As a highlight of the UK South coast’s summer season, the Asahi British Beach Polo Championship will return to Sandbanks, Poole for its seventh year on the 11th and 12th July 2014. Supported by some of the best arena polo players the hotly anticipated beach festival promises even more excitement and glamour both on and off the pitch. England, Ireland, Scotland (+ 17 goal team) and Wales will be competing with England keen to retain the title after a gripping final against Wales last year. For the first time POLO+10 is present as media partner.
Arena polo is a spectacular spectator sport and played on a stunning Blue Flag beach (preferable sundrenched like last year!) brings the very best out of the players and guests. The thorough bred ponies and high goal players love playing on the beach in front of a large and enthusiastic crowd. Chris Hyde (+9 goal) and Jamie Morrison (+7 goal) are excited about coming back to sandbanks. Jack Kidd (+6 goal) who is a regular for England at the Championships says “I have been lucky enough to play polo all round the world – Sandbanks is still one of my favourite weekends of the year. The polo is insanely competitive, the guests are always on great form and the beach party’s well – they are simply the best!”
Whether visitors are dining in the waterfront Sandpolo Hospitality marquee, enjoying the exclusive VIP experience, soaking up the atmosphere with General Admission tickets, or just choosing to sit outside the fence on the purpose built beach viewing area it is a chance for polo and Sandbanks to show off its attributes to about 5,000 seasoned and new supporters each year. To complement the polo The Asahi British Beach Polo Championship offers a host of other activities such as ‘have a go’ polo, the Oakley Beach Volleyball (England V Australia), the charity Audi V Polo Pony race and the vibrant retail village. The polo is an excuse to dress up (or strip off for a quick swim), stay up late and indulge.
So why does the Championships keep returning to Poole? Johnny Wheeler says “a cooperative council and a large, stunning, easily accessible beach are the vital ingredients for us as event organisers. Some good weather, the best polo players and an enthusiastic crowd is pretty important too”.