On Saturday 7th November, British Polo Day staged its inaugural Indonesian event and very first ‘Global Gathering’ at Nihiwatu, Sumba Island. Guests including Nihiwatu Managing Partner James McBride, Peter Prentice of Royal Salute and Chairman of the Keepers of the Quaich, Chairman and CEO of Astrata Group George Kappaz, Philanthropist Gerry Smurfit, Professional Surfer Anastasia Ashley, Top Entertainment Lawyer Kathy Kendrick, Philip Lord with international model Nikita Sachdev, Dave Burt, founder of @London on Instagram with 1.6m followers and Local Dignitaries came together for a seven-day celebration of tradition, craft and heritage on an island whose ancient tribal culture is – rather aptly – deeply rooted in ‘the horse’.
Sumbanese Polo launched with some high-spirited frontier polo on the white sand 2.5km long beach of Nihiwatu. The first match of the day, saw the Hackett British Exiles take on home team, Nihiwatu I. The home team nobly defeated the British Exiles with a score of 3-0 with Bapak Herman of Sumba Island ensuring their victory with the first ever goal scored here on this island.
The Royal Salute’s Rest of the World team then took to the beach against RJI Capital’s Nihiwatu II in a closely fought and fast-paced game. Rest of the World won with a close score of 1- 0 taking them into the finals.
The deciding game was held between Nihiwatu I and The Royal Salute’s Rest of the World team, under pressure from the encroaching tide Nihiwatu took the competition with a score of 2-1 in the game for The Pasola Plate.
Fresh from British Polo Day Singapore - and all vying for a spot on the British Polo Day prize-giving podium - top players Max Kirchhoff, Oliver Browne and resident host James McBride faced fierce Sumbanese competition. James McBride, as Captain, collected the superb bespoke-commissioned British Silverware Pasola Plate for Home Team Nihiwatu I. James McBride was awarded the Royal Salute ‘Most Valuable Player’ and Bapak Anggy, the Holland & Holland ‘Shot of The Day’ presented by Gerry Smurfit and the Colonel Justinus, Regional Colonel of the Sumba Police.
As Sumba’s iconic ‘Sandalwood Ponies’ - introduced onto the island in the 16th Century – formed-up for the evening’s traditional races, guests enjoyed a spectacular Sumbanese sunset before dancing the night away in true Nihiwatu spirit at the after party on The Creek.
A very special thanks to Chris Burch for his incredible patronage and making this first event so very special.