" There is room for a bit of glamour and a bit of fun here…it should be a great place for owners and riders to come and relax" said Paul Graham of Pol Roger as we caught up with the 'eventers choice Champagne' ahead of two very key weeks in the British and International Eventing calendar.
With The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials less than three weeks away and The FEI European Championships at Blair Castle following in hot pursuit it is a busy and exciting time for the Champagne house who've made their move into the Eventing world and have quickly established themselves as the Eventer's choice. Having a long running relationship with Team GBR riders Harry Meade and Laura Collet, the leading champagne house announced their sponsorship for both events earlier in the year, becoming the Official Champagne of Burghley and Blair.
Pol Roger on their link with Laura Collett before Badminton earlier this year: "Pol Roger have always been a fiercely proud, independent, family house since 1849 and we really only work with companies or individuals with the same credentials or outlook. Since first reading about Laura's incredible endeavours around 18 months ago I knew instantly that this athlete and individual was a unique character and shared many attributes which Pol Roger identified with."
But what can we expect from the new partnership? Bubbles galore will be the obvious answer!
As part of their sponsorship Pol Roger will be presenting a number of bottles of their exquisite champagne to the best turned out and best dressed in the trot ups at both Burghley and Blair, a phase that seems to have grown in popularity and draws a larger crowd at each event.
At Burghley you'll find the Pol Roger team with friends, and title sponsors, Land Rover. We were lucky enough to meet their 4 wheeled team member Polly at Badminton earlier this year, and if you love a Bit of style and have a passion for cars, head across the to Land Rover stand to marvel at the wonder that is Polly the Defender in all of glory.
The Bit we're most looking forward to though? The launch of the Churchill Cuvee!
Blair for the brand will be a much grander affair, with a special hunting lodge being built for the occasion, large enough to house Polly inside, to form a champagne and wine bar to add a touch of glamour to the event. Any company can put up a tent or tradestand and put in some furniture, but Pol Roger are really trying to design the space and make it right, trying to show the creativity and thought behind it when creating a space for owners, riders and members that isn't part of the usual package at an event.
"Its not just a normal concession tent, or catering outlet or hospitality area. It is somewhere that people will feel we've put a bit of effort into and a bit of creativity behind it", added Paul.
"They'll come to Burghley and Blair…we want to be the destination for the owners, riders, members and those involved with the event. There are plenty of places for the general public to go but we want to give the owners and riders a space where they can get 5 minutes to themselves, or they want to meet people, or meet the press for an interview and they want to do it in an environment that is a bit more relaxed".
Some might say that the eventing world has been missing this added element of glamour and style. We are quite used to seeing Champagne sponsors at major Show Jumping events, such as Olympia, where the Champagne bar for members is always overflowing, and at the racing where it quickly becomes a who's who of Champagne houses and the race to be the first to buy the largest bottle.
"Eventing is a different sort of celebration, it's a very different style to racing, a bit less ostentatious maybe. There is a unique style in Three Day Eventing that maybe racing misses, but each has its own special attributes. Three day eventing seems to be much more considered feel. It appears more laid back, the intensity on the course looks to be up there with any high octane sport or full contact sport like rugby, with racing however we felt you couldn't ever really relax...we feel it's a perfect fit for us at Pol Roger Champagne and long may that continue."
So if you are heading to Burghley or Blair, do pay this fabulous brand a visit, thank them for their support and hospitality…and tell them we sent you. We are certainly looking for the future of a more glamourous eventing world.