The Caspian Sea city of Baku, Azerbaijan, will turn into an international hot spot for ponies and polo players this summer when the first Arena Polo World Cup gets underway.
The event, scheduled for Sept. 6-8, will be at the newly constructed outdoor polo arena of the Elite Equestrian Center in Baku.
Azerbaijan, the largest country in the Caucasus, sits at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe; Baku is the capital and largest city.
The nation has a long polo history. More than 2,400 years ago, Azerbaijan was the home to the ancestral game of chovgan, a special training program for cavalry troops that evolved into modern-day polo in the 19th century. The Arena Polo World Cup will be the first polo tournament played in the region.
On Sept. 5 there will be a reception for teams and sponsors at Kempinski Hotel Badamdar Baku, the event’s host hotel.
“By bringing polo home we are witnessing a revival of local traditions,” said Pierre Stacher, the hotel's general manager. “The program includes something for everybody, with entertainment and activities, including an Argentinian gaucho party, tango on the field and live music.”
Polo packages are available at the hotel, starting at $1,760, that combine airport transfers, four nights of hotel accommodation, breakfast and three days in the VIP lounge at the polo arena.
The Kempinski Hotel Badamdar Baku opened in September 2011. It is one of 80 Kempinski Hotels in 30 countries.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times