By Alastair Hunter, Hottinger Capital Partners
On Saturday 28th July England took on the United States in the prestigious Westchester Cup. The event, also known as the International Day, was hosted by the Hurlingham Polo Association, the UK’s governing body for polo, at the Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club. The day was very well supported, with Hottinger guests joining Ally Hunter. They and the assembled spectators saw England, whose line-up included three of the winners of the 2018 Gold Cup El Remanso, retain the cup with a 12-6 win over the United States.
The game pitted evenly matched teams in a contest that was bound to be a close encounter, but in the end a stellar performance from Ollie Cudmore, who scored seven goals, proved the difference in what was a game of ebbs and flows, but England prevailed.
“I’d like to congratulate the English team on an amazing win today,” said Robert Puetz, CEO of the United States Polo Association, the body responsible for the game in the United States. “They played solid polo, were strategic, well-organized and well prepared. Additionally, I would like to thank the Hurlingham Polo Association, who provided amazing and welcoming hospitality to our team.” The Hottinger Group was delighted to represent the England team as an official shirt sponsor along with Flannels; other event partners include De Vere, Globe-Trotter and the Financial Times’ How to Spend It.
Plans are already in place for the next match to take place in the United States during 2019, the first time that the Westchester Cup will be played in consecutive years since the outbreak of the First World War. It’s interesting to consider the parallels with golf and the Ryder Cup in the late 70’s. We see the opportunity for the Westchester Cup to develop and become a fixture in the polo calendar.
It’s worth dwelling for a second on the trophy itself which is well over 100 years old and is a magnificent prize for such a great fixture. Tiffany & Co were entrusted with the production and as you can see from the picture below it is a beautiful trophy which has a few stories to tell!
We expect the match will be just our first major involvement with the game of polo. At the time of writing, we are preparing a deal for new investments that will support the launch of a range of branded sports apparel products for sale in the UK and abroad. The company plans to license the Hurlingham Polo Association brand as its standard bearer for a new range of products.
With incomes and wealth rising around the world, there has been a rise in interest in elite sports and luxury consumer goods, a trend first exploited by Ralph Lauren in the 1970s. The Hurlingham Polo Association is the oldest such body in the game with an illustrious history and an esteemed reputation. The business case is compelling and we look forward to inviting interested parties to take part in what promises to be an exciting venture.
The Hurlingham Polo Association is a natural partner for the Hottinger Group. Both organisations share a culture that promotes sustainable activities and relationships that provide enduring value to a range of stakeholders in society. Soon after British tea planters discovered the game of polo on the Indian-Myanmar border in the 1850s, Hurlingham began to shape all aspects of the game, from the rule book to the handicap system. Today it boasts close to 3,000 members, and is involved with coaching and development, as well as providing scholarships to promising young players. That shared belief in nurturing a legacy is what makes Hurlingham and Hottinger a natural fit.
We hope that this is just the start and we look forward to updating you with further developments in the coming months as the relationship evolves.
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