What's on at this year's Sandpolo Beach Polo
PUBLISHED: 09:20 13 June 2019 | UPDATED: 09:20 13 June 2019
Thrilling polo matches, fabulous fashion shows and beats on the beach are all part of the Sandbanks British Beach Polo Championships
Held on the second weekend in July, the British Beach Polo Championships, otherwise known as Sandpolo, is one the most glamorous sporting and social events on the South Coast. Over the last 12 years, people from across the country have flocked to Sandbanks to see some of the world's most talented polo players compete on its pristine golden beaches. So it's no surprise to learn that this popular event has become known as 'The Sandbanks Weekend'.
Initially it was curiosity that brought people to watch high quality beach polo at Sandbanks but since then the parties, hospitality, fashion shows and now a beach rugby element, not to mention the Sandfest music festival on the Sunday, has kept the crowds coming.
The heavily watered beach arena provides a firm playing surface for the polo matches, played under the authority of the Hurlingham Polo Association, where four competitive medium goal teams of three players do battle it out on horseback. Each team plays on both days, with a further exhibition game on the Saturday. International teams bring an interesting dimension to the arena and over the years players from Australia, South Africa, Argentina, Ireland and Wales have come to play on the beach at Sandbanks.
Other regular Sandpolo events include a charity race between the two fastest ponies (in aid of the Household Cavalry Foundation), and a fashion show. This is held in the main marquee and features beach, leisure and evening wear from top designers.
Then there are the legendary after-parties on the beach. The House & Garage Orchestra, with incredible vocalists and DJs, will entertain guests until 1am at the Pure Polo party on the opening night. And Radio 1's Nick Grimshaw will host the closing Sandpolo Ocean Party on the Saturday.
Ty Temel of TML Events, who have teamed up with Sandpolo to run this year's event, said: "We have added some extra pizzazz this year that I know everyone will enjoy. Guests come along for many reasons but whether it's for the polo, the socialising, the parties, or simply to see and be seen, the one thing I know is that they all have a smile on their face at this event."
Johnny Wheeler, the founder of Sandpolo, says he is extremely grateful for the continuing support it receives from the council, local residents and suppliers. "It is a pleasure to work alongside the newly formed BCP Council (Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole Council). The events team are extremely helpful and see the value that we can bring to the area."
Generous sponsorship from established brands such as Sunseeker, Barclays Wealth, Audi and Oakley has ensured the quality of the event remains high. With continued support from the local authorities Sandpolo will continue to embrace the ever-changing social dynamic while staying true to its competitive polo roots.