Johannesburg 13 August – The South African and Chilean Polo teams participating in this year’s BMW International Polo Series have been announced. The BMW International Polo Series – which is the epitome of great sportsmanship, glamour and style – will take place once again in Durban and Johannesburg this month.
The first Test will take place at Shongweni in Hillcrest, Durban on Sunday 18 August with the second and final Test, taking place at Waterfall Polo Park in Sunninghill, Johannesburg on Sunday 25 August.
Guy Watson (35 years old & 5-goal player), captain of the South African Polo team, is part of the polo-steeped Watson family. With world-renowned experience, Watson has played polo in many countries including America, New Zealand and India. Representing the rest of the young, talented South African side is Watson’s nephew, Byron Watson (17 & 3-goal), Lance Watson (26 & 5-goal), Leroux Hendriks (27 & 5-goal), and reserves Duncan Watson (22 & 5-goal) and Cody Ellis (18 & 3-goal).
Chile and South Africa have an almost 40-year rivalry on the polo field; a fitting co-incidence in the same year that BMW South Africa celebrates its 40th anniversary. The South Americans have toured on five previous occasions and, although they have beaten South Africa in Chile, they have never been victorious on South African soil.
Captaining a young Chilean side is Juan Ignacio Vercellino (24 & 6-goal) who is one of the oldest representatives of this Chilean team. Accompanying him for this year’s BMW International Test Series is Francisco Martínez Ferrer (19 & 4-goal), José Miguel Pereira (23 & 4-goal), Santiago Pereira Rabat (25 & 4-goal) and reserve Sergio Eguiguren Ebensperger (33 & 3-goal).
Chile are still revelling in their success as World Champions in the FIP World Cup in 2008 and these young players have grown in experience and will be a real challenge to the home team, who are anticipating and preparing for the tournament. “Chilean polo players are renowned for their horsemanship and agility in the saddle and we can assure polo fans that the two Tests will be thrilling encounters, especially as the visitors will be determined to get their first victory in five attempts in South Africa,” said Mr Walter Grindrod, President of the SA Polo Association.
“The BMW brand is synonymous with innovation, sporting spirit and premium quality backed by heritage. Associating ourselves with the BMW International Polo Series for the 24th year is our commitment to supporting South African sports that are aligned with our core company values,” said Bodo Donauer, MD of BMW South Africa.
Guests are invited to bring their families and a picnic basket along to enjoy an afternoon of outstanding horsemanship and patriotic support of the South African polo team.
Public tickets for Shongweni and Waterfall are pre-sold on the South African Polo Association website (www.sapolo.org.za) and tickets are also available at the gates on the day. Shongweni tickets cost R80 per person (West Bank) and R50 per person (East Bank). Waterfall tickets are R100 per person. Children under the age of twelve are given free access.
Please refer to www.bmw.co.za/polo or www.sapolo.org.za for further information with regards to ticket sales.
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