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History of Alsace

Alsace is the home of Polo for the Ford family. It is situated next to Trisha’s family property “Lorraine”.

“Alsace-Lorraine” is a famous wine region in France on the border of Germany and was chosen as an appropriate name for the new property.

The Polo Grounds and surrounding landscaping were created and nurtured by “Alsace” Property Manager Gavin Sanders and are a credit to the years of dedication he has put into the polo fields.

The Polo Ponies are under the care and tuition of Wayne Glennie (Goal Rating 3 – New Zealand), well known in Polo circles for his expertise in this area.

A phone call from Jim Ruig in 2001, to meet him for coffee “to discuss something interesting” was the catalyst for what would become one of Australia’s Premier Polo Barns.

Jim mentioned to Neill that via his salvage business, he had acquired some fantastic timber trusses from the old McWhirter building in Fortitude Valley, that would suit the building of a barn, after some hastily scribbled drawings on the back of a serviette and with much excitement the trusses were purchased…the dream was about to start…

Jim suggested an architect, Tony Dempsey who could mould their ideas into a working drawing. Within two weeks the drawings were completed and the only thing left to do was to source all the unique building materials, find a builder and start.

Bruce Mole from the building company TMG was recommended to Neill by Jim as a guy who works with recycled timber very well, so he was engaged.

The next job was for Jim to locate the timber. First came the massive posts that hold up the trusses – Karri – from an old wool store in South Australia, wall linings – Jarrah – from another wool store in Albury/Wodonga, New South Wales. Then more wood sawn from old bridge girders salvaged from all over Australia. Truck load after truck load of wood poured into the project. Slowly the project took shape. No compromise was taken and only the best materials were being used. The barn was built entirely from antique timbers.

Neill engaged good friend Carl Campbell to design and build a magnificent courtyard with a friendly feel.

This unique piece of Australian Architecture is testament to Neill’s dream and faith in Jim Ruig to co-ordinate a team of talented designers and builders to create what would become one of Australia’s classic barns.

The dream became a reality.