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Plenty of thrills on opening day of Coutts Cup

Team Abu Dhabi and Buenos Aires triumph as large crowd cheers

Image Credit: Abdul Rehman/Gulf News
Buenos Aires and Milan players are seen in action during the Coutts Polo at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi yesterday.
Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Coutts Team Abu Dhabi beat Team London 8-5 while Hublot Buenos Aires beat Masarati Milan 13-5 on the opening day of the Coutts Polo Cup being held at the Emirates Palace,

The two-day international event, which features four teams, kicked off on Friday with a full crowd of spectators at the West Lawn of the Palace.

While polo teams usually consist of four players, the rules had to be modified to suit the West Lawn, which is smaller than the typical polo field. Thus, there were only three players per team.

But the matches were still full of action from one chukka to another as each team scored goals accompanied by the sounds of the cheering crowd.

The event is brought to Abu Dhabi by City Events, a specialist London-based company, and the tournament will extend over the next two years to Singapore and Shanghai.

“Rather than polo clubs, we wanted the [polo series] to be in iconic venues and Emirates Palace is the heart beat of Abu Dhabi so it was the best place in the world to create a polo tournament,” Chief Executive of City Events, Rory Heron, told Gulf News.

Heron said it took six months to organise the event and it was finally paying off as tickets for both days of the tournament were sold out and those in attendance seemed to be having a great time.

Indeed, spectators enjoyed the matches, with many standing by the fence to get a closer view of the action while others socialised with friends on the Palace lawns.

During half-time many walked all over the field, maintaining the polo tradition of stomping clumps of torn up grass back into the ground.

There were also two commentators narrating what was going on during the matches and explaining some of the rules of polo.

Even for those who do not have a full grasp of the sport, it was a spectacular afternoon of entertainment. No surprise, therefore, that it is called the sport of kings.