British Polo Day Dubai | Friday 24 March 2017 | Al Habtoor Polo Club & Resort
British Polo Day, presented by RJI Capital, returned to Dubai for its 9 th event. The British Polo Day 2017 Series was launched in style with Bear Grylls throwing the first ball of 2017, but British Polo Day began in Dubai in 2009, in partnership with Habtoor Polo. This was the first time that the event was held at the fabulous new St. Regis Al Habtoor Polo Resort and Club.
Some 450 guests and VIPs including Khalaf Al Habtoor, Mohammed Habtoor, Mr Ghazi Al Madani Paddy Meade, 8 th Earl of Clanwilliam , and Randle Siddeley, 4 th Baron Kenilworth came together to celebrate the best of UAE and British traditions.
The UK/UAE Year of Creative Collaboration was launched by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and HRH The Prince of Wales in October 2016, with the aims of increasing the visibility of the UK in the UAE and vice versa in order to give greater focus, depth and contemporary relevance to the long-standing relationship between the two nations. The unique cultural programme has been initiated to strengthen existing relationships and broker new ones between people, institutions and businesses.
The British Polo Days in the UAE provide such a platform, with the best of British and the UAE on display, with Harrods, Bentley, Royal Salute and Hackett all supporting. There was also a chance to introduce the new British Polo Day global partner, Chelsea Barracks, the exceptional new neighborhood development incorporating 5 new garden squares in Belgravia, London, to the guests. Other new partners included VistaJet and YPI Luxury Yachts, further cementing the British Polo Day community.
The event kicked off with a Cavalry v Guards Camel Polo display, a sport that has its biggest annual showcase at British Polo Day. Next followed a bicycle polo demonstration, a sport played in the Olympics over 100 years ago, with players from the regiments of Cavalry and Guards competing in Bentley and St. Regis Dubai Polo Resort and Club Teams respectively for The Thesiger Trophy.
Mohammed Al Habtoor, Chairman of the Al Habtoor Polo Resort and Club said:
“It is wonderful to see British Polo Day here at our Polo resort and Club. I was very happy to take part in the forming of this event back in 2009 with my Habtoor Polo organization. I am always glad to see the British Polo Day team come back to Dubai and now I am especially honored to welcome them to our brand new and excellent facilities.”
At 3.15 pm, Stuart Wrigley captained the Oxbridge team, sponsored by Chelsea Barracks, against the Gulf team, sponsored by Vista Jet. RJI Gulf beat Chelsea Barracks with 8 ½ goals to 6.
The highlight exhibition polo match of the day – The British Polo Day Plate – saw the home team Habtoor Polo team play the visiting Royal Salute British Exiles, with both sides led onto the field of play by the two Bentley Bentaygas in the UAE opening ceremony. The Bentley Habtoor Team rode to victory with 7 goals over Royal Salute British Exiles’ 4 1/2.
British Polo Day Dubai’s official prize giving ceremony saw the winning teams collecting the bespoke-commissioned British Silverware British Polo Day trophies presented by Richard Oakes from Chelsea Barracks, James Houghton of British Silverware, and Mr Ghazi Al Madani. The agile Don Juan, ridden by Guillermo Cuitino, was named Jaeger-LeCoultre’s ‘Best Playing Pony’ by Marc de Panafieu, Brand Director for Middle East.
This completed the British Polo Day UAE events, and everyone is eagerly awaiting the 10 th British Polo Day Dubai in 2018.
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