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The BMW Polo Open gallops into a week of high performance

The BMW Polo Open gallops into a week of high performance and style

The thundering sound of horses will permeate the serene rural setting of Clevedon this week with the arrival of the 2014 BMW Polo Open; complete with a world-class line-up of players and ponies desperate to take out the prestigious title.

From Monday, six high-goal teams will ride throughout the week in a pool-play series, culminating in the show-stopping finals day this Sunday February 23rd.

Top players from around New Zealand and abroad will represent team sponsors Veuve Clicquot, BMW, Rodd & Gunn, Southfield, Tiger Building Construction Ltd and Mobilis.

New Zealand’s John Paul Clarkin (Team Captain for Tiger Building Contractors Ltd) is the highest ranked polo player in the country on an impressive 8-goal handicap, and is ready to take on Australia’s top ranked player 7-goal Ruki Baillieu (Team Captain for VeuveClicquot) in what is expected to be true a tournament Trans-Tasman highlight.

Further players of note include New Zealanders Tommy Wilson, Team Captain for Southfield and 7-goal handicap, Simon Keyte 6-goal, Sam Hopkinson Team Captain for Rodd & Gunn, 6-goal and Tom Morley 6-goal of England.

Event Director Amy Calway believes such a competitive game is just as much about horse power as it is about the players.

“New Zealand has some of the world’s best polo ponies available, and at such a high level event the players can potentially ride up to eight different horses per game – meaning up to 64 exceptional horses can be needed for one game alone,” says Calway.

“60-80 per cent of credit goes to the horses, while the players showcase their incredible horsemanship at pushing up to 500 kilos of animal power around an area three times larger than a rugby field.”

The BMW Polo Open finals day on Sunday is a huge affair with more than 6000 spectators travelling by helicopter, bus or a fleet of luxury BMW cars to be part of the event.

Between games and divot stomping, fashion shows from well-known international brand Ted Baker and local favourite Natalie Chan will punctate the day showing their latest collections, and the most fashionable attendees at the BMW Polo Open on Sunday will be in the running to win major prizes in the iconic Fashion in the Field competition.

A perfect day of polo and festivities in Clevedon will then continue with the official elegant after party, featuring top musician and frontman Jason Kerrison; giving guests the opportunity to continue their celebrations long into the night.

“After 5pm the polo ponies give way to one of Auckland’s most glamorous parties with music and fabulous festivities’ going on until midnight,” says Calway “it’s truly an event not to be missed!”

For ticketing options and more details.

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