The UK’s original beach polo event returns for its tenth anniversary edition in 2017 with a new title sponsor.
Over 10,000 people are expected to visit Watergate Bay for Aspall Polo on the Beach, which sees over 20 ponies thundering across open sand in high-level polo matches, alongside three days of entertainment.
Held on the two-mile-long north Cornwall beach, the event will run from Friday 19 to Sunday 21 May 2017, with great food and drink, a packed programme of family fun, and on Saturday night the unmissable Polo on the Beach Party.
Will Ashworth, managing director of Watergate Bay Hotel said: “We are thrilled to be welcoming this fantastic event back to the Bay. It has built a dedicated following since we first had the crazy idea of playing a polo match on a beach in 2007.
“We are committed to keeping the event free for the public to attend, and the involvement of Aspall makes this possible. We’re also very grateful to clothing sponsor Joules, and Champagne Jacquart who will support one of the teams contesting the Aspall Trophy.”
Christian Hamilton, head of sales and marketing at Aspall, added: “Polo on the Beach is a wonderful match for Aspall, and we are very proud sponsors.
“Aspall is a business that blends tradition with innovation. Run by the same family for eight generations, the combination of our unique heritage and modern approach is what makes our products so popular today.
“Polo on the Beach shares a similar ethos as a very traditional sport played in a unique location. With contemporary entertainment and attractions, it’s easy to see why this free-to-attend event is such a hit.”
Previous editions of the event have been notable for the high quality of the polo matches, attracting many of the UK’s top polo players including England squad members Jamie Le Hardy, Chris Hyde, and James Harper.
The Aspall beach bar, Jacquart Champagne garden and street food stalls will be open from 12pm on Friday 19 May, with the action starting at 3:30pm. Highlights on day one include a five-a-side Segway polo match mixing club members with professional polo players. A demonstration of the rules and techniques of polo will be followed at 6:30pm by the first polo match of the weekend, when team Cornwall will aim to extend their winning run against the Rest of the World.
An Argentinian asado barbecue and live music will conclude the first day, as the sun sets on the beach.
Saturday afternoon’s entertainment will begin with a spectacular performance from the Knights of Middle England, a team of jousters and stunt horse riders who will bring the much fabled sport of jousting to life on the sands of Watergate Bay. An introduction to the rules of polo will follow, before the top billing polo event of the weekend: the Aspall Trophy match, beginning at 6:30pm and starring top professional players.
Rounding off the day is the Polo on the Beach Party. Tickets are now on sale for the live music event, taking place in a pop-up music arena with the stage right on the sand. Explosive London six piece Molotov Jukebox and singer-songwriter Ruarri Joseph are already booked, with more acts to be confirmed. Early bird tickets are on sale for £25 (£15 for three to eight year olds, free for under threes) from www.watergatebay.co.uk/polo-party.
The beach entertainment will continue into Sunday with a fun dog show hosted by local charity, St Francis Home for Animals, who have been rescuing and rehoming dogs for more than 50 years. The event hopes to attract every size, shape and breed of four-legged friend to the sand, encouraging owners to enter their dogs into a class, from Best Puppy to Waggiest Tail.
The headline sponsor, Aspall is a family-run cyder-making business in Suffolk, established in 1728 and continuing to produce world-class cyders and cyder vinegars to this day. The eighth generation of the family, Barry and Henry Chevallier Guild, still live and work among the original orchards and grounds, using an innovative approach to the traditional methods used 300 years ago to press, ferment, blend and bottle their cyder on site at Aspall Hall.
Further sponsorship opportunities are available, including Saturday night’s Polo on the Beach Party. Businesses can contact firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss the opportunities.
More information on Aspall Polo on the Beach 2017 can be found at: www.watergatebay.co.uk/polo, and on Facebook and Twitter at @PoloOnTheBeach.