Approximately 700 guests and spectators including His Highness Tunku Idris Iskandar Ismail Abdul Rahman Ibni Sultan Ibrahim, The Temenggong of Johor and Ambassadors from the many Embassies in Singapore were present at the inaugural BMW Singapore Beach Polo Championship finals to witness team Oceania clinching the coveted title in a heated battle against team Asia.
Team Oceania, led by Captain Ric McCarthy from Australia, raced aggressively scoring two goals under a minute of the game in the first chukka and eventually taking home the title with an impressive goal by McCarthy in the last few minutes of the final chukka.
Representing the Singapore Polo Club, team Asia’s Captain Satinder Garcha and his team put up a very strong and tough fight for Oceania with their strategic game of play. It was a match so intense; the ball had to be replaced in the second chukka as it was out of shape. Under the glistening sun and enthusiastic spectators, team Oceania defended mightily as team Asia tried to score multiple times, just ten meters away from the goal post, much to the enthusiasm of the crowd for an equalizer however it was too late. Finally, team Oceania won by 3.5-1 and was crowned the Champion with Asia coming in as the first runner-up.
The Best Playing Pony was awarded to Ashhab, which belongs to Ali Reda. It was a triple win for Ali Reda who also won the prize as Most Valuable Player.
Earlier in the day, team America and Europe battled one another for the third and fourth placing with America winning 4.5-1 under team Captain Francisco Guinazu’s leadership.
Ric McCarthy, Captain of team Oceania: “I’d like to thank the Singapore Polo Club for the work they’ve done and for supplying their ponies to us. To be able to fly out from Australia and be out here on this pitch and have such a great time, it’s amazing and to win the tournament, it was special.”
The event held over the course of two days from 4 to 5 June at Tanjong Beach, Sentosa, marked the first time polo was being played on the beach in Singapore. The audience got to enjoy the polo matches, a string quartet on the beach, a Miss World Resort fashion show, a Stick and Ball game to support the Singapore Polo Club’s Outreach Programme that gives back to the underprivileged Singaporean children and bot days ended with an after party every evening.
Traditionally played on the lush greens in a field, beach polo took the game of polo to greater heights following the popularity of Beach Polo in Dubai and Miami Beach Polo as players play on a 70m by 40m pitch marked on the sand which makes it even trickier.
Organized by the Singapore Polo Club with title sponsor BMW Asia Group, supported by Singapore Tourism Board and the various sponsors, Peroni as the Official Beer, 100Plus as the Official Drink, Leica as the Official Photography equipment, Ms World Singapore for the fashion show, Indochine as the F&B caterer, the successful and exhilarating event was well attended by 1,500 guests over the two days and it allowed the guests and public to understand and enjoy the Game of Kings while basking in the best of lifestyle and entertainment.
Rickard Hogberg, President of the Singapore Polo Club shared that this was the first time the team organized an event out of the grounds of the club: “For the first time, beach polo is being played on the sands of Singapore and I hope this will be a memorable experience not just for our players but also our guests and the public. This is an event which took about 2 months of planning and execution and this expeditious execution would not have been possible without the support of our sponsors, partners, guests and staff.”
Axel Pannes, Managing Director, BMW Group Asia: “BMW has a long history with the sport of polo and it was our pleasure to partner with the Singapore Polo Club to host the first-ever Singapore BMW Beach Polo Championship. The two-day event drew a truly international crowd and provided them a unique opportunity to witness one of the oldest sports in action. We look forward to collaborating with the Singapore Polo Club on future activities.”
Team Americas sponsored by W Singapore (4)
Francisco Guinazu (4)
Vinod Kumar (0)
Ang Ban Tong (0)
Team Asia sponsored by Singapore Polo Club (7)
Satinder Garcha (4)
Dick Doolin (3)
Ali Namazie (0)
Team Oceania sponsored by Indochine (4)
Ric Mc Carthy (3)
Ali Reda (1)
Lynly Fong (0)
Team Europe sponsored by STELLAR Commercial Pte Ltd
Kit Brooks (5)
Isabelle Larenaudie (0)
Gerry Gan (0)
Olivier Duguet (0)
About Singapore Polo Club
The Singapore Polo Club, established in 1886, strives to promote the sport of polo and equestrian activities in Singapore and beyond. Its history dates back to the colonial period and the Club has always had an illustrious membership. Several members of the British Royal family have at various times played polo at the Club, which is set in lush, tropical grounds on Mount Pleasant Road. Over the years, the Singapore Polo Club has hosted many prestigious polo tournaments, many of which are attended by royalty, dignitaries, socialites and prominent business men and women. The Club hopes to grow the sport of polo and encourage more local Singaporeans to play “The Sport of Kings.” This is significant as polo was recognised as a medal sport at the 2007 SEA Games, in Bangkok, Thailand, with Singapore winning a silver medal at this event.
Photos © Eric SC Lim