Sand, sun and fun at Sandbanks

The sun was shining on Sandbanks, Poole, as crowds descended on the golden sands of the Blue Flag beach for the 2017 Link Homes British Beach Polo Championships. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the event which started on Friday 7 July and culminated in Finals on Saturday 8 July.

Two polo matches for the Championship title were played on both days with players battling not just each other, but the heat and the unfamiliar and somewhat challenging playing surface. Ultimately, after some fierce but fun sandy tussles in the arena, British Polo Gin and NFU Mutual faced each other in the Subsidiary Final. In a game that was full of sportsmanship and smiles, NFU Mutual were awarded a penalty in the dying seconds of the game which resulted in the winning goal. In the Final later in the day it was the red shirts of Team HLM Architects who took the title 15-11 from the grasp of team W+S Waste Management. Howard Smith was awarded The Polo Magazine Most Valuable Player award for his determined play for W+S Waste Management.
The main Championships were not the only attraction in the arena, as guests also enjoyed a University Polo Challenge and an army match between The Household Cavalry and the Honourable Artillery Company. If that were not enough, beach volleyball, polo pony vs Porsche races and Pony Club exhibitions were also on tap, meaning there was plenty going on for all to enjoy. As the shadows lengthened and the ponies were safely tucked up in their stables, the DJs cranked up the music. Thousands of revellers enjoyed the now legendary beach parties on both evenings of the event as the champagne flowed.
Next year the event is scheduled for 13 and 14 July.
Photograph: British Polo Gin take on NFU Mutual under a cloudless sky with the azure blue of Poole Bay behind at the Link Homes British Beach Championships. By Polo Times