Glorious sunshine beamed over West London as Finals Day of Chestertons Polo in the Park 2016 took place in the historic Hurlingham Park for another momentous day of polo, entertainment and an Olympic-themed children’s pitch invasion.
Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park Team Hong Kong, the defending champions, emerged for the Chestertons Polo in the Park final against newcomers, Jnan Amar Polo Club Team Marrakech, having not lost at the iconic Hurlingham Park in two years. The two unbeaten teams had swept all rivals out the way en-route to the showpiece final and they didn’t disappoint the expectant crowd with high-quality shot-making and ball striking.
Max Charlton of Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park Team Hong Kong opened the scoring and rising English star, Jack Richardson, added to his tournament tally but as the shadows lengthened over the picturesque Fulham ground, Charlie Wooldridge scored the winner to send the crowd wild and give Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park Team Hong Kong a 3-2 victory.
Sebastian Dawnay of Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park Team Hong Kong: “We are absolutely thrilled to have won Chestertons Polo in the Park for the second year in a row. It is such a great tournament and with unbelievable crowds over the three day we are already looking forward to next year.”
With a record overall attendance of over 30,000 over the three days, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park Team Hong Kong showed their class and all eyes will be on them again next year as they will be looking to win an unprecedented third consecutive Chestertons Polo in the Park title.
Earlier in the day as the Champagne Lanson Garden and MINT bars filled with excited spectators, the pressure on the pitch ramped up with the runner-up final kicking off as Argentex Team Dubai and Navigant Team New York were first up on the turf.
The action on the pitch was as hot as the weather when Mohammed Al Habtoor combined beautifully with Juan Cruz Guerva. Navigant Team New York came storming back through Cameron Bacon but it was not to be their day as Argentex Team Dubai ran out 7-5 winners.
The Subsidiary final kicked off with the home crowd roaring for MINT Team London as they played a re-match of their Ladies Day presented by Little Miracles Drinks game against Air Europa Team Buenos Aires.
With the rivalries clear for all to see the action was furious and frenetic but it was the ice cool La Martina ambassador Malcolm Borwick who engineered his side into an early lead. Not to be out done, Air Europa Team Buenos Aires’s Sam Instone scored from an acute angle to set up a grandstand finish but as the clock ticked down neither side were able to find a decisive goal as the match finished in a hard-earner 5-all draw.
MINT Team London’s George Spencer Churchill: “This year’s Chestertons Polo in the Park has been amazing. The crowds over the three days have been the biggest I have ever seen and its such fun to be able to play right in the heart of London.”
In addition to the matches, kids were chomping at the bit to be part of West London’s biggest children party on the pitch as leading children’s entertainers, Sharky & George hosted a morning with exhilarating games for all the family, including a gigantic tug-of-war, space hoppers and even got out much needed water balloons to cool off in the mid-day sun.
Runner Up Final:
Argentex Team Dubai versus Navigant Team New York 7-5
MINT Team London versus Air Europa Team Buenos Aires 5-5
Chestertons Polo in the Park Final:
Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park Team Hong Kong versus Jnan Amar Polo Club Team Marakech 3-2
ICM Capital Team England
AwakeConBal Team South Africa
Dirk Van Reenan
MINT Team London
Air Europa Team Buenos Aires
Argentex Team Dubai
Mohammed Al Habtoor
Juan Cruz Guevara
Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park Team Hong Kong
Jnan Amar Polo Club Team Marrakech
Navigant Team New York