The Land Rover NZ Polo Open, will be held in Clevedon on the 23rd February 2019 and for the first time in the competition’s 42-year history, the tournament will be played on a Saturday making the event more accessible to the growing interest from wider public in the sport.
The Southern Hemisphere’s most prestigious and competitive polo championship which sees professional players from around the world compete for the coveted title, will now be held across a week of competition, including two weekends. This new format spreads out the playing days, which promises to enhance the strength of the competition, giving horses more time to recover and players more time to plan their strategies.
“This format will make for a faster, more exhilarating, tactical game and the finals will now be held on a day which makes it easier for people to make the trip to Clevedon, enjoy a day out and not worry about work the next day,” says Lucy Ainsley, Executive Director of the Land Rover NZ Polo Open.
“The calibre of polo in New Zealand is extremely high but we are always looking for ways we can improve our event both on and off the field to maintain our standing as New Zealand’s premier polo occasion.
“Once again we are honoured to partner with Land Rover, which supports the most renowned polo events on the global calendar, we have SKY Sport filming live, ensuring the most important day of New Zealand’s Polo calendar reaches a much bigger audience and while we know the game will be the highlight of the day, we have lots on offer on the side-line with fashion and entertainment,” Ainsley added.
Auckland Polo Club has made key investments in both the grounds and in state of the art machinery to keep up with the challenges of the changing summer climate. These investments will ensure the club can guarantee the quality of the fields are maintained to global standards while ensuring the safety of horses and riders.
With field play looked after, polo fans will be able to concentrate on the other offerings on the day. Along with the famous Land Rover versus polo pony race, which will take place before the final, the Fashion on the Field will be one to watch this year with three categories to enter, best dressed woman, best dressed man and best shoe.
New beer partner Peroni makes its debut on the sideline, bringing the famed House of Peroni to life as a focal point of the polo village. Offering cold Peroni on tap the bar will ensure guests remain refreshed by day and night, where it will host the George FM After Party.
Located by the Clubhouse for the first time, the Somersby Cider Garden Bar will also bring something new to the occasion with a peaceful, tranquil oasis and the feel of Danish sophistication where you can refresh and indulge in a chilled Somersby Cider.
Established over four decades to be one of the nations’ leading sporting and social events, the Land Rover NZ Polo Open attracts a crowd of over 5000 people. Match this with six competitive teams playing on some of the world’s leading Polo ponies, on a field equivalent to four rugby fields and spectators are guaranteed an exhilarating polo experience, second to none.
“2019 is going to be an exceptional year for the event,” says Ainsley. “With the growing interest in polo throughout the country we are excited to be able to respond with a format that will improve the game and a date change that will make the event more accessible for people to enjoy an exciting match of high goal polo, while absorbing the beautiful rural setting, fashion and entertainment.”