Cartier Wins their Own Polo Challenge

For the first time, the Cartier team came away as proud winners of their own Cartier International Dubai Polo Challenge. Held under 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, in a thrilling match at Desert Palm on Friday 24 of February, the Cartier team narrowly defeated the current holders of the impressive trophy, Desert Palm, 10-9.

Earlier in the match it had looked as if Cartier were going to win easily as they were leading 10-3 at the end of the third chukka. However, the dynamic of the game changed in the fourth and final chukka with Desert Palm scoring six goals to none from Cartier. Martin Valent, captain of the Desert Palm team, was ferocious in attack at this time and scored goal after goal. Time was apparently on the side of Cartier for Desert Palm was unable to level the score before the final bell rang.

The event’s patron, HRH Princess Haya, was unable to attend the final day of polo. HH Sheikh Mansour Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum presented the prizes accordingly and was accompanied by Cartier guest Charlotte Casiraghi, Bernard Fornas, Chief Executive of Cartier and Louis Ferla, Managing Director of Cartier Dubai.

Adriano Agosti stepped forward to receive the trophy and then watched as his team-mate, Mohammed Bin Drai, was named Most Valuable Player and was presented with a pair of polo boots and kneepads by La Martina. Cartier’s Juan Jose Brane received a La Martina saddle for the Best Playing Pony from Charlotte Casiraghi. The pony, Sybarita, is owned by Saeed Bin Drai and was played by Brane in the final chukka. After the main presentations, HH Sheikh Mansour and Ali Albwardy presented a cheque to Satish Seemar, Director of the Riding for the Disabled Association of Dubai, based at Desert Palm.

Four pro-am polo teams have been playing all week at Desert Palm in the 7th Cartier International Dubai Polo Challenge. The two teams that did not make it to the final had the opportunity to play for the Desert Palm Trophy on the same afternoon. This went to Julius Baer, who defeated CNN 8-6. The Swiss bank is in its third year of team sponsorship was delighted to register its first win at the event.

A unique feature of the Cartier International Dubai Polo Challenge is that both matches start by a ball being thrown in from the back seat of a Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet. More than 400-invitation only guests enjoyed an afternoon of polo as well as the sumptuous hospitality provided by the team at the stunning Desert Palm Resort. It was a day of leisure, sport and glamour.