Cartier International Polo 2007 Picnic n Party


The largest international annual Polo event in Europe, Cartier International Polo took place this weekend at Guards Polo Club, Windsor.  The event marking it's 23rd year of sponsorship with Cartier attracts a very eclectic crowd including Royalty, Celebrity, the creme of Aristocracy and Polo enthusiasts from all walks of life.

India was the country responsible for pioneering the polo game, however it's widely perceived the game originated in Persia and China.  Often described as 'the game of kings' because it was a popular sport played by the Maharajahs, particularly during the rise of the Mughal dynasty the game evolved in Jodpur, Jaipur.  The Jaipur Polo Club is described as 'the mecca of Indian Polo' showcasing some of the best and most skilled Polo players in the world.  

At Cartier Polo there are two matches, morning and afternoon.  This year the morning match featured the Prince of Wales Team V Hurlingham.  Normally Princes Harry or William compete in this match however this year they were not playing on the fields.  The Prince of Wales team were defeated by the Hurlingham team who won the Golden Jubilee Trophy.  The afternoon match England V Chile was a poignant match as it took place in memory of Gabriel Donoso who died in training during a Polo fall, two years previously the Chilean team captain won with his team at Cartier Polo.  This year the Chilean team celebrated gloriously winning with a close score 9-8 with the British team catching up towards the end closing the gap.  Gabriel's younger brother Jose Donoso accepted the Coronation Cup Trophy on behalf of the team in a presentation ceremony with Prince Michael of Kent invited to present the cups and awards.  

Luckily the rain held off throughout the day the weather being pleasant with sunny spells and nothing deterred the ladies from parading in fashionable wear teetering on high heels.  We saw gents wearing pink and lilac trousers, bright red corduroys, tailored suits and many adopted the more casual look of blazers, jeans and baseball caps.    

In between the Polo matches many enjoyed the privileged hospitality in marquees being treated to gourmet meals with champagne on tap; the Cartier Marquee itself provided special Cuvee Cartier Champagne for it's guests which included James Bond actor Pierce Brosnan whom we later spotted with his wife Keely in the Royal Box.  It's estimated that approx 25,000 spectators attended the event with many enjoying picnics on the lawn setting up mini-marquees lunching in style.     

To round off a day of Polo sport and feasting were the After Parties, the most popular being the Chinawhite pavilions. Party goers scrambled to get in after 6pm when the polo matches finished. The hedonistic Chinawhite party has expanded in size with three music marquees which were still overcrowded.  In between demonstrating moves on the dance floors revellers rested on eastern style divans and cushions in the enclosures and the atmosphere was highly charged with people exploding on champagne!  Many regulars return for more year after year.                      

By Gina Chrysanthou ©


Chilean Team, winners of the Coronation Cup


Bond Actor Pierce Brosnan enjoying polo in Royal Box


Presentation table with the Coronation Cup & awards

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