British Polo Day Take 2 -
25th March @Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club
British Polo Day Abu Dhabi raises over $45,000 for Women and Health Alliance International and Ending Domestic Violence
Saturday 19th March 2016: British Polo Day – presented by RJI Capital – returned to Abu Dhabi for the first of its 2016 events. Some 200 guests and VIPs including HH Sheikh Mohammed Al Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, HE Sheikha Lubna Al Qassimi, Baroness Scotland of Asthal, Ron Wahid, George Kappaz, Abdulaziz Al-Anjeri, Roberta Annan, Sanjeet Bhavnani, Keith Bristow and Christophe Degl’Innocenti came together to celebrate the best of UAE and British tradition.
Taking in the very best the Arabian Gulf has to offer, guests embarked on an exciting itinerary whilst staying at the Intercontinental Abu Dhabi including an authentic Lebanese dinner at Byblos Sur Mer with a Royal Salute 21-year-old Quaich experience, a cricket match which saw Eton play Harrow at the Emirates Palace and a traditional Majlis by kind invitation of HH Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan.
On Saturday 19th March, British Polo Day Abu Dhabi took place at Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club, the private royal polo ground of HH Sheikh Falah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan. The glamorous black-tie evening kicked off with two rather unusual takes on the traditional game of polo – with the Bentley Cavalry team beating the Etihad British Army Guards 4-1 in a game of camel polo for The Thessiger Trophy. The Hackett Rest of World Team won decisively 4-1 against the Intercontinental UAE team in a light-hearted game of Brompton bicycle polo; a sport played in the Olympics over 100 years ago.
The highlight exhibition polo match of the evening – The British Polo Day Plate –saw the home team RJI Capital Ghantoot Polo Team play the visiting Royal Salute British Exiles, with both sides led onto the field of play by the first two Bentley Bentaygas in the UAE the opening ceremony. Abdullah Ben Desmail led their way to victory, assisted by teammates Felipe Llorente and Lucas Diaz winning 6-3. The British Exiles put up a strong fight, with Jack Richardson and Jamie Morrison playing excellently together, setting teammate Stuart Wrigley up to score two of their three goals.
British Polo Day Abu Dhabi’s official prize giving ceremony saw top players Jamie Morrison, Jack Richardson, Lucas Diaz and Felipe Llorente vying for a spot on the podium, with Abdullah Ben Desmail collecting the bespoke-commissioned British Silverware British Polo Day Plate presented by HH Sheikh Mohammed Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan and Ron Wahid for RJI Capital Ghantoot Polo Team.
The agile ‘Marocha’, ridden by Stuart Wrigley, was named Jaeger-LeCoultre’s ‘Best Playing Pony’ by Marc de Panafieu, the talented Abdulla Ben Desmal picked up the Holland & Holland ‘Shot of The Day’ presented by HE Phillip Parham British Ambassador to the UAE and lucky guest Gerry Smurfit won the Harrods ‘Luck of The Draw’ presented by none other than the Harrods Green Man.
Following the prize-giving ceremony, guests sat down to a delicious three-course dinner prepared by the InterContinental Abu Dhabi followed by a live charity auction raising a total of $45,000 for Women And Health Alliance International (WAHA) launched by Her Highness Sheikha Shamsa bint Hamdan Al-Nahyan and Ending Domestic Violence, a UK-based charity dedicated to finding effective ways to end domestic violence worldwide, under the patronage of Baroness Scotland of Asthal. Guests bid fiercely for lots including a stay on ultra-exclusive Velaa Private Island, a safari of a lifetime to Kenya with The Safari Collection, a special cigar dinner at Franco’s in London and a luxurious retreat to Royal Mansour Marrakech.
*British Polo Day Abu Dhabi took place on
Saturday 19th March at Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club
The event is partnered with RJI Capital, Royal Salute, Harrods, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Hackett London, Justerini & Brooks, Charles Russell Speechlys, British Silverware, Global Partnership Family Offices, Holland & Holland, True Luxury Travel, Bentley, Charles McDowell Properties, InterContinental Abu Dhabi, Etihad, Brompton, Clinova, Bonas MacFarlane Education, Taylor Morris Eyewear, Billionaire.com, D.R Harris & Co, Floris, Woman and Health Alliance International and Ending Domestic Violence.