British Polo Day Abu Dhabi 2016
Once again I had the absolute pleasure of attending the BPD Abu Dhabi event. The settings were magical and elegant, beautifully dressed women and men sipping glasses of champagne, exactly how everyone imagines a day at polo to be.
It is no secret that I am a huge fan of British Polo Day, the concept behind these events is to unite Brits living abroad and locals for a fun day of polo, creating a relaxed setting for interaction and engagement between cultures, with the international language of the horse as a mediator.
“British Polo Days are a celebration of craft and heritage in a polo events network that spans the World.” –BPD About Us
Arriving at the polo club there was a light atmosphere and the orange and pink lights from the sunset gave the entire place a magical feeling. The beautiful gowns on the ladies showing international class along with the pristine white kendouras some of the Arabic men and boys wore reminded us that we were in fact in the Middle East.
The first part of the entertainment also was a strong reminder that this first BPD event of the year was in the Middle East, as it consisted of some Camel Polo, the rules are slightly different and the pace is much slower than with horse polo, but quite entertaining to watch and I am sure it’s difficult to play (adding that to my bucket list!). The Bentley Cavalry team won over the Etihad British Army Guards team 4-1 and was awarded the Thessinger Cup.
Next up was the Brompton Bicycle polo, which was even more entertaining to watch, as those boys really went at it and wanted to win, so we saw quite a few falls and crashes during those chukkers. The match is set off by the players having to “assemble” or unfold their bicycles, some of the BPD guys had an advantage there, as they have the bikes themselves and use them every day, so they had a bit of a head-start. The Hackett World team won by 3 goals over the Intercontinental UAE team.
Finally the National Anthem was played after the beautiful Bentley Bentaygas (the first 4-wheels drive car from the British luxury car manufacturer) had led the two teams on to the field; RJI Capital Ghantoot and royal Salute British Exiles. It was then time for the highlight of the evening; the main polo match featuring players from the UAE, Argentina and of course England. 4 chukkers of fast-paced polo was played on the floodlight lit grounds of the Ghantoot Polo and Racing Club. A battle was fought and the local team came out the winners at 6 goals over 3.
The magnificent British Polo Day Plate bespoke comissioned by British Silverware was presented to the champions by HH Sheikh Mohammed Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan. Abdullah Bin Desmal was awarded the Holland and Holland “Shot of the day” award and “Marocha” was awarded the Jaeger LeCoultre “best playing pony”
After the ceremony we all made our way up to the terrace of the clubhouse, where the Intercontinental Abu Dhabi provided an exquisite 3-course meal with excellently paired wine from Justerini and Brooks.
A very yummy ‘cherry-on-top’ of the lovely evening. Sitting with the Taylor Morris Eyewear team was lots of fun, they are such a dynamic young team and their sunglasses are so cool.
All in all it was a wonderful evening in great company! Don’t miss the next step of British Polo Day which will be in Dubai on Friday and welcomes everyone to join in on the fun, there will be a brunch on one side of the field in the clubhouse and on the other side picnickers are welcome to bring their own blankets and baskets and enjoy the day.