Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park Team Hong Kong claimed their first Chestertons Polo in the Park title on a stunning afternoon at Hurlingham Park to cap off a memorable three days in South-West London. Another record crowd swarmed the grounds earlier than ever to make the most of the Mahiki Brunch party before enjoying a feast of high-octane polo matches. The crowds made full use of the Champagne Lanson Garden, Fentimans Botanical Garden whilst Made in Chelsea star Ollie Locke stole the limelight in the Mahiki VIP area.
Before the polo kicked off, giant Inflatables and pony hopper races transformed the playing surface into children’s paradise as the day commenced with a Children’s Pitch Invasion put on by London’s premier kid’s entertainers, Sharky & George in partnership with Eddie Catz and Original Travel.
HURLINGHAM GLORY FOR HONG KONG
After eight titanic tussles in this year’s Chestertons Polo in the Park, it all came down to Powder Byrne Team Dublin against Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park Team Hong Kong. The two had shared a 10-goal thriller on the opening day and with both sides featuring a number of London-born players.
The match started at break-neck speeds with Dublin getting the better of the early exchanges as Sebastian Dawnay converted a two-point penalty after Max Charlton found himself on the wrong side of the referee and they lead 4-2 after a frenetic opening chukka.
Patrick Ephson then produced a stunning two-minute spell in which he single-handily gave Powder Byrne Team Dublin a 7-2 lead much to the delight of the on looking packed grandstand.
Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park Team Hong Kong refused to lie down and after a clever pass off the barriers from Jamie Morrison, Max Charlton scored a spectacular two-point goal to reduce the arrears. The wind was then firmly in Hong Kong’s sails as Charlton, one of just three English players currently playing off a seven-goal handicap, scored yet another double pointer to give Hong Kong a 9-7 lead.
Richard Le Poer looked to have given Dublin a chance of snatching victory but Charlton showed his international pedigree as he sealed Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park Team Hong Kong’s first Chestertons Polo in the Park title with a 10:8 victory.
Jamie Morrison commented “It feels amazing to win, we always knew it was going to be a tough match. We started off really well and then it went a bit downhill, they came back at us hard but when it got 7:7 we were battling hard and it came right down to the wire”.
Gerard Sintes, General Manager of the Mandarin Oriental, Hyde Park said happily, “It feels great to be part of the winning team. It was a fantastic match, very tight but we won in the end and we are delighted. The event today was amazing, congratulations to the whole Chestertons team and all the sponsors, it was a beautiful day, so well organised and everybody had such a wonderful time”.
GOALS GALORE ON FINALS DAY
The afternoon’s first encounter saw Shoreline Team Lagos take on the home side, Mint Team London. Malcolm Borwick controlled the game beautifully from the back for his team and with George Meyrick displaying some of his trademark backhands, London looked to be heading for victory after leading 4-2 at half time.
Shoreline Lagos looked revitalised after the interval and Santiago De Estrada’s superb two-point goal gave the Nigerian side a share of the spoils as the match ended 5-5.
The Runner’s Up Final saw CITY AM Team Abu Dhabi face Argentex Team Davos as the sun pounded down on Hurlingham Park. Abu Dhabi Patron, Mohammed Al Habtoor, entertained the crowd with some trademark flair whilst Oscar Mancini was at his fluent best for Argentex Davos. Al Habtoor was the standout player as he was influential for Abu Dhabi as they edged an enthralling contest, 8:5.
With three-days of record attendance this year has been bigger than ever. Over 300 polo ponies took to the field for the 10 games of exhilarating Polo with audiences enjoying endless Champagne Lanson in the sunshine, the perfect start to the summer!
Shoreline Team Lagos 5:5 Mint Team London
Runner Up Final
CITY AM Team Abu Dhabi 8:5 Argentex Team Davos
Chestertons Polo in the Park Final
Powder Byrne Team Dublin 8:10 Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park Team Hong Kong