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British Polo Day pioneers British brand platform in China

October 2, 2015

Leading British brands celebrate shared hallmarks of craft, heritage and tradition

 On Sunday 13th September, the ever-growing British Polo Day Global Series – presented by Land Rover – returned to Beijing’s prestigious Tang Polo Club for the fifth British Polo Day China. Kindly hosted by Owner of Tang Polo Club and China’s most esteemed polo player Mr Shilai Liu, some 500 guests and VIPs including HRH SAR Samdech Preah Mohessara Chakrapong Norodom, HRH Norodom Ravichak, British Defence Attaché to Beijing Brigadier Simon Levey, couturier Grace Chen, Angelica Cheung and Chinese presenters BeiBei and Valen came together to celebrate the best of British craft and heritage.

Year on year, British Polo Day China evolves, playing an integral role in the British Polo Day global series. As one of the world’s fastest growing emerging markets, China’s interest in British identity and traditional equine sports is notable. British Polo Day China enables business partners to create an unparalleled platform for elite engagement, bringing over 30 leading British brands – including Land Rover, RJI Capital, Royal Salute, Hackett London, Harrods, Brompton and Justerini & Brooks to celebrate the historical ties between Great Britain and China.

Commenting on British Polo Day China, CEO Edward Olver said: “I have heard the expression that the only constant in China is ‘change’ and yet we feel so privileged to have found a place of serenity and stable community amongst these extraordinary evolutions. Traditional values are hugely important in China and the Chinese people were playing polo long before the British reinvented the modern game. British Polo Day China is therefore a natural cultural bridge of common values celebrating the traditional Chinese culture. We are blessed with beautiful Beijing sunshine for the British Polo DayChina and a very happy day of shared passions helped develop many relationships.”

Michael Ward, Managing Director of Harrods added: “Harrods is delighted to be in Beijing for British Polo Day. The international series is a fantastic platform for Harrods, bringing together likeminded people in a unique setting. The Chinese market is very important for us and we hope our guests enjoy experiencing a touch of the Harrods magic at home in Beijing.”

Arriving in chauffeur-driven Land Rovers, British Polo Day China’s guests and VIPs enjoyed a pitch-side Champagne Taittinger Reception, while watching the opening Brompton Bicycle Polo Exhibition Match – a thoroughly Britishpursuit in which the British Airways Rest of World and Hackett Exiles resulted in a very diplomatic 1- 1 draw.

Swapping pedals for ponies, the British Polo Day China players then took to the field for the official Opening Ceremony, before the The NUO Hotel British Exiles/China team took on home side, the Royal Salute Tang Polo Club in The Land Rover Tang Dynasty Plate.  The two six goalers on the NUO Hotel British Exiles team were a close match for the two pros on the Royal Salute Tang Polo Club team. With wonderful play – and fine runs from Miguel Diaz and Adrian Laplacette, as well as their British Exiles counterparts – the home team Royal Salute Tang Polo Club emerged triumphant with an 8 1/2 to 5 win.

The second match of the day, The Hackett China Cup, saw the RJI Capital British Schools team take on their Chinese counterpart: the Land Rover BCC team. Felipe Courel and Juan Ramiro played a tough offensive against the BritishSchools team, but wonderful play from Jack Severn and Roy Prisk supported Chevy Beh who scored the star-goal in the second chukka, resulting in a 7 to 4 1/2 victory to the RJI Capital British Schools polo team.

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Pitch-side, guests were treated to the time honoured and delicately crafted whisky – Royal Salute – at the bar, followed by a traditional afternoon tea by NUO Hotel Beijing. ‘Pop-ups’ from Hackett and Brompton offered monogrammed embroidered handkerchiefs and impromptu bike rides, respectively. At the Harrods Garden Party, the resident Harrods Green Man enjoyed ice creams and traditional garden games with guests.

With players including top British player George Meyrick, Nacho Gonzalez, Chevy Beh and of course Shilai Liu himself, competition was fierce for a spot on the British Polo Day prize-giving podium. The glamorous Minal Bidani presented the superb bespoke-designed British Silverware Hackett China Cup to the triumphant RJI Capital British Schools team. Meanwhile Harrods’ Michael Ward presented the Land Rover Tang Dynasty Plate to reigning champions, the Royal Salute Tang Polo Club.

Chevy Beh was awarded the Royal Salute ‘Most Valuable Player’ and Jack Severn, the Holland & Holland ‘Shot of The Day’; while magnificent grey mare Grey Girl won NUO Hotel Beijing’s ‘Best Playing Pony’. Off the field, the stakes were high with Adrian Rudin winning Hackett’s ‘Best Dressed’ prize and Michael Spencer of Golden Peaks Capital winning the Harrods ‘Luck of the Draw’.

Rounding off the day, Royal Salute’s Peter Prentice proposed a toast to the longest reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II with a ringing cry of ‘xie-xie’ and the traditional Scottish ‘Slange Var’! An Argentinian asado sparked-up up the evening’s afterparty, which continued into the early hours.

British Polo Day China’s official travel partner Abercrombie & Kent led guests on an exclusive itinerary that took in some of Beijing’s most iconic landmarks. Highlights included an official launch party and fashion showcase by celebrated Chinese couturier Grace Chen on Friday 11thSeptember, a Justerini & Brooks Patrons’ Dinner at JE Mansion, an ‘Insight Brunch’ at the iconic China Grill, Park Hyatt and a players shoot on the Great Wall of China.

British Polo Day China took place on Sunday 13th September 2015 at The Tang Polo Club, Beijing.

The event was partnered with Land Rover, RJI Capital, Royal Salute, Hackett London, Harrods, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Justerini & Brooks, Charles Russell Speechlys, Champagne Taittinger, Holland & Holland, British Silverware, NUO Hotel Beijing, British Airways, Grace Chen, Billionaire.com, Global Partnership Family Offices, Benthorp, Brompton, Great British Racing International, Bonas MacFarlane Education, Abercrombie & Kent, Taylor Morris Eyewear, D.R Harris & Co, Cassabo, Paul A Young Fine Chocolates, Floris, Jax Coco, South Kensington Club, The Grosvenor Stationery Company, 3rd Home, Ghost Street, Amilal Whisky Bar, JE Mansion, The Cavalry & Guards Club, Walpole, Pendragon Productions.