Racing to return to Plumpton Racecourse

FOLLOWING on from the Prime Minister’s announcement on Monday evening, Plumpton Racecourse has announced that it looks like it should be able to welcome racegoers back from Sunday September 19– its first fixture of the new season – which is incredibly welcome news.

It said:”Once we have the new system set-up we will be in touch about renewals and 2021/22 arrangements for you, although for obvious reasons things like reciprocals are increasingly difficult to organise. This should be early next week.

“In the meantime, and whilst you may well hear from her in the next few weeks still, Holly will be leaving us before the September fixture and so I (as well as I’m sure many of your good selves) would like to say thank you to her and wish her the very best for the future.”

We’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Best Wishes,

Dan, Holly & Team

2021 Gold Cup final at Cowdray Park

With persistent rain, looming dark clouds and even the threat of thunder and lighting, the conditions were testy for the Final of the 2021 Gold Cup for the British Open Polo Championship on Sunday July 25 at Cowdray Park Polo Club.

Unperturbed by the wet weather, enthusiastic spectators sheltering under a canopy of umbrellas along the side-lines, looked eagerly on as Harald Link’s Thai Polo NP and H.H. Sheikha Maitha’s UAE Polo Team battled it out for the prestigious title. Leading in the early stages of the game, Thai Polo NP effectively managed their lead to never trail in the game and emerged as the champions, defeating UAE Polo Team 9-7 to raise the coveted Gold Cup. 

Gold Cup Winners Thai Polo NP celebrate success

The inclement weather did nothing to curb the excitement of the day as spectators embraced the rain and flocked to the beautiful Lawns Polo Grounds to picnic by the pitch with family and friends, peruse the shops in the luxury retail village, which included tournament Official Apparel Partner U.S. Polo Assn, sip glasses of Nyetimber English Sparkling Wine, listen to live music on the bandstand, and enjoy The Naked Food Company’s delectable seafood platters and lobster rolls in the EFG Lawns Enclosure. 

A competitive match under consistent showers left Thai Polo NP and UAE Polo Team battling in open play where the balanced attack of Thai Polo NP proved to be a winning factor. All four players found the scoreboard along with six assists on nine field goals as Thai Polo NP scored all nine of their goals from the field.

Led by three goals and three assists from Nico Pieres, Thai Polo NP took the lead and never looked back against the solid UAE Polo Team. Holding Polito Pieres scoreless, Thai Polo NP’s defence helped guide them to victory, despite the best efforts of Tomas Panelo and Tomas Beresford who combined for all seven of their team’s goals. Outshooting UAE Polo Team 22-5 throughout the game, Thai Polo NP overcame the rain to claim the hard-fought tournament victory.  

Two minutes into the game, Thai Polo NP opened the scoring after Ned Hine left the ball for Harper and he skilfully finished the goal with a nearside neck shot. Heavily outshooting UAE Polo Team 7-0 in the first chukka, Thai Polo NP increased their lead to two after Nico Pieres outran Beresford and knocked the ball out of the air to end the chukka ahead 2-0.

Displaying a balanced attack, Thai Polo NP scored their third consecutive goal to begin the game, this time off the mallet of Ned Hine, as UAE Polo Team was left with the challenge of playing from behind. Rain forced a temporary break in play, however the Final went on with UAE Polo Team ending their scoreless drought on a Penalty 4 conversion for Beresford. Finding momentum at the start of the third chukka, a pass from Polito Pieres was converted by Tomas Panelo to bring their team within one, but Thai Polo NP provided a significant response as 15-year-old Louis Hine scored to get all four Thai Polo NP players on the scoresheet and end the first half with a 5-2 advantage.  

The conditions impacted the scoring throughout the game as field goals proved to be difficult to achieve, however after the halftime break, both Thai Polo NP and UAE Polo Team produced offense in open play. Trading goals back and forth, Thai Polo NP was led by the young Hine brothers, Louis and Ned, contributing one goal each in the fourth chukka, while UAE Polo Team relied on two goals from Beresford on consecutive plays to remain trailing by three.

Making a push for the victory, Louis Hine scored on the first play of the fifth chukka, hitting a backhand through the goal off a pass from Nico Pieres. Generating a goal of his own, Pieres left Thai Polo NP with a four-goal advantage and just one chukka between them and the tournament title. As the rain continued to fall, UAE Polo Team inched closer with a goal from Panelo, but Thai Polo NP saw the Jaeger-LeCoultre clock tick down and the trophy come within reach. A late penalty goal from Beresford ended the game as Thai Polo NP began their celebration, capturing the 9-7 victory and the Gold Cup for the British Open Championship.  

Emotional scenes ensued in the Thai Polo NP team tent for the Hine, Harper and Pieres families. The young Hine brothers were embraced by proud parents, whilst James Harper and family celebrated his second Gold Cup victory, and Nico Pieres savoured the success of winning his first ever British Open. 

The Hon Emily Pearson, daughter of Lord Cowdray, presented the golden trophy to Thai Polo NP Captain, Nico Pieres, who also stepped down from the podium to receive the Most Valuable Player prize from U.S. Polo Assn. representative, Boo Jalil of Brand Machine. Nine-year-old Argentine mare, Open Lourdes (Virgin x Sportivo), played and owned by Nico Pieres, was awarded the Best Playing Pony rug, presented by the Hon Mrs Lila Pearson. Celebrations continued into the evening with music and dancing in the EFG Lawns Enclosure and the Goalmouth Mouth as DJ Simon Horn took to the decks.  

Royal International Horse Show with spotlight on hacks

TODAY, Saturday, is the penultimate day of the Prenetics Royal International Horse Show at Hickstead and it is time for the hacks to take their place in the spotlight.

The Brereton Supreme Hack Championship is always one of the most popular showing classes, with those elegant equines floating round the International Arena.

Today saw the first of Hickstead’s special two-star showjumping classes at this year’s Prenetics Royal International Horse Show – with a first-ever Hickstead main ring international win for Jay Halim. Congratulations to Jay, and to Anthony Condon and Joe Clayton who won the other two International Arena classes today.

Another rider who deserves a mention is Nicole Lockhead Anderson, who wasn’t content with winning yesterday’s Al Shira’aa RIHS Six Year Old Championship – today she won a major showing title as well!

And finally, if you fancy coming down to Hickstead this weekend, we’d love to see you so please do come down, watch some fantastic showjumping and showing classes, and make sure to browse our boutique selection of tradestands. Adult admission costs just £15 this year, with concessions costing £10 and under-16s going free, and tickets can be bought online or at the gate.

Expect some impressive action at Hickstead this weekend Photo courtesy of Spidge Event Photography

Gold Cup polo match at Cowdray Park won by UAE Polo team

Great Oaks LL Fall a Goal Short in Match Against UAE Polo Team 

The final match of the third round in the Gold Cup for the British Open Championship was played for the Argentine Ambassador’s Cup and featured Great Oaks LL against UAE Polo Team in a thrilling match that came down to the final seconds. Trailing by five earlier in the game, Great Oaks LL fought back to even, but a resilient UAE Polo Team captured the 14-13 overtime victory at Cowdray Park Polo Club.  

A match featuring swings in momentum, UAE Polo Team built a large lead in the first half with Polito Pieres leading the attack. Finishing with eight goals, Pieres led all players, but Great Oaks LL displayed a determined effort in an exceptional second half.

Shooting 60% from the field over the final three chukkas, Great Oaks LL erased the deficit due to the play of Bartolome Castagnola who scored all six of his goals during the stretch. The slow start in the first half prevented Great Oaks LL from taking the victory as UAE Polo Team’s Tomas Panelo scored the golden goal for the 14-13 triumph.  

Dillon Bacon made an early impact for Great Oaks LL, winning the first throw-in to help set up the opening goal of the game for Guillermo Terrera and then quickly adding his first goal of the game to give his team the 2-0 advantage. That brief stretch was Great Oaks LL’s only offense for the next 15 minutes of play as UAE Polo Team dominated possession to produce a run of seven unanswered goals.

Converting five of their six shots in the second chukka, Pieres and Panelo combined for all of UAE Polo Team’s goals that quickly turned the two-goal deficit to a five-goal lead. Two penalty conversions for Great Oaks LL’s Cruz Heguy put an end to UAE Polo Team’s dominant period of play, but his team remained trailing 8-4 at halftime.  

Argentine Ambassador’s Cup winners with the trophy: Photo courtesy of Mark Beaumont Photography

After being held scoreless in the first half, Bartolome Castagnola led Great Oaks LL’s charge back into the game, beginning with two goals in the fourth chukka. Continuing to apply pressure to pull even in the game, Great Oaks LL fell victim to foul trouble in the fifth chukka, allowing UAE Polo Team to add two penalty goals and restore the four-goal difference.

However, Castagnola moved forward into the game, scoring his third and fourth goals to keep his team within reach, trailing by just one goal. Trading penalty conversions, UAE Polo Team was seconds from victory but Castagnola fought his way through traffic to tie the game in the final seconds.

Withstanding early pressure from Great Oaks LL, UAE Polo Team’s Tomas Panelo jumped on a backhand around midfield, completing the long run to goal to capture the thrilling 14-13 overtime victory. Minister Fernanda Millicay from the Argentine Embassy presented the Argentine Ambassador’s Cup to H. H. Sheikha Maitha. 

Don’t miss the Prenetics Royal International Horse Show at Hickstead

ENTRIES for the international showjumping at this month’s Prenetics Royal International Horse Show at Hickstead have been announced.

Plenty of top showjumpers will be in action in the two-star international classes at the show (21-25 July), including Michael Whitaker, Robert Whitaker, James Whitaker, Shane Breen, Trevor Breen, Harriet Biddick (nee Nuttall) and Will Fletcher.

A number of leading event riders will also be competing in the showjumping classes, including Olympic medallists Pippa Funnell and Gemma Tattersall.

Entries for the Prenetics Royal International Horse Show on July 26 2021 have been released. Photo courtesy of Nigel Goddard

A series of CSI2* one-off classes will take place during the show, including the RIHS Sussex Stakes, the Prenetics July Stakes, the RIHS Southdown Stakes, the Prenetics Castle Stakes and the £6,000 Prenetics Royal International Vase.

The event draws to a close with the Science Supplements BHS Queen Elizabeth II Cup, a class that was first held in 1949. Originally for lady riders only, the class was opened up to both men and women in 2008. It is usually a prestigious national championship, open only to the highest-ranked riders in British Showjumping, but this year it will be awarded to the winner of the Grand Prix.

Last year’s winner, David Simpson, will be a notable absentee having been called up on Nations Cup duties abroad, but several other recent winners are likely to factor in proceedings, including the Breen brothers, Harriet Biddick – who has returned to top level competition following the birth of her first baby Archie earlier this year – and James Whitaker.

Other showjumping highlights include the Al Shira’aa RIHS young horse championships for five-, six- and seven-year-olds, plus the British Showjumping Winter Finals. 

As well as being one of the oldest horse shows in the world, the Royal International is also one of the largest – with more than 3,000 horses and ponies of all shapes and sizes taking part across seven rings of competition. Hickstead is best known for its showjumping, but showing is a major part of its fixtures too.

The Prenetics Royal International Horse Show is a championship show, meaning riders have had to pick up a qualifying ticket at venues around the country in order to compete in the showing classes. Top producers such as Jayne Ross, Katie Jerram-Hunnable, Jo Bates, Robert Walker and Allister and Oliver Hood are among those expected to pick up titles at the show.

Throughout the show, various champions will earn their place in Sunday’s grand finals – the British Horse Society Supreme Horse and the Supreme Products Supreme Pony Championships. While the Horse of the Year Show is the pinnacle of indoor showing, the Royal International is regarded as the most prestigious outdoor horse show in Britain, making Hickstead’s supreme titles among the most important in the sport.

Tickets for the show are on sale now from, with admission costing just £15 per person, concessions available, and under-16s going free.

Talandracas defeats UAE polo team while Monterosso has second victory in Gold Cup British Open Championship.

The final team to make their debut in the 2021 Gold Cup for the British Open Championship, UAE Polo Team were unable to carry over their winning ways from their Cartier Queen’s Cup title, facing a determined Talandracas team that captured the 11-7 victory on the Ambersham grounds. 

Receiving five goals each from Diego Cavanagh and Camilo Castagnola, Talandracas produced an exceptional performance in open play, shooting 50% while holding the mighty UAE Polo Team offense to just 3 for 13 shooting.

Never trailing in the match, Talandracas provided a complete defensive performance, limiting UAE Polo Team’s duo of Polito Pieres and Tomas Beresford to just two field goals, including zero in the first half to create enough counterattacks with accurate passing from the likes of Marcos Araya to take the 11-7 victory.  

Coming off the high of winning the Cartier Queen’s Cup, UAE Polo Team ran into a tough Talandracas side that dominated the opening chukka. Receiving two goals from Cavanagh and one from Castagnola, Talandracas quickly took the 3-0 advantage before UAE Polo Team could generate any offense on goal.


Held without a field goal through the opening three chukkas, UAE Polo Team fought their way back into the game from the penalty line, converting both Penalty 2 attempts in the second chukka to cut the deficit to two.

Continuing to apply pressure, UAE Polo Team continued to inch closer, receiving fouls and converting their opportunities from the penalty line, pulling within just one goal at halftime, trailing 4-3.   Stealing possession from the throw-in, Polito Pieres found Tomas Panelo on the end of a pass to bring UAE Polo Team even after trailing by three earlier in the match.

The first field goal provided some momentum for UAE Polo Team as they began to generate high-quality chances on goal, but Cavanagh and Castagnola provided a response for Talandracas, restoring the narrow one-goal advantage at the end of the fourth chukka.

With the match still undecided, Talandracas took control receiving one goal each from Cavanagh, Castagnola and Araya in a decisive fifth chukka, extending their lead to two as the UAE Polo Team attack continued to be stifled.

Scoring the first two goals of the final chukka, Talandracas’ lead grew to four, leaving little time for a UAE Polo Team comeback, as Talandracas handed the Cartier Queen’s Cup champions a loss in their debut, capturing the impressive 11-7 victory.

 Beginning the second round of play in the Gold Cup for the British Open Championship, Monterosso improved to 2-0 after defeating a depleted BP Polo team 13-10 on the Brooksfield at Cowdray Park Polo Club. 

Leading from start to finish, Monterosso took advantage of nearly every opportunity in open play, shooting an astounding 75% on 16 shot attempts to leave BP Polo with little chance of matching the performance. Receiving at least two goals from all four players, Monterosso produced an organized passing attack that resulted in eight assists on 12 field goals, while BP Polo were without their 10-goaler Juan Martin Nero, who was out with an injury after a collision in his first match. Nico Pieres filled in admirably but the proficient attack of Montersso proved to be the difference in the 13-10 win.  

Monterosso completed a 13-10 victory, claiming the Cooch Behar Cup and remaining undefeated in the tournament.