Following weeks of intense battles at the grounds of Singapore Polo Club among three teams, the Hong Kong Polo team edged out Garcha Hotels narrowly by 9.5-9 in the final match to emerge champions of TATA Communications Singapore Polo Open 2016.
Before the long-awaited match, more than 350 guests and spectators were treated to a lovely dressage to the music by Catherine Desbaillets who started competing Grand Prix at the age of 17 and have been competing around the region and in Europe. It was followed by an auction of “Leica X Camera with a Leica X Handgrip” where proceeds were collected for Singapore Polo Club’s Outreach Programme.
As soon as the chukkas commenced, both teams were not only competing against one another but they were also braving through the heavy drizzle. The Hong Kong Polo team kicked off with an impressive goal under a minute of the first chukka. They held on to the narrow lead right up till the last two minutes of the fifth chukka when Garcha Hotels took control with a penalty, leading the game by 9-8.5. With just 30 seconds left in the final moments of the game, Isabelle Larenaudie from the Hong Kong Polo Team scored a surprise goal which clinched the title for her team with the score of 9.5-9.
Led by team captains Satinder Garcha for Garcha Hotels and the Hong Kong Polo team’s Patrick Furlong, both teams put up a strong fight, tackling aggressively with an evident thirst for victory. With the Hong Kong Polo team clinching the main title, the runner-up was awarded to Garcha Hotels followed by Royal Salute in the third place.
“It was a result of the great team effort. It’s exhilarating winning in the last seconds of the match, it was a fantastic achievement for the team so it’s really a wonderful feeling to win the Singapore Open for the first time at this level of play. The whole team is super excited to receive this,” said Patrick Furlong, team captain of Hong Kong Polo team.
In addition to the win, the Hong Kong Polo team also celebrated team captain Patrick Furlong’s Most Valuable Player award. Sharing his joy, Patrick Furlong added “I’m honored to receive the award but I couldn’t play without the support of all in the team to achieve this.”
The Best Playing Pony went to Cosita, belonging to Tata Communications CEO ‘s Vinod Kumar while the Best Turnout Pony was awarded to Kelindo which belongs to the Singapore Polo Club.
Over 350 invited guests and spectators turned up to witness the conclusion of one of the hottest tournaments of the season. Singapore Polo Club President Rickard Hogberg also took the opportunity to thank everyone for their wonderful support throughout the competition. “After weeks of intense battles, we finally have a winner! Congratulations to the Hong Kong Polo team and the runner-ups! This tournament would not have been possible without our sponsors TATA Communications, La Martina, Leica, the teams and spectators. I look forward to the next Singapore Polo Open!” said Mr. Rickard Hogberg.