2013 Audi Polo Awards from Justin Powell on Vimeo.
The very best in the world of polo are recognised with the Audi Polo Awards for 2013.
As the most glamorous night in the English polo calendar, often being referred to as the ‘Oscars of the polo world’, the Audi Polo Awards were held at Coworth Park, Ascot, to recognise the very best in the sport for the last 12 months and the true legends of the game.
Major Winners of the Audi Polo Awards
The big winner of the evening was Adrian Kirby and his Cortium side, which scooped up an impressive three awards following their victory in the Veuve Clicquot Gold Cup at the end of last year’s high goal season. Kirby was personally awarded The Royal Salute Most Outstanding High Goal Patron award and Cortium was presented with The Apes Hill Most Outstanding High Goal Team award.
Eight goaler, Polito Pieres contributed largely to Cortium’s Gold Cup success, but Polito like many of the top polo players worldwide readily admits that it is the ponies that are the real heroes of the pitch and the linchpins of that success. It came as no surprise, then, when jointly owned with his cousin Hernan Pieres, Polito’s stallion Don Urbano Rolinga was rightfully awarded The Kerry Packer Most Outstanding High Goal Pony award for his successes on the field last year, having collected three Best Playing Pony awards in just three months.
It wasn’t only Cortium who had a successful season though with Rashid Albwardy’s Dubai team claiming victory in the 2012 Cartier Queen’s Cup.
Following a win in the US Gold Cup in March, Dubai’s ten goal player, Adolfo Cambiaso, widely recognised as the world’s best player, got off to a storming start in the UK and deservedly received the award for The Coworth Park Most Outstanding High Handicap Player (8-10).
Playing for the Dubai team for the second consecutive year as we begin the 2013 season, Alec White was also applauded for his performance in 2012 picking up The Avios Most Promising Player award (0 – 3).
Amongst the many international players in the room and as the main sponsor of the national side, Audi fittingly presented the award for Most Outstanding British Professional. With victories over America, South America and South Africa to its credit, the England team can look back on a hugely successful and exciting 2012 season. It was no surprise that this year’s winner of The Audi Most Outstanding Professional award was none other than England Captain, Luke Tomlinson, who collected the award for the second time.
Lifetime Achievement Award
The HPA Lifetime Achievement Awards are presented to those who have had a significant influence on the sport and have made substantial contributions to polo in the UK. This year’s winner was Paul Withers, who for many years was a key member of the England squad and Cowdray Park polo team, with which he won both The Queen’s and Gold Cup.
Adding to the evening’s British successes was one of England’s up and coming players, Alastair Paterson who picked up the accolade for The Julius Baer Victor Ludorum Most Outstanding Young Player. Alastair truly established himself as ‘one to watch’ last year when he made his high goal debut, replacing Ellerston’s James Packer in The Gold Cup before proceeding to win The Warwickshire Cup with Halcyon Gallery. This year, his success looks set to continue as he is hotly tipped to become El Remanso’s (yet to be announced) fourth player.
El Remanso also started the 2013 season on a high with 7 goal Guillermo Terrera picking up the Tally Ho Farm Most Outstanding Medium Handicap Player Award (4 – 7).
The event is not however solely a celebration of high-goal victories and accomplishments, the evening also recognises teams and individuals who take part in the 18, 15, 12, 8 and 6 goal Julius Baer Victor Ludorum tournaments. The winners of each Victor Ludorum prize are those teams that have proved to be the most successful at a particularr level throughout the season, accumulating the highest number of points in their particular league.
The McCarthy brothers both had successful 2012 seasons with Clinton McCarthy’s Emlor C team winning the 18 goal Victor Ludorum league and Spencer McCarthy’s Emlor S team taking home the 15 goal trophy. Tony Gerrard’s team Montana, were awarded the 12 goal Victor Ludorum title with Richard Thomas’ San Miguel Fresca team picking up the 8 goal victory. 2012 saw the introduction of the new 6 goal league into the Victor Ludorum Series, the successful winners of this new handicap level being Max Kirchoff’s Snakebite team.
For the lady players who battled it out in 2012, the Kent & Curwen Most Outstanding Lady Player award went to Sarah Wiseman following an impressive number of wins and Most Valuable Player awards last season. Those players who carry on in England during the winter months are also not to be overlooked and it was Jonathan Munro Ford’s Black Eagles team who were named as The Polo Agency Most Outstanding Arena Team for 2012.
Following in suit of tradition to end the evening, the Thai Polo Club World Dream Team was once again put to the room for all those in attendance to vote for their ‘Dream Team’ of players present on the night. This year’s named team consisted of Facundo Pieres at number 1 with brother Gonzalito at number 2, cousin Polito Pieres at number 3 and polo legend Carlos Gracida at number 4.
Other guests in attendance which read like the ‘Who’s Who|” of the sport, included Eduardo Novillo Astrada, Jaime Huidobro and England’s Malcolm Borwick and Mark Tomlinson.
Jon Zammett, Head of PR for Audi UK, says: “This season we can look forward to the second edition of the Audi International Polo Series, which includes the prestigious Westchester Cup, as well as key matches at Beaufort Polo Club and Chester Racecourse Polo Club. It is impossible to predict who will be award winners this time next year, but as ever we can expect exciting matches and top class polo.”