July 4th, 2011 Add comment
Sunset Polo, Cambiaso, and a great event at Ham Polo Club
By Isamaya ffrench, UK Correspondent
Photo: Mike French
Sunset Polo marked a fixture in the Polo calendar which is internationally recognised for its significant contribution to charities around the world and also as a celebration of true Argentinian sportsmanship. And this year's outstanding event was achieved thanks to the huge support from Gaucho; restaurants that truly represent the Argentinian philosophy of generosity.
Ham Polo Club, with its spectacular location only eight miles from Hyde Park Corner, is the last-remaining Polo club in London. For the last three years Ham has been instrumental in helping Fundacion Ideas del Sur raise more than 1.4 million by offering its wonderful facilities to Sunset Polo.
The event started at the Gaucho Restaurant in Richmond. Overlooking the Thames, guests were invited to a five course meal that included Argentine steak, frites and salad accompanied by traditional Argentinian empanadas and followed by a decadent chocolate tart.
Lunch was followed by a charity auction where prizes including works of Art, holidays and Polo lessons with Adolfo Cambiaso were auctioned to raise money for Fundación Ideas del Sur. The charity was created ten years ago with the aim of helping disabled and underprivileged children in Argentina by way of donations towards a range of programmes such as public health. Fundación Ideas del Sur channels its work through four institutions: The Casa Cuna, Olimpíadas Especiales Argentina, Caritas Laferrere, and the city of Bolívar, in the province of Buenos Aires.
This year's sponsors were celebrated both on plates and on the pitch. In addition to Gaucho, Veuve Clicquot offered its continuing support as the leading sponsor of world Polo events and its lasting relationship with the British Open Polo Championship's Gold Cup. Other team sponsors included Camino Real, the Argentinian country club which offers world-class Polo and lifestyle facilities in 770 acres of breathtaking scenery in the heart of Argentine Polo country, and Horseware, the leading Irish equine and rider outfitters. And for the second year running, Adolfo Cambiaso added his magic touch by taking to the field and playing for each of the three teams in a round-robin tournament.
Guests were then escorted over to Ham Polo Club by golf buggy to experience an AVE Wine Masterclass and an open Asado bbq Grill, offering Argentine beef burgers and Freggo ice creams while they enjoyed the evening Polo matches.
Nicholas Colquhoun-Denvers, Chairman of the Hurlingham Polo Association, was only too happy to comment on Gaucho's involvement with the event: ''Gaucho's continued involvement and support in Polo is a tremendous asset to our sport. Following their great success of the Gaucho International, which was played at the Millennium 02 Arena earlier this year, we are delighted that they have agreed to continue their support of the Polo at Sunset evening at HPC the London Polo Club in aid of Adolfo Cambiaso's very worthwhile charity, Ideas del Sur. We are also delighted to have the great Adolfo back at the Club again.''
The matches themselves were a real pleasure to watch, and it was a treat to see the younger generation of Polo players playing alongside the world's leading sportsmen.
Team Gaucho Verve Clicquout were the overall winners, followed by Camino Real and finally Horseware Ireland. - with a fine commentary from Charlie Wood of Ham Polo Club.
When asked about his involvement with Sunset Polo, Martin Williams, Operations Director of Gaucho, was keen to mention their support of not only charities but also of local farmers in Argentina by supplying Gaucho's restaurants with the best local Argentine beef and wine. He added: ''In Argentina, Polo is every man's sport, and our vision is to see it becoming less elitist in the UK. The Gaucho International was the most successful event ever to be staged, and we plan to keep supporting Polo.''
The event's success was also notably achieved by the outstanding work of Tracey Sheeran of International Polo Management. As one of the coordinators of the enterprise, Tracey was responsible for making sure everything was running smoothly.
Once the Asado's flames had started to smoulder, Pimms was brought out and the perfect summer's day was brought to an end with a great deal of laughing and dancing late into the night to a sexy mix of techno-style tango music!