Its year three of the Ibiza Beach Polo cup as once again the Kings sport returns to the island and this time the event has moved from Playa D’en Bossa to a specially created stadium in the heart of the Ibiza countryside. The huge marquis overlooks a custom made, sand filled beach arena and 4Polo Management has done a sterling job in attracting some of the finest talent around, most notably, in the men’s event, Adolfo Cambiaso, the best player to have played the game and in the women’s, Jodie Kidd, one of the sport’s most active supporters and not too shabby either! Teams this year include Lio, Cipriani, Blue Marin, Evian, Air Europe, AmnesiaLa Dolfina, Atzarto, Ciroq, L’elephant and Aguas De Ibiza. Just who will be the Ibiza champions?
Polo has never really been on my radar if I’m honest, my one and only attempt to become an equestrian was not my finest moment, I spent longer getting on the horse than I did actually on it. Until now, I’ve never had cause to check out a match, and given that I have no idea of the rules, I’m not sure exactly what was going on. What I can tell you, is that from a neutral spectators perspective, it’s pretty exciting and not that hard to get caught up in the affair. Given my horse confession from earlier, I am fully aware of the skill level that these men and women are operating at, not only to manoeuvre their horses as they do, but to do it one handed while swinging a mallet at a ball is impressive to say the least. In the only game we have time to catch, I’m pretty sure that Cipriani may have beaten L’elephant, but I couldn’t be one hundred percent sure. It was, however, an exciting and high scoring game, which evoked huge audience participation in the shape of cheering.
Now, given that it’s Ibiza, of course the whole affair is accompanied by a DJ, in this case dropping a rather chunky sound track while the commentator leads us through every move that is being made on the pitch. For the players, it is an extremely competitive afternoons work, I can only imagine how the horses must have felt. They chase the ball around relentlessly, under a blazing sun, and some of the moves they are able to pull off beggar belief. For those of us that are not up to date on most of the rules or what in fact constitutes a goal – at one point both teams looked to be shooting into the same goal – it is much more of a social occasion. It is a great excuse to get into the beautiful Ibiza countryside, catch up with friends and enjoy one of the many activities that fly under the radar of the masses that believe Ibiza to be one-dimensional. There was also a stunning fashion show from Tanit to break up the matches.
The arena will be turned into Ibiza’s main equestrian centre and there is news that several stables are looking at the location for winter training. Back to the Polo and the mens final was a hotly contested match between Dolfina and Ciroc Vodka, with Dolfina retaining the trophy for the second year running, aided by the fact that they had the world’s best player, Adolfo Cambiaso in their side. Air Europa picked up the Airports 2000 award in the ladies event and as usual several celebrities popped in to catch the action, the likes of James blunt and Spanish singer star Soraya Arnelas were amongst the spectators. If you didn’t manage to get along to this event, you won’t have too long to wait for another opportunity. The Sunset Beach Polo event will take place in San Antonio this October.