Unleashing the Power of polo

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Martin Moodie
Martin Moodie is the Founder & Chairman of The Moodie Report.

King Power International (Thailand) Chairman Vichai Raksiaksorn has always had to be on the ball, especially during the past year as the Thai travel retailer has had to fight the toughest battle imaginable to retain its Suvarnabhumi airport contracts in a long-running (and politically motivated) battle with Airports of Thailand.

Now, with that battle seemingly over and the company vindicated, Vichai proved to be on the ball again on Saturday – this time in a very different setting. The Thai businessman was leading the King Power – La Dolfina polo team in the annual Chakravarty Charity Cup at the Ham Polo Club, one of the oldest in the UK.

Total donations to charity over the event’s 12-year history amount to over £1 million and once again this year some fine causes – The Royal Marsden Cancer Campaign and WellChild (which looks after seriously ill children) – benefited.

Besides his business success, Vichai is famous in Thailand for both philanthropy and polo. He is the President of the Thai Polo Association and works tirelessly to develop and promote the sport in his home country.  He’s also a very good player – as spectators saw yesterday when he scored two fine breakaway goals (the run-up to one pictured below on Vichai’s second, piebald, pony).

The match was boosted by the participation of Prince William (below), the Royal Patron of The Royal Marsden Hospital, and also a useful polo player.

In a thrilling contest, Vichai’s team triumphed by the narrowest of margins in a match graced by the man said by many to be the world’s best player – Adolfo Cambiaso of Argentina.

A great result, a  great day – and two great beneficiaries. It was also an opportunity to watch what was aptly described by the match commentator as “the great granddaddy of all extreme sports”.



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