This time of year traditionally brings the sounds of not only the thwacking of cricket bats on village greens in West Sussex, but also the clash of mallets as preparation for the hotly contested Veuve Clicquot Gold Cup gets underway at Cowdray Polo Club. The competition, which is held in June and July, is loved by patrons the world over, grooms, players and ponies descend upon the Midhurst area as the polo season gathers pace, all of whom will be looking for appropriate accommodation.
Suitable rental properties within a 10 mile radius can reach between 200%-300% above what they would at other times of the year, and many property owners are tempted into moving out for the summer by the achievable rents that the Veuve Clicquot Gold Cup brings to the area. Patrons want to rent houses on short leases to use both as a summer base for themselves and for entertaining purposes. They usually require properties near to the polo club from May until August, together with land and yards for the polo ponies and grooms. Areas around Midhurst such as Lodsworth, Graffham and Heyshott are particularly popular. Many grooms and ponies are flown in from Argentina for the season, and with each rider in teams of 4 needing at least 4 ponies for each game, it is not uncommon for teams to be looking to house over 30 ponies and 6 staff. Land is therefore hugely contested in the area, with many local landowners renting out land for the teams to build corrals for the ponies as well as stick and ball grounds. Much like Wimbledon, smaller houses and cottages are rented out for the week by owners over the semi-final and final match week, with rents reaching over 500% of the usual market value, such is the draw of Veuve Clicquot Gold Cup fever.
Many landowners also provide a winter grazing livery at the end of the season for ponies at rest over the winter months, for those ponies not being flown back to Argentina to continue on the Argentinian and US polo circuits. Typically, landowners charge a rent of approximately £35 per pony per week which includes a daily check and hay.
If you are looking for suitable accommodation during the Veuve Clicquot Gold Cup or are interested in letting out your property and land over this period, contact Garrington.