It was a successful premiere: On April 19th British Polo Day – presented by Land Rover – celebrated its first event on African soil with the inaugural British Polo Day Morocco. Jnan Amar Polo Club hosted the event for the benefit of The Eve Branson Foundation, under the High Patronage of His Majesty and the auspices of the Royal Moroccan Polo Federation.
Against the backdrop of the majestic Atlas Mountains, the day’s polo got off to an exhilarating start with the Jnan Amar Cup – a closely-fought encounter between the Royal Salute Eve Branson Commonwealth and Oxford Group Holdings Jnan Amar Rest of The World teams. New Zealand international eight-goaler John Paul Clarkin and his team were on top form from the opening minutes of the first chukka and went on to win the match seven and a half goals to four, despite some serious pressure and very fine play from the Oxford Group Holdings team.
After a delicious afternoon tea, the Hackett British Army took to the field alongside the Moroccan Royal Guard – their first ever encounter – for the Land Rover Trophy. At plus four goals, this was a unique affair and a low scoring game belied the intensity of the play, which resulted in a two goal draw. A fitting end to this first ever match between the two armies.
Over 350 guests and VIPs, including Sir Richard Branson, philanthropist Eve Branson, Philip Treacy, British Ambassador to Morocco Clive Alderton, US Ambassador to Morocco Dwight L. Bush Sr., gathered at the Jnan Amar Polo Club for a day of top polo, followed by a Gala Dinner. The Charity Auction proved to be the perfect culmination of the day’s event and raised over US$175,000 for The Eve Branson Foundation – a record for the British Polo Day Global Series. The mission of the Eve Branson Foundation, founded by Sir Richard Branson on behalf of his mother, is to improve the lifes of women and young girls in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco.
Eve Branson: “The aim of my foundation is to create positive opportunities, working in partnership with each village, to bring about transformations both economically and socially. British Polo Day Morocco, hosted by Jnan Amar Polo Club, was not only an amazing opportunity to bring all the friends of The Eve Branson Foundation to Marrakech for a fantastic weekend, but also the perfect occasion to raise serious amounts of money for a cause that is very close to my heart.”
Amar Abdelhadi, Founder of Jnan Amar Polo Club: “First I would like to thank His Majesty King Mohamed VI for his generous Patronage of the event, I am also grateful to The Royal Moroccan Polo Federation for their continuous support. We are honoured to have worked closely once again with The Eve Branson Foundation on this prestigious charity event and to be a part of the efforts to raise much needed funds to the women and children of the Atlas mountains. We are also delighted that British Polo Day were our partners this year and pleased to be a part of the British Polo Day Global Series.”