Polo is a game for technicians, tacticians, and spirited fighters. Players who cannot intuitively discern the flow of the game and keep their eye on well positioned teammates can hardly expect to make it even to average-player-level.
Long before polo was even heard of in Europe, the fast-paced game was very popular in Asia. British officers, who were stationed in India at the end of the 19th century, picked interest in the game and continued playing it even when they returned home. The first rules of polo were then written down by the Hurlingham Polo Club which was founded in the U.K. in 1876. To this day, these rules are referred to in international polo.
From the U.K. the game found its way to the United States where the handicap system was established. The British also took the game to South America where it was picked up with much enthusiasm. The Argentines fell head over heels in love with the game. While Europe fought her wars in the 20th century and paid less attention to polo, the South Americans overtook everyone else in technique and skills to become the undisputed world stars of polo.
In Hua Hin we have Mr. Harald Link & Khun NunthineeTanner from their Thai Polo & Equestrian Club along with the InterContinental’s Liptapanlop family for bringing Polo to our Royal Resort beach town as they did once again on April 21st for the 9th Annual Asian Beach Polo Championship.
From the very first time it was hosted in 2010 by the InterContinental Resort Hua Hin and B.Grimm, the Beach Polo tournament has been a phenomenal success. It has become an annual event that makes the hot summer season of Hua Hin come alive with celebration. Celebrities, high society & ambassadors with their families, media and the local community all come together for this great day of sport. Special guests included H.E. Mr. Francisco Vaz Patto Ambassador of Portugal to Thailand, Narin Sriprachak, Sasiwimon Dararattanaroj, Patitta Homchan, Tawn Chatchavalvong, Kanokkorn Lamlert, Mark Thawin P Seawtong, Vee Mar, Nunthinee Tanner, Sutheera Utama, Virada Ketkakomol, Patcharat Chairojrat Harrison and Maliwan Prayongphan along with Mister National Thailand Natchanon Singlum & Mister Universe Tourism Thailand Nitat Na Wayo.
The fun filled Saturday started at 12 noon with the gates opening and food and drinks being served as they were all day. The weather couldn’t have been better with sunny blue skies and a light breeze to take away some of the summer’s sizzling heat.
The day started with the traditional Grand Horse Parade and Opening Ceremony with Dr. Harald Link giving the opening speech in which he said, “This year is also a special year for B. Grimm Group which carry on a tradition of 140 years of conducting our business in Thailand. We are proud to arrange the Asian Beach Polo tournament which is one of our special activities to reflect the potential of Thailand in hosting an international beach polo event as well as promote Hua Hin and the kingdom among tourists and spectators.“ Mr. Link is Chairman and CEO of B. Grimm, a multinational conglomerate founded in 1878 and based in Bangkok. The company is wholly owned and operated by the Link family with revenues in excess of a billion dollars.
After the speeches guests then enjoyed a barrel racing competition, horse racing and a celebrity & VIP filled fashion show on horseback. It was then time for the main event, beach polo pitting Malaysia against Thailand.
The enthusiastic audience supported the teams with boundless exaltation Chukka after Chukka. Both Malaysia and Thailand were closely matched but in the end there is always a winner and this year that title went to the Malaysian’s with a score of 7 goals to 5.
With the Cup presentation the day time activities came to a close. After several years of hosting the evening party at the InterCon’s BluPort wing, this year it moved back to its roots at the InterContinental hotel’s beach side for the evening cocktail dinner, dance and auction. The reaction from guests who make this a yearly event was that this years evening party was one of the best and it was great to be back at the InterCon’s beachside location.
In addition to promoting polo as an exciting sport in Thailand, Asian Beach Polo 2018 is dedicated to raising funds for HRH Princess Bajrakitiyabha’s Inspire project through sponsorship, raffles, shopping and horse races. The Inspire project provides much needed support to female prisoners in order to help rehabilitate them after their release.