It was revealed that home side, MINT Team London will face Whitley Neill Team Cape Town in the penultimate match of the day, while Hazel Jackson will be making history as the first ever female player to take part in the event. Jackson will be part of the ICM Capital England team taking on Champions Polo League India in the final clash of the day.
A selection of the world’s top polo players, event sponsors and media were invited to be part of this special occasion, which took place on the evening of Tuesday 16 May. Guy Gittins, Head of Sales, Chestertons, alongside Rory Heron, Managing Director of Sportgate International Ltd, undertook the draw to determine the fixtures that will kick off the three-day tournament on Friday 9 June.
The opening match of Chestertons Polo in the Park 2017 will see Mauritius Team Port Louis take on EFG Team Zurich, a match that Mauritius Team Port Louis member Paco O’Dwyer is expecting to be a great occasion:
“Having the chance to play at Chestertons Polo in the Park is a brilliant opportunity. It will be a great thrill to have such a large crowd watching us play and with the adapted rules in use at the event you can expect an action-packed, competitive weekend of top-class polo!”
Following that clash, Argentex Team Dubai, led by George Spencer-Churchill, Marquess of Blandford, will take on Air Europa Team Buenos Aires. Speaking during the draw, Spencer-Churchill, an experienced Chestertons Polo in the Park city rules player, was reluctant to give out too many tips to his less-practiced counterparts, however he promised a fast and furious three-days of action.
The final teams to be drawn were MINT Team London and Whitley Neill Team Cape Town who will line up as the third match of the day, scheduled for 17.30pm on Friday 9 June.
Having debuted in 2015, the International Match at Chestertons Polo in the Park has become one of the sporting highlights of the summer and will round off the action fuelled first day of polo. Last year’s encounter between England and South Africa broke Hurlingham Park attendance records and this year ICM Capital Team England will once again grace the grounds of the iconic Fulham location.
Taking them on will be a formidable Champions Polo League India team, who are playing at the famous venue for the first time in 70 years. The team will be led by HH Maharaja Padmanabh Singh, part of the Royal family of Jaipur, who last night said:
“I’m really looking forward to it, it will be a great game and I hope it’s fun for all. The rules that they follow at Chestertons Polo in the Park makes it much more spectator friendly, it’s faster and more fun to watch.”
Managing Director of Sportgate International, Rory Heron, said,
“India and England share a great deal of polo heritage and were instrumental in the growth of the sport around the world so to have both teams at our event is a real privilege. We expect this year’s Chestertons Polo in the Park to be a great occasion, both on and off the pitch. The combination of world class polo played at a legendary polo venue, along with all the activities on offer makes Chestertons Polo in the Park a weekend not to be missed this summer.”
Similarly, the first female player to play in an England team at Chestertons Polo in the Park, Hazel Jackson, could not contain her excitement at playing on such a big stage:
“I am really excited to be part of ICM Capital Team England, it is a real honour. I have been wanting to play at Chestertons Polo in the Park for a long time as all the other players always tell me what an amazing atmosphere is has. England haven’t had the best results in previous years but I am hoping this time we will get the win the home crowd will be hoping for.”