OUT OF OFFICE: GAUCHO POLO

IF the prospect of the finest horses and horsemen going head to head in a series of exciting polo matches sounds like a scorching way to spend an evning, look no further than the?Gaucho Polo at the 02 Centre this Thursday.

Matches will include EFG’s England v Camino Real’s Argentina for the ultimate grudge match between two iconic polo nations. There will also be the super-exciting Ambassadors Cup between South Africa and City A.M.-sponsored Scotland, plus the exciting Varsity match between Oxford and Cambridge and also a special celebrity match to raise funds for charity.

The night promises to be a fine example of arena polo. Played on a reduced size pitch and with only three players per side rather than the usual four, arena polo gives rise to a fast-paced and exciting game that is easier to follow than the traditional format.

Arena polo is also ideal for those looking to get in on the action more intensely: the compact indoor pitch and intimate atmsophere guarantee this.

First up is the Oxford v Cambridge match at 5pm. At 6:15pm, Scotland and South Africa go head to head. The culmination of the evening is the Trophy game at 8pm, between EFG’s England and their old adversary Camino Real’s Argentina. This is the big one to watch and features polo’s biggest stars including Nacho Figueras, known as the Brad Pitt of the sport.

Prize giving will take place at 8.45pm. But between games there will be a host of great entertainment, including a short but highly entertaining celebrity polo match at 7.30pm. Mike Bushell, BBC News Presenter, Liz Mclarnon of the Atomic Kittens and Kenny Logan, of Scottish Rugby International, will participate. Spectators will also have the chance to have a go at playing polo themselves.

We recommend going all out. There are still tickets available for the Club Gaucho Experience (£195 per person). This includes champagne reception at 2pm at Gaucho, five course lunch with matching wines, VIP seats in the arena, access to the VIP champagne lounge and complimentary access to the polo afterparty. www.o2polo.com. For general admission, call Ticketmaster on 0844 248 5022. To book the Experience package, email lulie.murray@gauchorestaurants.com.