ABU DHABI: The first major of the season and one of the most-anticipated events on Ghantoot Racing and Polo Club’s calendar, the Emirates Polo Championship International will kick off on December 8 with the grand final scheduled for a week later on December 15.
Passion, tradition, legacy and sporting elegance will take centre stage as the Emirates Polo Championship International, which will be held under the generous patronage of HH Sheikh Falah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of Ghantoot Racing and Polo Club, turns 20.
The draw ceremony for the prestigious competition was held at Ghantoot Racing and Polo Club on Sunday in the presence of HE Zayed Khalifa Zayed Al Aboudi Al Zaabi, Executive Director of the club, Nasser Al Shamsi, captain Ghantoot team, and representatives of other teams.
Three teams – Ghantoot Polo, Bin Drai and Abu Dhabi Polo – will lock horns during the championship, which has attracted the best players over the years and is known to deliver the highest quality of polo.
The tournament carries a handicap of 10-12 goals and it will see the participation of many young faces and, of course, the creme de la creme of UAE players. All the participating three teams boast a mix of the best Emirati and international players.
A total cash prize of $100,000 is up for grabs at the Emirates Polo Championship International, widely regarded as one of the region’s most important polo tournaments.
Bin Drai led by Mohammed Bin Drai will face the Ghantoot team in the opener on December 8 today. The match will start at 4pm. Ghantoot will be in action on December 10 when they square off against Abu Dhabi Polo team. Later, Bin Drai take on Abu Dhabi Polo on December 12.
Zaabi said: “We are proud to have reached another milestone as we celebrate two decades of medium-goal polo in the UAE with the Emirates Polo Championship International.”
Hailing the vision of HH Sheikh Falah and his support, Zaabi said: “It is a historical occasion for Ghantoot Racing and Polo Club to celebrate the 20th anniversary of one of the top events of our calendar.
“Good luck to all the teams participating. We look forward to seeing some thrilling matches being played on the Sheikh Zayed Polo Field at the Ghantoot Racing and Polo Club.
“This achievement would not have been possible without the support of sponsors and team patrons,” Zaabi added.
The tournament will take place behind closed doors in line with UAE’s Covid-19 precautionary and preventive measures, and the club management has decided to follow the highest standards of health and safety norms to ensure everyone taking part is safe.
The Emirates Polo Championship International takes place in association with Abu Dhabi Sports Council and is supported by Capex.com and Paris Reverie.
Polo enthusiasts can catch the action live as the matches will be transmitted through Abu Dhabi sports channels, in addition to the transmission of all matches via Ghantoot Racing and Polo Club’s social media platforms along with the website.
GHANTOOT POLO (+12)
Nasser Al Shamsi (+1)
Santos Iriarte (+1)
Cesar Crespo (+4)
Manuel Toccalino (+6)
ABU DHABI POLO (+11)
Faris Al Yabhouni (0)
Maxi Malacalza (+3)
Bautista Garcia (+4)
Hugo Barabucci (+4)
BIN DRAI POLO (+10)
Mohammed Bin Drai (+1)
Bautista Alberdi (+3)
Rashed Bin Drai (+1)
Gergorio Gelosi (+5)