British Polo Day Debuts In Australia

As the sun set on Australia’s premier high goal tournament for 2014, leading polo players and business figures from around the world toasted sport, friendship and the ‘best of British’ luxury.

British Polo Day – presented by Land Rover – champions British luxury heritage in 10 countries annually and made its Australian debut this week, linking with the Garangula Spring Polo Tournament at the private estate of the Schwarzenbach family near Harden, NSW.

Bobbie Miller, Guy Schwarzenbach
Bobbie Miller & Guy Schwarzenbach

The 10-day Garangula tournament culminated in yesterday’s gripping 16-goal final between Garangula and Ellerston Black.  Guy Schwarzenbach and his home team gave an excellent representation of the heroism of high-goal polo to post a thrilling 8 – 6 victory.  ‘Best Playing Pony’ Stilleto and ‘Most Valuable Player’ Charlie Pidgely stole the limelight in a star-studded game that also featured British 7-goaler Max Charlton, New Zealand 6-goaler Tom Hunt and Australian polo captain Glen Gilmore (7) who led the Ellerston side.

Guy Schwarzenbach copy
Guy Schwarzenbach

A rousing rendition of the British and Australian national anthems followed, heralding the first British Polo Day game on Australian turf. The heritage match saw Garangula and the visiting British Schools team vie for The Land Rover Trophy. Following a few bumps and bruises in the opening chukkas, play ramped up in the second half and the home team continued its winning streak, again communicating brilliantly to bring home a 6 – 4 victory. The Holland & Holland ‘Shot of the Day’ – presented by His Excellency, Paul Madden British High Commissioner to Australia – went to Alex de Lisle of British Schools, the Royal Salute Diamond Tribute ‘Most Valuable Player’ went to Guy Schwarzenbach and The InterContinental Sydney ‘Best Playing Pony’ to Locket Out Of Pocket.

A Royal Salute Scotch Whisky and Taittinger Champagne reception, pitch side champagne afternoon tea and a game of Brompton bicycle polo added to the British flavour that stamped a quintessential day of spring polo. The British Exiles and Commonwealth teams climbed aboard their bicycles for The Hackett Cup Brompton Bicycle Polo Match – a rather amusing spectacle of ‘spills and thrills’ which led to a 3-all draw.

The inaugural British Polo Day Australia continued the celebration of sport, friendship and British luxury heritage that started three years ago when British Household Cavalry friends, Ed Olver and Tom Hudson, had an idea to launch a global polo network to showcase British luxury craftsmanship and heritage in new and emerging markets.

Ed Olver, Charlie Pidgley and Max Charlton (L to R)
Ed Olver, Charlie Pidgley and Max Charlton (L to R)

They co-founded British Polo Day and have since partnered with more than 30 top British luxury brands to stage 35 events in 14 countries. Using the international language of the horse and the convivial and informal setting of a polo day, they created an unparalleled platform for elite engagement.   Along the way they have hosted 12 Royal families, 100 independent billionaires, over 10,000 of the global elite and leading business figures including Sir Richard Branson, Elon Musk, Vinod Kumar and Jim Rogers amongst others.

James McBride, the man behind Indonesia’s exclusive Nihiwatu resort, and Giles Adams, founder of 3RD HOME, were among the overseas visitors here for British Polo Day Australia.

Guy Schwarzenbach, Francesca Schwarzenbach and Urs Schwarzenbach
Guy Schwarzenbach, Francesca Schwarzenbach and Urs Schwarzenbach

British Polo Day CEO Ed Olver said: “British Polo Day is now well established in countries all over the world and our first Australian event has made an indelible impression, exceeding all expectations. This is a market of great interest and opportunity for our partners.

We are particularly grateful to the Schwarzenbach family for hosting us at Garangula and honoured that they offered to include our British Polo Day event as part of their prestigious high goal tournament.”

The Schwarzenbach family also welcomed guests of British Polo Day Australia at Garangula on the eve of the polo tournament to enjoy a Gala Dinner in the spectacular Garangula Gallery.  With guests arriving in a fleet of chauffeur driven Land Rovers, the evening featured a private viewing of the Garangula art collection and a charity auction – offering experiences donated by Nihiwatu and 3RD HOME – which raised US$48,500 for the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence and Head Injury Through Sport.

Alex de Lisle, Max Kirchhoff, Charlie Pidgely and James McBride, Francesca Schwarzenbach, Urs Schwarzenbach, Bobbie Miller, James Marshall,Lachlan Graham and Guy Schwarzenbach
Alex de Lisle, Max Kirchhoff, Charlie Pidgely and James McBride, Francesca Schwarzenbach, Urs Schwarzenbach, Bobbie Miller, James Marshall,Lachlan Graham and Guy Schwarzenbach

“The atmosphere at our British Polo Day Australia events has been outstanding”, Olver added, “This week has been a true celebration – not only of our partners’ brands, but also of the lifeblood of British Polo Day, which is the friendships that are formed as we bring like-minded people together against the backdrop of world class polo.  In this convivial atmosphere, friendships develop into business relationships as opportunities are explored from the platform of genuine integrity, loyalty, trust and understanding that British Polo Day fosters.  We know this does not happen overnight – British Polo Day is a long term business proposition and we look forward to returning to Australia next year to continue the exchange.”

The event is partnered with Jaguar Land Rover, Hackett London, Royal Salute, Jaeger Le-Coultre, Holland & Holland, Champagne Taittinger, Charles Russell,, Global Partnership Family Offices, Justerini & Brooks, Abercrombie & Kent, Brompton Bicycles, Ettinger London, D.R Harris & Co, 3RD HOME, Nihiwatu, The Garangula Estate, The InterContinental Sydney, Hotel Hotel, Windsor Polo Club, The Grosvenor Stationery Company, Pendragon Productions, The GREAT Britain Campaign and Walpole.