On 22 March, the British Polo Day 2014 series began at Abu Dhabi’s Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club, the private royal club of His Highness Sheikh Falah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. This UAE tour of some of Britain’s best young players and polo enthusiasts will culminate this Friday 28 March at British Polo Day Dubai taking place at the Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club. For the second consecutive year, Swiss watchmaker Manufacture Jaeger-LeCoultre was the official timekeeper to British Polo Day Abu Dhabi.
One of the highlights of the UAE’s Spring calendar, British Polo Day Abu Dhabi once again proved to be a glamorous affair. In attendance were His Highness Sheikh Shakhboot bin Nahyan al Nahyan and British Ambassador Dominic Jermey joining the who’s who of Abu Dhabi society in an evening of fast-paced polo, fine dining and philanthropy, with world-class polo players entertaining a crowd of noted VIPs, including the Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Friend of the Brand Marchioness of Milford Haven and Help for Heroes Founder Bryn Parry.
British Polo Day Abu Dhabi began with the Hackett Camel Polo Cup, featuring members of the elite Cavalry & Guards regiments of the British Army. The Jaeger-LeCoultre Cavalry team had a close victory over the Guards with a 3 – 1 win, with the final two goals scored by British Polo Day Co-Founder Tom Hudson.
After, the British Exiles played Ghantoot Polo, partnered with Oxford Group Holdings. This was a thrilling, high-scoring match in which the home team, Ghantoot, won 8 – 6.
His Highness Sheikh Shakhboot bin Nahyan al Nahyan, himself a famed show jumper, presented the Thesiger Trophy to the winning Ghantoot Polo team, which is a majestic sculpture designed by George Bingham of His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan, based on pictures that Sir Wilfred Thesiger had taken more than 50 years ago.
In addition, Juan Zavaleta from Ghantoot Polo was awarded the Holland & Holland Shot of the Day – a new prize for 2014 – and Daniel Riedo, the CEO of Jaeger-LeCoultre, the Official Timekeeper of British Polo Day, presented the Best Playing Pony Prize. No watch can claim to be as closely linked to the world of polo as the Reverso by Jaeger-LeCoultre. It was created in 1931 at the request of British army officers in India who were tired of seeing their watches damaged by their polo matches – thereby sparking the invention of the famous swiveling case that protected the glass and dial by exposing only the metal back to potential knocks.
In keeping with British Polo Day’s ongoing commitment to philanthropy, this year’s event was in support of Abu Dhabi charity WAHA (Women and Health Alliance) and British charity Help for Heroes. The evening’s auction included lots such as a stay in the Six Senses Zighy Bay in Oman, a stunning Isis Wing gown from the Egypt collection by Zaeem Jamal, two Virgin Atlantic Upper Class flights, a week in one of 3RD HOME’s luxury residences and a four-night stay at Royal Mansour Marrakech which raised over AED 100,000 in total for both the charities.
British Polo Dubai will take place tomorrow at the Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club. For more information visit www.britishpoloday.com