On Sunday 14th September British Polo Day China – presented by Land Rover – entertained over 800 guests and VIPs at Beijing’s prestigious Tang Polo Club. Kindly hosted by Mr Shilai Liu, British Polo Day China’s fast-paced polo and glamour proved to be fitting prelude to the upcoming China Open Polo Tournament.
Mr Shilai Liu, Owner of Tang Polo Club and China’s finest polo player, was joined by a host of influential society figures and business leaders. Arriving in chauffer-driver Land Rovers, guests were greeted with a Champagne Taittinger reception, after which the day officially commenced with an entertaining spectacle – and a first for British Polo Day China – a Brompton Bicycle polo match.
Everyone then took their seats pitchside for the first match of the day, The Hackett Cup which took place between the Hackett British Exiles and The InterContinental Financial Street BCC teams. It was a thrilling, fiercely-competitive game, in which the home team clinched the Cup with an 11-6 win against the Hackett British Exiles. The British Exiles will prolong their tour of China to play in the China Open next week – with hope of securing a few more wins under their belt, in the week ahead.
Over a quintessential British afternoon tea by InterContinental Beijing Financial Street, the second match – The Land Rover Trophy – took place between the Pond Mobile British Schools and Royal Salute Tang Polo Club teams. Tang Polo Club clinched a close victory over British Schools with a win of 6-4 – the first two goals being scored by two goaler and newcomer to the British Polo Day global series, Ollie Browne.
Rounding off the day’s proceedings, the crowds gathered for the British Polo Day China official prize-giving ceremony. The iconic Jeremy Hackett – looking very dapper in an understated two piece, navy blue suit – presented the eponymous Hackett Cup to InterContinental Financial Street BCC, while a glamorous Vanessa Hou – from Jaguar Land Rover China – presented the coveted Land Rover Trophy to the Royal Salute Tang Polo team.
The sought-after Holland & Holland ‘Shot of the Day’ was presented by John Stevenson to Diego Gomez for an offside backhander, a tail shot that flew forty yards over the chasing players! Meanwhile, Pond Mobile’s ‘Most Travelled Player’ went to Stuart Wrigley and The Royal Salute 62 Gun Salute ‘Most Valuable Player’ was presented to Miguel Diaz. Last but by no means least; the Hackett London ‘Best Playing Pony’ went to the handsome Tinto – a fitting recipient for this prize in this, the Chinese Year of The Horse. Rounding off the day, spectators joined Royal Salute Brand Ambassador, Murray Lang in a traditional Royal Salute Scotch Whisky toast to the victorious teams.
As the sun set on the fourth British Polo Day China – and the first at the internationally-acclaimed Tang Polo Club – guests and VIPs marked the occasion with an authentic Argentinian asado and glamorous after-party which continued late into the night in the Royal Salute VIP area.
As part of British Polo Day China, all guests and VIPs travelled with Abercrombie & Kent, enjoying an exclusive itinerary to some of China’s most historic landmarks and exclusive residences – The Great Wall of China, The Summer Palace, The Forbidden City and Beihai Park to name a few.
Commenting on British Polo Day China, CEO Edward Olver said: “It was a great honour to hold our fourth British Polo Day China. We believe that the horse is an international language and rapport can only be established through dialogue and common understanding. We are delighted to be in partnership with Shilai Liu and we look forward to returning to China for many more successful British Polo Days, celebrating culture, heritage and important links, through the prism of competitive sport!”
Mr Jeremy Hackett, Owner of Hackett London added: “A truly successful day for British Polo Day and Hackett, with beautiful blue skies, which I hear are rare in Beijing these days! Looking forward to returning next year.”