THE 2014 POLO AWARDS WINNERS:
The Kent & Curwen Most Outstanding High Goal Team
The Royal Salute Most Outstanding High Goal Patron
The Guards Polo Club Most Outstanding High Goal Player (8 – 10)
The Tally Ho Farm Most Outstanding British Professional
The HPA Lifetime Achievement Awards
Brigadier Arthur Douglas-Nugent
The PNN Most Outstanding High Goal Pony
Open Top Model
The La Martina Outstanding Contribution to World Polo
The Late Carlos Gracida
The HPA Victor Ludorum Awards
18 Goal – La Indiana
15 Goal – Emlor C
12 Goal – Cadenza Juniors
8 Goal – Windmill Farm
6 Goal – Chester Polo
The Thai Polo Club Gold Cup Dream Team (Chosen on the night):
1. Facundo Pieres (10)
2. Max Charlton (6)
3. Tom Morley (6)
4. Simon Arber (0)
Tribute to The Atlantic Polo Team
1. Henry Brett
2. James Glasson
3. Bobby Dundas
4. Fergus Scholes
THE POLO AWARDS 2014 IN REVIEW:
Tuesday 20 May 2014 saw nearly 300 guests descend upon the grounds of Guards Polo Club for the ninth annual Polo Awards.
Brought to the home of British Polo for the first time ever, this international black-tie Awards evening, supported by an array of premium event partners, has established itself as a marked fixture in the English polo calendar and is a public salute to the game of polo and those who make it so great.
Hosted by well-known face of The Polo Awards, Hamish McLachlan, the evening provided an opportunity for the most outstanding individuals of the polo community to be applauded amongst their peers. Guards Polo Club opened its doors to the polo fraternity who gathered to reacquaint after the winter season and celebrate the achievements of those whose successes in 2013 warranted recognition.
Nominees for the 2014 Award categories were chosen prior to the event through the combined efforts of The Polo Awards Voting Committee and the online voting of the HPA members. The panel of experts included former England Captain, Andrew Hine; HPA Chief Executive, David Woodd; Chief Umpire, Robert Graham on behalf of Professional Umpires, Juan Ignacio Merlos on behalf of high goal players, the Hon Mark Vestey, representative of the HPA and in his last year of captaincy, England’s Luke Tomlinson.
To start proceedings for the evening, we began by welcoming the Atlantic Polo Team to the stage after 48 days and 7 painful minutes of rowing across seas in the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge. The team came an unbelievable second place in the overall challenge, winners in their class of fours, with an incredible £640,000 worth of international PR coverage. The team’s efforts did not go unnoticed and really helped to put polo on the map – a huge achievement and we look forward to seeing what the next challenge will be!
Following their double grand slam win in 2013, it was no surprise that Lyndon Lea’s Zacara team wiped the board on the night picking up a multitude of Awards. The team were named as The Kent & Curwen Most Outstanding High Goal Team, Lyndon Lea was awarded The Royal Salute Most Outstanding High Goal Patron and Facundo Pieres not surprisingly after an outstanding year of polo across the globe, received The Guards Polo Club Most Outstanding High Goal Player Award.
Facundo, renowned for his incredible horse power, was delighted to receive both nominations for The PNN Group Most Outstanding High Goal Pony, for Open Top Model (Best Playing Pony from the Gold Cup Final and Open Galactica from the Queen’s Cup Final), but it was Open Top Model who really shone and went on to pick up the award on the night.
From current leading players to former leading players, we were delighted to welcome Carlitos Gracida to join us for the evening’s celebrations, son of the late Carlos Gracida. Having to date only presented this award to one other individual (Jim Gilmore) in 2012, La Martina were honoured to sponsor this Award as we presented the La Martina Most Outstanding Contribution to Polo Award to Carlos (received by his son, Carlitos) with a beautiful drawing of his legendary polo pony known by many, Chesney. David Morley, a dear friend of Carlos’ got up to say a few words on some of his incredible memories of the infamous polo player and some of his outstanding achievements during his career.
As part of the more regular annual formalities, the HPA were honoured to present their HPA Lifetime Achievement Award to two very well known individuals of the polo community – Brigadier Arthur Douglas-Nugent and John Tylor. Both gentleman moved and entertained the room with their acceptance speeches as they reflected on their lives and achievements to date in and the influence they have had upon the sport of polo.
From past players to present, Max Charlton was not surprisingly awarded the Tally Ho Farm Most Outstanding British Professional Award following an incredible year of polo, having already reached 6 goals at the age of 24. With multiple team victories in 2013, Max deservedly picked up this award for his former season’s performance and we await to see how his polo career continues to develop having reached 7 goals by the end of the 2014 season.
The evening’s celebrations would not be complete without recognising and celebrating the accomplishment of those teams and individuals who take part in the 18, 15, 12, 8 and 5 goal HPA Victor Ludorum tournaments. As over 100 teams battle it out to accumulate the highest number of points possible in their particular league, we were delighted to present the magnificent HPA trophies to the following teams following their successes in the 2013 season.
The 18 goal trophy was received by Michael Bickford and his La Indiana team, the 15 goal trophy went to well known Victor Ludourm winners Emlor C (Clincon McCarthy’s team). Clinton following an unfortunate polo accident at the start of the season was unable to join us on the evening, but his daughter, Laura Ormerod, graciously accepted the award on her father’s behalf with his winning team. The 12 goal trophy was awarded to the young Charlie Pidgley who wiped the board with team mates Will Emerson, Peter Webb and Matias Carrique in the 2013 season with fellow Berkshire team, Paul Knights’ Windmill Farm picking up the 8 goal victory. Following an 8 goal victory in 2012, we were delighted to welcome the Chester Polo Team down to join us for the evening in 2014, following a second successful year, this time in the 6 goal league, with Richard Thomas’ home team.
To wrap up the evening’s formalities and follow in suit of tradition, the Thai Polo Club World Dream Team Award, this year took on a slightly different angle as the Award was presented to the Gold Cup Dream Team. With Harald Link’s recent support of Cowdray Park’s Gold Cup tournament, having put a team in for the past four seasons on his brief visit to the UK each year, we welcomed the room to vote for their ‘Dream Team’ of players present on the night to make up the 22 goal handicap. This year’s named team was Simon Arber’s Four Quarters, whose line up featured Facundo Pieres (10) at number 1, England’s Max Charlton (6) at number 2 and Tom Morley (6) at number 3 with team patron, Simon Arber (0) taking up the number 4 position.
The 2015 Polo Awards are set to be held at Guards Polo Club once again on Tuesday 19 May 2015. To book for this year’s Polo Awards, please call Aislinn Price on 07708 906810 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For details of this year’s event and to vote for your favorite teams and players, go to www.thepoloawards.com.