Polo Fun in Central London
This is a long one with lots of pictures, so you should probably get that cup of coffee or tea ready, then sit back and enjoy 🙂
As always the Chestertons Polo in the Park weekend went by way too fast, with a total of 10 polo matches featuring 310 polo ponies and 28 polo players, gorgeous #MyPoloStyle outfits on the sidelines, over 30.000 spectators, countless bottles of Lanson Rosé champagne and the best street food and shopping London has to offer. It is safe to say that it was a blast of an event, which once again saw Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park team Hong Kong (made up of British polo players) take the trophy home and spray a fair amount of the pink bubbly stuff to celebrate.
The adventure started already on the Thursday, where I helped my friend Philippa Davin set up her wonderful art pieces in the VIP marquee. It was interesting and fun to be on the grounds the day before the event, as everything was coming together. Containers, cardboard boxes and people running around in yellow vest, including us, was quite a contrast to the usual scene of polo guests dressed to the nines.
Chestertons Polo in the Park is truly a huge production and it is incredible how much those guys can manage to set up in under a week, with attention to detail in every corner of the park. After about 4 hours of setting up Philippa’s art it was time for some shopping, as the weather was not exactly what I had packed for, so I needed warmer clothes for #MyPoloStyle.
Friday: my best friend Cecilie joined me from Denmark, this is the 4th year we meet up in London for this event, making it a tradition of ours and one we will definitely continue with. We woke up to 12 degrees celsius and a grey sky, not the perfect polo weather at all and hard to dress for, but with a bit of creativity we made it work (I pinned with safety-pins a wool cardigan inside my little jacket, it did the trick and nobody knew, well until now, hehe).
As usual I was rooting for the Dubai team, as they are like family to me, although all teams are talented and I was definitely also cheering for Hong Kong and London (when they weren’t playing against Dubai).
There were 4 intense matches that day, the final one being the feature International Match between team South Africa against team England and the visitors came out the victors. Cecilie and I did some exploring of the tents and the food court, the Mac & Cheese stand was scrumptiously delicious, so much so that our portion disappeared before I could get a picture of it. I tried the La Martina Virtual Experience and it was surreal and awesome. I basically saw myself playing a polo match, when moving around my team mates and the horse beneath me appeared.
Saturday looked a little brighter and warmer. We were excited to go to the VIP Lunch hosted by the Al Habtoor Polo Resort and Club. The club will be opening in Dubai in November this year as the first St Regis polo resort in the world. An amazing project featuring high class equestrian facilities surrounding a luxury resort hotel, but more on this another time. The warmer weather made it easier to dress, which was perfect since Saturday is the Ladies’ Day presented by Little Miracles, so we wanted to look our best.
Team Dubai fought a tough battle against team Marrakech, but had a bit of bad luck, especially one almost goal by Guille Cuitiño, where the ball jumped over two divots only to hit the goal post and go wide. Marrakech won that match and were on to the finals next day.
Our friends on the Hong Kong team showed some astonishing skills later on in the day and defeated their opponents team New York, sending them to the Sunday finals and we cheered them on with a glass of bubbly pink Lanson champagne.
Sunday brought out the sun we were all waiting for, which was just perfect for family day! In the morning hundreds of kids invaded the polo pitch, playing games before the ponies came on. First up were our guys in red against the blue New York team. With the sun shining on their backs team Dubai excelled and could do a victory lap at the end.
We then enjoyed some delicious afternoon tea (by which I mean lots of desserts) with some refreshing Pimm’s before divot-stomping the grounds and meeting up with La Martina ambassadors George Spencer-Churchill and Malcolm Borwick for a quick catch-up. Last time I saw Malcolm he was playing with Prince Harry in Florida, read about it here. I also had a quick catch up with my friends from Taylor Morris Eyewear.
The final match saw two strong teams, the defending champions Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park team Hong Kong against the new team Jnan Amar Polo Resort team Marrakech and it was a fast-paced match with a lot of defense meaning ping-pong across the field and only a few goals. In the end Max, Charlie and Seb pulled through and got to keep their trophy with a 3-2 victory.
An all around fun weekend of polo in the heart of London, the only bad thing… that there is an entire year until the next one.
Check out my previous experiences at Chestertons Polo in the Park in the archives, this was my fourth year attending and this is a tradition I will certainly uphold in the future.
Final Day Results:
Runner Up Final:
Argentex Team Dubai versus Navigant Team New York 7-5
MINT Team London versus Air Europa Team Buenos Aires 5-5
Chestertons Polo in the Park Final:
Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park Team Hong Kong versus Jnan Amar Polo Club Team Marakech 3-2
ICM Capital Team England
AwakeConBal Team South Africa
Dirk Van Reenan
MINT Team London
Air Europa Team Buenos Aires
Argentex Team Dubai
Mohammed Al Habtoor
Juan Cruz Guevara
Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park Team Hong Kong
Jnan Amar Polo Club Team Marrakech
Navigant Team New York