With the best days of summer ahead, so too is New Zealand’s top polo event to be held on Sunday, February 18 at Auckland Polo Club in Clevedon.
Regarded as the Polo World Cup of Australasia, the New Zealand Polo Open is the nation’s biggest and most competitive polo tournament.
Six teams will compete from February 13 with the aim to secure their place in the 47th New Zealand Polo Open Final, set to a attract a crowd of more than 4000 spectators. Along with New Zealand’s polo talent taking to the field, professionals will fly in for the event from polo hubs, Argentina, England and Australia.
Field-side there will be plenty of polo sideline action. In a test of horsepower, Archibald & Shorter Auckland will be putting their top car to the test against one of the polo ponies, in the annual Car v Horse race. For those quick on their feet to test their own horsepower, there will be 100m dashes on the polo field with the fastest awarded for their speed.
It wouldn’t be a New Zealand Polo Open without the stylish putting their best catwalk feet forward. The stakes are high for Remix Fashion at Polo, with a chance for the best dressed to win some great prizes. Judges Amber Baker, Remix, Sally Richardson, Cable (Melbourne) and Robert Niwa, Crane Brothers, will be crowning the winners.
This year the event will have an exciting international edge with New Zealand Polo Open partnering with two renowned European brands. With a Spanish twist and for guests who enjoy a refreshing beer, America’s Cup and Emirates Team NZ Partner, Estrella Damm, will be on offer. From Provence, Whispering Angel, the world’s number one luxury rosé brand will be the rosé of the event and host to the chic Whispering Angel VIP Polo Club.
For the stars of the show, the polo ponies, the New Zealand Polo Open has joined with Love Racing in a special animal welfare and rehoming collaboration and the best playing rehomed thoroughbreds will be rewarded with prize money.
The tournament will see more than 100 thoroughbred horses on the field who have found their second careers in polo. The unique ability and flexibility of this athletic breed is what makes New Zealand polo ponies so revered on the global stage and regarded as the best in the world.
Executive director of NZ Polo Open, Lucy Ainsley says they are very much looking forward to the event next month.
“The work behind the scenes over the past 12 months is going to deliver a fantastic international polo experience,” Ainsley says.
“We have some exceptional polo teams with some great overseas players. Our partners for 2024 are involved with the top polo events throughout the world. Sunday, February 18 could possibly be the best day of summer!”