BMW International Polo Series 2013: Chile victorious for the first time on South African soil

Photo taken by Shane Doyle
Photo taken by Shane Doyle

Johannesburg 26 August 2013- The spacious Waterfall Polo Park in Sunninghill, Johannesburg played host on Sunday 25 August to the second and final test of the BMW International Polo Series between South Africa and Chile. The Series culminated in a win for the Chileans, the first on South African soil.

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 had never been victorious on South African soil, up until now.

The first test at Shongweni, Durban, over a week ago saw both teams play a very defensive game, ending with both teams tied at 4-4.

Both South Africa and Chile were in it to win it yesterday as they illustrated a sterling display of strength and agility which translated into a final score of 9-7 in favour of the Chileans. Francisco Martinez Ferrer (19 & 4-goal), who is the youngest player in the Chilean side, walked away with man of the match.

The final Test saw South Africa and Chile tied at 4:4 again at half time and both teams returned with vigour to score as many goals in the final 3 chukkas. The Chileans played a strong and strategic game which worked in their favour as they walk away with the title of champions in the 2013 BMW International Polo Series.

Taking the reins as captain of the South African team on the field for the 2013 BMW International Polo Series was 35 year old Guy Watson. Representing the rest of the young, talented South African side was Watson’s nephew, Byron Watson (17 & 3-goal), Duncan Watson (22 & 5-goal), Leroux Hendriks (27 & 5-goal), and reserve Cody Ellis (18 & 3-goal).

As one of the highlights of South Africa’s social calendar, the BMW International Polo Series attracted the likes of BMW Springbok Rugby Ambassadors Victor Matfield and Pierre Spies, Jo da Silva, actress and television presenter best known for her soapie roles on Isidingo and 7de Laan, Dingaan Mokebe South African actor, singer, voice artist and television presenter; Hlubi Mboya, 46664 Celebrity Ambassador; Irvan Damon of Big Brother fame, Gerry Rantseli, South African television presenter, host, MC and businesswoman, local actress and model Tanya van Graan as well as the ever eloquent Jennifer Su and the stunning Joanne Strauss who all enjoyed a Sunday out at the polo.

The day was characterised by glorious weather which saw the biggest public crowd ever, of more than 5000 people, take the opportunity to bask in the sun and picnic with friends and family. The fast paced sporting event that is polo, also kept spectators enthralled and entertained.

“BMW’s collaboration with the South African Polo Association is one of the longest-running sports sponsorships in South Africa with this year marking 24 years of BMW’s commitment to the sport. The tournament this year was once again a tremendous success and we’re pleased to be in position to showcase the great sport of polo to South Africans fans. The event delivered the very emotions that BMW embodies in each of its products – pure joy,” says Bodo Donauer, Managing Director of BMW South Africa.

“Congratulations to the Chilean team and well done to the South African side for a great display of sportsmanship.”

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