Dubai: After what seemed like an unrelenting summer, the new polo season at the Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club kicked off with a splash of colour and an all-action polo match on a wind-swept Friday afternoon.
The opening day of the 2018-2019 season at the UAE’s only Royal polo club is traditionally dedicated to Pink Polo Day, an initiative aimed at raising awareness about breast-cancer, something that Ghantoot has comfortably been supporting for close to a decade.
And so it was that hundreds of enthusiastic revellers came together at the picturesque club to soak up the variety of entertainment, a high-calibre polo match and above all join the crusade to fight the dreaded disorder.
History was made at Ghantoot when Shaikha Maitha Bint Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, skippered the first-ever all-woman Emirati team in an exhibition match against the gentleman’s team of skilled national polo players.
Shaikha Maitha and her Ghantoot A team comprising Shaikha Mozah Marwan Mohammad Hasher Al Maktoum, Shaikha Alyaa Marwan Mohammad Hasher Al Maktoum and Maryam Ahmad Hassani, finished on the losing side against Ghantoot Goes Pink, featuring Abdullah Bin Dasmal, Yousif Bin Dasmal, Faris Al Yabhouni and Ali Al Merri.
Despite being defeated there were plenty of positives that the women’s team took home having kept a strong presence and stayed in the game against the more experienced and skilled Emirati men’s team.
Shaikha Maitha looked the standout player in Ghantoot A where she scored three scintillating goals, one in each of the first three chukkers.
It goes without saying that the girls team will come back stronger in their next match after working on their movement and coordination, something that will help raise their standard of play.
Abdullah Bin Dasmal and Faris Al Yabhouni showed that they will be a force to reckon with during the rest of the polo season when they struck six goals each.
“These are early days and we have a lot to look forward to,” said Bin Dasmal. “Full credit to Shaikh Maitha and her team, they made a promising start. Obviously they need the experience, but that will come in due course.
“I’m happy with the way I played and felt out there.
Shaikh Sultan Bin Falah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, was the chief guest and distributed the prizes to the winners.
Pink Polo Day is an initiative fronted by the Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC) and supported by the Health Authorities and the General Authority for Youth and Sports Welfare.
Proud health partners, The Pink Caravan, Beverly Hills medical clinic & Al Rahba Hospital conducted free health check-ups for all attendees on the day.
The entire Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club was awash in the colour pink, which has become a strong symbol of breast cancer awareness.
The Dubai Police Band took advantage of the occasion to deliver a smart performance that emphasised and brought to the forefront their hidden talents.
The Pink Garden and Pink Souk were also a big hit among the many hundreds of enthusiasts who visited Ghantoot making the event the huge success.
Also returning to support Pink Polo day for the third consecutive year were Maserati Premier Motors.
Ghantoot Goes Pink 15 vs Ghantoot A 3.