On Saturday 27th of April the first Jnan Amar Polo Challenge took place at the Jnan Amar Polo Resort in Marrakesh. POLO+10 was invited to attend that historical polo premiere and is reporting directly from the new polo grounds in Marrakesh.
On the complete newly build playing field of the Jnan Amar Polo Club, two teams with international and native players were competing regarded and encouraged by an enthusiastic audience. Most of all, it was Amr Zedan (0) who dominated the matches and was quiet rightly honoured as the mot valuable player of the tournament. At the end of the day, Amr Zedan (0), Lt. Sidi Mohammed El Mhamdi (+1), Fred Mannix (+8) and Mariano Uranga (+6) from Team Jnan Amar Polo left the field victoriously. They defeated Sgt. Ahmed Bentaib (+1), Ignacio Tejerina (+3), Santiago Novillo Astrada (+6) and Federico Boudou (+3) from Team Eve Branson Foundation with 5:3 goals. Lady Branson, her son Sir Richard Branson, Amar Abdelhadi and Patrick Hermès as well as the Argentinean and British Ambassador in Morocco handed over the trophies at the official price giving ceremony.
All the polo horses for the match were kindly provided by Patrick Hermès, who specially brought them from Tanger in the north of Morocco to Marrakech. The former President of the international Polo Association (FIP) has been living in Morocco since decades. The recent venue was held under the patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI. and the Royal Moroccan Polo Federation.
Ahead of the polo game, a charity auction for the benefit of the Eve Branson Foundation was held, which among others sold a hand signed polo shirt of Adolfo Cambiaso. More than 25.000 Euros were gathered this afternoon for the Eve Branson Foundation, which stands up for better living conditions in the poorer regions and settlements in the Atlas Mountains near Marrakesh.
The prelude to the polo weekend was an elegant reception at the restaurant Riad El Fenn in the city center of Marrakesh Friday evening. Polo players, artists and representatives of economy, politics and culture has been invited and were holding talks above the rooftops of Marrakesh by night about the recent developments of polo in the country and the polo potentials in the African kingdom.
The Jnan Amar Polo Resort is Morocco’s latest polo- and equestrian-club. Up to now an excellent playing field has been layed out with the help of the Spanish Santa Maria Polo Club, a second one still is under construction. The Jnan Amar Polo Club is part of a bigger resort encircling a 5-star-hotel, a spa- and wellness area, several restaurants and more than 80 luxurious villas, which are supposed to be completed in 2015. When it is completely finished the Jnan Amar Polo Club will host superb polo facilities, a clubhouse, a polo academy and an equestrian centre.
Amar Abdelhadi, owner of the Jnan Amar Polo Resort, grateful notices the recent developments: „The contract with Ritz Carlton has just been signed. Thus the building of the 5-star hotel can be started very soon.“