Dubai, 8 April 2016 – Acceleration combined with excellent off-road handling was the focus as the Maserati Polo Tour 2016 continued in Dubai, with the first Maserati Dubai Polo Challenge taking place at Desert Palm Polo Club. The winning team, “Desert Palm”, produced an impressive performance at this inaugural tournament.
Played over five days, four talented polo teams, featuring both professional and amateur players from the UK, Europe, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Argentina, produced both competitive and entertaining polo, much to the delight of Maserati's guests. They were joined by a hand-selected audience of VIPs and special guests from the individual team sponsors, which included Gulfstream, Scavi & Ray and Desert Palm.
“While we are very familiar with thoroughbred horsepower from our cars, the game of polo adds a different level of excitement to the Maserati experience. We are delighted to share this with our guests and our special thanks goes to the teams and Desert Palm for making this such an exhilarating event,” explained Umberto Cini, Managing Director of Maserati Middle East, India & Africa.
The winning team, featuring Team Patrons Tariq Albwardy (UAE, Handicap 1) and Sam Instone (UK, 0) as well as Martin Gandara (ARG, 4) and Matias Machado (ARG, 4), narrowly won the final, only going ahead to win the match in the last chukka. Their opponents, Team Maserati, put up a strong fight on Desert Palm's impressive hotel grounds, but could not score enough goals to put the match into extra time. Third place was claimed by Gulfstream, who beat Scavi & Ray in the Trident Trophy.
The Maserati Most Valuable Player prize was awarded to Nacho Gonzalez from the Maserati Team, while Castora, played by Matias Machado, was named the Equestrio Arabia Best Playing Pony.
Besides the actual horsepower on the field of play, Maserati had a fleet of vehicles with a different kind of horsepower on display. The special highlight was the Maserati Levante, which made one of its first appearances in the region. With the Levante, the Trident brand's mission was not just to build an SUV, but to build a true Maserati, combining on-road handling typical of all Maserati cars with solid off-road capabilities and breath-taking Italian design.
The Maserati Dubai Polo Challenge was supported by the world's leading supplier of polo equipment, La Martina. Enrico Roselli, CEO of La Martina, said: "The Maserati Polo Tour always creates strong emotions. It is a celebration of our origins and our passion for the sport. Our partnership with Maserati and Guards Polo Club highlights the prestigious character of the event, showing once again the success of the combination of luxury and performance.”
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The Maserati Dubai Polo Challenge also marks the start of a series of La Martina and Maserati #PoloStories videos revealing the secrets of polo from the unique perspective of top polo players. Ebe Sievwright, an Official Commentator at Guards Polo Club and founder of the Guards Polo Academy, was chosen as the ambassador and protagonist for the first episode of the series. The videos unveil the limited edition polo shirts dedicated to each leg of the Maserati Polo Tour and are available exclusively on the digital platforms of Maserati and La Martina.
In conjunction with the Dubai Polo Challenge, the two brands presented the spectacular “24K Gold Dubai Polo” - a unique polo shirt which blends sportswear with luxury: the stretch piquet fabric is embroidered with a 24-carat gold thread. The “24K Gold Dubai Polo” will be available exclusively at La Martina Stores in the Dubai Mall and the Mall of the Emirates and subsequently in the brand's London and Milan flagship stores.
The Maserati Dubai Polo Challenge was organised by the UK-based Guards Polo Club, Europe's leading polo club, which was founded in 1955 by HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, who remains the Club's President to this day.