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.  

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. 

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.

TEAM TALANDRACAS DEFEATS UAE

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.  

New chairman for Cowdray Park Polo Club

Cowdray Park Polo Club has announced that, following completion of his term of office, Roderick Vere Nicholl has stepped down as Chairman of the Club.

New chairman for Cowdray Park Polo Club

The Club’s President, Viscount Cowdray, stated: “On behalf of the Committee we are hugely grateful to Roderick for the enthusiasm, energy and commitment he brought to the role, and for steering the Club through a difficult year.”

The Club is further delighted to announce that Andrew Swaffield has accepted the President’s invitation to be appointed the new Chairman.

Live launch of 2021 Gauntlet of Polo ®

THE 2021 GAUNTLET OF POLO® LAUNCHES FEBRUARY 17,

LIVE ON GLOBAL POLO TV

The Pinnacle Competition with $1 Million in Prize Money features the Most Skilled Athletes and Finest Horses in the World

An “invitation only” Virtual Media Day on Jan. 6 provided updates on the upcoming polo season, the safety restrictions for on-site fans, the teams that are competing, how to watch, and an overview of travel to Palm Beach County during these unprecedented times. Video from the event can be watched herehttps://we.tl/t-IRo9cDxSNv

The 2021 GAUNTLET OF POLO® will begin with the C.V. Whitney Cup from Feb. 17 – March 7, continue with the USPA Gold Cup®, March 10 – 28, and conclude with the illustrious U.S. Open Polo Championship® March 31 – April 18. Reigning 2019 GAUNTLET OF POLO® Champions Pilot are among the nine teams, seeking to inscribe their name on the trophy for the second time and secure the prize money purse in 2021.

Revising the prize money distribution for the 2021 season, the new format still guarantees a total of $1 million in prize money, however, runners-up in each tournament will also receive a portion of the earnings. $100,000 will be awarded to each of the winning teams of the C.V. Whitney Cup and USPA Gold Cup® and $25,000 to each runner up. Similarly, $200,000 in prize money will be presented to the winner of the U.S. Open Polo Championship® and $50,000 awarded to the runner up. Additionally, any team who wins all three tournaments consecutively will receive a $500,000 bonus and be crowned as the GAUNTLET Champion. Another exciting change from prior years will be a donation made by USPAGL to the final two teams’ polo charity of their choice. 

“I’m grateful we can bring polo back to the players, members and fans and I anticipate a highly competitive and exciting season that is not to be missed,” said Robert Puetz, CEO of the USPA. “Featuring the world’s greatest players and equine partners, the 2021 GAUNTLET OF POLO®  would not be possible without the outstanding efforts from all the Team Organizations to persevere through the challenging times and return to vie for the coveted title and largest prize money purse in the sport.”

All three GAUNTLET OF POLO® tournaments will be exclusively livestreamed on Global Polo TV (GPTV), polo’s premier destination for live and on-demand polo content in the world, as well as the world’s largest polo archive. GPTV is accessible at globalpolo.com and on major apps including iOS, Android, Roku and Amazon Fire. To date, more than 130 official USPA events have aired live, 500 on-demand videos and 5,000 hours of content have been available on the platform.

“Global Polo TV is part of the long-term vision of USPA Global Licensing and U.S. Polo Assn., the official brand of the USPA and sponsor of the GAUNTLET OF POLO®,” said David Cummings, Chairman of USPA Global Licensing. “Our mission is to provide polo content and inside polo stories that are accessible anytime and anywhere. With the increasing uncertainty of the pandemic, Global Polo TV offers a safe viewing experience for all our fans and members.”

November 2020 marked the beginning of GPTV’s transition to pay-to-view live game packages for non-USPA members consisting of three package options: the Polo Pass, the GAUNTLET OF POLO® Pass and the Premium Polo Pass. The Polo Pass is the only one of the three passes which excludes the 2021 GAUNTLET OF POLO®. Special offers are available at www.globalpolo.com

Autumn Cup Polo final at Cowdray


The final 12 foal tournament of the season at Cowdray Park Polo Club did not disappoint with
Ojo Caliente narrowly defeating Gallagher 5-4 on Lawns Ground 2.

Ojo Caliente (Ana Escobedo, Terence Lent, Jonny Good and John Paul Clarkin) survived a late push from Gallagher (Clare Milford Haven, Dominic Lodge, Glenn Sherriff, Bautista Sorzana), who’s last second goal left them one short in the thrilling final. Jonny Good and John Paul Clarkin proved to be an effective duo, combining for all five Ojo Caliente goals in the victory.

Gallagher opened the scoring on an impressive team play, beginning with Clare Milford Haven running the ball in front of goal, followed by a deft backhand to set up Bautista Sorzana for the first goal of the match.

Despite receiving three penalty attempts, Ojo Caliente was only able to manage one field goal from Jonny Good, but it was enough to tie the score at 1-1 at the conclusion of the first chukka. After conceding a penalty 4 to Sherriff, Ojo Caliente’s John Paul Clarkin responded with a penalty conversion of his own, while Good’s second goal gave Ojo Caliente the slim 3-2 lead at halftime.

AutumnCup winners Ojo Caliente Photo Mark Beaumont

Jumping on each loose ball, Gallagher fought their way back into the game, hitting a series of backhands that eventually resulted in Sherriff converting a shot under pressure for his second goal. Holding Ojo Caliente off the scoresheet in the third chukka, Gallagher remained deadlocked in a 3-3 tie entering an exciting fourth and final chukka.

With the pressure increasing in the final, Ojo Caliente struck first after Clarkin intercepted a backhand and dribbled to goal, giving his team the one-goal advantage. Jumping on a loose ball, Johnny Good sealed the 5-4 victory for Ojo Caliente, as a last-minute goal from Sherriff wasn’t enough to complete the comeback.

Best Playing Pony was awarded to Nova, owned, and ridden by JP Clarkin.

Final Score: -Winners Ojo Caliente

Ojo Caliente        5

Gallagher             4

Exciting finish to final 18-goal tournament at Cowdray Park Polo Club

Finals for the weekend of September 5 and 6

Challenge Cup – 18 goal: Match Report

An exciting conclusion to the final 18-goal tournament of the season at Cowdray Park Polo Club saw Murus Sanctus and Ferne Park battle on Lawns 1, with just one goal separating the two teams.

A foul-ridden opening chukka resulted in Ferne Park’s Joaquin Pittaluga opening the scoring on a penalty 2 conversion, but Murus Sanctus’ Guillermo (Sapo) Caset responded with a penalty 2 of his own to tie the score at the end of the first chukka.

Striving to capture their second consecutive 18-goal title after winning the Duke of Sutherland Cup, Murus Sanctus produced a strong second chukka, dominating possession to outshoot Ferne Park 6-1. Trusting his teammates in the front two positions, Caset hit an impressive neck shot pass to find Corinne Ricard for her first goal, while quickly following up with a backhand pass to Lucas Nottin to complete a three-goal run for Murus Sanctus and give them the 3-1 lead.

Ferne Park inched closer on Pittaluga’s second goal of the game but remained trailing by one. Foul trouble kept Ferne Park from tying the score after the conceded another penalty to Caset, but a strong finish to the half saw Marcos Araya find the scoresheet to pull Ferne Park back within one and set up a thrilling second half.

Challenge Winners Murus Sanctus Photo: Mark Beaumont

The two evenly matched teams provided consistent pressure to begin the second half, with neither team given an inch in what turned into a back and forth match. Trading penalty conversions, Murus Sanctus maintained their one-goal lead, relying on the duo of Caset and Facundo Sola. A determined Ferne Park attack to end the fourth chukka marched downfield, keeping possession until a Murus Sanctus miscue in front of goal allowed Pittaluga to jump into the play and score his third goal, setting the scene for the fifth chukka.

An impressive defensive play from Caset turned the ball over in front of the Ferne Park goal, giving Murus Sanctus the opportunity they needed to extend their lead. On the receiving end of a backhand pass, Facundo Sola executed a perfect nearside neckshot to give Murus Sanctus the two-goal advantage with minutes remaining. Pittaluga converted another penalty 2 to give Ferne Park a chance to tie the score but Murus Sanctus held off the late charge to capture the 7-6 victory and be crowned Challenge Cup champions.

Final Score:

Murus Sanctus 7

Ferne Park 6

The Vickers Trophy awarded for the Best Playing Pony went to Senora Melosa by Open Padrino out of M Honey, owned and ridden by Sapo Caset

Cicero 15 Goal

Winners DJ Cats 7

Best Playing Pony was awarded to: – Ghetto, homebred and owned and ridden by Ollie Cudmore.

Brecknock 8 Goal:Winners Gallagher

Final Score: –

Gallagher 6

Hickstead 3

Best Playing Pony was awarded to: – Salda, owned and ridden by Bautista Sorzana.

Close run Cowdray polo match in windy conditions

TEAMS taking part in this exciting match were Emlor Red and Murus Sanctus, with players listed below.

Top polo action at Cowdray Photo: Mark Beaumont

Emlor Red                                                                                      Murus Sanctus

1.    Spencer McCarthy                                                                        1. Corrine Ricard

2.    Max Charlton                                                                                 2. Lucas Nottin  

3.    Juan Ambroggio                                                                            3. Guillermo Caset

Bk. Richard Tyrone                                                                              Bk. Facundo Sola

The first chukka saw a super opening goal by Facundo Sola in the first minute to get Murus Sanctus on the board.  Good defensive work in front of the Emlor goal saw Guillermo Caset (Sapo) take the ball all the way to score a second goal.  Weaving his way through the Murus Sanctus defence, Juan Ambroggio tickled the ball through the post, and a 30 yard penalty awarded against Murus Sanctus allowed Max Charlton to roll it over the line and level the score at the end of the first chukka, 2 all.

Chukka 2 was tight and speckled with fouls on both sides and the score ended with 5 goals to Murus Sanctus and 4 to Emlor Red.

Chukka 3 saw Emlor Red take the lead with 2 field goals by Juan Ambroggio and 1 by Max Charlton with Sapo Caset adding another to the Murus Sanctus tally. 

Richard Tyrone did a wonderful run up the field leaving everyone else behind for goal number 8 for his team. Sapo Caset levelled the end of the chukka with a score of 8 all, with everything to play for in the fifth.

A melee in front of the Murus Sanctus goal allowed an eagled eyed Facundo Sola to nip the ball over the line during the commotion. Sapo Caset took a knock in from the back line which was stolen by Spencer McCarthy who, never one to miss an opportunity, decisively turned on a sixpence and whacked it through the goal, making it 9 all going into the final minutes. 

Fabulous teamwork by Facundo and Sapo began with Sapo taking a hit in from the back line,  toying with the opposition’s defence they weaved the ball up the pitch into the space that Corrine had made by taking Spencer out of the way. Sapo then raced into position around the Emlor players to score the winning goal riding Trucha, who he had played in the 2nd and who was awarded Best Playing Pony, with a textbook cut shot.

Final score was:

Murus Sanctus 10 – Emlor Red 9

Stephen Biddlecombe of Equine Management presented a saddle to the Most Valuable Player, Sapo Caset, who also won the Best Playing Pony prize for his mare Trucha.

2020 King Power Gold Cup

The highly anticipated conclusion of the 2020 King Power Gold Cup between Les Lions/Great Oaks and Next Generation produced a match to remember, with a flurry of goals in the sixth chukka leaving the outcome to be decided in the final minutes.

Holding off a late charge from Les Lions/Great Oaks, Next Generation captured the 14-12 victory and the prestigious King Power Gold Cup title, capping off an extraordinary tournament at Cowdray Park Polo Club.

All polo treams pictured above Photo: Mark Beaumont

Back and forth action in open play demonstrated the evenly matched line-ups with Next Generation using perfect 8 for 8 penalty shooting to overcome the strong Les Lions/Great Oaks team. Filling in for the injured David Stirling, Diego Cavanagh was crucial to Next Generation’s success, playing effectively alongside Adolfo and Poroto Cambiaso while also providing the stability from the penalty line that led Next Generation to victory.

Nine goals and consistent passing to goal from rising stars Bartolome and Camilo Castagnola gave Les Lions/Great Oaks a chance in the late stages, but their inability to keep Next Generation off the penalty line sealed their fate in the 14-12 defeat.

In the opening minutes, Next Generation took control of the game, beginning with a goal from Adolfo Cambiaso that was quickly followed by a goal from his son Poroto, giving Next Generation the 2-0 lead. Cavanagh excelled for the second consecutive game, leading all players with seven goals, including his first goal to end the first chukka. Holding the early advantage over his cousins Bartolome and Camilo Castagnola, Poroto Cambiaso was crucial in Next Generation’s strong start, keeping Next Generation’s lead at three goals in the second chukka as Les Lions/Great Oaks struggled with foul trouble.

Best playing pony- Pintita Photo: Mark Beaumont

Unable to contain the strong possession-based attack of Next Generation, Les Lions/Great Oaks conceded two penalty goals to Cavanagh in the third chukka but stayed within reach before the end of the half thanks to the efforts of Santiago Laborde.

Coming forward from the #4 position, Laborde scored two goals, leaving Les Lions/Great Oaks trailing 7-5 at halftime.

 The dynamic of the final changed at the start of the fourth chukka after Les Lions/Great Oaks scored consecutive goals to tie the score at 7-7, receiving a penalty 2 conversion by Bartolome Castagnola and field goal from Dillon Bacon. Failing to hold the lead since their first goal, Next Generation responded with a potent offense led by the father-son duo of Adolfo and Poroto Cambiaso.

Scoring two field goals in quick succession, Next Generation restored their lead and used their momentum to keep the pressure on the Les Lions/Great Oaks defence. Two penalty conversions, one each from Adolfo Cambiaso and Cavanagh completed a run of four unanswered goals giving Next Generation a stronghold on the game.

Trailing by two entering the sixth chukka, Les Lions/Great Oaks’ Camilo Castagnola cut the deficit in half on an impressive run through the defence, hitting the ball out of the air to find the goal. Focusing on maintaining their possession, Adolfo Cambiaso led Next Generation’s determined attack that forced Les Lions/Great Oaks into committing four fouls over the last seven minutes, sending Cavanagh to the penalty line to win the tournament.

Converting all three penalty opportunities, Next Generation watched time run out and their celebration began as they lifted the King Power Gold Cup with the 14-12 victory.

The Best Playing Patron Pony:- Small Axe ridden and owned by Dillon Bacon

Best Playing Pony:- Pintita ridden  Poroto Cambiaso

Most Valuable Player:- Adolfo Cambiaso

Thrilling second round in 2020 King Power Gold Cup

A thrilling conclusion marked the second round of play in the 2020 King Power Gold Cup began with an impressive performance from Next Generation in the 15-10 victory over Monterosso, while the second match produced an exciting upset as Thai Polo NW stunned Park Place 12-11 on the grounds at Cowdray Park Polo Club.

After an opening round loss to Les Lions/Great Oaks, Next Generation displayed their prowess against Monterosso, led by the father-son duo of Adolfo and Poroto Cambiaso, who finished with five goals each. A relentless offense from Next Generation produced 23 shots at goal and controlled possession, leaving Monterosso struggling to keep pace due to inaccurate penalty shooting in the second half which ultimately sealed the 15-10 victory in favour of Next Generation.

Exciting polo action at Cowdray Photo: Mark Beaumont

Scoring on the opening play of the game, Poroto Cambiaso quickly erased the one-goal advantage Monterosso had on handicap. An evenly matched first chukka resulted in Monterosso reclaiming their lead on goals from Guillermo Terrera and Jeronimo del Carril. Next Generation raced into the lead, relying on the duo of Adolfo Cambiaso and David Stirling, utilizing their chemistry from years of playing together on La Dolfina to score three goals and push ahead of Monterosso. A balanced attack to end the half from Next Generation provided difficulties for Monterosso as they were unable to stop all facets of the Next Generation offense. A goal each from Stirling, Poroto Cambiaso and Adolfo Cambiaso gave Next Generation the two-goal lead at halftime.

Monterosso had their opportunities throughout the second half to close the deficit, but converted just one of their four penalty attempts, resulting in Next Generation maintaining their stronghold on the game. Adolfo Cambiaso opened the fourth chukka with two goals, extending his team’s lead to three despite converting just two of their first 10 shot attempts in the half. Ignacio Toccalino and Terrera contributed a goal each in the sixth chukka, but the victory for Next Generation was secured on Poroto Cambiaso’s fourth and fifth goals of the game to complete the 15-10 victory.

Attention turned to the second match of the day with Park Place looking to join Les Lions/Great Oaks as the only two undefeated teams, but faced a tough Thai Polo NW team that stunned the elite Park Place team consisting of Facundo and Gonzalito Pieres. Behind seven goals from Juan Martin Zubia and an organized defence that limited the scoring opportunities for Park Place, Thai Polo NW used their extra shot attempts from the field to hold off a late comeback attempt from Park Place to narrowly claim the 12-11 victory.

The opening two chukkas featured efficient polo on both sides of the ball with Park Place executing their two-man game with Facundo and Gonzalito Pieres, while Thai Polo NW responded with a duo of their own in Juan Martin Zubia and Jack Richardson. Deadlocked at 4-4 after the second chukka, the momentum of the game switched in a decisive third chukka as Thai Polo NW’s Zubia overwhelmed Park Place with three goals and an assist to Ned Hine. The impressive display to end the half broke the tie and gave Thai Polo NW the commanding 8-5 lead at halftime, leaving Park Place in need of offense in the second half.

10-goaler Facundo Pieres made an early impact in the second half, scoring his third goal while also setting up Kian Hall to slowly close the gap, but in one of the most noteworthy chukkas of the tournament, Thai Polo NW dominated the fifth chukka, preventing Park Place from producing a single attempt at goal. A goal each from Zubia, Hine and Rodrigo Rueda resulted in Thai Polo NW holding a commanding five-goal lead with just one chukka remaining. Unwilling to concede defeat, Gonzalito Pieres fought to send the game to overtime, converting two penalty attempts while also adding a field goal, but the deficit was too much to overcome as Thai Polo NW escaped with the thrilling 12-11 victory who won the Cooch Behar Cup for this game.