World class action on the opening day of the Richard Mille AlUla Desert Polo in Saudi Arabia
AlUla, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 11 February 2022: The ‘Game of Kings” lived up to its noble reputation as one of the most extraordinary occasions in world sport saw Team AlUla and Team Richard Mille secure first-day wins in the second annual Richard Mille AlUla Desert Polo tournament in north-west Saudi Arabia.
Held on an exquisite afternoon against the unmistakable backdrop of AlUla, home of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Hegra, the tournament, like no other in polo, delighted royals, business leaders, celebrities, and international social elites alike, as guests watched on to witness new sporting history unfold.
Both matches, on a compelling first day, perfectly showcased all of the skill, passion and horsemanship that has seen the sport thrive for centuries.
Team AlUla and Team Bentley had the honour of featuring in the opening match of the Richard Mille AlUla Desert Polo tournament organized by the Royal Commission for AlUla in partnership with the Saudi Polo Federation, with the Team AlUla, skippered by the legendary Adolfo Cambiaso (ARG), taking the spoils thanks to an emphatic 7-5 victory.
The tournament which reimagines the ancient sport on the sands of Saudi Arabia saw the best polo players from the world’s best team – La Dolfina Saudi – in a unique combination with leading international polo patrons from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, France and the United States.
As hoped by many of the guests who had gathered to see the masters at work, it was Adolfo Cambiaso of Team AlUla, regarded the best in the history of the sport who starred alongside teammates, HRH Prince Salman bin Sultan bin Salman (KSA), and Mohammed Al Habtoor (UAE) overcoming the valiant efforts of Team Bentley’s David Stirling (URU), HRH Prince Abdulrahman bin Faisal AlSaud (KSA) and Jean-Francois Decaux (FRA).
Speaking after winning the first match, the legendary Cambiaso said: “It was a lot of fun out there today. The arena has improved even more and we were delighted to get the win. Almost more than victory though, we really enjoyed it in the incredible surroundings of AlUla. We’re so happy to be back here in this amazing place.”
After the capacity crowd of VIPs enjoyed a mesmerizing live horse show and sampled the delicacies of an Arabic-led fusion menus, curated and brought to life by local graduates who trained at the legendary Ferrandi School, the action continued on in the intimate surrounds of the arena.
In the second match of the lavish afternoon, Team Richard Mille went into battle against Team Saudia, with Team Richard Mille, led by brand ambassador Pablo Mac Donough alongside Melissa Ganzi (USA) and Noor Abu Khadra (KSA), the eventual winners 9-7.
After the tight loss, Team Saudia, comprising of HRH Prince Salman bin Mansour Al Saud (KSA), Juan Martin Nero (ARE), Dr. Hussam Zawawi (KSA), will now look forward to tomorrow’s challenge, opening the second day.
After their loss, Dr. Hussam Zawawi (KSA) commented, “Today’s games were strong and the competition was fierce. The close results were a reflection of that.”
He added, “It’s really great to see these polo stars participating in AlUla and its magnificent landscape and beauty. To add to this, it’s a joy to see the fans interacting with us so closely and so passionately throughout the day. Polo is the sport of kings and it has returned to the Kingdom.”
The action continues tomorrow on the second and final day of the second edition of the Richard Mille AlUla Desert Polo tournament with the third match taking place at 2pm, local time (KSA) and the final fourth match commencing from 4pm (KSA).
While tickets are sold out, the event will be streamed live on YouTube:
Desert Polo stream key information in English
Stream key: j9yz-6wu8-pdqc-1rdc-55t1
Stream URL: rtmp://a.rtmp.youtube.com/live2
View URL – Feb 11: https://youtu.be/tKWSjjcXrB8
View URL – Feb 12: https://youtu.be/wDNMpduYPIo