Award Winning Nihiwatu Resort Host to British Polo Day Nihiwatu on 12th November 2016

Press Release

16th November 2016 – Nihiwatu Resort on Sumba Island hosted the global British Polo Day Community presented by their title partner, RJI Capital. Guests were welcomed by James McBride, Managing Partner of Nihiwatu who was recently bestowed the title of Number One Independent Hotelier in the World by Hotels magazine, so it was an honour to celebrate this momentous achievement for Indonesian hospitality.

Both the British and the Sumbanese have a mutual appreciation for their respective legacies of tradition in horsemanship and cultural heritage. British Polo Day brings over 2,500 years of British heritage with its partners, such as RJI Capital, Royal Salute, Bentley, Harrods and Randle Siddeley. The island of Sumba is home to 600,000 inhabitants with a unique ancient tribal culture which continues to practice local customs, many of which are based around the horse.

Commenting on British Polo Day Nihiwatu, Edward Olver, Britannia Elevation CEO & Co Founder of British Polo Day said: “We have always believed that the horse is not only an ‘international language’, but it also builds connections between different cultures. We are delighted to bring in more understanding and dialogue through this unique polo platform. We hope our guests enjoyed experiencing this very special moment at British Polo Day Nihiwatu.”

In addition to the rich culture and equestrian traditions, it seemed only fitting that Sumba Island was the host for British Polo Day Nihiwatu as the location for the Number One Hotel in the World for Condé Naste Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards. The recognition acknowledges the changing travel habits of today’s consumer who seeks a new type of luxury: experiential in scope, activity-driven, cultural, philanthropic, and with attention to the details that encourage guests to discover the very best adventure, immersion, and fun.

British Polo Day Nihiwatu celebrated daily festivities, starting with the sunset cocktails and a traditional opening ceremony on the beach, and leading to a White Party at Nio Beach Club, a Sumba Foundation evening at Ombak, a gathering at The Treehouse, all culminating with fireworks after party at Menara. And of course no evening would be fit without a toast from Royal Salute Global Ambassador, His Grace, The 13th Duke of Argyll. Commenting on the event, The Duke said, “It’s been an incredible experience to be able to share with the BPD guests the magic of Royal Salute and also have an insight into the ground breaking work carried out by the Sumba Foundation. We will all leave with inspired memories and spread the word of the inspirational moments shared together.”

The British Polo Day guests were humbled by a visit to the malaria clinic set up by the Sumba Foundation and were impressed to find that they have reduced malaria rates on the west side of the island by 85% and can diagnose and begin to treat patients within thirty minutes. After the visit to the clinic, guests headed to a local school where they served lunch to the children as a part of a program that provides lunches twice a week for the young students.

In between the vibrant celebrations, guests also enjoyed some of the island’s most spectacular and scenic experiences: surfing, scuba diving, spear fishing, private boat charters, jet skiing, Rice Island hike and brunch, sunset horse riding, Nihioka Spa Safari, private yoga and meditation classes before taking to the beach for the 2nd British Polo Day Sumba Island. On the day proceedings began with a parade of ponies, followed by Sumbanese horse races, polo matches, Pasola horseback spear throwing, and a charge up he beach by a local herd of water buffalo!

For the matches, the lush green polo field was swapped for crashing waves and the white, sandy beach, where guests watched entertaining chukkas of round-robin polo between RJI Capital Nihiwatu, Royal Salute Rest of the World and Bentley British Exiles Teams. Guests were heard commenting on the contrast between the Harrods whites and the local dress worn by the Sumbanese players. Ponies and players fought hard in the deep sand and ultimately the RJI Capital Nihiwatu Team took the victory raising the Pasola Plate in celebration of a brilliant win. The Royal Salute Most Valuable Player was presented to James
McBride by The 13th Duke of Argyll for his two spectacular goals in the final match.

RJI Capital Nihiwatu Team wins the Pasola Plate

This year’s VIP guest and winner of the Royal Salute Best Off the Pitch Performance was Delia Von Rueti, Indonesian jeweler, artist, philanthropist, and agriculture developer. Delia comments, “We first met James in Morocco at British Polo Day and as an Indonesian, I was moved by his passion for my homeland. His tireless effort to promote our country is noble and we are delighted to be on Sumba Island toasting this extraordinary place with our wonderful British Polo Day friends from around the world”.

British Polo Day Sumba Island took place from 8th – 12th November 2016 at Nihiwatu, Sumba Island.

The event is partnered with RJI Capital, Harrods, Royal Salute, Bentley Motors, Charles Russell Speechlys, Justerini & Brooks, Champagne Taittinger, British Silverware, Clinova, Mandarin Oriental Singapore, Randle Siddeley, Charles McDowell Properties, Chase Vodka, True Luxury Travel, Taylor Morris Eyewear, DR Harris, Floris, Barnard and Westwood, Cassabo, Hotel Vagabond and Alice Made This.


About RJI Capital

RJI Capital is a wholly owned subsidiary of Magellan Investment Holdings, an investment holding company with investments in energy and natural resources, aerospace and defence, real estate, and technology. RJI Capital is a strategic advisory and merchant banking firm with a premium track record in new market entry and international transactions, having closed deals totaling billions in value. RJI’s industry- leading services and expertise are delivered from its office headquarters in London, and its offices in Dubai, Hong Kong, New York, Paris, and Washington, D.C. RJI Capital’s sister company, Arcanum, is a global intelligence company that provides services to sovereign governments, large multinational corporations and financial institutions, to help address some of their most pressing challenges and complex strategic issues.

About Nihiwatu

The experience of Nihiwatu is one of unregulated freedom, understated luxury and unforgettable memories.

The resort, located on the island of Sumba in Eastern Indonesia, 400km east of Bali, is an outpost to world-class surfing, the best sport fishing in Indonesia, the most magnificent sunset horseback rides on the resorts 2.5km private beach, or hiking through breath-taking waterfalls and ancient villages; to a Spa Safari where a 90 minute hike through rice paddies brings you to Nihi Oka, a cluster of private Bales nestled between two pristine beaches, leaving you in the hands of assigned therapists indulging you in unlimited treatments of your choice.

Nihiwatu was born of a vision to protect and preserve the unique culture of Sumba and empower the local communities to support themselves and their families. The resort is proud to employ over 90% local Sumbanese, a team that hold a genuine spirit of hospitality.

Stories of the heart, character and soul of Nihiwatu reached long-time friends, American brand-building entrepreneur Chris Burch and prolific South African-born hotelier, James McBride in 2011, who together acquired the resort in 2012.

Guests are encouraged to visit the local villages and the many Sumba Foundation ( clinics, schools and communal farms that have resulted through the support from the Foundation, founded by the resort in 2001.

In 2015, Nihiwatu announced that it had joined The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd., an uncommon collection of authentic and distinct luxury hotels. The philanthropic alliance will provide the award-winning resort access to The Leading Hotels of the World global network to further The Sumba Foundation efforts.

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About British Polo Day

British Polo Days are a celebration of craft and heritage in a polo events network that spans the World. British Polo Days have become an unparalleled platform for elite engagement and business in emerging and growth markets.

Having held over 50 events in 15 countries since 2009, the British Polo Day Global Series has grown to encapsulate 10 annual events, spanning Abu Dhabi, Australia, China, Dubai, France, Germany, Great Britain, India, Mexico, Morocco, Russia, Singapore, Sumba Island (Indonesia), Thailand and the US.

The success of the British Polo Days has been largely down to word-of-mouth endorsement from many guests and supporters including key figures in government, the aristocracy, diplomats, military, fashion, art and popular culture. In addition, British Polo Days have hosted members of 12 royal families, 100 independent billionaires and leaders in world innovation including Sir Richard Branson and Elon Musk among others. Over 20,000 guests have enjoyed British Polo Days since inception.

The British Polo Day team is also very proud of its philanthropic efforts. In countries all over the world, polo has a long history of raising significant funding for worthy causes. Wherever possible, British Polo Day is entirely committed to bringing to bear the full weight of its partners, network and creative talent to this end. In 2015, the cumulative running total of amounts raised for good causes broke through the US$1.5m threshold and keeps on rising.

The British Polo Day team continues to thrive within the British and international craft sector, as they have become a trusted source for purchasing decisions by international elites. British Polo Days have become an irresistible means for the top polo teams and players to come together for competition globally. Additionally British Polo Day will continue to innovate and pioneer unique platforms for craft and polo associated brands.

The recognition of the establishment of the British Polo Day Brand was evident in June 2013 when the UK Intellectual Property Office registered British Polo Day as a trademark.

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