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The weekend brought the return of the much-missed British summer as residents across London finally beat the sun in its game of hide-and-seek. SHERENE MELINDA basked in the sunshine as they offered up their designer handbags at this year’s prestigious Chestertons Polo in the Park. In this article we share all the highlights from the playing fields of Hurlingham Park, which played host this weekend to some electric games of one of the world’s most fast-paced sports.
The home of polo
Hurlingham Park, located in Fulham, London, is often referred to as the home of polo. The park originally belonged to Hurlingham Club, a pigeon-shooting club that adopted polo as a sporting interest in the 1800’s. The sport later became the club’s specialty, earning them renown and giving the grounds the title they have today.
The opening day saw teams from across the world clash on the field, much to the delight of spectators. Polo in the park is a special arena version of the sport, adapted to make play possible in small spaces. The normal size of a playing field in polo is 270 by 150 metres, nine times the size of an American football field. In comparison, an arena polo field is 96 x 46 metres (roughly 3 times the size of an American football field).
Furthermore, each team has 3 players rather than the traditional four. They use an air filled ball rather than the conventional wooden or plastic ball. These features mean the players have greater maneuverability and plays are quicker.
South Africa vs England
Awake ConBal Team South Africa, captained by Derreck Bratley, opened against ICM Capital Team England, consisting of players Jack Richardson, George Meyrick and Hugo Lewis. The opening chukka (the name given to a period of play in polo) saw a racing start from South Africa; giving them a lead they did not let slip for the rest of the game. The match ended with an 8:6 victory for South Africa, prompting the captain’s following reaction:
“We are ecstatic to win the CITY AM Internatonal match, especially against a quality opposition like ICM Capital Team England, the atmosphere was unbelievable”.
Some other games on Friday included:
Marrakech vs New York
Marrakech beat New York, speaking of their victory, they said:
“It was great fun being out there and starting with a win. This year at Chestertons Polo in the Park there seems to be a great atmosphere and really good support from all the sponsors and people in the crowd”.
MINT Team London vs Argentex Team Dubai
MINT Team London sealed a successful victory over their opposition Argentex Team Dubai after player Malcolm Borwick scored the tournament’s first two-point goal (an achievement only possible in the arena version of the game). The match ended with a score of 6:5.
Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park Team Hong Kong vs Air Europa Team Buenos Aires
The defending champions Hong Kong opened against Air Europa Team Buenos Aires in a match that got spectators standing up and putting their drinks down. Hong Kong eventually played Marrakech in the final on Sunday and won 3-2, taking the trophy two years on the trot.
Tasty food and thirst-quenching drinks
Alongside all the games of polo, spectators still needed a scrumptious selection to line their tummies before the celebrations began. Luckily for them, The Great Polo Food Festival was offering some of the finest dishes, including favourites from HIX, Maze Grill and Smokestak.
All this great food was in need of a beverage to boot. Champagne Lanson opened a huge garden throughout the event, which oversaw the playing field.
Despite all the action, visitors went through plenty of bottles, as we later found out!:
Mayfair’s finest and celebrity hotspot The Mahiki created Europe’s longest outdoor bar, which oversaw the pitch and served a variety of drinks, such as the below:
Time to shop
Even with all the sport, gorgeous weather and appetite-pleasing food and drink, there was still time for visitors to do a spot of shopping. SHERENE MELINDA joined other luxury brands in the Shopping Village, including Taylor Morris, Fairfax & Favor and London’s ISWAl.
Still time to shop!
If you visited us at the Polo in the Park but couldn’t decide on the perfect colour or style, there’s still time to shop! You can browse the full SHERENE MELINDA collection online and enjoy delivery throughout Europe or join us at The Spirit of Summer Fair at Kensington Olympia London from 22-25th June on Stand G70.
We hope you enjoyed your weekend in the sun and remember to stay up-to-date with all the news from SHERENE MELINDA using the links below.