When Horse Power Meets Horse Power
Chestertons Polo in the Park teamed up with McLaren racing driver, Euan Hankey, and England Polo player, George Meyrick, to test which 'engine' is quicker over 50m; a one horsepower Polo pony or a McLaren Sports Series 570S.
The sports stars took to the famous Top Gear track at Dunsfold to battle it out and claim the horsepower bragging rights (as well as a magnum of Champagne Lanson to celebrate). To add to the challenge, we included a tricky hair pin turn at half-way, so control and acceleration, key features in a Polo match, were crucial.
Argentex Team Dubai Reign Supreme At Chestertons Polo In The Park
The sun kept up its perfect record of shining down on London’s Hurlingham Park for the third day of Chestertons Polo in the Park. Polo fans gathered at the iconic grounds on Finals Day as Argentex Team Dubai - led by George Spencer-Churchill, Marquess of Blandford - were crowned winners of Chestertons Polo in the Park.
To open the day’s polo action, the Subsidiary Final took place between Mauritius Team Port Louis and Air Europa Team Buenos Aries. In blustery conditions both teams took a few minutes to find their stride and settle in to the game. An early-crossing penalty gave Nacho Gonzalez a chance to open the scoring, however he pushed his effort wide. Never one to dwell on a missed opportunity, Gonzalez quickly regrouped and slotted home a beautiful strike to give Mauritius Team Port Louis a 1-0 lead. Building on their early goal, Mauritius Team Port Louis started to take control of the game when James McCarthy latched onto a beautiful pass from teammate Gonzalez outside the ‘D’ to increase the lead to 3-0 just as the first chukka ended.
As the second chukka began, Air Europa Team Buenos Aries began to make their mark on the game thanks to a close-range finish from Juan Cruz Guevara, closing the gap to just two goals, but a subsequent missed penalty by Guevara kept them from getting any closer. The second half of the game started much quicker than the first, with both teams adding a goal to their tallies, but countless other scoring opportunities went begging due to the changeable weather conditions. As the seconds ran out in the fourth and final chukka, Mauritius Team Port Louis put the result beyond all doubt with a well worked team goal, finished off by James McCarthy.
The second game of the day was the Runner-Up Final, as hometown favourites MINT Team London took on Whitley Neill Team Cape Town, both teams vying to take home third place. A testy opening chukka saw both teams piling on the pressure and creating chances, but sterling defensive play kept the scores at 0-0. It wasn’t until Joaquin Pittaluga stroked in a penalty to give Whitley Neill Team Cape Town a slender lead, right as the first chukka came to a close. The pressure continued into the second chukka with Ruki Baillieu finally opening the scoring for MINT Team London, levelling the scores at 1-1. Despite the wind continuing to challenge both sides, Whitley Neill Team Cape Town strung together a series of beautiful passes which Jamie Morrison was able to finish off to give Whitley Neill Team Cape Town an authoritative 3-1 lead, and one which they wouldn’t surrender for the rest of the game.
As the second half got underway both teams continued knocking at the door, but neither could finish it off until the very end of the fourth chukka when Pittaluga avoided challenges from two opponents and buried his shot, and Jamie Morrison added his second to give a final score of 5-1.
Speaking on the win, Whitley Neill Team Cape Town’s Jamie Morrison said “It was a glorious day and a great game, which was closer than we thought, and closer than the score line suggested. It was tough, as Chestertons Polo in the Park always is, and I was hoping we would get to the Final, although we didn’t make it this year. Chestertons Polo in the Park is always fantastic and going from strength to strength, with a great turn out and all the kids really getting into it and supporting the teams.”
The last game of the day was the one that everyone had been waiting for, the Chestertons Polo in the Park 2017 Final, and it certainly lived up to the billing. Right on the stroke of five o’clock EFG Team Zurich and Argentex Team Dubai rode out to an electric atmosphere and blazing sunshine, both teams ready to give their all. Just as the fans had hoped, the game got off to a scintillating start, as with barely a minute played both teams were on the scoreboard, Alejandro Muzzio recording his first goal for Argentex Team Dubai and Max Charlton levelling almost immediately.
By the end of the first chukka each team had doubled their totals to keep the game exciting at 2-2, but in the second chukka Argentex Team Dubai really piled on the pressure, notching an additional four goals to take an imperious 6-2 lead, and at half-time it looked like they would be the runaway winners of the day. The half-time break allowed for EFG Team Zurich to recompose themselves and on the back of two Max Charlton goals and a Chris Hyde two-pointer, EFG Team Zurich were right back in the game, trailing by only one goal with a score line of 7-6 at the end of the third chukka. The final chukka saw plenty of chances for EFG Team Zurich to complete the comeback of the tournament, but the defending of Argentex Team Dubai proved too strong in the end, and they were able to squeak out the win to be crowned Chestertons Polo in the Park 2017 Champions.
Speaking after his victory, Agrentex Team Dubai’s Juan Cruz Merlos said, “It’s my first time playing at Chestertons Polo in the Park and it was really great. In the first-half we were winning by five goals but they caught up. The second-half was very close but we managed to take the win. The event was great fun and really well organised, and the crowd are amazing.”
History Made At Hurlingham Club
The sunshine arrived just in time for the opening day of Chestertons Polo in the Park. Crowds from all over London flocked to the historic Hurlingham Park for four games of fast and furious polo, accompanied by luxury bars, including the picturesque Champagne Lanson Garden and a selection of London’s top pop-up restaurants. The Mahiki VIP was bursting with celebs, including Hugo Taylor and Lucy Mecklenburgh, as guests were treated to thrilling polo clashes alongside off-pitch entertainment.
Renowned for its world-class polo in the heart of the city, the highlight of the opening day of Chestertons Polo in the Park was undoubtedly the International match. History was made as Champions Polo League India strode onto to the hallowed turf for the first time in over 70 years, led by HH Maharaja Padmanabh Singh. ICM Capital Team England also re-wrote history as Hazel Jackson became the first-ever female to play at Chestertons Polo in the Park.
Hoping to improve on their previous results, ICM Capital Team England were the first to reach the score board with a short strike from Jack Richardson, in a scintillating opening chukka. The lead was short-lived as HH Maharaja Padmanabh Singh proved why he is one of the best, not only showing strength in defence but also setting up a breathtaking goal for his teammate, Dhruv Pal Godara to widen the gap for his team giving them a lead that looked as though it would not be relinquished. Jack Richardson tried his hardest to cut the deficit in the third quarter but HH Maharaja Padmanabh Singh’s team were too strong and a stunning goal from Simran Singh Shergill extended the lead to 6-3. In a nail-biting final chukka, noise erupted from the stands as ICM Capital Team England's Nacho Gonzalez struck a two-pointer to level the scores. The clock ticked down, with pressure on both sides, neither wanting to go home empty handed. In the final moments, it was the first ever lady player to compete at Chestertons Polo in the Park, Hazel Jackson, who sealed the victory for ICM Capital Team England, much to the delight of the packed grandstand. For the first time since the International match's inception in 2015, ICM Capital Team England lifted the much-heralded Olympic Trophy.
Hazel Jackson commented on the victory afterwards, "It was super intense, but probably one of the most fun tournaments I have ever played. We were so lucky to bring the win home. There is just so much atmosphere here, so much enthusiasm and competition – the level is absolutely epic, so it’s a different story here. It was amazing to have so much support and rock on the girls, they loved it and I loved it."
Grazing Paddocks Returns To Polo In The Park
The organisers of Chestertons Polo in the Park are excited to announce the return of the Grazing Paddock, polo’s greatest pop-up food festival, to Hurlingham Park for the annual polo event taking place from 9 – 11 June.
In 2017 Chestertons Polo in the Park will welcome a host of new restaurants to the Grazing Paddock, alongside some of 2016’s tastiest picks. Showcasing their dishes for the first time is the deliciously cheesy Mac Factory, offering spectators a variety of uniquely flavoured and freshly cooked Mac’n’Cheese plates. With an array of food inspired by different corners from around the globe, Chelsea-based restaurant Kiru will bring a modern twist to traditional Japanese food and Chicken Shack, serving a variety of marinated chicken in home-inspired sauces. Claw, the sustainable seafood vendor will bring a taste of the British seaside to Hurlingham Park, in sociable servings designed to be eaten on the go.
Fabian Clark, Director and Chef of Claw said: “We’re really excited to be attending Chestertons Polo in the Park, and for the spectators to experience our menu. It’s been designed with street-food in mind so is perfect for eating whilst on the move.”
Returning for a second-year running is gourmet hotdog company Bubbledogs, owned by Michelin starred chef, James Knappett and wife Sandia Chang, they will be serving a mouth-watering selection of handcrafted hotdogs.
American diner meets French bistro burger company Le Bun, and the likes of Smokestak, Carbonis and Born & Raised will also be back, each bringing a variety of flavours ranging from hand-stretched pizzas to stylishly rustic barbecues.
Rory Heron, Managing Director of Sportgate International, organisers of Chestertons Polo in the Park, said: “We are thrilled to be welcoming the return of the Grazing Paddock. Spectator experience is pivotal to Chestertons Polo in the Park, which is why we are excited to bring back this remarkable dining experience, showcasing the very best of London’s pop-up restaurants.”
Chestertons Polo in the Park will be hosting many of the world’s top Polo players to bring a weekend of high-class sport to Central London. The adapted rules allow spectators to get even closer to the action, whilst also simplifying the game ensuring no prior knowledge of the sport is needed to understand what’s going on.
2017 Polo Season Just Days Away