Every year, Asia’s largest and only Beach Polo event is held on the beach front of Intercontinental Hua Hin Resort, where teams gather from across the world to compete for the HRH Princess Bajrakitiyabha trophy. Serving to raise awareness of the sport in the country, the event is supported by His Excellency former deputy prime minister Suwat Liptapanlop, Chairman of B Grimm Group Dr Harald Link, vice president of the Thailand Equestrian Federation Nunthinee Tanner and the executive director of Proud Real Estate, Proudputh Liptapanlop.
It’s an affair that brings together players from varying nations, and offers a stage for international and local polo talents alike to engage in friendly competition.
With proceeds going towards the Nabha Foundation, under the initiative of HRH Princess Bajrakitiyabha, there’s also a bit of “fun for the greater good” involved. As celebrities and A-list spectators gather, dressed to the nines in the midst of sandy beaches and deep blue seas, the event as usual promises a spectacular weekend experience ahead. Here, we take a look back to the most memorable moments from the Asian Beach Polo 2019.
Before we even begin talking about the event itself, let’s not forget the perks that come with it — enter the booths, offering everything from a premium barber service, to giveaway activities and food and beverage. Food-wise, our favourite staples make their return, including the ever-popular fried oysters and wontons from See Fah Restaurant. After all, no Thai Polo event is complete without this culinary delight!
The Opening Parade
As the largest polo event in the region, it’s only to be expected that the affair would kick off with a bang — both figuratively and literally.
Officially marking the beginning of the 10th Beach Polo for the Princess PA’s Cup, the event began with a grand parade, featuring all the local beach ponies and an award-winning band. Did the sun and 36°C weather stop spectators from crowding around for the best views of the spectacle? No, it did not.
The Equestrian Races
After the grand parade came the first equestrian activity — the local horse races. While the annual Asian Beach Polo is no doubt focused on polo matches, the horse races hold significant meaning, especially to avid local equestrians.
Not only do the races provide a chance for them to showcase their skills and put their practice to good use, but to win the race itself is also a source of great pride. Keep in mind though, these races are fast. Blink and you might miss the whole thing.
The Horseback Fashion Show
If you thought the only way to perform on horseback is through hurdle jumps and polo matches, think again. Before the matches began, there was the customary horseback fashion show, where the beach was transformed into a runway. Celebrities rode in on horseback, sporting the latest summer collections from the likes of Misty Mynx, Quicksilver and Santa Barbara.
China/Korea VS Thailand
At around 4pm, right when the sun was at that sweet spot between still-bright but also breezy, we got to the key highlight of the event — the polo competition. This year saw two international teams in participation, Thailand against China/Korea.
Fun fact: as the Asian Beach Polo event is held along the beachfront, a small polo rubber ball is used in the place of a regular polo ball, in order to suit the sandy surface of the field. However, all the remaining rules and regulations are still based on global standards.
Who won? In a very close and heated competition, the final results were 8-7, with the win going to team China/Korea.
Beachcomber BBQ Party
After the matches and awards presentation, guests headed back into the Intercontinental Hua Hin for the Beachcomber BBQ party. Haystacks were decked across the floor for themed-seating arrangements, and guests enjoyed a post-competition evening of mingling, good food, and great drinks.
On a more meaningful note, there was also the chance to make merit through a fine arts and crafts auction, featuring work from the Nabha Foundation along with paintings from Arts Village Hua Hin. Proceeds from the fundraising activity also went towards the Nabha Foundation, in order to support the underprivileged.
Of course, Beach Polo 2019 would be far from complete without the guests. Dressed to impress with spectacular beach hats and ensembles of white and blue, we spotted a lot of familiar A-list faces in the crowd, including Lee and Pattharapol Peungboonpra and Siriyos Devahastin na Ayudhya.
To find out more about the Asian Beach Polo 2019, visit the official Facebook event page.