By Victoria Elsbury-Legg
Click here for Part one
Combining polo and philanthropy with all things quintessentially British is at the very heart of all the British Polo Days that take place around the world. The second British Polo Day of 2015 was held on Saturday 25th April at Jnan Amar Polo Club under the High Patronage of his Majesty King Mohammed VI of Morocco, with funds being raised for the Eve Branson Foundation. Both Eve and Richard Branson were present for both the polo and evening Gala Dinner with US$205,000 being the final total donated to the Foundation.
Following this in May it was the turn of the USA to experience all things British as the team headed to the Will Rogers State Park in Los Angeles, where Lord Frederick Windsor and his wife Sophie Winkleman amongst other VIP guests including the Duke of Argyll, Prince and Princess Charles Windisch-Graetz, Robert and Justine Bloomingdale, Bo Derick and DJ Paul Oakenfold were able to enjoy polo, sunshine and the eclectic mix of Britishness, whilst US$60,000 was raised for charity.
In June, British Polo Day then celebrated its roots in Great Britain with a day hosted by Urs Schwarzenbach at Black Bears in Henley-on-Thames. It was also a celebration of the ‘Dual Year of Mexico and the UK’ and following in the philanthropic foot and hoof prints of previous days a further £100,000 was raised for charity. This time guests enjoying the polo and pitch-side events included HH Maharaja Sawai Padmanabh, The Marquess of Blandford, Viscount Melville Sir Jackie Stewart and Stephanie Powers.
So what about the founders of British Polo Day, who quite clearly have a vision and brand that combines both great ‘Britishness’ and Polo to achieve such a phenomenal success story and utilises this to raise such significant funds to benefit so many charitable causes. The names behind British Polo Day are Edward Olver and Tom Hudson, who also together formed Britannia Elevation in 2011, which acts in ‘an externalised business development capacity delivering access to global key influence.’’ To this end they have enabled brands such as Jaguar Land Rover Limited, Compagnie FinancièreRichemont S.A, Chanel S.A, Pernod Ricard, Charles Russell Speechly, Justerini & Brooks, Harrods, McLaren, Bentley Motors, Brompton Bicycles, Walpole British Luxury, Holland & Holland and Abercrombie & Kent a unique platform to work alongside British and international polo players, promoting both the brands and polo on a global scale.
Recently Britannia Elevation also announced a ‘seminal partnership with RJI Capital’ – an international strategic advisory and merchant banking firm, who work across Africa, the Middle East, the former Soviet Union, South and Southeast Asia, the USA and Europe. As Ed Olver, Chief Executive of Britannia Elevation explained: “The world is changing faster than any time in history and the handrails of trust, integrity and relationships are more important than ever. Britannia Elevation looks for an alignment in these values and is therefore delighted to welcome RJI Capital to its global community as a trusted strategic advisory and merchant banking partner.”
Whilst Ron Wahid, Chairman and CEO of RJI Capital explained why his brand became involved: “Britannia Elevation has impressed me. There is so much more to this innovative business than meets the eye. British Polo Day is an exceptional hospitality and high-level networking platform, and I can see BPD developing even greater capacity within its chosen sport. Equally importantly, this impressive team has built an exclusive offering which is beyond common currency, and which enables a unique and special level of relationships to develop over the long-term – which is where we do business.”
With ‘relationships and traditional values remaining at the heart of British Polo Day’s ethos, along with their global community being characterised by shared passions and humanity,’ and the entire concept being headed up by young, dynamic entrepreneurs with a passion for promoting ‘Britain’ and polo on an international platform it is not hard to see why British Polo Day continues to grow – with the next stop on their global events list being China.
To be continued