Pattaya polo packs thrills for good cause
A distinguished crowd was on hand to watch Thai Polo eke out a win over AXUS Team China in a hard-fought battle for the HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Cup, with proceeds going to the Chitralada Vocational School
I n the wooded hills of the Thai Polo & Equestrian Club in Pattaya, the year began with hearts stirring to the thrill of competition and charity in the BMW-B Grimm Thai Polo Open 2013, with Thai Polo and the AXUS Team from China vying for the coveted HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Cup.
The charity polo match was co-organised by Harald Link, chairman of B Grimm Group, and BMW Group Thailand to raise funds for the Chitralada Vocational School under the patronage of the Princess. The funds were in aid of providing students with good and useful knowledge through resourceful training to gain future employment. Presiding over the events was Privy Councillor Air Chief Marshal Kamthon Sindhvananda.
The match was attended by a large number of high-profile polo fans, among them HRH Crown Prince Abdullah ibni Sultan Ahmad Shah of Pahang, Malaysia, Ana Maria Ramirez, ambassador of Argentina, German Ambassador Rolf Schulze, South African Ambassdor Robina Marks, Thanpuying Phungchai Sindhvananda, MR Priyanandana Rangsit and Pansak Ransibrahmanakul.
Earlier in the afternoon, guests passed the time with an energetic mix of fun activities, including a buffet lunch in the luxury open air marquee, a "BMW world experience", children's polo, pony rides and music from the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra.
As always, half-time was one of the most popular parts of the match, when spectators were invited onto the field to stomp down the divots and help replace the bits of turf torn up by the horses during play. It provides a good opportunity for a bit of social chit-chat on the field, and more importantly, a chance to show off elegant dresses and fancy hats.
The highlight of course was the heated match between host Thai Polo, led by club chairman Mr Link, and the AXUS Team. In an incredibly exciting competition, both teams battled to control the ball. In the final chukka, or period, the Thai Polo team finished the game with a narrow 7-61/2 victory to win the cup. As an added attraction, the organisers presented the Best Hat award to Avasada Pocmontri and the Best Dress award to Marisa Chew for her elegant black number. The charity event ended with a fireworks display lighting up the evening sky.