New Grand National sponsor, Randox hosted a unique event in Bushmills this weekend – an International Polo tournament with teams taking part from Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Scotland, and South Africa.
Guests from around the world who made the journey to Northern Ireland for the Polo event were given a warm welcome – they were treated to an intimate performance from world renowned concert pianist Barry Douglas on the evening of Friday 16th September, in the recently acquired Dundarave Estate.
The Randox NI Polo was the first of its kind and over 500 guests made their way to the North Coast town to attend the inaugural event. The day kicked off with the Police Service Northern Ireland pipe band who entertained the crowds before the tournament began. Guests included Pamela Ballantine and the Lord-Lieutenant of County Antrim, Mrs. Joan Christie OBE who delivered the match ball of the opening game.
It was a victory for Scotland during the first nail-biting game of the tournament, as they went head to head with the team from Northern Ireland. But it was South Africa who emerged the winners of the 2016 tournament, after beating the team from the Republic of Ireland and scoring more goals than any other team. The weekend’s events ended with a Gala Ball and dinner, followed by a breath-taking firework display which was also enjoyed by members of the Bushmills community.
Randox Founder and Managing Director, Dr. Peter FitzGerald, a keen horseman and horse sports enthusiast, said he is looking forward to the highly anticipated Polo event;
“We’ve been engaged on the Point-to-Point scene in Northern Ireland for many years, close to our Randox headquarters in County Antrim, but up until now have never had the opportunity to also host a Polo tournament in Northern Ireland. We’re delighted to be able to now hold the event in the beautiful scenery of the North Coast and to bring the Randox Health message to our Polo guests. By taking care of your wellbeing you can ensure that you enjoy days out in Northern Ireland – such as the Randox Polo event – to the fullest.”
Earlier this year, it was announced that Randox Health will sponsor the Grand National, in a five year deal which starts in 2017.
At the time of the sponsorship announcement earlier this year, FitzGerald commented;
“We see this partnership as a natural fit, as both organisations invest heavily in the future and we aim to use our partnership to promote a positive lifestyle and to bring enjoyment to millions of people. We care about people’s health and this is the people’s race.”
As the company expands and develops – more than 370 million people across 145 countries now receive medical diagnosis via Randox products – it seems fitting that Randox would move from the local horse sports scene to the world’s greatest race.
But the global healthcare company is remaining true to its roots, continuing to host the Point-to-Point events that have been synonymous with the company for so long. And by bringing the Polo event to Bushmills, and opening its doors to the public, Randox is saying ‘we haven’t forgotten where we come from.’