Under the patronage of HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, wife of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the 11th edition of the prestigious Cartier International Dubai Polo Challenge 2015 concluded on Saturday, 12th December, with an 8-4 win for Desert Palm, featuring Tariq Albwardy and Rashid Al Habtoor. Their valiant opponents today were Habtoor Polo, headed up by Rashid’s brother Mohammed Al Habtoor and Stuart Wrigley.
More than 500 Cartier guests attended this thrilling four-chukka match, with socialite and model Bianca Brandolini watching from the Royal Box, accompanied by Laurent Gaborit, Managing Director of Cartier Middle East and India, and Neil Hobday, Chief Executive of Guards Polo Club. The event was once again held at Ali Albwardy’s Desert Palm Resort and Polo Club – an equestrian oasis in the heart of Dubai.
Both Tariq Albwardy and Rashid Al Habtoor stepped forward to receive the impressive Cartier trophy from Bianca Brandolini and Laurent Gaborit. Bianca also awarded the Etiqueta Negra Most Valuable Player of the Tournament Award to Desert Palm’s Matias Machado. The Etiqueta Negra Best Playing Pony Rug and saddle was won by Linda, who was played by Habtoor Polo’s Tommy Iriate.
This is the first time that Cartier has hosted its revered Dubai Polo Challenge tournament in December and four 8-goal teams took part, featuring players from UAE, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, England, Sweden, Argentina, and Spain. This included today’s Desert Palm Trophy players, Amr Zedan and Prince Abbas bin Ali bin Nayef of Jordan’s Zedan Polo Team and, of course, the sponsor’s own Cartier team. This subsidiary final opened today’s polo and saw a victory for the Zedan Polo team, winning the game 8-41/2.
Desert Palm: Rashid Al Habtoor (0); Tariq Albwardy (1); Matias Machado (4); Daniel Gariador (3)
Habtoor Polo: Stuart Wrigley (0); Mohammed Al Habtoor (0); Santiago Gomez Romero (3); Tomas Iriate (5)
Cartier Red: Sandra Schneider (-1); Stefan Sund (0); Nacho Gonzalez (6); Mark Hayden-Kellard (2)
Zedan Polo Team: Prince Abbas bin Ali bin Nayef (0); Amr Zedan (0); Rodolfo Ducos (4); Martin Gandara (4)