For the first time the Cartier team are the proud winners of their own Cartier International Dubai Polo Challenge, held under the patronage of HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, wife of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, In a thrilling match at Desert Palm, the Cartier team narrowly defeated the current holders of the impressive trophy, Desert Palm, 10-9.
Earlier in the match it had looked as if Cartier were going to win easily as they were leading 10-3 at the end of the third chukka. However the dynamic of the game changed in the fourth and final chukka with Desert Palm scoring six goals to none in reply from Cartier. Martin Valent, captain of the Desert Palm team, was ferocious in attack in this period, seemingly scoring goal after goal. Appropriately though, time was on the side of Cartier and the final bell rang before Desert Palm could level the score.
As the event’s patron, HRH Princess Haya, was unable to attend the final day of polo, HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum presented the prizes, accompanied by Cartier guest Charlotte Casiraghi , Bernard Fornas, Chief Executive of Cartier and Louis Ferla, Managing Director of Cartier Dubai.
Adriano Agosti stepped forward to receive the trophy and then watched as his team-mate, Mohammed Bin Drai, was named Most Valuable Player. He was presented with a pair of polo boots and kneepads by La Martina. Cartier’s Juan Jose Brane received a La Martina saddle for the Best Playing Pony from Charlotte Casiraghi. The pony, Sybarita, is owned by Saeed Bin Drai and was played by Brane in the final chukka. After the main presentations HH Sheikh Mansour and Ali Albwardy presented a cheque to Satish Seemar, Director of the Riding for the Disabled Association of Dubai which is based at Desert Palm.
Four pro-am polo teams have been playing all week at Desert Palm in the 7th Cartier International Dubai Polo Challenge. The two teams that did not make it to the final had the opportunity to play for the
Desert Palm Trophy on the same afternoon. This went to Julius Baer, who defeated CNN 8-6. The Swiss bank is in its third year of team sponsorship and so was delighted to register its first win at the event.
A unique feature of the Cartier International Dubai Polo Challenge is that both matches start thanks to a ball being thrown in from the back seat of a Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet. Porsche Centre Dubai is the official car supplier and are happy to provide a car for this event. With more than 400-invitation only guests enjoying some great polo and sumptuous hospitality courtesy of the team at Desert Palm Resort, this year’s event really was one to remember.
adapted from PoloLine.com
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