This past Friday at the Dubai’s Desert Palm Polo Club an elegant crowd gathered together to watch the home team emerge victorious once again for the second year in a row at the Cartier International Dubai Polo Challenge. Four teams competed in the prestigious event under the patronage of HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, wife of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
The Desert Palm Team overtook Cartier’s own team to retain the top prize. The other two teams were fielded by Swiss Bank (as well as Wikileaks target) Julius Baer and the UK Guards Polo Club. Unfortunately for the event’s sponsors, Cartier suffered a setback early in the final when when their best player, Salvador Ulloa, was injured by another Cartier team member, Nico Petracchi. Desert Palm patrons Clive Reid and Tariq Albwardy received the Cartier trophy from Sheikh Majid bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the son of Dubai’s ruler.
For this year’s tournament the first ball of each game was thrown in from the back of a Porsche 911 Turbo, provided by Porsche Centre Dubai. Rodolfo Ducos, a member of the Bank Julius Baer team drove the car on the ground for the second game.
His Highness also presented the La Martina best playing pony saddle to Tariq Albwardy for one of his father’s ponies. In addition, Cartier’s Nico Petracchi was named Most Valuable Player and received a pair of La Martina boots and kneepads.
Two charities also benefited from this event. North Star Alliance received a 50,000AED cheque from Tom Meier, CEO of Bank Julius Baer in Asia and the Middle East. The Riding For The Disabled Association of Dubai also received the same amount from Ali Albwardy.
Following the tradition of the event, two charities were benefited. These were the North Star Alliance which received a 50,000AED cheque from Tom Meier, CEO of Bank Julius Baer in Asia and the Middle East and The Riding For The Disabled Association of Dubai which obtained the same amount from Ali Albwardy.
An impressive guest list of some of the region’s notable personalities made this event a spectacular occasion. Attendees were treated to a lovely English afternoon tea while watching the match. Once again, the Cartier Dubai International Polo Challenge was an afternoon of sportsmanship and sophistication.