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.

Les Lions/ Great Oaks has victory in opening polo Gold Cup

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.

Exciting Cowdray polo action behind closed doors observing Government rules. Photo: Mark Beaumont

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.

British Open Polo Championships go under way at Cowdray Park

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.

Exciting Cowdray polo action will be streamed live Photo: Cowdray Park Polo

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 hosts top class arena polo

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

 

 

 

Successful polo challenge for retrained racehorses

Earlier this month 43 former racehorses competed at The Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club to contest the RoR Racing to Polo Challenge, kindly supported by Lycetts.

The event continues to grow in popularity and is open to all RoR registered horses who have been in training or raced under any recognised racing authority.

As the rain fell, competitors arrived to declare their horses for one of the four classes being held on a ground at this prestigious Polo Club. This year, for the first time, an award was presented to the best playing lady rider.

Polo action with ex-racehorses
Photo John Simpson

The judges panel included Judith Balding, Senior Judge for conformation, joined by Rob Cudmore, Will Brasher, Nick Evans, Chris Price and Piers Plunkett who were judging performance. Each competitor presented their horses to the Conformation Judge prior to commencing their one and a half minute performance element of the Challenge.

The first class of the day was for three-year-olds, with nine horses coming forward to compete and demonstrate their adaptability to a second career on the Polo field. Judges focussed primarily on performance with type and conformation being taken into account in case of a tie, the winning combination was Ireland’s Angel, ridden and owned by Sebastian Chiavlo. The filly, by Lethal Force, was formerly trained by David Evans with whom she had four starts on the flat before retiring in September 2018. Second place was awarded to Cheeky Lola, formerly trained Tim Easterby, ridden by Nick Johnson and owned by Alan Kent

The four year old class, saw 11 horses come forward and was won by Whererainbowsend, formerly trained by Bryan Smart, owned and ridden by Ed Hitchman with second place awarded to Newton Place, formerly trained by Pat Fahy, ridden by Adam Buchanan and owned by Aurora Cotton-McKean.

The five year olds then came forward with 14 horses entered, the winner was Powerpuff owned and ridden by Ed Hitchman with No Luck Penny owned and ridden by Ben Eeley receiving the second prize.

The day culminated with the six year old and upwards class where nine horses were presented to the judges and proved to be a good class for Ed Hitchman who took first and second place with Sweets‘N’Sheets and Mrs Frosty respectively. Sweets’N’Sheets, part owned by Will Brasher, was in training with Paul Midgley when she ran twice finishing plum last in both starts. Clearly she has found her calling on the Polo field.

Lady riders, Katrina Thomas and Hannah Parry-Jones were awarded the inaugural overall Ladies prizes for their performances in the four classes.

RoR would, again, like to thank the Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club for hosting this wonderful event and also the judges, players and organisers for making this event such a success year on year. Special thanks to the HPA and Lycetts for their continued support.

Full results:

Class 1 – 3 year olds

1st. Ireland’s Angel owned and ridden by Sebastian Chialvo
2nd. Cheeky Lola ridden by Nick Johnson, owned by Alan Kent
3rd. Annie’s Bow ridden by Monty Campbell and owned by Jack Richardson

Class 2 – 4 year olds 

1st. Whererainbowsend owned and ridden by Ed Hitchman
2nd. Newton Place ridden by Adam Buchanan, owned by Aurora Cotton-Mckean
3rd. Runway Bay ridden by Nick Johnson, owned by Alan Kent

Class 3 – 5 year olds 

1st. Powerpuff owned and ridden by Ed Hitchman
2nd. No Luck Penny owned and ridden by Ben Eeley
3rd. Joy ridden by Miguel Ayala, owned by Pedro Harrison

Class 4 – 6 year olds and upwards 

1st. Sweets’N’Sheets owned and ridden by Ed Hitchman
2nd. Mrs Frosty owned and ridden by Ed Hitchman
3rd. Palavicini’s Girl ridden by Rupert Lewis, owned by Richard Le Poer

Last high goal polo match of Cowdray season

In the last high goal match of Cowdray Park’s 2019 season, the Final of the historic Challenge Cup, first presented in 1911, was played between Jonathan Rothermere’s Ferne Park and Alessandro Bazzoni’s Monterosso sides, writes Liz Higgins.

 Playing for Jonathan Rothermere were Richard Le Poer (5 goals) at number 2, Joaquin Pittaluga (7 goals) at 3 and Rodrigo Rueda (6 goals) at Back, making up the 18 goal team.  Alessandro Bazzoni playing off 1 goal was joined by young  guns Jose Ramon Araya (3 goals) at 2, Bartolomé Castagnola (6 goals) at 3 and the experienced 8 goaler Ignacio Toccalino at Back.

 Five frantic minutes of non-stop action opened the match until a super pass from Toccalino to Araya resulted in the first goal for Monterosso.  In chukka 2, Toccalino started the drive for the next goal, Castagnola picking up the ball and sending it to Bassoni who finished the play with goal number 2. 

Once again Toccalino went on the attack passing a super ball to Bassoni but the patron’s shot went wide.  Le Poer saved the next Monterosso attempt at goal and superfast end to end play saw Le Poer’s own attempt at goal thwarted by Toccalino. Rueda swooped in to try and re-gain possession but fouled Castagnola in the process.  A free hit sent the ball to Bazzoni via Castagnola and another great goal from the patron put 3-0 on the scoreboard.

Winning Harrison team with the cup Photo: Julian Portch

On the way to Monterosso’s goal mouth Rueda left the ball for Le Poer who backed through a neat shot to give Ferne Park their first goal, but from the throw-in Toccalino and Castagnola had full possession of the ball taking it all the way to 4-1 to end the chukka.

 Shortly into chukka 3 Araya stole the ball from Le Poer, Castagnola picked it up and it was 5-1 to Monterosso.  His next attempt went wide giving Le Poer the chance to race off and pass to Pittaluga in the hope of making it to the Monterosso goal, but the ever-present Castagnola snatched it away and was soon running through the posts again to make it 6-1 in Monterosso’s favour. The throw-in was won by Ferne Park and as Rothermere looked to pick up a useful pass from Pittaluga he was fouled.  A 30 yard penalty was awarded which Le Poer put through and the first half ended at 6-2 to Monterosso.

 A hit from the boards started the second half.  Le Poer stole the ball from under Castagnola’s stick and raced away to score.   Hard and fast play continued with once again Toccalino playing to all of his 8 goals and Castagnola the expert back-up.  Together they ran the ball again to Fern Park’s goal mouth with Araya waiting to flick it through for 7-3.  Ferne Park won the next throw-in, but in the ensuring tussle two consecutive whistles finally gave the side a penalty which Pittaluga accurately sent through from 40 yards.  Castagnola raced off from the next throw-in, lost the ball but Toccalino was on hand to see it between the posts and Monterosso ended the fourth chukka 8-4 ahead.

Merengada Best,Polo Pony played by Jose Araya.
Photo: Julian Portch

 The final chukka saw Rueda on the move from the off, fighting all the way to the goal mouth to pull one back for Ferne Park.  Le Poer tried desperately for another goal but his attempt went wide.  Toccalino brought the ball back in, Bassoni was set to carry it forward but was fouled in the process.  Toccalino scored from the 40 yard penalty awarded and it was all over for Ferne Park, Monterosso victorious at 9-5.

 Mrs Emma McRae presented the prestigious trophy to a delighted Alessando Bazzoni and prizes to all players.  The Most Valuable Player prize sponsored by Le Chameau went to Ignacio Toccalino and the Schweppes Best Playing Pony rug went to Merengada played by Jose Araya.     

Final of Harrison Cup at Cowdray Park

The Harrison Cup, Cowdray Challenge Cup and Holden White Cups, played as Cowdray’s Goodwood Week series, are open to all-comers and lead to the overall awards in the HPA’s Victor Ludorum series.  The Final of the 15 goal Harrison Cup, on August 3, is always the first to be played and was a truly exciting contest as befits one of the highest rated 15 goal tournaments in the UK polo calendar writes Liz Higgins.

 From a total of 14 teams entered, Sally Turner’s CPG Nightingale and Momin Sheikh’s Berkeley Healthcare made it through to the Final.  Alongside Sally were Will Harper (2 goals) playing at number 2, George Meyrick (6 goals) at 3 and 7 goaler Juan Gris Zavaleta at Back.  Lachie Gilmore (2 goals) took the number 2 slot for BHC, with 6 goaler Matt Perry at 3 and Jack Richardson (7 goals) at Back.

 

CPG Nightingale, winners of the Harrison Cup with their trophy cup Photo: Julian Portch

Zavaleta made the opening goal for CPG Nightingale, his score swiftly answered by Matt Perry for BHC. Zavaleta’s next attempt went wide but he was accurate in his following attempt and also made the pass that enabled young Harper to make goal number 3 for CPG Nightingale. 

 Chukka 2 started with a roll-in and the ball came out with BHC. Jack Richardson went on the attack and a brilliant pick up by Gilmore saw him send a mighty shot between the posts to pull a goal back for BHC.  Meyrick finished a lovely hit towards goal by Zavaleta and once more CFG Nightingale had a two goal lead – but not for long. 

A super goal from Perry helped to close the gap and Richardson made the goal that levelled the scores on 4-4.  In a terrific all-action chukka, another massive shot from Lachie Gilmore enabled BHC to take the lead, but their party was spoilt when Sally Turner made a useful pass to Zavaleta and the scores were equal again at 5-5 as the chukka closed.  Harper’s talent came to the fore with two great goals in chukka 3 while BHC failed to mark the scoreboard and the first half ended at 7-5 in CPG Nightingale’s favour.

 Within 15 seconds of chukka 4 opening, Zavaleta had taken CPG Nightingale on to 8-5 and it wasn’t long before he was charging away again, his attempt at goal finished off by Harper. 

Zavaleta’s  huge shot down the field accurately landed with Turner who aimed, hit the goal post, the ball then trickling through to put her side into double figures at 10-5.  Zavaleta obliged with another huge hit and it was seven goals on the trot for CPG Nightingale before a super goal from Jack Richardson saw the score at the end of chukka 4 at 11-6.

 The final chukka saw a rally from BHC with goals from both Perry and Richardson, the latter from a 60 yard penalty.  Was a come-back possible?  Not while Juan Gris Zavaleta was on the pitch.  He finished off a blistering performance with two more goals to give Sally Turner’s CPG Nightingale side a commanding victory of 13-8 and unsurprisingly picked up the Le Chameau prize for Most Valuable Player.  To round off his afternoon, Zavaleta’s pony Oli Vercera  was awarded the Schweppes rug for Best Playing Pony of the match.

 

UAE team wins British Ladies Polo Championships

A total of eleven teams entered the British Ladies Polo Championships at Cowdray Park, running concurrently with the final phase of the King Power Gold Cup, writes Liz Higgins .

Six teams were eligible for the 18 goal British Ladies Open Championship and five were entered into the 12 goal British Ladies Handicap Championship.

 The 18 goal British Ladies Open Championship concluded with HH Sheika Maitha al Maktoum’s UAE team and Lila Pearson’s Cowdray Vikings reaching the final.  Playing alongside Sheikha Maitha were Milly Hine (5 goals) at 2, Hazel Jackson (9 goals) at 3 and Catalina Lavinia (0 goals) at Back. 

Hannah Parry-Jones (3 goals) took the number 1 position for Cowdray Vikings with Lila Pearson (2 goals) at 2, Lottie Lamacraft (6 goals) at 3, and Sarah Wiseman (7 goals) at Back.

 First mark on the scoreboard came from Sarah Wiseman for Cowdray Vikings.    A whistle brought a free hit for Cowdray; Wiseman tapped the ball on but Millie Hine pounced on it giving Hazel Jackson the chance to charge forward and equalize as the chukka bell sounded. 

In a pacey second chukka, there was plenty of action but little in the way of goals, Millie Hine finally seeing the ball between the posts to take UAE 2-1 ahead at half time.

British Ladies Open Polo Winners, UAE
Photo: Mark Beaumont

 Catalina Lavinia raced away to score for UAE in the first minute of the second half.  Hazel Jackson put UAE  4-1 ahead by the close of the third chukka.  In the final chukka, Hine kept up the pressure on Sarah Wiseman who found it difficult to play her usual strong game. A 30 yard penalty awarded to UAE enabled Sheikha Maitha to increase her side’s score to 5-1 and a lovely run to goal by Hazel Jackson gave UAE a final score of 6-1.

Action in the British Ladies Open Championship: Photo Mark Beaumont

 Mrs Diana Wiseman presented the winners’ silver salver to Sheikha Maitha and prizes of luxury leather bags generously sponsored by Aspinal of London to the players. Kala owned and played by Hazel Jackson was awarded the Best Playing Pony prize and her pony Farsons picked up the RoR award for best re-trained racehorse.  The prize for Best Horsemanship, presented by Aurora Eastwood, went to Lottie Lamacraft.

In the 12 goal British Ladies Handicap Championship Final, Coombe Place met Carlton House.  Coombe Place had a half-goal advantage on the scoreboard to start the match.The first half ended with Carlton House ahead 3-1½ . 

Fortunes changed in the second half with Lamacraft making a great field goal and another from Waechter taking Coombe Place into a half goal lead of 3½-3.  Try as they might Carlton House could not pull back and a lovely third goal from Lottie Lamacraft gave the victory to Coombe Place on 4½-3.

British Ladies Polo Handicap event- both teams. Photo Mark Beaumont

 Sehr Ahmad presented the prizes generously sponsored by Aspinal of London, the Best Playing Pony of the match was judged to be Yonkie owned and played by Stephanie Haverhals who also picked up the prize for Best Horsemanship presented by Aurora Eastwood.

Exciting Gold Cup polo semi-finals at Cowdray Park

Two exciting semi-Finals between VS King Power and Park Place -and then Dubai and Scone Polo, saw victories for Top Srivaddhanaprabha’s VS King Power team and Ali Albwardy’s Dubai taking them to Sunday’s Final.

The two sides last met in a Gold Cup Final at Cowdray Park in 2014, writes Liz Higgins

VS King Power, who have added VS to the team’s name in memory of Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha who lost his life in a helicopter crash at Leicester City FC stadium in October 2018, altered their line-up for the Final.

Gold Cup Action with Zubia   Photo: Mark Beaumont

Vichai’s son ‘Top’ Srivaddhanaprabha played at number 1 as usual, but Polito Pieres took the number 2 slot, Marcos di Paola moving up to 3 and Juan Martin Zubia playing at Back.  Dubai kept their line-up unchanged with 16 year old Camilo Castagnola at 1, Rashid Albwardy at 2, Bartolomé Castagnola at 3 and Ignacio  du Plessis at Back.

Chukka 1 opened with Pieres immediately on the attack, his first attempt at goal going wide.  A couple of minutes of frantic action resulted in a penalty being awarded to Dubai which Camilo Castagnola sent from 30 yards to secure the opening goal of the match for his side.  A lovely steal by Polito was the making of goal number 2, with Zubia picking up the ball and sending it between the posts. Polito won the ball from the throw in and tore all the way to Dubai’s end to make it 2-1 for King Power to close the chukka.

Packed grandstand at the finals. Photo:Mark Beaumont

Camilo and Bartolomé Castagnola produced three goals in chukka 2, and, with just one from Pieres for VS King Power, the chukka ended with Dubai 4-3 ahead. A fast and tough chukka 3 saw a spot penalty awarded to KVS King Power right in front of Dubai’s goal, which Polito sent through to equalize, but Bartolomé answered with two goals for Dubai and at the end of the first half the score stood at 6-4 in Dubai’s favour.

When the fourth chukka got underway, a fantastic piece of play saw Polito Pieres leave the ball for Zubia who obliged with a huge lofted shot to score goal number 11 for VS King Power.  Rashid Albwardy won the ball from the throw-in but di Paola grabbed it back, Zubia stopped Bartolomé from snatching it while Marcos came through and passed to Top who made a superb goal to even the scores on 6-6.  Another fantastic goal from Top and King Power were ahead.  A 30 yard penalty awarded to King Power as the chukka was drawing to a close enabled Polito Pieres to extend the lead to 8-6.

Best Open Champion Polo Pony, Chacota
Photo:Mark Beaumont

A frantic fifth chukka saw spot penalties produce a goal for each side before a fantastic shot, hit from way back, saw Polito Pieres take VS King Power on to 10-7.  His next goal came from a 60 yard penalty and it was 11-7 in VS King Power’s favour.  Dubai won the next throw-in but with Bartolomé challenged by Pieres, his young brother coolly slipped through and scored, the chukka ending at 11-8 to VS King Power.

The sixth chukka opened with a swift goal from Camilo, then it was his brother’s turn to shoot a mighty goal.  Camilo won the ball from the throw-in and there was a scramble in front of VS King Power’s goal which resulted in a whistle.  Bartolomé calmly sent the ball through the posts from 60 yards and it was 11-11.  The excitement in the crowd was palpable.  VS King Power won the throw-in and Polito scored to take his side into the lead again.  Top saved the ball from Dubai’s next attempt at goal, but, aided by the power of du Plessis, Bartolomé was able to find a way through and even the scores at 12-12 before the whistle blew.The match went into a seventh chukka and started with a throw-in.

Exciting action in the match as Du Plessis goes after Top
Photo: Mark Beaumont

Away went Zubia with the ball, but du Plessis was having none of it and struck out for the other end.  Top made a great clearance, the ball taken on by Marcos di Paola, Polito Pieres and then Zubia who raced away to Dubai’s goal only to send the ball wide.

In came the ball from the back line and off down the boards raced Bartolomé, the wonderfully intuitive combination with his brother, seen throughout this Gold Cup tournament, coming to the fore as Camilo dived forward with the ball and put it through.  Dubai had won the King Power Gold Cup on a score of 13-12 in truly breathtaking finish.

Best Polo Pony rug was presented by the Hon Lila Pearson to Rebalde, owned and played by Camilo Castagnola   Photo: Mark Beaumont

Jon Rudkin, Director of Football for Leicester City FC, presented individual prizes to all players, the tournament umpires and commentators before handing the coveted Gold Cup to Rashid Albwardy, son of the Dubai patron.  The Most Valuable Player of the match award went to Polito Pieres of VS King Power, Open Chacota, owned and played by Top Srivaddhanaprabha, was voted Best Playing Patron’s Pony, and Rebalde, owned and played by Camilo Castagnola, was awarded Best Playing Pony of the match, with a rug presented by The Hon Lila Pearson.

Following the match, Ali Albwardy, patron of Dubai said, “It was such an exciting match.  I’m proud of all the boys in this young team, they played fantastically – in fact, both teams had a wonderful match.  The game was entertaining to watch, hard, fast and exactly what polo should be.  I thank Cowdray Park Polo Club for their fantastic organisation of the tournament.”

 

Memorial Polo Trophy marks tragic death of King Power chairman

Cowdray Park Polo Club has announced a new programme for Quarter Finals weekend of the 2019 King Power Gold Cup.

On Sunday July 14, the inaugural Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha Memorial Trophy will be played as the 3.00 pm match to mark the tragic loss of King Power chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha in a helicopter crash at the King Power football stadium in Leicester in October 2018.
A new trophy has been commissioned and will be presented to the winning team.

This all-important fourth quarter final match of the weekend will be preceded by a programme of entertainment to both encompass Vichai’s sporting passions and to also celebrate the life of the philanthrophic Thai businessman.

 

Vichai Srivaddhanprabha, chairman of King Power, pictured with children before his death. Photo copyright Mark Beaumont

Amongst the entertainment planned is a children’s football match between local boys and girls making up a Leicester City and a Midhurst away shirts.

To recognise Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha’s passion for equestrian sport, there will also be a parade of some of his racehorses, planned to include the King Power stables’ Cleontewinner of the Queen Alexandra Stakes on the final day of Ascot 2019.

The King Power Foxes polo team won the Gold Cup for the British Open Polo Championship in 2015, 2016 and 2017, having first entered the Gold Cup in 2014.  In 2018 Cowdray Park Polo Club was delighted to see King Power take over sponsorship of the prestigious 22 goal British Open in a three year contract.

Vichai Srivaddhahaprabha loved the friendly and laid-back atmosphere at Cowdray Park and the club is keen to mark his polo legacy by making his Memorial Trophy a permanent fixture of the Gold Cup for the British Open Polo Championship.

On Saturday July 13, the afternoon’s 3.00 pm match will be the Hungarian Ambassador’s Cup, played for a second year in front of guests of His Excellency Kristof Szalay-Bobrovniczky, who will be presenting the handsome trophy he commissioned in 2018..

The four winning teams in the Quarter Finals go forward to the Semi Finals to be played on Wednesday July 17 with the Final taking place on Sunday July 21.  Team information will be available after July 10.

Please visit http://www.cowdraypolo.co.uk for more information