Professional horse trainer and polo player Angus Gilmore is back in the saddle and winning again

When it comes to the competitive sport of polo, the Gilmore family is akin to Australian royalty.

Angus Gilmore a polo player is lifting himself onto a horse on a polo field.

Angus Gilmore competing in a tournament in Windsor.

Continuing a century-old tradition

Stretching back to the late 1890s, the family has been professional horsemen for more than 100 years and the current generation of Gilmores is no exception. For 30-year-old Angus Gilmore, or “Gussy” to his mates, it was inevitable that he would continue the generations-old family tradition.

Growing up on the family farm, Angus was surrounded by polo players and horse trainers from a young age. Every morning he would get up, get on the back of a horse and herd the dairy cattle to prepare them for milking. Polo, he says, is in the Gilmore blood.

“We’ve worked with them our whole life and seeing the results from when they’re young horses to reaching their full potential is pretty rewarding you know. They’re always trying to do the right thing and when you get on a quality horse it’s an amazing feeling you can’t get through anything else,” he says.

Now working at the Garangula Polo club in South West NSW, Angus trains young horses every day to prepare them for competition and competes regularly himself. Polo is played in two seasons in NSW from March through to the end of May and in Spring from August to November. It was in Windsor last May that the unthinkable happened. The mare Angus was riding was bumped into by another horse, and lost its footing. Angus struggled to stay on.

“We were going so fast I knew it wasn’t going to end too well. It ended with several fractures in my right ankle and a ligament being ripped off the bone as well. It added to the thrill of the game anyway and we won in the end,” he says.

“I contacted icare straight away and our case manager was so helpful in managing the claim. She was very good at explaining sometimes complex things to us and then approved visits to specialists as soon as she could,” says Kirsty Kemp, Secretary of the Garangula Polo Club.

Angus gets back on the horse with the help of icare

Providing Angus with the rehabilitation he was going to need to return to work as quickly as possible came with its own unique set of challenges. He was desperate to be back in the saddle by September so that he could compete in the spring tournaments. Time was running out.

“There are some challenges that we face when we’re trying to manage return to work coordination when we live in remote areas. Those can be time getting to specialists, turnaround time for travelling and our Case Manager was great in ensuring we had all the correct paperwork filled out so that we were reimbursed for any costs that were incurred to the company,” says Kirsty.   

Rehabilitation provider Altius was engaged and Angus began the recovery process, supported by icare. His GP in Harden, occupational therapist in Young, orthopaedic specialist in Windsor and physiotherapist in Cootamundra were all organised and paid for by icare.

“Even with a plaster on his leg we were able to allocate suitable duties on full hours at Garangula. He was able to do stable duties and farm inspections those sorts of things,” says occupational therapist Jenny Jubb.

Thanks to a dedicated team of specialists provided by icare, Angus was back in the saddle by September. He has already won a number of tournaments and looks forward keeping Gilmore family tradition very much alive.