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Polo in Azerbaijan: “Polo is Home”

Four professional polo teams from Argentina, the US, Europe and Azerbaijan have confirmed their attendance at the second Arena Polo World Cup Azerbaijan. The four polo teams will represent the world famous brands and sponsors Chopard, Baltika 7 and Embawood. As M. Ahadpur Khangah, the Vice-President of ARAF, announced, the Azeri polo team has as the first one in the history of the country professionally been trained by the polo coaches of the Alegría Polo Farm in Buenos Aires. Raul Laplacette and his team of Argentine trainers as well as world renowned polo teacher Thomas Winter from Hamburg prepared the Azeri team for the World Cup 2014 in Baku. M. Ahadpur Khangah: “Training of the Azeri National team started in April and since that time they have gone from strength to strength and by now qualifying for the international tournament. Like parents proud of their successful children, so am I proud of our national players.”

The second Arena Polo World Cup Azerbaijan will be produced and hosted by ARAF (Equestrian Federation of Azerbaijan Republic), the World Polo and the Elite Horse & Polo Club Bina. There in Bina Horse Centre, a completely new polo area and modern polo facilities were built last year to welcome the local and international polo fans. In addition to the arena with high-definition lighting systems, 40 horseboxes are also provided and there are plans to build two full-size playing fields.

Central Asia is the birthplace of polo, which looks back upon a centuries-old tradition in Azerbaijan as its ancient form “Chovgan” was played here. Azerbaijan has made an application to UNESCO for including Chovgan in the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage List. “Bringing Polo Home” is the vision of M. Ahadpur Khangah, who initiated the first modern polo tournament in Baku last year. The country did also apply to become a member of the World Polo Association FIP and got the admittance in December in Buenos Aires. Under the leadership of the Equestrian Federation of Republic of Azerbaijan and its Vice-President M. Ahadpur Khangah polo is about to gain ground and develop to a countrywide known sport. The 60-year-old businessman discovered his passion for polo while studying in the English town of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and has been hooked on the fast-paced sport ever since. “This is a special year for us, as this will be a debut of Azeri National Polo team. We are off to a great start! This year’s event will be conducted under a new slogan: Welcome the Azeri Polo Team! This tournament will be an improvement over last edition in the scope of participation, sponsorship and entertainment. We will have a famous singer from France ‘In-Grid’ and a band from Italy ‘I Love Italy’ performing on the Gala dinner on Saturday. We foresee another sold-out event and increase in the international and local audience. 2014 is going to offer even more fun, entertainment and surprises for our guests.” Responsible for the organisation and production of the event is World Polo and the local partners Tatyana Sulzenbacher (joined Event Director), Bahruz Nabiyev (Secretary General ARAF) and Etibar Quliyev (Manager of the Elite Horse & Polo Club).

For further information and particular requests contact:
Tel.: + 41 43 343 98 54
Fax.: + 41 43 343 98 55

Contact in Baku Tatyana Sulzenbacher:
Mobil: +994 50 2901300
Tel.: +994 12 5386328

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