THE ARUNGA STORY
From international yachting to the polo fields of Richmond, 'Arunga' encapsulates one family’s passion for competitive sport, camaraderie and building the foundations for an inspiring legacy.
Arunga stems from the Aboriginal name for red kangaroo. It was in 1970 that Frank and Mark Tolhurst took pen to paper designing a yacht that would put Australia on the world map in 5.5m racing. Such a yacht required a name that would be iconic to Australia, possess physical strength, agility, and exceptional pace. And so with great pride, Arunga, the red kangaroo was born. Arunga went on to achieve multiple world records that still stand, with Frank at the helm and Mark as the tactician.
Arunga's success on the water was not simply driven by Frank and Mark's competitive prowess; it was their ability to work beautifully together. This extended beyond the waters and onto the building site where Frank and Mark established Berela Pastoral Company and Berela Developments. The relationship between Mark and his son Adam was no different, and it wasn't long before three generations were hard at work
In the 1980s, whilst Mark and Jane were living at Wilberforce, Mark was introduced to polo by Jane's step father, Colonel Denis White. Polo was the perfect combination of horsemanship, adrenalin, and sideline banta, and it was'nt long before Jane and Mark were hooked. With Jane's exceptional knowledge of horses, the pony line was sharp. Mark and Jane thoroughly enjoyed being part of the Windsor Polo Club community and have made lifelong friends along the way. Their children, Adam and Amanda were also avid horse riders and were encouraged to be involved from an early age. Adam has gone on to achieve a 4 goal handicap and represented Australia on multiple occasions. Amanda achieved a 0 goal handicap and also represented Australia in an International Ladies Tournament.
In 2012 the Tolhurst’s purchased a stunning horse and cattle property at the base of the Blue Mountains, in Richmond. In honour of Frank Tolhurst, the property was named Arunga. In 2014 Arunga Polo Club was formed, and boasts a world class polo field and immaculate grounds, with exciting plans in the pipeline for a rustic and charming clubhouse.
Arunga Polo Club may be new to the polo scene, but with over 20 years experience, 2 generations of players, and the entire family involved from horse preparation to club committee, there is a whole lot of heart and soul behind the club.
So if there is one thing the Tolhurst family seems to manage well, it's enjoying life together as a tight family unit. Whether it has been sailing, polo, or building, there is a consistent theme of father and son at work and play that has resulted in precious memories and inspiring achievements.