2019 will be a big year for Chestertons Polo in the Park, as this hugely popular three-day polo tournament celebrates its tenth anniversary in June.
The idea behind Polo in the Park was to introduce a new format of the sport and summer entertainment to central London to entice cosmopolitan urbanites to spend their day with friends and family watching polo. Polo, known as ‘The Game of Kings’, has an interesting history. It is particularly appropriate that the event should be staged at Hurlingham Park, the historic home of polo, where the sport’s rules were first formulated in 1875. This park in Fulham, West London has hosted two Olympic polo tournaments; maharajas and prime ministers have competed on its immaculate turf.
The heady mix of horses, beautiful guests, champagne gardens and cocktail bars means that people get a one-off, affordable taste of glamour.
The polo field was reduced by a third in order to bring the crowd closer to the action, while the teams were cut to three players on each side. Perimeter boards were put around the field to keep the ball continually in play to ensure a flowing game, which is easier to follow. This is polo designed for the spectator’s benefit. You don’t have to be an expert to follow and enjoy the game. With the tweaks in the polo finalised, the challenge was then to design the best possible day out for a discerning, demanding audience. Each year, the event redesigns its offering and layout to create special memories and experiences for guests: providing the best food, shopping, live music, fashion and venues in which to hang out.
In 2018 Polo in the Park worked with its partners at Champagne Lanson, Fever-Tree and Whitley Neill to create stunning bars and gardens. The audience are hard-working professionals, so the event must provide the perfect opportunity to relax and feel that they are somewhere special. To be a fixture on the British social calendar is something to which all summer events aspire. In this digital age, where people document their every social move, it seems that polo is perfectly placed. The heady mix of horses, beautiful guests, champagne gardens and cocktail bars means that people get a one-off, affordable taste of glamour as the sun shines over the green turf and white picket fences of Hurlingham Park.
For the last two years, the England Polo team has competed in an international match at the opening evening of the event. It is an inimitable occasion in the British summer season, which attracts a sophisticated audience and is the reason that polo teams from as faraway as Dubai, Buenos Aires and Cape Town are all clamouring to play. While Polo in the Park trades on the sport’s glamorous past, it is an event that is firmly focused on having fun and living for the moment. There is something for everyone: sport, glamorous company, top-notch food and drink, all in elegant surroundings.
POLO IN THE PARK Hurlingham Park, London +44 (0)20 8614 7094