After a two-year hiatus – a direct result of Covid-19 restrictions – the highly popular InterContinental-B.Grimm Asian Beach Polo Tournament returned to the coastal resort town of Hua Hin for a fun-filled day on April 9, with the team from Thailand ultimately taking top honours by being awarded the coveted HRH Princess Bajrakitiyabha trophy.
Organised by the Equestrian Association of Thailand, helmed by President of B.Grimm Dr. Harald Link, Proud Real Estate Company Limited, and the InterContinental Hotel Hua Hin Resort, this year’s tournament saw teams from Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Malaysia competing. The event also marked the official start of the polo season in Thailand.
While the main attraction was on the field (or “beach”, as it were) – the final two matches between teams from Thailand (6) and Hong (4), and Singapore (6) and Malaysia (4) providing lots of fast-paced, nail-biting action – the event is also a big highlight on Hua Hin’s annual social calender. Fun activities included a grand parade of more than 60 horses, food stalls, lucky draws, a fashion show on horseback, prizes being awarded to the best dressed, and a Tropical Havana-themed alfresco dinner and auction, with Broadway hits being performed by the Royal Bangkok Symphony Orchestra (RBSO).
All proceeds from this years’ Asian Beach Polo Championship will be donated to the Nabha Foundation, a royal initiative under HRH Princess Bajrakitiyabha Narendiradebyavati that serves to provide training, assistance and social welfare to the underprivileged.
According to Suwat Liptapanlop, a former Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand who is serving as the President of the tournament’s management committee, the event is the most spectacular of its kind in Asia, and was first held 11 years ago. “Aside from promoting Thai polo internationally, this tournament also helps to create valuable awareness for Hua Hin as a major tourist destination.”
Harald Link, Chairman of the tournament and President of both the B.Grimm Group and the Equestrian Association of Thailand, says the event demonstrates Thailand’s ability in hosting international-scale polo tournaments. “The unique challenge of beach polo event is to monitor the tides to determine the right time when the water has receded to an appropriate level for the competition. Furthermore, the polo ball was also modified. It is made from rubber, similar to a soccer ball, and is smaller than regular polo balls. Other than that, all other rules of competition according to international standards are still applied.”
Ekaphop Detkriangkraisorn, Vice President of the Nabha Foundation, said the foundation is pleased to receive continued support from the beach polo organisers and is thankful for them giving opportunities to former inmates, underprivileged and disabled people. “It is great to see the organisers joining forces with the foundation to encourage society to realise the importance of creating a society of opportunity.”
With Hua Hin’s most stylish congregating for the occasion – and many society favourites from Bangkok also making the trek to Hua Hin to attend – it is no surprise that the Asian Beach Polo Tournament has become so popular over the years. Not only is the InterContinental Hotel Hua Hin Resort one of the finest in the area, but the wide stretch of beach in front of the hotel is the perfect spot for a game of beach polo. Prestige and our sister magazine HELLO! are also longtime media sponsors of this world-class event, with a dedicated booth set up that allows us to engage with visitors, guests, and polo fans.
To find out more about the InterContinental-B.Grimm Asian Beach Polo Tournament, visit the Official Facebook Event Page.