On Saturday 24th June, British Polo Day Great Britain celebrated its 60th event, in Helnley-on-Thames. Having held 59 invitation-only events in 16 countries since 2009, the annual series of events always returns to home turf for the English Summer before completing the year in the Far East with events in China, the Indonesian island of Nihiwatu, and India.
The success of British Polo Day has been largely down to word-of-mouth endorsement from many guests and supporters, including key figures in government, the aristocracy, the military, fashion, art and popular culture. In addition, British Polo Day has hosted members of 12 royal families, 100 independent billionaires and leaders in world innovation including Sir Richard Branson and Elon Musk. Over 20,000 guests have enjoyed British Polo Day in the last seven years, and British Polo Days have to date raised over $2 million USD, from a standing start in 2011.
Celebrating the history and heritage of polo, the Henley event was a high calibre sporting spectacle with the number one male player in the world, Argentinian Adolfo Cambiaso, playing his first exhibition match. The top female player in the world, Brit Nina Clarkin, also competed. Over 100 top British and international players have played at British Polo Day since its inception and this year was no exception, with well-known names in the polo world such as HH Maharaja Sawai Padmanabh Singh of Jaipur, former England Captain Malcolm Borwick, Lord Wrottesley, and The Hon Tristan Phillimore all playing.
Play commenced with home side Black Bears Vs KIG Polo, followed by British Schools Vs The Rest Of The World. The highlight of the opening game was undoubtedly the chance to watch the Cambiaso family take the field, with Adolfo joining forces with daughter Mia, and son Peroto representing the Black Bears. It was evident that the Cambiaso name will continue to dominate polo for years to come, with Peroto in particular relishing the dual against his father. Ultimately neither side could break away though, with KIG owner Bash Kazi taking the ‘‘Most Valuable Player’’ award in a game that ended all square at five goals each.
The second game saw the British Schools side coming up against The Rest Of The World. With England international Malcolm Borwick controlling the game for the British side, they never looked in danger of losing. British number two Henry Porter set the tone early on with arguably the goal of the day, and a late intervention from Malcolm Borwick secured their 5-4 victory.
The next events for this year will be China in September under the patronage of Mr Lieu Shi Li, and then in October the Britannia Elevation: Global Gathering in Nihiwatu under the patronage of Chris Burch and James McBride. The year then closes with two events in India, Jaipur under the patronage of Her Highness Rajmata Padmini Devi of Jaipur, and Jodhpur under the patronage of His Highness Gaj Singh II The Maharaja of Marwar-Jodhpur. In 2018, British Polo Day is very excited to be adding the USA to the list of destinations.
For more information on British Polo Day, please visit www.britishpoloday.com.