On Saturday 31st May, British Polo Day, presented by Land Rover, launched –for the first time – in the USA. Hosted by the President of the Will Rogers Polo Club, Andrew Bossom and British Polo Day’s USA Representative, Lord Frederick Windsor - and his wife, the actress and writer Sophie Winkleman - the day saw over 400 guests and VIPs descend on the world-famous Will Rogers Historic State Park for the inaugural event.
Guests including The Duke of Argyll, David Walton, Elon Musk, Talulah Riley, Olivier de Givenchy, Cassian Elwes and Paul McKenna, not only enjoyed a superb day of polo but also helped to raise US$54,250 for the benefit of Great Ormond Street Hospital and Homeboy Industries.
Under the glorious West Coast sunshine, guests were welcomed with a Taittinger champagne reception and a thoroughly British game of Brompton bicycle polo - always an enjoyable spectacle! Everyone then took their seats for a three-course authored lunch, expertly paired with wines from Royal Warrant Holders, Justerini & Brooks.
Over lunch, professional auctioneer Tony Magnemi commenced the Loud Auction, raising money for the benefit of Great Ormond Street Hospital and Homeboy Industries. With auction lots including a five-night stay at The Maldives’ Sixth Senses Laamu; a week in one of 3rd Home’s luxury residences, the Royal Salute 38 Years Old Stone of Destiny Scotch Whisky (snapped up by actress Talulah Riley); and a signed copy of ‘Polo – The Nomadic Tribe’, by the illustrious photographer Aline Coquelle, the afternoon raised over US$54,250 for both charities.
From auction hammer to polo mallet, the day’s polo then got off to an exhilarating start with the opening Hackett Trophy. The Hackett Eton College and Royal Salute Will Rogers Polo Club teams took to the field for a closely-fought encounter. The match saw Eton College take an early lead and maintain a narrow advantage throughout, to clinch a close victory over the home team with a 6½ to 4 win.
Post-match, guests and VIPs enjoyed a delicious pitch-side afternoon tea by Homeboy Industries. The charity’s previously incarcerated and gang-involved men and women served homemade cakes and sandwiches from their phenomenally-popular popular bakery.
In the day’s second match, the Oxford Group Holdings Oxbridge team took on The London’s Southern California Polo Team for the Land Rover Cup. This was a thrilling match and, despite some serious pressure and very fine play from both sides, Southern California were just too strong and claimed a 6-4 victory as the whistle blew at the end of the final chukka.
As the sun set over the stunning Will Rogers Historic Park, proceedings drew to a close with the British Polo Day USA prize giving ceremony. Spectators joined Royal Salute Brand Ambassador, The Duke of Argyll in a Royal Salute Scotch Whisky toast to the victorious teams – a perfect culmination to the day’s event.
With the crowds gathered, Lord and Lady Frederick Windsor then presented the coveted trophies and prizes to the expectant winners. First up were the winners of the Hackett Trophy –Eton College - whose Captain, Tristan Phillimore stepped forward to receive the trophy on behalf of his team. Up next to claim the prestigious Land Rover Cup was Captain of The London’s Southern California Polo Team, Domingo Questel.
The Holland & Holland ‘Shot of the Day’ was awarded to Max Kirchhoff of the Oxford Group Holdings Oxbridge team for a terrific effort that very nearly resulted in a goal. Meanwhile, The London’s ‘Best Playing Pony’ was awarded to the handsome Darius. Top British designer Zaeem Jamal then took to the stage to present the eagerly-anticipated ‘Best Dressed’ prize to glamorous guest, Kitty Galsworthy.
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