EEM, the founding company and organiser of the Longines Masters series, is constantly evolving and always on the lookout for innovative ideas. It has always made a point of opening up the Longines Masters to other disciplines that stand to benefit from show jumping’s extensive media coverage, as well as giving audiences the chance to discover or better understand other sports. This year, dressage was magnificently showcased in Hong Kong and Los Angeles; and in Hong Kong again, the racing world (very popular in Asia) encountered the world of show jumping last February. The equestrian show, as was seen once again in Paris in December with Sylvie Wilms, also plays an important part in the Longines Masters’ programme. From 19th to 21st February 2016, polo will return to Hong Kong thanks to the Longines Masters.
Accompanying the star horses on the international jumping circuit, eight horses from the Chantilly Polo Club will be flown out to Hong Kong at the start of February. They will take part in an arena-polo demonstration tournament: the Shanghai Tang Polo Cup.
The games will be fast-paced, dynamic and spectacular to watch, especially as the players from 3 continents who will be in Hong Kong are all hugely talented professionals: the French no. 1 and 6-goaler, Brieuc Rigaux, the Australian 6-goaler, Dirk Gould, winner, among other victories, of the Al Habtoor Royal Windsor this year, Great Britain’s Malcolm Borwick (6-goaler) and Nico Curto, the Argentinean 5-goaler, a professional player who is very much involved in polo in this part of Asia. The players will battle it out in four chukkas of 4 minutes each.
EEM’s desire to encourage Hong Kong audiences to discover polo goes beyond the professional matches. The Longines Masters arena will be open to local players, who will be able to participate in a penalty shoot-out to qualify to play alongside the professional players. Introductory polo sessions with wooden horses and small foot mallets will be run for children as well as adults throughout the weekend.
The audience at the Longines Hong Kong Masters, who love games and adore thrills and spills, will quickly be smitten by the Shanghai Tang Polo Cup. Especially as, for this première, EEM has once again called on the services of some excellent partners: the specialists from Chantilly Polo Club, one of the three biggest clubs in Europe, as well as some big-name professional players who will bring all the flavour of a major sporting event to this demonstration tournament.