At the Pinctada Cable Beach Polo in Broome, Australia team Pinctada Cable Beach Australia with Warwick Prendiville (+1), Luke Reid (+2) and Matt Welsh (+4) defeated the opposing team Hutchinson Real Estate India with Angad Singh (+1), Gaurav Sahgal (+3) and Major Vishal Chauhan (+3) with 4-3.

Marilynne Paspaley AM has announced Pinctada Cable Beach Polo will return to Broome in 2014 following the success of this year’s tournament, which concluded in spectacular style yesterday with a thrilling international clash between top Indian and Australian players. During the weekend, Australia’s only beach polo tournament attracted visitors from around Australia and the world to the famous pearling town in the Kimberley region of northwest Australia and even a flash storm that drenched players in yesterday’s opening game couldn’t rain on Broome’s polo parade.

Matt Welsh: “India beat us in the last two encounters on their home turf so it was great to get the win on the sand before our home crowd. It was a hard and fierce clash, the Indians were very strong and anyone who thinks beach polo is a novelty sport just needed to see the vigour and aggression on Cable Beach this weekend. Beach polo is a serious sporting contest and while there are only eight countries in the world that host the sport, it is growing in stature and gaining interest among the world’s best players.”

Marilynne Paspaley of Pinctada Hotels and Resorts, sponsor of the event: “This weekend was the realisation of a vision my team, the Broome community and a handful of committed polo patrons and players have been working towards for the past two years. I couldn’t be more delighted with the spectacle we experienced on Cable Beach this weekend – we saw fine equine athletes in action on the sand, we saw the marvellous skills of the Indian and Australian players who competed in four matches over the weekend and we saw young Indigenous stockmen play their first game of polo in the inaugural Commonwealth Bank Kimberley Challenge after training on their stock horses in the weeks leading up to the tournament.

“We had bikini-clad spectators on the beach and visitors from around the world dressed in barefoot elegance in our VIP Marquee enjoying the polo action against the backdrop of the stunning Kimberley coast. All those elements of this unique event, Australia’s only beach polo tournament, were shared through social media and we’ve already had several expressions of interest from international polo clubs wanting to join us, so I am delighted to announce that Pinctada Cable Beach Polo 2014 will be held in Broome on the weekend of May 24-25 next year, pending Shire approval.”

The return of Pinctada Cable Beach Polo to Broome on May 24-25 2014 was also welcomed by Broome Shire President Graeme Campbell: “This event has kicked off Broome’s high tourism season in an exciting and positive way and it will no doubt only get bigger and better with players and tourists coming from around the world to experience it.”

Pinctada Cable Beach Polo 2013 also featured 43 of Australia’s finest equine athletes from the stable of the Swan Valley Polo Club, the strongest polo club in Western Australia. The horses arrived in Broome last Tuesday night after a 2-day road trip from Perth. They ‘stretched their legs’ with a beach walk on Wednesday morning and adjusted to the sand surface with two training sessions in the days leading up to the weekend tournament.

Another highlight of Pinctada Cable Beach Polo 2013 was the inaugural Commonwealth Bank Kimberley Challenge, which saw four young Indigenous stockmen come to the sea to compete in Australia’s only beach polo tournament. The Commonwealth Bank Kimberley Challenge, has been developed to introduce the sport of polo to young riders in the Kimberley and Matt Welsh, Captain of the Swan Valley Polo Club, oversaw the training of the young stockmen in the skills of the game during the weeks leading up to the tournament, with Major Vishal Chauhan helping out in the final days. The stockmen were also vying for the inaugural Swan Valley Polo Club Scholarship, which was awarded to Jimmy Long who now has an opportunity to further hone his newly acquired polo skills as the scholarship will see him working, training and playing alongside members of the Swan Valley Polo Club during the 2014 polo season.

The ‘between chukka’ action featured fashion themed spectator events on each day of the tournament – Sand Chic on Saturday and Style on the Sand on Sunday. On each day the female winner received Paspaley jewellery while the male winners of Sand Chic and Style on the Sand received a limited edition 6-litre bottle of Bunnamagoo 1827 Cabernet Sauvignon, produced from the vines of historic Bunnamagoo Estate, one of the Paspaley family’s vineyards in central NSW.

The other matches of the weekend also showed exciting fights: Roebuck Bay Ringers defeated Saltbush Musters at the Commonwealth Bank Kimberley Challenge with 3-1, team Paspaley overwhelmed Kronenbourg 1664 at the Broome International Airport Challenge with 4-1 and GPG Group – East Coast gained a tight victory over H&M Tracey Construction – West Coast at the Pinctada East Coast vs. West Coast Challenge with 5-4.