A long and arduous trip via Tokyo, meant that the team had already flown over Mongolia twice and so welcomed the landing in Ulaan Bataar. Training commenced the following day at an Army base four hours drive from the capital where there was to be 3 days of polo coaching provided to the Mongolian Army team. Thankfully two interpreters had been provided as none of the players could understand English and, with waving of the arms to assist, rapid improvement was seen. Capt George Walker proved very amusing to the Mongolians; as he mounted their much shorter ponies he found he could help his pony go faster by putting his feet on the ground and running.
After the three days, the trip concluded with a polo tournament where a large number of dignitaries appeared to watch including the Mongolian Foreign Minister, the British Embassy Chargé D’affaires, and the Defence Attaché Brigadier Simon Levey LD. It was a huge success as apparently there had never been an occasion to date where so many diplomats had been together. Thankfully the British Army Team that was providing the coaching secured first place in the tournament. The same can't be said for their wrestling skills, however, as Capt Walker was thrown to the ground by a man half his size in the post-tournament entertainment.
As part of the 'Britain is Great' initiative, the British Army Polo team deployed to Mongolia to develop the UK-Mongolia polo partnership. The intention of the trip was to foster greater relations between the Mongolian and British Armies through the game of polo and proved to be a great success. Capt George Walker was fortunate to find himself on the team and you can read the report below:
KRH Association and serving members of the regiment