The Audi Polo Awards combine glamour with celebration to produce one of the most memorable evenings in the polo calendar. Audi has become synonymous with polo in the UK and, as the largest supporter of English polo, the premium car brand is the rightful and natural host of this special event. May 20, the polo world’s elite once again descended on the stunning grounds of Coworth Park in Ascot to celebrate the successes of 2012. Seventeen awards were presented in total.
Andrew Hine, Director of Polofix explains, “The Audi Polo Awards present an opportunity to highlight the successes of the previous UK season and congratulate many deserved players, teams and patrons on their achievements from the past year. Hosting the event in May also creates a perfect beginning to the coming season as we welcome players back and look ahead to the year to come”.
The big winner of the evening was Adrian Kirby and his Cortium side, which scooped up an impressive three awards following their victory in the Veuve Clicquot Gold Cup at the end of last year’s high goal season. Kirby was personally awarded The Royal Salute Most Outstanding High Goal Patron award and Cortium was presented with The Apes Hill Most Outstanding High Goal Team award.
Eight goaler, Polito Pieres contributed largely to Cortium’s Gold Cup success, but Polito like many of the top polo players worldwide readily admits that it is the ponies that are the real heroes of the pitch and the linchpins of that success. It came as no surprise, then, when Polito Pieres’ stallion Don Urbano Rolinga was rightfully awarded The Kerry Packer Most Outstanding High Goal Pony award for his successes on the field last year, having collected three Best Playing Pony awards in just three months.
It wasn’t only Cortium which had a successful season though with Rashid Albwardy’s Dubai team claiming victory in the Queen’s Cup the month beforehand.
Following a win in the US Gold Cup in March, ten goal player, Adolfo Cambiaso, widely recognised as the world’s best player, got off to a storming start in the UK and deservedly received the award for The Coworth Park Most Outstanding High Handicap Player (8-10).
Playing for the Dubai team for the second consecutive year as we begin the 2013 season, Alec White was also applauded for his performance in 2012 picking up The Avios Most Promising Player award (0 – 3).
Amongst the many international players in the room and as the main sponsor of the national side, Audi fittingly presented the award for Most Outstanding British Professional. With victories over America, South America and South Africa to its credit, the England team can look back on a hugely successful and exciting 2012 season. It was no surprise that this year’s winner of The Audi Most Outstanding Professional award was none other than England Captain, Luke Tomlinson, who collected the award for the second time.
Every year the Hurlingham Polo Association (the sport’s governing body) presents The HPA Lifetime Achievement Award to an individual or individuals who have made a substantial contribution to polo in the UK. This year’s winner was Paul Withers, who for many years was a key member of the England squad and Cowdray Park polo team, with which he won both The Queen’s and Gold Cup.
Adding to the evening’s British successes was one of England’s up and coming players, Alastair Paterson who picked up the accolade for The Julius Baer Victor Ludorum Most Outstanding Young Player. Alastair truly established himself as ‘one to watch’ last year when he made his high goal debut, replacing Ellerston’s James Packer in The Gold Cup before proceeding to win The Warwickshire Cup with Halcyon Gallery. This year, his success looks set to continue as he is hotly tipped to become El Remanso’s (yet to be announced) fourth player.
Jon Zammett, Head of PR for Audi UK, says: “This season we can look forward to the second edition of the Audi International Polo Series, which includes the prestigious Westchester Cup, as well as key matches at Beaufort Polo Club and Chester Racecourse Polo Club. It is impossible to predict who will be award winners this time next year, but as ever we can expect exciting matches and top class polo.”
2013 Audi Polo Awards Winners:
The Apes Hill Most Outstanding High Goal Team: Cortium
The Royal Salute Most Outstanding High Goal Patron: Adrian Kirby (+1)
The Coworth Park Most Outstanding High Handicap Player (8–10): Adolfo Cambiaso (+10)
The Tally Ho Farm Most Outstanding Medium Handicap Player (4–7): Guillermo Terrera (+7)
The Avios Most Promising Player (0-3): Alec White (+3)
The Audi Most Outstanding British Professional: Luke Tomlinson (+7)
The Most Outstanding Lady Player: Sarah Wiseman (+2)
The Julius Baer Victor Ludorum Awards: 18 Goal – Emlor C, 15 Goal – Emlor S, 12 Goal – Montana, 8 Goal – San Miguel Fresca, 6 Goal – Snake Bite
The Julius Baer Victor Ludorum Most Outstanding Young Player: Alastair Paterson (+2)
The Polo Agency Most Outstanding Arena Team: Black Eagles
The HPA Lifetime Achievement Award: Paul Withers
The Kerry Packer Most Outstanding High Goal Pony: Don Urbano Rolinga
The Thai Polo Club World Dream Team (Chosen on the night): Facundo Pierres, Gonzalito Pierres, Polito Pierres, Carlos Gracida