XI FIP World Polo Championships
Back in May of this year we held our Horse Power Drive Day for the jockeys of the Autumn Race Carnival at Randwick. Our chosen destination for the event was the picturesque Hawkesbury region where we were lucky enough to hold our refreshment stop at the Sydney Polo Club. Whilst there we met with Peter Higgins, CEO of the club and the World Polo Championship and we were extended an invitation to support the event as vehicle sponsor. With such beautiful surroundings and the opportunity to align ourselves with such a prestigious event we immediately knew this was something we wanted to be involved with.
After months of preparation and hard work from both the SCP team and the organisers we turned up on Friday the day before and were greeted with one of the worst days weather we’ve seen all year, thunderstorms and torrential rain had everyone questioning whether the event would even be able to go ahead, let alone see the crowds everyone was hoping for to put Sydney on the map as a polo destination. WPC CEO Peter Higgins even had his doubts as to whether the pitches would be playable on the Saturday, but with 10 years of preparations he wasn’t prepared to admit defeat.
“I walked the fields first thing with the Federation of International Polo tournament directors and they looked at the water and said we had to cancel Saturday. But I know my fields, I’ve built them, and I knew they would be fine, and we went ahead and they were perfect,”
As the water subsided in time for the Saturday opening ceremony the event was flooded again… but this time by over 10,000 people looking to experience the opening ceremony and games. Even we were blown away not only by the numbers in attendance, but how accessible the sport was for everyone, not just polo enthusiasts.
The competition began on the Saturday with Argentina taking on the USA, from the get-go Argentina made it clear they were here to win. The next 9 days saw the 8 countries on the pitch with some heavily contended matches all leading to the grand final on Sunday the 29th between Chili and Argentina. The South American derby was a hard fought competition with victory belonging to either team right up until the final seconds of the game when Argentina secured victory with a golden goal.
Outside of the polo competition the event would still have been a spectacle to see. When games weren’t being played the crowds were kept entertained with a number of other equine displays including jousting, show jumping and even a rodeo on the Friday evening, There was also lot’s to see without horse with the ground becoming an outdoor art gallery that would give Bondi’s iconic Sculptures by the Sea a run for their money, and a number of other displays – including our very own display of exotic and iconic vehicles from our Platinum and Classic collections.
We were proud to be a part of this global event and look forward to supporting the Australian polo community and Sydney Polo club in the future.
Take a look at some photo captured by our very own photographer Blake Currall