British Polo Day USA 2018 | Celebrating The History And Heritage Of Polo

British Polo Day celebrates the inaugural East Coast USA event in the Empire State.

British Polo Day is an unparalleled platform celebrating the history and heritage of polo with a global community, bringing together the world’s top companies and key influencers. It provides a platform for business in emerging and growth markets, giving partners enviable access to international contacts.

Lunch before polo at the first BPD New York event

In the US for the 67th event, British Polo Day pitted four teams against each other for the VistaJet New York Polo Club Cup and the Chelsea Barracks Haviland Hollow Plate. Over 250 top British and international players have played at British Polo Day since its inception, and this year attracts well-known names in the polo world, such as number one female player in the world Nina Clarkin and her husband, captain of the New Zealand polo team JP Clarkin, and the Honourable Tristan Phillimore.

Tom Hudson, Co-Founder of British Polo Day said: “We are very excited to be hosting the first British Polo Day New York. The relationship that exists between the USA and UK means that any event on the other side of the pond is always a special one. The great base of partners – with over 2,000 years of combined heritage between them – says so much about the community that we have. My partner and CEO Ben Vestey and I are proud to be expanding the global reach of British Polo Day and creating new opportunities for our partners and guests in new territories.”

The first match saw Royal Salute New York Polo Club playing Bentley University of Virginia with the first two chukkas very even. Signs suggested that Dillon Bacon and Alfredo Vargas had worked out the UVA side, scoring 4 goals in the third chukka. Even 3 goals by the Honourable Tristan Phillimore were not even to keep NYCPC lifting the cup with 7 goals to UVA’s 3. The cup was presented by His Excellency Anthony Phillipson, Her Majesty’s trade commissioner for North America and Mr. Andrew Thomas, director of international marketing at VistaJet. The Royal Salute Most Valuable Player went to Cary Fukunaga and was presented by Keeper of the Quaich Peter Prentice.

His Highness Maharaja Sawai Padmanabh Singh of Jaipur at the VistaJet Players and Patrons dinner at the Whitby Hotel

The second match pulsated with fine play and long drives by the two 6-goalers on the VistaJet British Polo Day and Chelsea Barracks Haviland Hollow sides. These passes were well read by husband and wife Nina and JP Clarkin and although in the first two chukkas they did not find the flags it was clear that they would get their range. After halftime, some particularly fine play by Kris Kampsen and Sam Ramirez seemed to have set the tone for a victory with both Marina Wambold and John Klopp marking well. However, the Clarkins began to click and a very good run by Bash Kazi pulled them back to a half goal deficit. In the last 30 seconds, some clever play by JP Clarkin secured a goal and thus victory for British Polo Day by just half a goal. John Humphries accepted the Chelsea Barracks Haviland Hollow Plate and the Chelsea Barracks Most Valuable Pony prize went to ‘Botcha’ played by Sam Ramirez and led up by Juanito Escalon.

British Polo Day’s title partner is Chelsea Barracks, London’s most exclusive residential development, comprising 12.8 acres of unrivaled real estate in the heart of Belgravia, moments from Sloane Square and Knightsbridge. Richard Oakes, Executive Director of Chelsea Barracks, said: “We are delighted to be the title partner for British Polo Day New York 2018. The collaboration has presented a great environment for Chelsea Barracks to forge diverse and lasting relationships across the world through a mutual love for this heritage sport.”

Ian Moore, Chief Commercial Officer at VistaJet, added: “Our customers expect the most extraordinary experiences at the highest standards. Their passions become our passions and supporting them is a cornerstone of the VistaJet brand. In partnering on such opportunities with British Polo Day, we are able to continue to deliver second-to-none events to our community.”

Guests enjoying the polo in the sunshine at the inaugural British Polo Day New York

Off the field, guests were treated to drams of Royal Salute 21-Year-Old, a nod to the Scotch whiskey’s longstanding support of polo and the lifestyle it accompanies. Royal Salute, the ‘King of Whisky’, sponsors 10 international polo tournaments annually and shares values with the noble game of honor, skill and integrity, making it the ultimate whisky for the Sport of Kings.

British Polo Day is a fast-growing, ambitious company, which partners with some of the World’s best companies, including Chelsea Barracks, VistaJet, Royal Salute, Charles Russell Speechlys, Clinova, Bentley Motors, Firmdale Hotels, Original Travel, Justerini & Brooks, Fairfax & Favor, Nyetimber, Williams Chase, D.R. Harris, Taylor Morris, Barnard & Westwood, and Floris.  

The success of the British Polo Day has been largely down to word-of-mouth endorsement from many guests and supporters including key figures in government, diplomats, military, fashion, art and popular culture. In addition, British Polo Day have hosted members of 12 royal families, 100 independent billionaires and leaders in world innovation including Sir Richard Branson and Elon Musk. Over 20,000 guests have enjoyed British Polo Day in the last seven years, and British Polo Days have to-date raised over $2 million USD, from a standing start in 2011.

HE Anthony Phillipson and Mr. Ben Vestey, CEO of British Polo Day

Upcoming events in 2018

The next events for this year will be our sunset polo on home turf at Black Bears in Henley. The second half of the year sees British Polo Day head East to China in September and Jodhpur and Jaipur in December.
Photography credited to Sam Churchill