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.
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.
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 here: https://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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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: –
Best Playing Pony was awarded to: – Salda, owned and ridden by Bautista Sorzana.
TEAMS taking part in this exciting match were Emlor Red and Murus Sanctus, with players listed below.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
THE much-anticipated start to the 2020 King Power Gold Cup at Cowdray Park Polo Club began with an impressive 14-10 victory for Les Lions/ Great Oaks over the highly touted Next Generation team featuring Adolfo Cambiaso and David Stirling to win the Carlos Gracida Memorial Trophy.
The second match of the day featured an exciting finish with Park Place scoring four goals in the final chukka to claim the 10-9 victory over Park Place Vaar, concluding an exciting opening day.
All eyes turned to the opening game of the tournament and it did not disappoint with Les Lions/ Great Oaks’ Bartolome Castagnola scoring an astounding nine goals, four of which came from the penalty line. A strong team defensive effort from Les Lions/ Great Oaks held Next Generation to just 40 per cent shooting from the field making the Cambiaso-led team work hard for every opportunity. Although they finished six from seven from the penalty line, Next Generation could not keep pace with the potent Les Lions/ Great Oaks offense in the 14-10 defeat.
The opening half showcased an evenly matched contest, with neither team able to build a large lead. Castagnola opened the scoring with a goal from the field and the penalty line, while Next Generation’sAdolfo Cambiaso and Stirling responded with a goal each, leaving the score tied at 1-1.
Filling in for the injured Camilo Castagnola, Alejandro Muzzio made his impact in the second chukka, scoring his first goal, while also collecting two assists as part of a three-goal chukka, giving Les Lions/Great Oaks the slim 5-4 lead. Scoring his third penalty goal of the half, Adolfo Cambiaso restored the tie, leaving the outcome to be decided in the second half.
Reorganised after a scoreless third chukka, Les Lions/Great Oaks came out strong in the second hald behind the efforts of Castagnola. Executing a combination of runs to goal and passes, Castagnola was responsinble for three of the six Les Lions/Great Oaks goals, while also adding two assists in the fourth and fifths chukka, leaving the Next Generations defence struggling to slow the quick attack.
Keeping their opponents pinned in their own half, Les Lions/Great Oaks build a commanding 12-7 lead, with just one chukka remaining, leaving the Next Generation defence struggling to slow the quick attack. Keeping their opponents pinned in their own half, Les Lions/Great Oaks build a commanding 12-7 lead with just one chukka remaining. A late push fromfrom Stirling was not enough to pull Next Generation within reach as Les Lions/Great Oaks completed the dominant 14-10 victory to begin the King Power Gold Cup.
The Carlos Gracida Best Playing Pony was awarded to seven-year-old chestnut mare, Calito Cielto, played by Ale Muzzion and owned by the Castagnolas.
A match-up between the two Park Place teams concluded the opening day of play in a thrilling finish, where a dominant finish from Park Place saw them beat Park Place Vaara 10-8.
The King Power Gold Cup for the British Open Polo Championship 2020, Europe’s leading tournament, opens today, WednesdayJuly 1 at Cowdray Park, the Home of British Polo. The Final will take place on Sunday July 26. Sponsored by King Power, the tournament is regarded as one of the top three polo competitions in the world, alongside the US and Argentine Opens. The Final attracts thousands of spectators annuallywho flock to the prestigious ‘Lawns’ polo grounds in West Sussex. However this year, due to current,government restrictions on spectators at sporting events, the competition will be held behind closed doors.
Roderick Vere Nicoll, Chairman of Cowdray Park Polo Club, commented: “We are living inunusual times and it is terrific that we have 8 strong teams in the tournament. The two best players in the world, Adolfo Cambiaso and Facundo Pieres, are playing along with some rising young stars. It should be an exciting tournament and you can enjoy the Gold Cup on Cowdray TV.”
Sadly, spectators will not be permitted to attend matches, however all games will be live streamed via Cowdray TV. The Club has collaborated with Polo Cam and InPlayer, the world’s leading pay per view subscription solution, to bring the sport to fans all over the world in the comfort and safety of their own homes. Eight teams will take part which will see some of the best players in the world in action.
The tournament will be played with the usual speed and skill of high-goal polo, under modified rules which adhere to HPA (Hurlingham Polo Association) and government regulations. Chris Bethell, Cowdray Park Polo Manager commented: “We are very much looking forward to play commencing. It has been a challenging start to the season. The grounds are in perfect condition; there are some exciting Gold Cup team entries and 2020 has the potential for newtalent to shine and perhaps provide an unexpected winner.”
HICKSTEAD showground in Sussex is not only renowned for show jumping, but also hosts top class arena polo, which takes place there during winter.
The All England Polo Club was founded in 2006, and quickly became established as one of the premier Arena Polo venues in the country. It hosts tournaments throughout the winter season, including the International Arena Polo Test Match each March.
Tough competition between English player Jack Hyde (right) and Will Tankard USA in a previous contest at Hickstead: Photo courtesy of Russell Kirby 07711741769
USA 10-goaler Tommy Biddle, who came to Hickstead for the first time in 2014, instantly became one of Polo at Hickstead’s biggest supporters: “This is the best surface I have ever played on. Hickstead has the best arena in the world!”
Founder member Jack Kidd attributes this success to the huge surge in popularity of arena polo in recent years: “In the past ten years the science of arena polo has evolved to create the most passionate, gladiatorial, fast game that I have ever played.”
The difference between summer and winter Polo is akin to that of football and five-a-side football. Arena is played with three team members, using a larger and softer ball than traditional polo, and shots and angles can be played off the boarded sides of the arena.
It is an ideal way to bring on young horses or improve those that are too much of a handful on the bigger summer pitch.
Make sure you are in the crowd to experience one of the highlights of the global winter polo season, as England takes on an international rival in the hope of winning the Bryan Morrison Trophy.
Close action between the two teams at All England Polo Club, Hickstead Photo: Equestrian photographer John Periam 01243 584718
Head to Hickstead for an unbeatable winter day out, and enjoy a drink on the clubhouse viewing deck as you are treated to the spectacle of fierce, world-class polo action unfolding in the arena below you.
Another huge selling point of Arena is that it requires less horse power, thus eliminating the need for a large string of ponies. A club member could happily play with two ponies throughout the season, only having to rent an additional one or two for tournament days.
“The best way to understand Arena Polo is to experience it, after which players guarantee you will stop thinking of it as just a ‘winter fill in’ and grow to love it as a sport in its own right,” said a player.
For more information about Hickstead’s arena polo programme for the winter and spring seasons see https://www.hickstead.co.uk/polo