British Polo Day, presented by Chelsea Barracks and hosted by the Al Habtoor family, celebrated its 10th anniversary in Dubai at a luxury event on 30 March 2018 and The Luxe Diary team was there!
In advance of the first British Polo Day in New York this summer, the invitation-only event is now firmly part of the region’s sporting and social calendar & luxury event diary in Dubai and around the world.
British Polo Day is an unparalleled platform celebrating the history and heritage of polo with a global community, bringing together the world’s top companies and key influencers. It provides a platform for business in emerging and growth markets, giving partners enviable access to international contacts.
Returning to Dubai for the 10th year, British Polo Day saw four teams battle it out for The VistaJet Cup and The Habtoor Plate. Over 250 top British and international players have played at British Polo Day since its inception, and this year attracted well-known names from across the polo world, such as World Number One female player Nina Clarkin and her husband JP Clarkin, Captain of the New Zealand polo team; and Rashid Al Habtoor, leading Habtoor Polo this year.
The British Polo Day Cup was played between BPD and the Gulf. The BPD team struggled against the might of the Gulf polo team with Amr Zedan shepherding his team and allowing Tony Iriarte and Rodolfo Ducos to express themselves. The resulting score of 7.5 to BPD’s 3 goals did not reflect what a hard fought encounter this really was.
The British Exiles have never beaten Habtoor Polo in the nine years they’ve been playing, and despite the presence of Nina Clarkin and Malcolm Borwick, at half time it seemed that Habtoor Polo would be victorious with 3 goals to the stick of Guillermo Cuitino in the second period. The vital third chukka saw no score by either team, despite heavy pressure by Habtoor Polo on the British Exiles goal. It seemed a hill too steep to climb, but some brilliant work mid chukka by JP Clarkin saw them half a goal behind going into the last 30 seconds. A brilliant play by Malcolm Borwick let them sneak the vital fifth goal with 15 seconds to play on the Jaeger-LeCoultre scoreboard, and thus a rare victory against Habtoor. A game played at great pace with great skill by both teams.
British Polo Day was delighted to welcome back former England Polo Captain and Royal Salute Polo Ambassador, Malcolm Borwick, to play at his seventh British Polo Day event, captaining the Royal Salute British Exiles team.
Off the field, guests were treated to drams of Royal Salute 21 Year Old, a nod to the Scotch whisky’s longstanding support of polo and the lifestyle it accompanies. Royal Salute, the ‘King of Whisky’, sponsors 10 international polo tournaments annually and shares values with the noble game of honour, skill and integrity, making it the ultimate whisky for the Sport of Kings.
British Polo Day is a fast-growing, ambitious company, which partners with some of the World’s best companies, including Chelsea Barracks, VistaJet, Royal Salute, Yachting Partners International (YPI), Charles Russell Speechlys, Clinova, Bentley Motors, Jaeger Le-Coultre, St Regis Hotels & Resorts, Original Travel, Hackett, Justerini & Brooks, Nyetimber, Williams Chase, D.R. Harris, Taylor Morris, Barnard & Westwood, and Floris.
The success of the British Polo Day has been largely down to word-of-mouth endorsement from many guests and supporters including key figures in government, diplomats, 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.
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