Polo Fans Celebrate the Ultimate New Year in India
THE EXCLUSIVE ROYAL SALUTE MAHARAJA OF JODHPUR GOLDEN JUBILEE CUP SHOWS THAT THE SPORT OF KINGS AND THE WHISKY OF ROYALTY ARE MAKING THE PERFECT MATC
What do His Highness the Maharaja of Jodhpur, the 13th Duke of Argyll and premium Scotch whisky brand Royal Salute have in common? They are all keen supporters of polo, “the sport of kings”, and they recently hosted more than 150 exclusive invitees from across Asia and around the world at the third Royal Salute Maharaja of Jodhpur Golden Jubilee Cup, held in Jodhpur, India, in December 2011.
The tournament, one of the world’s most prestigious polo events, attracted its largest, most international crowd ever. These privileged guests were treated to a New Year like no other, attending gala dinners and celebrations, touring the gorgeous grounds of Umaid Bhawan Palace – one of the world’s largest private residences – and watching five days of international polo, which culminated with a win by the talented Central Academy team.
Royal Salute has partnered with His Highness and Guest of Honor Torquhil Ian Campbell, the 13th Duke of Argyll, for three years running in an increasingly successful effort to promote the historically Asian sport of polo. According to many, the sport has expanded from its ancient Persian roots to India, China and beyond. It was played at the 2007 Southeast Asia Games and is one of the fastest-growing sports in China, especially among the nation’s young elite. Exclusive polo clubs have been established in Beijing, Shanghai and several other cities within the last decade. The word “polo” is even derived from the Tibetan word for ball, “pulu”.
The weekend also afforded guests the luxury of savoring Royal Salute, which was created by Chivas Brothers in 1953 to celebrate the coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Blended from Chivas Brothers’ finest aged Scotch whiskies, it is a tribute to high achievement by the Queen and discerning connoisseurs around the world. The Duke of Argyll holds the role of Brand Ambassador for Royal Salute.
Royal Salute’s home is Strathisla, one of the oldest working distilleries in the Scottish Highlands. Built in 1786 by Chivas Brothers, it holds the world’s largest inventory of highly aged, precious whiskies. In fact, Royal Salute is unique in being the only Scotch whisky in the world whose components are aged for a minimum of 21 years. Each year of maturation yields greater depth and complexity of flavor.
Every week a team of dedicated whisky experts, led by the Royal Salute Master Blender, monitors the quality and characteristics of new and maturing spirits as well as the “Exceptionally Aged Reserve” in order to ensure that Royal Salute is blended from only the finest whiskies. The commitment to quality is evident even in Royal Salute’s striking flagons, which are handcrafted by the world’s most renowned master craftsmen using only premium materials such as gold, silver, porcelain and granite.
Famous names of nobility such as Prince Carl-Eugen Oettingen-Wallerstein and his wife Princess Anna of Bavaria also took part. Renowned fashion designer Rina Shah displayed her latest collection of polo sportswear during a show after the tournament. A private collection of vintage cars, including the legendary Rolls Royce Silver Phantom, Jaguar Mark 7 and Bentleys, were also paraded at the event.
Those with a taste for the finer things in life would be hard-pressed to find a sporting event that can top the Royal Salute Maharaja of Jodhpur Golden Jubilee Cup for history, pageantry and noble skill. Neil Macdonald, Global Brand Director for Royal Salute, said, “There is no event quite like it. With stunning parties and a world-class 10-goal tournament, our guests have enjoyed a spectacular few days. Royal Salute is dedicated to bringing polo to a larger audience, especially in fast-growing countries like India and China, and with this event we feel like we have gotten the New Year off to a great start.”