Durban Shongweni Club in Hillcrest played host on Sunday, August 18 to the first test of the 2013 BMW International Polo Series, which saw the South African Polo team pit their skills against a young touring international Chilean team.
The rain held out for the first test at Shongweni with a chilly breeze keeping the players on their toes for what was a highly competitive match. The first test saw both teams play a very defensive game and attacking at every opportunity. The final chukka ended with a 4:4 tie and Juan Ignacia Vercellino, Captain of the Chilean side, was awarded man of the match.
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.
The second test of the tournament will be played at the Waterfall Polo Park in Sunninghill Johannesburg on August 25. It will be at this event that the overall winner of the 2013 BMW International Polo Series will be determined.
Taking the reins for the South African Polo Team this year as captain, is 35-year-old Guy Watson (5-goal player), a member of the polo-steeped Watson family. With vast international experience, Watson provided great leadership to his team as SA came back to tie with Chile after being one goal down at half time.
Representing the rest of the young, talented South African side is Watson’s nephew, Byron Watson (17 years old and 3-goal), Lance Watson (26 years old and 5-goal), Leroux Hendriks (27 years old and 5-goal), and reserves Duncan Watson (22 years old and 5-goal) and Cody Ellis (18 years old and 3-goal).
BMW’s collaboration with the South African Polo Association is one of the longest-running sports sponsorships in South Africa – this year marks 24 years of BMW’s commitment to the sport.
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Tags: BMW International Polo Series, Chile, Guy Watson, horses, Polo, Shongweni Club, South Africa, sport, sunninghill, waterfall polo park