The ninth edition of the Cartier International Dubai International Polo Challenge was held yesterday at the Desert Palm Resort and Polo Club. Cartier defeated CNN 11.5 – 7. CNN, who were making their debut in the tournament’s final.
The winning team patrons, Saeed Bin Drai and Adriano Agosti, received the trophy and winners’ prizes from HH Sheikh Mansour bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who attended the event on behalf of the tournament’s patron, HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein. HH Sheikh Mansour was accompanied by Laurent Gaborit, Regional Managing Director of Cartier Middle East, India and Africa and Ali Albwardy, the owner of Desert Palm.
In addition to awarding prizes to the winning team, HH Sheikh Mansour presented Cartier’s Raul Laplacette with the La Martina Most Valuable Player Award. He also placed the La Martina Best Playing Pony Rug on Saeed Bin Drai’s Cata, a seven-year-old mare which had been played by Laplacette in this final.
Four professional/amateur 14-goal teams were competing in this prestigious Cartier competition. The polo was managed by the core team from Guards Polo Club in the UK, while La Martina retained its Official Team Kit Supplier status, ensuring that players and ponies were dressed elegantly. Illustrious guests in attendance were treated to two superb displays of exciting polo. The day also included an earlier match for the subsidiary Desert Palm Trophy, in which the UAE Polo Team defeated Desert Palm 10-5.
VIP guests and select members of the press enjoyed lunch and an exclusive preview of Cartier’s latest jewellery collections Amulette de Cartier, which was displayed at the Villa Cartier. More than 500 guests were welcomed to the event including English model and young ambassador for the British Fashion Council, Poppy Delevingne; Qatari racer, Mohammad Abu Issa: Qatari racer; TV Presenter at MBC’s “Joelle” show, Joelle Mardinian and fashion designers Rami Al Ali and Hatem Alakeel, among many others.
Photo credit: Chris Jackson/Getty Images for Cartier.