Grand National sponsor Randox hosts Polo event in Bushmills, Northern Ireland
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.’
Piano, polo and cardiac risk profiles were part of the mix enjoyed by more than a hundred guests from around the world at the annual Randox Laboratories’ weekend in Scotland.
World-renowned concert pianist Barry Douglas launched the event at Gleneagles Hotel with an intimate recital of his new music, as well as performing O’Carolan’s “Farewell to Music” and Tchaikovsky’s “Autumn Song.” The evening concluded with dinner and a talk from Manufacturing Manager David Martin who presented Randox’s innovative plans for the future which included our new state of the art Science Park.
A range of impressive seminars were held on Saturday morning, many of which were live-streamed for the first time on our social media channels to international followers. Guests were shown ground-breaking studies completed using Randox products, with the potential to truly transform the way healthcare is delivered. Highlights included a talk by Professor Ray Sherwood from Kings College London who studied “Cytokines for Diagnosis of POEMS syndrome and Castleman Disease” and research by Dr Ibrahim Mansoor from the International Medical Centre in Jeddah on “Extended Lipid Profile, Roles of sLDL”.
The polo match ball was hand delivered to Dr Peter FitzGerald by the Red Devils Parachute Regiment who impressed the crowds by jumping from thousands of feet up in the air to land squarely on the field at Errol Park. Some of the world’s best players took part including Sébastien Pailloncy (3-goals) who wore the England jersey. After three games, England were crowned the 2016 winners, South Africa followed closely behind as the runner up while Scotland came in at third place.
As well as the action on the polo field, guests enjoyed browsing a selection of stalls assembled by the Prince’s Trust (Randox official corporate charity) which included businesses such as “Maddy Burrows Illustrations,” “My Fantasy Bouquet” and “The Family Tree”.
The weekend’s events concluded that evening with the Highland Ball and dinner, followed by a breath-taking firework display – which was also enjoyed by members of the Errol community!
Plans are already underway for our next Polo Weekend – held this weekend for the first time at Dundarave House in Bushmills, Northern Ireland.