On Sunday 13th September British Polo Day – presented by Land Rover, celebrated their fifth British Polo Day China anniversary by returning to the Beijing Tang Polo Club, where the owner Mr Shilai Liu hosted the Day which preluded the following week’s China Open Polo Tournament.
As in the traditional style of British Polo Day, guests and VIPs were chauffeur-driven to the polo in Land Rovers and during a Champagne Taittinger Reception, with a Brompton Bicycle Polo Exhibition Match opening proceedings. This was followed by a match between the British Exiles/China team and Tang Polo Club, playing for the Land Rover Trophy. Five hundred guests and VIPs including HRH SAR Samdech Preah Mohessara Chakrapong Norodom, HRH Norodom Ravichak, British Defence Attaché to Beijing Brigadier Simon Levey, couturier Grace Chen, Angelica Cheung and Chinese presenters BeiBei and Valen witnessed the play unfold on the pitch with a backdrop of sponsors (including Land Rover, RJI Capital, Royal Salute, Hackett London, Harrods, Brompton, Abercrombie & Kent and Justerini & Brooks) coming together to help ‘celebrate the best of British craft and heritage’ and the history between China and Great Britain. As Michael Ward, Managing Director of Harrods commented: “Harrods is delighted to be in Beijing for British Polo Day. The international series is a fantastic platform for Harrods, bringing together likeminded people in a unique setting. The Chinese market is very important for us and we hope our guests enjoy experiencing a touch of the Harrods magic at home in Beijing.”
In the opening Brompton Bicycle Polo Exhibition Match between British Airways Rest of the World and Hackett Exiles the teams ended play with a draw. Players in the following matches included George Meyrick, Nacho Gonzalez, Roy Prisk, Jack Severn, Chevy Beh and Shilai Liu. In the second game of the day (this time on horseback instead of bicycle) playing for the British Silverware Hackett China Cup the home team Royal Salute Tang Polo Club beat NUO Hotel British Exiles team 8.5 v 5. In the final match, it was RJI Capital British Schools who rode off the winners having beaten Land Rover BCC team by 7 goals to 4.5 to lift The Hackett China Cup. The Royal Salute ‘Most Valuable Player’ was awarded to Chevy Beh, with Jack Severn being awarded the Holland & Holland ‘Shot of the Day’, grey mare Grey Girl won NUO Hotel Beijing’s ‘Best Playing Pony.’
Off the pitch, guests who had been enjoying Royal Salute whisky and traditional afternoon tea by NUO Hotel Beijing, alongside ice cream and traditional garden games at the Harrods Garden Party, were also up for awards. Hackett’s ‘Best Dressed’ was given to Adrian Rudin and Golden Peaks Capital ‘Luck of the Draw’ to Michael Spencer, with a toast being proposed by Royal Salute’s Peter Prentice to the longest reigning monarch – Queen Elizabeth II there was a ringing cry of ‘xie-xie’ and the traditional Scottish ‘Slange Var’! Rounding off the event was an evening after party and asado.
CEO Edward Olver said of the day: “Year on year, British Polo Day China becomes increasingly exciting for us. As one of the world’s fastest-growing emerging markets, the appetite for British brands – and indeed prestigious equine sports, such as polo – is notable.”
Next up for the British Polo Day team and their guests on the Asian leg of British Polo Days global tour is a British Polo Day to mark Singapore’s Jubilee Year with a global celebration of horsemanship on Saturday, 31st October 2015 at the Singapore Polo Club.