Held under royal patronage, with members of four royal families playing, British Polo Day Great Britain, presented by Chelsea Barracks was certainly a day to remember.
Joining The Duke of Sussex on the field was the world’s number one male polo player Argentine Adolfo Cambiaso, and the number one female player Nina Clarkin. The line-up was cause for excitement among spectators and the matches did not disappoint..
The GB event’s teams included Royal Salute La Dolfina Brava, a 13-goal team led by 9-goaler David Sterling, and a newcomer to British Polo Day H.H. Prince Abdul Rahman of Johor Bahru giving two goals to the ten goal Falcon Group home team of the Black Bears, led by Lucas Monteverede. La Dolfina Brava played better and better to overcome the Black Bears by 10 goals to 8.
The second match was between the Chelsea Barracks team and the Vista Jet UAE side. There was some real talent in Chelsea Barracks in the shape of H.R.H. The Duke of Sussex and Nina Clarkin, who were well backed up by Juan Martin Nero. They got off to a slow start and it was only in the third that they started to overhaul UAE with some strong play by Adolfo Cambiaso and H.H. Pacho of Jaipur. The end result was that Chelsea Barracks ran out of winners by 6 to 4 ½. The Royal Salute Most Valuable Player went to HH Pacho Singh of Jaipur and the Chelsea Barracks best playing pony went to Nina Clarkin’s Basil.
Although a wonderful day of entertainment, philanthropy was at the heart of the occasion.
Through charity auctions and private patron pledges, more than $147,000 was raised for H.H. the Maharaja of Jodhpur’s India Head Injury Foundation and more than $555,000 for the Eve Branson Foundation has been raised. This year money is being raised for The Royal Foundation and Sentebale. The Royal Foundation, the charitable vehicle of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, has programmes that currently revolve around four main themes of work: mental health, wildlife and conservation, young people and the armed forces community. Meanwhile, Sentebale is a charity co-founded by The Duke of Sussex and Prince Seeiso that supports children and young people affected by HIV in southern Africa to lead healthy, productive lives.
Artist Sacha Jafri created a special, one-off painting during the event, which includes the hand prints of a number of polo players including Adolfo Cambiaso and Nina Clarkin, which fetched £200,000 in the auction. Sacha is the pioneer of the Magical Realism style and has over the past 18 years raised $40m from the sale of his works for many worthy causes.