Who says polo should be left to sports writers alone? The last two weeks witnessed the Porsche Pakistan social calendar takeover with the riveting Porsche National Polo Open for the Quaid-e-Azam Gold Cup making a polo tournament an entire lifestyle event!
The Lahore Polo Club was clearly the place to be throughout this tournament to have witnessed this polo season. The championship was contested between six teams, replete with some of Pakistan’s most dynamic sporting talent such as Hissam Ali Hyder, seasoned players Saqib Khakwani and Shah Qublai Alam alongside international players in Pakistan for the polo season including Oliver Hipwood, Matias Vial Perez, Agustin Canale and England polo team member Jamie Le Hardy. Off the polo field, there was an equally exciting amount of brou ha ha. There was high fashion, fast cars, beautiful hats, lavish brunches and a brand new super car debuted for the first time in the entire Middle East region, the Porsche Macan. There was Lahore society out in full force day after day for a series of tournament events and features, be it the Porsche Kids Driving School, the polo matches themselves, the Porsche hospitality tent, the Polo Diaries Fashion Show and the Royal Ascot themed brunch.
The actual final was a grand affair, one of, if not the biggest polo finals in Pakistan’s recent history. With approximately 5,000 attendees, the mood was electric. Upon walking in, one witnessed the Porsche Pakistan display or museum of cars, sans the Macan, which was unveiled later. Crowds were ushered into their well-organised seating tiers to catch the polo action, front row and in style! Many a prominent person was spotted, be it Imran Khan himself as the chief guest, Abuzar Bokhari of course as the Porsche Pakistan powerhouse CEO, Hina Rabbani Khar throughout the tournament, Aitzaz Ahsan and Meesha Shafi on an occasion. There was Pakistani cinema heartthrob Shaan Shahid, supermodel Vaneeza Ahmed Ali, and fashion designer extraordinaire Maria B, to mention just a select few in attendance at the final. The game itself kicked off with the much-anticipated revealing of the Porsche Macan led onto the field by an impressive procession of polo players. Specifically on the unveiling of the Porsche Macan at the tournament, Bokhari said, “With the Macan, Porsche offers athletic all-wheel-drive vehicles across an unprecedented range. The new model is set to revolutionise the sporty SUV segment with an injection of pure Porsche DNA. The all-new Macan is the latest representation of Porsche’s unwavering commitment to pushing back the boundaries of possibility whilst remaining true to a heritage of automotive excellence. My team and I are proud to have launched the Macan in Pakistan in line with its global premiere.”
The final itself was nail biting with Colony-Newage beating the Pakistan Army by the skin of their teeth to be presented with the Quaid-e-Azam Gold Cup trophy. Kudos to the Lahore Polo Club led from the front by President Abdul Haye Mehta for working towards making polo a more accessible and widely viewed event and kudos also to Porsche as a global lifestyle brand for investing in the development and patronage of the sport. We now look forward to another National Open, same time next year!
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