The year has just stepped into the new quilts, but let’s get back to the last years’ 18 big moments that defined the `18 well!
2018 was a great year not just in personal account but also in the realm of Polo and we at LA POLO bring to you a quick flashback into the year gone by.
*Polo In Olympics
POLO FINALLY SHOWCASED AT SUMMER YOUTH OLYMPIC GAMES 2018. It came as a rejoicing news for the polo associates when the Summer Youth Olympic 2018 gave way to Polo. This Olympic brought with itself light for all the polo community and the next generation polo players by confirming the showcase of the sport Polo during the Summer Youth Olympic Games scheduled from 6-18 October 2018, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. After a visit to the Argentina Capital, the Fourth International Olympic Committee Coordination Commision, polo was approved to be added to the sports program.
*Polo To Qatar
ARGENTINA POLO ASSOCIATION ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT, EDUARDO NOVILLO ASTRADA, WAS ON A VISIT TO QATAR, AS A PART OF THE INITIATIVE, ON AN INVITATION BY QATAR OLYMPIC COMMITTEE PRESIDENT, HE SHEIKH JOANN BIN HAMAD AL-THANI.
“Argentina and Qatar are in a strategic partnership. It’s not just about economics and politics, we have also said that we will be working together in sports culture,” Argentina's ambassador to Qatar, Carlos Hernandez, said at the Press Conference. Argentina Polo Association Association (AAP) President, Eduardo Novillo Astrada, as a part of the initiative, was on a visit to Qatar for the Longines Global Champions Tour Equestrian competition at Al Shaqab. “I have a very good relationship with Jan Tops,” Eduardo Novillo Astrada told Gulf Times, referring to the Dutch former equestrian Olympic Gold medallist and the mind behind the Global Champions Tour, which began in 2006. “What I am trying to do in polo is something he did with Longines Global Champions Tour” said Eduardo Novillo Astrada.
THE 9TH ANNUAL VEUVE CLICQUOT POLO CLASSIC RETURNS TO THE WILL ROGERS STATE HISTORIC PARK
The 6th October 2018 celebrated the 9th Annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic at Will Rogers State Historic Park, Los Angeles. The 9th Annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic became an event to watch an exciting polo match along with a fun-filled day of fashion, champagne and picnic. The event gave access to Veuve Clicquot bar featuring Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label, Rich, Rose and Rich Rose. All the dignitaries, associates , guests and participants were able to enjoy the offerings from some of the city’s best food suppliers. The guests were pampered with lawn games and prime seating arrangement where they could cheer for the thrilling polo match. The polo match at the 9th Annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic was led by the renowned polo player Nacho Figueras at Will Rogers State Historic Park, Los Angeles.
*125th Argentine Open
The world’s largest interclub event in which 10 teams of 28 to 40 goals of valorization participated, came to an end on Sunday after La Dolfina Sancor Seguros matched against Las Monjitas in the finals of the 125th Argentine Open. The multiple champions La Dolfina Sancor Seguros played with a 40-goal team comprising of Adolfo Cambiaso, David Stirling, Pablo Mac Donough and Juan M Nero. Las Monjitas, on the other hand, played with a 37 goal team comprised of Facundo Sola, Hilario Ulloa, Guillermo Caset and Santiago Toccalino.
La Dolfina Sancor Seguros achieved its 12th title in its 18th final. It was their 14th consecutive final and 6th consecutive victory in 19 Palermo Openings played since the club was created in 2000.
*Lai Mohammed’s Investment In Polo
The minister of Information and Culture and a lawyer of Nigeria, Alhaji Lai Mohammed called for partnership and investments in human capital and infrastructure through the prestigious game of Polo and its value chain. The minister made the call in an address at the maiden edition of the Miss Polo International Beauty Pageant on Tuesday night in Abuja. Lai Mohammed was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Ms Grace Gekpe. Lai said that it was “an honour and privilege for Nigeria to be counted worthy to host the maiden edition of the event’’.
THE AFRICAN TEAM WAS LED BY THE ILLUSTRIOUS NEKU ATAWODI - ALSO KNOWN AS AFRICA’S “POLO QUEEN”
Lux Afrique, the first African Luxury event took place last year. The day was nothing short of eventful with the African team, led by the illustrious Neku Atawodi - also known as Africa’s “Polo Queen”, meeting their match in their non-African competitors. Despite record-breaking heat, the enthusiasm was intact. The spirits remained high as the focus turned from the polo towards the fashion trends of the day.
*Battle Of Haifa
It was the Battle Of Haifa, World War I. There stood 400 Indian men against 1500 officers of the Ottoman Empire, and the rest is history… They say, ‘history does not take birth, instead it is created’, and they say it right. 100 years back, history was created when the tenacious Indian army even after being peculiarly equipped stood against a troop of heavy artillery. The disparity in the number of men on the battle ground and equipments could have easily prophesied the fate of the war, but the unmatched fortitude of the Indian men everted the destiny of the battle. Even after being less in number, the Indian men captured 02 German Officers, 23 Turkish Officers and 664 Other Ranks. Two 6-inch Naval Guns, 10 Field Guns, 10 machine guns and a vast quantity of ammunition were seized. The fate of the Ottoman Empire was sealed in its demise, and the reason behind it was the unforgettable zeal of the Indian men formed from the finest of men of the Jodhpur Lancers and Mysore Lancers. The Indian troop lost 01 Indian Officer, 02 Other Ranks, and 60 horses during the battle, while 34 Indian Officers and men were wounded. But it was all in the name of victory. The battle’s victory was all the more particular as the Indian Soldiers were armed only with lances and swords, while on the other hand the Turks had possession of advanced artillery and machine guns. This year, the Delhi Polo Season also notified about the Battle Of Haifa in the finals of Sir Pratap Singh Cup in the attendance of Army Chief Bipin Rawat and Maharaja Gaj Singh II of Marwar, Jodhpur.
*Beach Polo Dubai
The Beach Polo Cup Dubai is entrenched to bring life to the 2018 edition. In December, it was the fourth year in a low that Sam and Gabriela Katiela hosted the Beach Polo Cup Dubai 2018. The Cup was hosted under the patronage of HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum who is the crown prince and also the Chairman of the Dubai Sports Council. LA POLO was the official media of Beach Polo Dubai 2018.
*Huntsman Team Create History
THE HISTORIC USPA SILVER CUP 2018 SAW A LEGENDARY VICTORY WHEN THE HUNTSMAN TEAM WON THE CUP FOR THE FIRST TIME. Polo has always been an unpredictable sport, where the final whistle blows with the arrival of a surprise. The Greenwich Polo Club on Sunday, 22nd July 2018, saw similar astonishment when the final battle for the Silver Cup 2018 blew in to action. The Silver Cup holds a glorious history from the days of past, where the cup was fondly called many names. In a long history of 118 years, the cup has altered its name a number of times. Initially known as the Junior Championship, it was played in 1990 for the first time ever. Later in 1938 the name was changed to National Twenty Goal Championship, until 1974, when the cup got its present name. Since then, the historic cup has been known as Silver Cup. The Cup has taken hold of many dignified events and incidents, where a lot of players can now be found on the Hall Of Fame. The 2018 Silver Cup again embarked history, when for the first time ever, the Huntsman Team won the title this year in 2018. It became the first time that the team got its name etched on the cup. It turned out to be a glorious day of success for the Huntsman Team.
The younger son of the Prince of Wales and Princess of Wales, and the Duke of Sussex, Prince Harry got married to the love of his life, Meghan Markle on 19th May 2018 in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle in the United Kingdom. A member of the Royal Family, Prince Harry is a Polo enthusiast and recently played in the Polo Challenge at the Ascot’s Coworth Park Polo Club. World-renowned Polo player Nacho Figueras attended the Royal Wedding with his wife Delfina Blaquier. Figueras, a longtime friend of the Duke of Sussex, and Blaquier were among the first A-list guests to arrive to Windsor Castle on May 19.
LA POLO takes an initiative for Polo to bring it further to the young audience. At the Modern School, Barakhamba Road, Delhi, India amid the hustle-bustle of a regular monday morning, students participated in a highly irregular event brought to their school by LA POLO. Sequestered in the school’s Hill Auditorium, were more than 200 students, some of them seasoned young riders of the school were fully clad in their riding attire from boots to helmets, while other students sat with rapt attention enjoying the short film on Polo’s history. LA POLO organised a Polo Clinic with the objective to provide a closer view and glimpse of Polo to the students by making them aware of its great Indian heritage. The workshop was attended by the principal, Dr. Vijay Dutta, Simran Singh Shergill, a +6 handicap Indian Polo Player, Oliver Sinclair, ex-polo player and an Alumni of Mayo College, Shivani Joshi, Head Communications at LA POLO. The workshop was organised under the meticulous supervision of Mr. Rajesh Kumar, Sports HOD at the Modern School and his cordial staff who extended their unflinching support at each and every step, making the little but highly enthusiastic students at ease with the workshop.
*LA POLO Covers A Milestone
LA POLO reaches its 66th newsletter this week. It is like covering a milestone in providing high-end and edgy information to the associates and readers. The weekly newsletter celebrates the spirit by giving a brief recap to all the best moments, tournaments and joys that we at LA POLO covered. Other than that, the newsletter serves its purpose of updating by the associates with the weekly report of Polo and Beyond. The newsletter talks at large about the Indian Polo Season and other tournaments doing round in the world. Along with this, the newsletter highlights about the opulent events.
*Arjuna Awardee Col Ravi Rathore
COL. RAVI RATHORE MAKES THE INDIAN POLO FRATERNITY PROUD BY BEING NOMINATED FOR THE ARJUNA AWARD IN POLO
Col. Ravi Rathore holds the place of distinction as he comes up as the highest handicap polo player from the Indian Army. Not only this, but Col. Ravi Rathore’s excellent skill with the horses and mallet led him to hold the position of the Honorable Secretary of the Indian Polo Association (IPA). Col. Ravi Rathore has also been the captain of the Indian Polo Team for the zone ‘E’ playoffs, and definitely, he had earned the position with all the perseverance he has put in polishing the sport and bringing it back to the country. Today, Col. Ravi Rathore received the prestigious Arjuna Award from President Ram Nath Kovind at National Sports Awards.
*King Power Gold Cup
Three-time Gold Cup winners, King Power organization, sponsored the Cowdray Park Polo Club based Gold Cup tournament for the first time this year. Thailand’s leading travel retail organization, King Power International Group lost the man who started it all and made it what it is today in 2018. Late Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha was a visionary, billionaire and a businessman who passed away in a helicopter crash outside the King Power Football Stadium. From achieving the top positions in the Polo tournaments to making their place in the top charts in the Barclays Premier League, the King Power teams accomplished it all under the man who aimed for the sky. Following the tragic loss of King Power Chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, Cowdray Park Polo Club announced the launch of the Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha Memorial Cup in 2019. The new trophy will be presented for the first time to the winning team of the Quarter Final match in the King Power Gold Cup, and thereafter annually.
THE ALL PRO POLO LEAGUE (APPL) INVITED PLAYERS WHO ARE STILL IN THEIR PRIME TO CONTINUE PLAYING EXCITING POLO, IN A UNIQUE SERIES OF TOURNAMENTS KNOWN AS THE GOLDEN AGE TOUR.
The All Pro Polo League (APPL) works to make polo faster, simpler and more competitive, but also more inclusive. The Golden Age Tour is the first polo series of its kind designed to include both professional and amateur players over forty. The series was adapted to suit the needs of the players, and therefore the Golden Age Tour is played with APPL’s Pro-Am rules. The All Pro Polo League (APPL) continued this week with its first international edition of the Golden Age Tour, due to take place in Sotogrande, Spain. Qualifying matches were played at Ayala Polo Club, on Friday, August 17, while Santa Maria Polo Club hosted the finals on Monday, August 20.
* La Dolfina Tortugas Victory
The Triple Corona 2018 witnessed a taut fight for the Tortugas title. This tournament came out as the first one, where a firmer 80-goal handgun was played, defining the 78th Open of the Tortugas Country Club. The finals for the same were fought on 7th October, Sunday at the Tortugas Country Club between La Dolfina and Ellerstina, where the title was won by La Dolfina. With this victory, La Dolfina won the title for the sixth consecutive year. Also, with this victory, La Dolfina in total has won 11 Tortugas Title.
*Juan Martin Nero Returns to Snow Polo
Seven-time tournament winner and Polo Superstar, Juan Martin Nero returned to St. Moritz for the 35th edition of Snow Polo World Cup. The Argentine 10-goaler played in the Snow Polo World Cup in 2019 after having taken home the trophy in 2004. Juan Martin Nero has left an incredible mark in the sport of Polo in the past decade and is currently ranked among the three best players in the world. Expectations from the team from Azerbaijan, who settled for the second position at the European Polo, will be high. Chris Hyde, top snow player will make his way to the St. Moritz this year too. 21 year old, Grant Ganzi, rated as one of the best youth players in the USA, is making his debut in the 35th edition of Snow Polo.
*Richard Mille Debut Victory
In an exciting finish, first-year team Richard Mille won the coveted St. Regis World Snow Polo Championship at Rio Grande Park. Richard Mille playing with Pablo MacDonough, Martin Pepa and Marc Ganzi faced Flexjet’s Juan Bollini, Alejandro Novillo Astrada and Melissa Ganzi. Richard Mille, debuting in the prestigious six-team tournament, defeated Flexjet by 6 - 5. Pablo Mac Donough, who recently won the 125th Argentine Open with La Dolfina Sancor Seguros for the sixth consecutive year with Juan Martin Nero, David Stirling and Adolfo Cambiaso, was named the Most Valuable Player for the tournament final.