Long perceived as an elitist or outdated sport, polo has now been given a fresh new audience.
Last month, a collaboration between Colts Polo & Riding, St. Regis Hotels & Resorts, and the Argentine Embassy in Singapore saw the first ever St. Regis Polo Generations — an event that welcomed the sport’s youngest players and their families in a friendly and informal environment. The line-up of tournaments showed just how broad the fans of and audience for polo could really be. Starting with The Colts Cup for children and then the St. Regis Polo Generations Cup for families, the day welcomed players as young as 12 years to participate in the competitions. The result was a far more accessible, informal, and light-hearted event than conventional polo tournaments have previously been associated with. The final tournament, The Ambassador’s Cup, rounded off the day with an energetic play of the finest professional polo players. The St. Regis Polo Generations 2019 was very much a new beginning for the traditional sport, and the day succeeded in giving polo a much-needed fresh perspective.
[All images courtesy of St. Regis Hotels & Resorts]
Creating new family traditions
As well as polo, the St. Regis Hotels & Resorts also has family and philanthropy at the heart of their values. Being one of the presenters of the Polo Generations 2019 has given the hotel an extra opportunity to showcase their love for family with their signature program — the Family Traditions at St. Regis. The program offers fun and enriching experiences and activities for families at all of their hotels and resorts that are tailored to captivate their youngest guests. With Polo Generations, the St. Regis has created new family traditions for their guests.
On the day of the tournaments, children and their families were treated to a host of fun activities organised by the St. Regis. There was a Farmers’ Market for families to browse and shop together; horse riding for the little ones; cookie decorating with the chefs of the St. Regis Singapore, and delicious treats from the signature St. Regis afternoon tea. Full of popcorn, barbecues, auctions and raffles — this polo tournament proved to be the perfect family day.
A day of culture
Adding even further to the day’s excitement, the Argentine embassy also provided plenty of great activities and performances for the families. With Argentinian asado barbecues and tango performances, kids were treated to great food and impressive sights. Argentina has a long history and rich culture in horse riding, with a legacy of polo that dates back to the 1870s. The “Mecca of Polo” sees the largest number of high handicapped players, and several Argentine players showcased their mastery in the final tournament of the day.
Up close and personal with the stars
One factor cannot be forgotten when introducing young children to polo — their love for horses. Colts Polo & Riding have helped to organise Polo Generations 2019 in aid of several charities that support both children and horses. Auctions and raffles helped to raise funds for VIVA Foundation for Children with Cancer, and the tournament also helped to raise awareness on the benefits of horse therapy for children.
Passing on the passion
“We hope to debunk the myth that polo is an inaccessible elitist sport, as well as a dangerous one”, says Mr. Patrick Furlong, founder and director of Colts Polo & Riding. As Polo Generations 2019 welcomes the newest and youngest members of the polo community, children are given the chance to fully experience real tournaments and official equestrian events to enrich their love for riding and their determination to engage with the sport.
The tournament’s primary aim was to let newer generations and broader audiences feel more comfortable and familiar with what was previously an intimidating world. “It is also our wish that more Singaporeans will get to know about polo and play the sport”, adds Mr. Furlong. In order to keep the passion for polo alive, new generations must be welcomed.
For more information on St. Regis Hotels & Resorts, please visit www.stregis.com. For more information on Colts Polo & Riding, please visit www.coltspolo.com. For more information on VIVA Foundation for Children with Cancer, please visit www.viva.sg.