thoroughly underpins the rest of the organisation. An enthusiastic equestrienne with a passion for show jumping, the polo world is new to her but she is getting the hang of it very quickly!