Chestertons Polo in the Park – International Match Day
It was Friday the 9th of June, the sun was shining and there was an electric feeling in the air, caused by our excitement for Chestertons Polo in the Park. Two of my best friends, Cecilie (nickname Tiller) and Sophie (nickname Ponti) and I had travelled from Copenhagen to London the day before. This is now the fifth year we have met up in London, from all corners of the world, to enjoy a weekend of polo fun in central London. It is our tradition and a weekend we have marked in our calendars for months and look forward to for just as long.
First things first, we wandered around looking at the shops, and stopped by the La Martina shop to say hi to my friends.This year they had a new setup, two storeys, meaning there was a great viewing deck and the chilled Lanson bubbly was definitely a plus.
Four polo matches were played that day. Firstly EFG Team Zurich had a face-off with Mauritius team Port Luis, where Chris Hyde scored an impressive hat trick right off the start. EFG Zurich Team won 6-5. During half time everyone is invited onto the field to help stomp the divots. I met up with La Martina ambassadors Malcolm Borwick and George Meyrick, and apparently was telling an interesting story.
The second match we saw several of our friends on the field, when Argentex Team Dubai met Air Europa team Buenos Aires. Juancho (Juan Cruz Guevara) showed us all why he gets invited back every year. He put on a show with impressive mallet work and scored twice in a row from behind the two-point line and later made an impressive goal as a result of a neck-shot (shooting the ball under the horse’s neck, not something easy at all, especially for us non-Argentinian newbies). But Argentex team Dubai were strong and quick and finished the match ahead 9-7.
The third match we saw George and Malcolm playing with Ricardo Richert on MINT team London against our friends Charlie and Jamie alongside Joaquin Pittaluga on Whitley Neill Team Cape Town. So once more we couldn’t choose who to cheer for and just clapped every time someone scored. Cape Town came out the victors of this match 7-4 and I chatted with the boys later on discussing (teasing each other) about their answers in the event magazine.
With the International Match being the highlight of the day. History was made as Champions Polo League India met ICM Capital Team England in a heated match. It was the first time in 70 years that the India team played on the turf of the Hurlingham Park, with HH Maharaja Padmanabh Singh (and his much easier nickname Pacho) leading the pack. I had a quick chat with Pacho before the match and he was quite excited, having already debuted his talents replacing a player in an earlier match, he had felt the excitement of playing at CPITP and knew that it would only get better when actually representing his country.
Although Pacho was very nice and is a great polo player, I had to cheer for team England, not only because I know all three players, but because one of them was Hazel Jackson. Hazel was the first woman to play at CPITP and on top of it representing her country. She is one awesome chick and seeing her play with the boys was very impressive, she was on it and in it to win scoring the final and winning goal.
The England team could finally lift the Olympic Trophy, for the first time since the international match was introduced at PITP in 2015.