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“And so you touch this limit, something happens and you suddenly can go a little bit further. With your mind power, your determination, your instinct, and the experience as well, you can fly very high."


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Witnessing Formula 1 in Singapore, set as it is against the backdrop of the city’s skyline lit-up at night, from a prominent corner of the Marina Bay Street Circuit is to feel the full weight of the modern incarnation of this sport.  The closeness of the air and the visceral sound that relentlessly pounds the crowd as it canons off buildings for 192 miles is almost primeval in the way it relays this message of might & power to the brain.


The development of the relationship of driver to machine and man to horse is more comparable between racing & polo than might be imagined.  As Lewis Hamilton discovered on Lap 23 of The Singapore Grand Prix, when his night and likely his season were ended by gearbox failure, with increased complexity comes a commensurate deficit of robustness.


The post-war polo pony took many forms but the build was generally sturdier than the finesse of the high-goal equivalent today.  In much the same way as there is more to go wrong in the modern racing car, with all its mechanical sophistication, the current thoroughbred mould of polo pony lends itself to short bursts on lazer-levelled well-irrigated fields.  There is an old adage that polo is 80% horsepower and the quest for explosive power & fingertip handle have, to a certain extent, come at the expense of lungs & stamina.  As a result of this shift, well-timed changing of tiring ponies mid-chukka can now be considered as important as pit-stop strategy is to F1.


Ultimately there is no computer barrier between rider & horse, as there might be between the modern racing drivers & their cars.  In Senna’s day it was the arrival of the active suspension system that grabbed headlines and today there are a myriad of challenges facing F1 Teams as they grapple with carrying heavy technical burdens, high intensity & short lead times in the course of a lengthy globe-spanning season.


The cost of polo horsepower may have exploded in recent times but the great ponies of any age have always allowed the best players to go a little bit further.


The spectacular new W Hotel in Sentosa Cove hosted the launch of British Polo Day Singapore 2012, with a Taittinger evening reception the night before a spectacular day of polo and entertainment at Singapore Polo Club (SPC).

British Polo Day Singapore

Singapore Polo Club marked its 125-year anniversary in 2011 and the Club’s single ground has the dual accolade of occupying what can lay claim to being the most valuable real estate and the hardiest turf in the world of polo.  To stand on its veranda, with the spinning fans over-head, looking out across the field is an experience that would span generations were it not for the cranes & high-rises that have sprung up on the boundary in recent years.


Upon arrival, guests & members were met by Land Rovers, a pair of Bentleys & a McLaren in all its glory.  These soul-lifting British cars were all provided by Wearnes Automotive and the impact was proof that more is more when it comes to cars of such peerless heritage.


Click here to see the partners’ collage from the day >>

With the Taittinger flowing freely again and following a locally inspired four-course lunch, Colonel Simon Ledger (The Voice of British Polo Day) whisked his audience deftly through the Loud Auction.  The result was a testament to the immense generosity of the VIP Lunch guests in attendance, as a total of $38,000US was raised in aid of The Riding for the Disabled Association (Singapore) & WheelPower.


Click here to see the Loud Auction pages from British Polo Day Singapore’s programme >>


A pipe-opening members match set the scene for the first encounter between W Hotel Sentosa Oxbridge and Land Rover Singapore.  The Land Rover Jubilee Trophy was a big hitting affair with Jeremy Pemberton and Iqbal Jumabhoy, President of the SPC, leading the way in terms of slugging it out but it was the Singapore side that initially jumped ahead with two goals scored by Paul Murphy.  Stuart Wrigley, who by all accounts had been living on a plane in the week since playing for The British Exiles team at British Polo Day China, took all the glory from some clever inter-play with Jacqui Hooper by scoring the next 3 goals.  Pemberton’s penalties coupled with diligent marking from Ann Wilkinson were enough to ensure that Oxbridge pushed through to a 6½ - 4 result in their favour.


The Pelham Bell Pottinger Cup was preceded by a team presentation that was serenely led out by a Bentley in front of each team.  Baha Mar Eton had Singapore based 3-goaler Alex de Lisle to ensure some local insight in the Captain’s shirt against a Savills SPC team that had all played together before.  The familiarity of Savills SPC held out remarkably well to begin with, with just two goals in it at half time, but the strength of Baha Mar Eton ran away with the game in the end.  The Yeo brothers were jointly awarded the Tainttinger Most Valuable Player award.


The Prize Giving ceremony was followed by a captivating fashion show by Zardoze that showcased the sophisticated elegance & confident style of their latest collection.  It was then left to DJ Randy Groover to capitalise on this crescendo of excitement and he carried the traditional Chukka Bar Party through to bring a fitting close to this adrenalin-fuelled week of global exposure for Singapore.


British Polo Day’s return to Singapore was made possible thanks to the generosity & support of the Singapore Polo Club members as well as Land Rover, McLaren, Bentley, Savills, Baha Mar, Taittinger, Ettinger, Roxton’s and Hackett.


Click here to see the album >>

Click here to see the British Polo Day Singapore film >>



The Land Rover Jubilee Trophy = W Hotel Sentosa Oxbridge 6½ - Land Rover Singapore 4

The Pelham Bell Pottinger Cup = Baha Mar Eton 11 – Savills SPC 1½


Click here to see the full list of teams >>