The countdown is on to the BMW NZ Polo Open, the nation’s most prestigious polo event to be held at Auckland Polo Club in Clevedon, a showcase second to none in competitive international polo, fashion, style and hospitality.
The social and sporting event of the summer is on Saturday February 22.
Six teams will compete for the prestigious polo title with professional players here especially for the event from Australia, Argentina and England.
Amongst other polo stars the captain of the English polo team, James Harper will take the field for South Island sponsored team, Glenmark, while his son Will Harper will take the field for Mystery Creek, with New Zealand’s best polo player John-Paul Clarkin, defending NZ Polo Open winner with his team mates Kit Brooks and young gun Ethan Wade.
Cheering on from the sidelines for Mystery Creek will be Nina Clarkin, John-Paul’s wife who is the world’s highest-rated female polo player. Nina was part of the 2019 winning Mystery Creek Polo team, this year pregnant with the couple’s third child.
Two of Argentina’s polo greats, Mathias Torres Zavaletta and Paco O’Dwyer, will also compete in this illustrious sporting event while Glen Gilmore, the captain of the Australian polo team and renowned throughout the world for his polo prowess, will commentate the final.
New to the tournament this year is Ellen Morgenstern, the only female entrant, who with another BMW NZ Polo Open star Glenn Sheriff won New Zealand’s oldest sporting trophy the Savile Cup last month in Hawkes Bay. Both the Savile Cup and the NZ Polo Open are regarded internationally as two of the best in polo trophies to win.
“The BMW NZ Polo Open is looking to be the most exciting polo tournament we have ever held in New Zealand,” says Lucy Ainsley, executive director of the BMW NZ Polo Open.
“We are thrilled to have BMW back as our naming sponsor and can’t wait to see everyone next weekend.”
The NZ Polo Open draws the biggest crowds in New Zealand polo and Saturday February 22 will be no exception. Veuve Clicquot, for the first time in their nine year partnership with the NZ Polo Open will be offering limited edition tickets to their infamous champagne marquee with a retro chic vanity-style setting mused by Barbara Brinsley and Louise Hilsz, offering a most glamorous and unique polo guest experience.
Fashion on the Field this year, with all entries welcome, will be a twist of effervescence with judges Robert Niwa of Crane Brothers, Kellie Taylor of Moochi and Wihelmina Shrimpton of Mediaworks all looking for their take on that polo style.
This year the sideline action is bigger and better than ever with several polo partners maximising their opportunity to be part of the renowned event. The Glenmorangie experience will sure to be on every guy’s to-do list while the ladies can line up to get their brows and lashes done at the MCoBeauty Bar. Sero and George FM will both be there to add some fun Instagram-worthy moments and the polo village has an array of great things to see.
Bringing polo to the people, the grand flagship marquee (320m2) taking centre-ground field side will host VIP guests with the polo hill perfect for families and anyone that wants to enjoy a bird’s eye view of the field and the fantastic competition. George FM will host the after party on the Chukka Lawn and for music fans attending Six60, there will be a bus from the polo grounds to Western Springs.
“Polo is a great sport and I just want everyone to be able to come and have a fantastic day out and enjoy the surroundings and everything the event has to showcase,” says Ainsley.