The two-day event will take place on a custom-built polo field on the exclusive hotel's West Lawn and will feature teams from Buenos Aires, London and Milan as well as the UAE capital.
Special ‘Palace Rules’ have been devised for the event to ensure fast and exciting matches on pitches a third smaller than regular polo fields.
Games will be played between teams of three, with two points awarded for goals scored from outside a ‘D’ area marked on the playing surface.
Matches will begin with what organisers have dubbed a ‘Palace dash’ with riders of the fastest horse from each side racing from opposite ends of the field towards a ball in its centre.
Two matches will be played on each day with Team Abu Dhabi drawn to face Team London and Team Buenos Aires kicking off their campaign against Team Milan. The winners of those two matches will play each other in the final on the following day.
Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, the UAE Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, conducted this morning’s draw at the Emirates Palace alongside former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf.
“Hopefully this is the beginning of creating a centre for polo in Abu Dhabi,” Sheikh Nahyan said before adding that “through sport we can create a better world for everybody.”
Capacity for the event has been restricted to 1,000 to guarantee the best vantage point for spectators.
Hospitality packages starting from Dh1,750 per day are available for the event while General Admission tickets, priced Dh250 per day, go on sale from Emirates Palace on November 10.
The Coutts International Polo at Chester Racecourse
The Chester Racecourse Polo Club is firmly established on the British Polo circuit and is one of the premier social events in the North West. Polo in Chester is played on the historic Roodee, the perfect place to watch one of the world's most exciting sports.
The history of Polo dates back to 6th century BC in Persia and is now played in 80 countries worldwide and uniquely, is played somewhere in the world all year round. There are four players on each team and a match consists of chukkas, periods of seven and half minutes long.
The Coutts International Polo Tournament will take place at Chester Racecourse on Friday 30 and 31 May 2008. Two semi final matches will be played at 2.30 and 4pm on Friday with the winning teams contesting the Coutts International Trophy and £10,000 prize money on Saturday at 4pm.
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Donna Okell, Private Banker for Coutts in Chester commented: "Coutts are delighted to be sponsoring the Coutts International Polo Tournament. Coutts history with the polo dates back to 1925, when the Jodhpur polo team, which had swept all before it in India, visited England and all team members opened accounts with Coutts. They won many matches, beating the US army and winning the Hurlingham Champion Cup and the Roehampton Open Cup."
"Over the years, we have lent our support to many more matches for example, The Coutts Cup which was first awarded in 1986 for the match between Lloyd's of London and the Stock Exchange, with the last one taking place in 1992. And one of the events held to mark the opening of the Coutts Dubai office in 1999 was a polo match in Abu Dhabi when a Coutts Cup was presented. In 2004 and 2005 polo days were held when the teams played for the Coutts Bear. Whereas last year, it was the Yorkshire Nations Cup which brings together players from around the world. And today, Coutts is proud to be continuing this tradition, by working closely with the Chester Racecourse Polo Club to sponsor the Coutts International Polo Tournament."
For the polo set, this is a chance to watch some of the U.K.'s best names in the sport including last year's winners Belgravia, featuring Chester's own Richard Thomas, back to defend their title. Paul Monahan is the patron of a new Irish team sponsored by Alexander Events which will include the fantastic seven goal player Martin Vidou from Argentina. Craig Wilson, the six goal player from New Zealand will also feature as part of the Heathcotes Team. A host of national and international players will be participating in the two day event.
Richard Thomas, Chief Executive at Chester Racecourse said; 'This first class polo tournament has become a key event in the Cheshire Equestrian calendar, it's an exciting, physical sport which appeals to fans and new comers alike. Polo is a great spectator sport and we are encouraging people to bring the family down to the Race Course to experience it first hand.'
For those wishing to indulge in the glitz and glamour of an afternoon spent at the Polo gates will open at 12pm on both days. Tickets are priced at £10 with no charge for Children 15 years and under, they can be pre-booked by calling the Box Office on 01244 304 610.
On the Friday corporate clients will be able to book a five star, three course lunch which will be served in the sponsors and marquee and an International Ball with three course supper in the evening. On Saturday there will be a barbecue lunch held at 1pm. There will be limited availability for these elements so please book early on 01244 304 610.
Coutts Polo Argentina