Royal Salute Team Wins Inaugural Royal Salute Cup Korea
by Stijn Welkers, 14 October 2011
Over the long holiday weekend in Korea Polo Country Club (KPCC), the Royal Salute team featuring KPCC’s owner and highest rated Korean player, Lee Joo Bae, claimed the Royal Salute Cup.
Held for the first time in Korea, Royal Salute sponsored this event which was witnessed by the Singapore Ambassador to Korea and a gallery filled with local dignitaries, members of the nearby riding school, local and international school students and the first polo playing members of KPCC and their friends.
The Royal Salute team with Alex de Lisle (+3, UK), JB Lee (0) and club professionals Alecs (+2) and Noel Vecinal (0) from the Philippines took a small 3-2 lead after 4 chukkas on the first day of play. Alex de Lisle played some exhilarating polo with fast runs along the crowded gallery in front of the clubhouse while tapping the ball mid-air. The Korean crowd unfamiliar with such ball wizardry was cheering and clapping in enthusiasm.
The BMW sponsored team with Argentine Tomas Martinez (+4), American Tom Claytor (+1), Dutchman Stijn Welkers (0) and Thai-Chinese Dino Asvaintra (0) tried their hardest and made a comeback to 5-5 by the end of chukka 2 on the second day, but by the end of the final chukka had succumbed 9-6 to the Royal Salute team.
The Korea Polo Country together with Royal Salute hosted a beautiful buffet with a jazz band providing accompanying sounds and a ready supply of Royal Salute 21-year-old whiskey, which went down well with the invited guests.
Korea Polo Country Club was built in 2009 and 2010 and had its official opening in June 2010. KPCC features a club house with 10 hotel rooms, fitness center, wine bar and restaurant, shop, swimming pool, villas and condominiums designed by renowned Korean-Japanese architect Itami Jun. Other facilities include a polo field, soccer field, covered arena, stables and outdoor arena. KPCC sells real estate memberships as well as polo memberships.
Since its start last year, KPCC has been able to convince 8 of its members to make a start in polo and the club can now field its own all-Korean beginners team for the first time in recent history. In the last few months, exchange matches with a beginners team from China have been held regularly, helping both countries to advance their level of polo.
KPCC is located on Jeju Island, South Korea. Jeju is a volcanic island and very popular as a holiday resort and honeymoon destination. The main attractions on the island are the lava caves and a large volcano crater.
Dino and Tommy
Alex Get Ready
Dino and Alex
Alex and Tommy
Royal Salute Wins