Land Rover America’s Polo Cup kicked off to a sold-out crowd on the national mall in D.C. Then came the beauty queens, the Ambassadors and the fly-by’s…
You know polo matches. Beautiful ladies in big hats. Dashing riders carrying sticks that seem poorly designed for the job at hand. Pimms and prawns on the tailgate of a Range Rover.
Well, there are polo matches and there are polo matches.
"Being the title sponsor of America's Polo Cup is again a perfect fit for the D.C. area Land Rover retailers," says Andy Palmisano, Land Rover Market Manager. "This event improves year after year and has proven to be a prestigious and high profile opportunity to showcase our vehicles."
"The Land Rover America's Polo Cup kick-off preview is an impressive weekend for Polo fans, horse lovers, visitors, Washingtonians, sponsors, sportsmanship and diplomacy all convening in a breathtaking setting with the Washington Monument as our backdrop reminding us how patriotic and unique the Land Rover America's Polo Cup is -- we are honored to have endorsed this premier Polo match in the United States for the 2009 Land Rover America's Polo Cup," said Roger Stern, U.S. Commissioner to the National Polo League.
The Land Rover America’s Polo Cup is so big that folks as far away as Australia heard about it…and want it. President and founders Tareq & Michaele Salahi said during the opening ceremony that Australia is already preparing to challenge the United States for the America's World Polo Cup taking place at the Capitol Polo grounds in Potomac, Maryland on May 9, 2009.
"This is a new chapter for the sport of polo, making the sport more accessible to a wider audience. Each year we add more to the Land Rover America's Polo Cup experience” stated Tareq Salahi.
Then Tareq introduced His Excellency Dennis Richardson, Australian ambassador to the U.S. who took the stage and expressed his excitement for the U.S. & Australia Challenge for the prestigious Land Rover America's Polo Cup. "We are proud to be the challengers, and I know our teams are preparing now to be ready to compete in the prestigious Land Rover America's Polo Cup in 2009."
Then American Idol star Michael Johns took the stage and sang the Australian national anthem with eight horses draped in the Australian flag pranced around the mall. Not to be outdone, Sgt. Antonio Giullano, a U.S. Army Chorus Soloist, then performed the U.S. national anthem followed by God Bless America.
But wait! There’s more!
During the anthems three F-18s performed a ceremonial flight over the D.C. National Mall polo field. This slightly in-your-face performance was followed by helicopter fly-bys of the 2009 America's Cup partners which includes the State of Maryland's governor's helicopter -- honoring its new home at Capitol Polo Club, Potomac, MD -- and U.S. Coast Guard fly-bys throughout the day! (Originally Polo was used by the military as a means to train officers to determine their ranks prior to World War II. Today, they honor this tradition with active partnerships by each branch of the Armed Services.)
A preview match – the USA Cartier polo match – featured Michael Johns throwing the first game ball out of a Range Rover HSE. The U.S. Cartier White Team won 8 to 3, with the president, Tareq Salahi, scoring 5 goals.
Then the main feature match started with the game ball thrown in by Miss America’s Miss D.C., Kate Marie Grinwold. Then Dallas Cowboys SuperBowl Champ Daryl Johnston spoke, saying "The Athletes of the Land Rover America's Polo Cup are incredible and our common denominator in professional sports is working together with an end goal of making differences in peoples lives. I am proud you asked me to say a few words, and look forward to joining you as a guest for the May 9, 2009 Land Rover America's Polo Cup."
That’s right. Don’t forget – this was just a preview!
At the 2009 event they will continue with the hugely successful and popular "Rockin’ the Runway" Fashion show, a televised event.
For 2009, the celebration will be enjoyed by thousands of supporters and promises a day full of fun, fans, festivities, fashion and fly overs. You can expect the US Army, Navy, US Coast Guard, US Marines, BlackWater USA Parachute Team, as well as the U.S. Park Police Aviation and Horse Mounted Division. They’re also promising a “surprise” air show fly over.
This year’s event will have performances by headliners from Australia to the United States - starting on Friday May 8th, thru May 9th - including a grand finale spectacular concert.
With fireworks, of course. (To see more photos, go to www.uspolocup.com)
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