Polo has taken Roddy Wood around the world. It is a credit to his hard work and determination that he has managed to build a quality polo school and training establishment in New Zealand, despite all the years he has spent playing overseas.
Roddy was a six-goal professional at his peak, and for 11 years he was polo manager for the Guards Polo Club at Windsor, the world’s largest polo club.
For the last 18 years he has held the position of polo manager of the Palmera Polo Team for H.E. Sheikh Mohamed Alhamrani – a job which still takes him to Britain each northern hemisphere playing season.
Roddy took up this position in 1987, when H.E. Sheikh Alhamrani was a new sponsor to world polo. Today, Sheikh Alhamrani is considered one of Britain’s leading patrons and it has been Roddy’s honour to establish the successful Palmera team, and administer the Sheikh’s entire polo organisation.
Roddy’s role with Palmera team has continued to expand with the introduction of Sheikh Alhamrani’s two sons to the game.
Concurrently with his role with Palmera, Roddy also took on the position of polo manager of The Guards Polo Club in 1991.
During his 11 years at the club he saw it develop into one of the most prestigious clubs on the international circuit, hosting high-goal tournaments on top quality grounds.
He was instrumental in increasing playing membership substantially at a time when Guards charged the highest fees in Britain by creating a playing environment and fixture list that gave members excellent value.
He also recognized that the game needed to lift its standards and introduced professional umpiring to the high-goal matches at Guards — an initiative that was soon adopted by the HPA and is now standard for all British high-goal polo.
His last big project was the redevelopment of Guards’ two feature grounds (The Queen’s and The Duke’s Grounds), now regarded as two of the best grounds in England.
Since 2005 Roddy has been polo manager for the Coworth Park Polo Club at Ascot.
Roddy has spent much of his playing career in Britain, returning to New Zealand during the northern winter. Today, Roddy still returns to Britain for the polo season, where he continues his duties with Palmera.