On the first afternoon of the Veuve Clicquot Gold Cup for the British Open Polo Championship, 2013 Gold Cup winners Zacara took on Thai Polo in the newly endowed Carlos Gracida Memorial Trophy.
Juan Ambroggio for Thai Polo raced away to score the first goal and the side continued to play strongly through the early part of the match finishing the second chukka 3-2 ahead. It wasn’t until the third chukka that the crowd began to enjoy the exceptional talent of Zacara’s 10 goal star Facundo Pieres as he began to make his mark on the match and contribute two goals in the chukka.
A third goal for Zacara, scored by young English player Matt Perry in his second season with Zacara, saw the scores level on 5-5 by half time.Chukka 4 saw Lyndon Lea’s new team member, Gonzalo Deltour, contribute two lovely goals before Ambroggio answered with a terrific goal for Thai Polo – but it was to be their only mark on the scoreboard during the chukka.
Two more goals from the stick of Pieres saw Zacara pull ahead to 9-6. By now Zacara were totally in rhythm. Chukka 5 saw another three goals from Pieres and just one from Nic Roldan for Thai Polo. In the final chukka, Pieres notched up two more, Thai patron Harald Link added to his side’s scoreline with an undefended shot at goal and Nic Roldan scored from a penalty but it was too little too late. A super match saw Zacara cruise to a 14-7 victory.
A relaxed Lyndon Lea was delighted to accept the Carlos Gracida Memorial trophy, presented to the club by The Hon Charles and Lila Pearson in memory of the Mexican polo star whose record of 10 wins in the Cowdray Park Gold Cup has never been equalled.
His son, Carlitos, was proud to present the cup to Lyndon Lea and prizes of spurs to all the players. Lila Pearson presented the award for Best Playing Pony to Cube played by Facundo Pieres.