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.  

Guy Williams starred at Hickstead

Guy Williams on his way to victory on board Rouge De Ravel
 Guy Williams, did what he set out to do in the Al Shira’aa Trophy when he claimed the top
 spot in the £15,000 Al Shira’aa Trophy his experienced and impressive horse, Rouge De Ravel.

A total of 88 riders came forward for the final day’s Grand Prix, with many of British showjumping’s biggest names among the starters. But they faced a tough challenge in Kelvin Bywater’s course, and in the end almost one-third of the field failed to complete the first round, with the open water proving particularly influential.

But 10 combinations did produce clear rounds, ensuring a competitive jump-off against the clock. Yet Guy and his hugely experienced campaigner Rouge De Ravel made the most of their later draw to deliver a clear in a time of 42.48sec, with the pair taking some daring routes and making the most of the open space of the International Arena by keeping up a relentless pace throughout.

Irishman David Simpson was the next quickest in second, but even his speedy partner Foudre F finished 2.5sec in arrears.

Williams was obviously on winning form, as he started his Grand Prix campaign by lifting both qualifying classes on Thursday – he won the first of the Al Shira’aa 1.40m Open classes on Mr Blue Sky UK, before picking up the afternoon’s class on the 16-year-old stallion Rouge De Ravel.

“He jumped really well on the first day, and the plan was to come back and try to win today – so he’s done what we asked him,” said Guy. “He’s a class horse and he’s won all over the world, but he loves it here at Hickstead.”

The five-day Al Shira’aa Jumping Championships was a special national competition run for this year only in place of the Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby Meeting, which was cancelled due to the Covid-19 situation.

A Hickstead spokeswoman said: “We have really missed having our usual crowds of people here with us this week, but the good news is that tickets are now on sale for the Prenetics Royal International Horse Show.

We are releasing 4,000 tickets per day, with potentially more going on sale depending on the government restrictions at the time of the show.

“With no five-star classes for this summer only we’ve reduced ticket prices accordingly, with adult admission costing just £15, concessions available, and under 16s going free.

“Whether you’re a die-hard equestrian fan or just looking for a fun, affordable family day out this summer, you’re guaranteed a warm welcome at Hickstead.

Don’t miss The Prenetics Royal International Horse Show
Wed, 21 Jul 2021 – Sun, 25 Jul 2021 at The All England Jumping Course at Hickstead.

Start of Al Shira’aa Jumping Championships at Hickstead

HUNDREDS of riders got their 2021 Hickstead campaign off to a start at the opening day of the Al Shira’aa Jumping championships. 

Entries for this national show filled up in record time, with most classes attracting 100+ entries – and one 1m class even boasting a start list of 246!

This special event will take place for this year only, in place of the planned Al Shira’aa Hickstead Derby Meeting. Everyone is looking forward to the return of the Al Shira’aa Derby in 2022.   

This show is being run behind closed doors, so only stakeholders, sponsors and hospitality visitors are allowed access. However, you can still watch all the action from the Longines International Arena via the livestream (Thursday to Sunday) on Hickstead.TV and ClipMyHorse.TV

ESSEX-based rider Ronnie Jones was also a star for he not only took the Al Shira’aa British Five-Year-Old Championship with the mare L’Amour but he also claimed the honours in the hotly-contested Six-Year-Old final too, with his second win in quick succession coming courtesy of the stallion Key West RSH.

A huge field of 108 horses came forward for this morning’s opener, the Al Shira’aa 1.40m Open, with James Whitaker heading the line-up with Lammy Beach. See Below:

James, who is a former winner of the Science Supplements BHS Queen Elizabeth II Cup, saw off close opposition from runner-up Holly Smith and Billy Sarafina. Holly originally produced Lammy Beach, a 13-year-old Irish sports horse, before he moved to the Whitakers’ yard to be campaigned by William and then younger brother James.

Crowds are set to return to Hickstead as tickets are now on sale for the Prenetics Royal International Horse Show which takes place from July 21-25.

Following that will be the Hurst College National Schools and Pony Championships, then the Science Supplements All England September Tour, then the I.C.E. Horseboxes All England Dressage Festival.

This will give Hickstead a busy and exciting programme of events to look forward to.

Confirmation of dates for the FEI Dressage and Eventing European Championships for Young Riders and Juniors 2022 at Hartpury

The dates for the FEI Dressage and Eventing European Championships for Young Riders and Juniors 2022 at Hartpury have been confirmed.

The high-profile equestrian event will take place at Hartpury on 23-31 July 2022 following confirmation from both British Equestrian (BEF) and the FEI Dressage and FEI Eventing Committee.

Expect exciting action at Hartpury

Phillip Cheetham, Equine Director at Hartpury, said: “It’s extremely exciting that the dates for the 2022 FEI Dressage and Eventing European Championships for Young Riders and Juniors have been confirmed.

“We were disappointed that the championships couldn’t go ahead as we hoped last year, but having the 2022 dates is fantastic news. We’re excited about welcoming the most talented young riders in Europe to Hartpury and providing the stage on which they can produce their very best.

“We’re very grateful to the FEI for allowing us to host the event next year and we thank the BEF, British Dressage and British Eventing for their continued support,” he concluded.

Hartpury hosted a European Championships in 1997 when they had the Pony disciplines of dressage, showjumping and eventing and again in 2000 for Young Riders. 

“It’s fantastic news to have a date in the calendar confirmed for the team at Hartpury who worked so hard to secure the four FEI Championships only to be frustrated by COVID-19 last year,” said Jim Eyre, British Equestrian Chief Executive.

“We know they have a strong track record for running competitions of the highest calibre and we look forward to welcoming Europe’s elite Junior and Young Riders to the campus next July,” he added.

Annually, Hartpury hosts the NAF Five Star Hartpury Festival of Dressage, NAF Five Star Hartpury Showjumping Spectacular and NAF Five Star International Hartpury Horse Trials. All are scheduled to run in 2021. 

For more information about equestrian events at Hartpury, visit

Olympic riders head to Hickstead for inaugural dressage Premier League show

Dane Rawlins, a top international dressage rider pictured in action in the arena. Photo: Jeannie Knight
Olympic riders Fiona Bigwood and Emile Faurie are among the entrants for the I.C.E Horseboxes All England Dressage Festival at Hickstead (21-23 May).

Riders are heading to Hickstead for the inaugural dressage Premier League show.

Other dressage riders due to take part in this British Dressage Premier League show include international stars Louise Bell, Lara Butler, Tom Goode, Sune Hansen, Dane Rawlins, Anna Ross, Daniel Watson and Alice Oppenheimer.  

It is the first British Dressage show to take place at the main Hickstead showground, following the closure of the original Dressage at Hickstead site.

West Sussex-based rider Sarah Millis, who will also be competing at the show, comments: “Premier League shows are critical for the development of international horses, providing them with experience on the bigger stage. Hickstead is an iconic name within equestrian sport, and I am very excited to be competing at the upcoming Premier League show.”

The show will feature classes from Advanced Medium up to Grand Prix, along with Shearwater and British Dressage International Young Horse qualifiers. plus FEI youth classes from Pony to Under 25.

Three rings of action will run throughout the three days, with the LeMieux Grand Prix the feature class on the Saturday, and the action culminating in the I.C.E. Horseboxes FEI Grand Prix Special on the Sunday afternoon.

While the show is being run behind closed doors, action from the Coldstream Arena will be livestreamed on ClipMyHorse.TV and on Hickstead.TV.

Start lists and results will be available online here.
Meanwhile details of key equestrian events at Hickstead are below.

NAF Five Star Bronze League Qualifier at Felbridge

With the fastest triple clear of the class, Hannah Smith from Crawley, West Sussex claimed first place in the NAF Five Star Bronze League Qualifier which took place at the Felbridge Showground on Saturday.

Hannah Smith and Pauldaries Mysteque winning the NAF Five Star Bronze League Qualifier at Felbridge Showground
[PHOTO: Felbridge Photography]

Riding Samantha Baker’s 17 year-old mare Pauldaries Mysteque, Hannah was one of ten riders to take up a spot in the final jump off from a starting field of sixty combinations.

With her eyes firmly on the red rosette, Hannah was able to produce the winning triple clear in 34.53 seconds, just 0.08 of a second faster than her closest rival.

NAF Five Star Bronze League Qualifier

1st Hannah Smith & Pauldaries Mysteque – 0/0/0 – 34.53 seconds

2nd Louise McDonald & Fanta-astic – 0/0/0 – 34.61 seconds

3rd Elizabeth East & Kennedy 55 – 0/0/0 – 40.25 seconds

Zuba was a good Plumpton winner for trainer Nick Gifford

Zuba put in a fine performance at Plumpton yesterday for Findon trainer Nick Gifford, when winning the maiden hurdle for The South Downs Partnership, under a good ride from jockey James Davies. He was sent off as 5-4 favourite in the race.

ZUB A, trained by Nick Gifford at Findon, was a striking winner at Plumpton

There is plenty to like about this horse, for he more than justified going off as favourite and ran well to win this race for owners The South Downs Partnership. There should be much more to come and he will be an interesting horse to follow.

Zuba should benefit from the experience and go on to show even more potential. It was a strongly run race and he won by a comfortable 1¼ lengths from 50-1 runner-up Irish-bred Taylors Three Rock, trained by Tony Carroll and ridden by 7lb claimer Jason Dixon.

Taylors Three Rock is another horse which should show good potential to continue to improve as he develops.


Meanwhile Plumpton has now said goodbye to popular long-time clerk of the course Mark Cornford, who retired on Sunday at the racecourse. Born in Plumpton village he had 41 years of full time service in that role when he retired on Sunday.

Mark Cornford- highly respected clerk of the course at Plumpton has now retired

He was born in Plumpton village and has always lived a stone’s throw from the jumps track. He first worked at the track with his father in the late 1960s before joining the groundstaff team permanently in 1980. He became clerk of the course in 2004 and continued in that role until Sunday. He was given a guard of honour to mark his dedication to Plumpton racecourse and will be replaced by Marcus Waters.

“I’m feeling alright about it,” he said. “I’m a local man and I love the family-type atmosphere you get at Plumpton.This has been something I’d been planning with the director.

Following the Government’s announcements on Monday February 22 2021, it was confirmed that no crowds would be allowed to return to outdoor sports venues until at the earliest Monday May 17..

Unfortunately Plumpton’s last fixture of the 2020/21 season is Sunday May 9, which means we will not see a crowd at any of its remaining 2020/21 fixtures.

“This is very disappointing news and we are sorry for any inconvenience caused, but also thank you for your patience and support. We very much hope to open with a great raceday on Sunday 19th September 2021 and we will send out details in due course. If you wanted to enquire about any restaurant or hospitality packages you had provisionally booked or you traditionally have in the Autumn/Winter, please do get in touch with Molly Taylor –

Bob Champion faces kidney operation after he completes fundraising 40th anniversary walk

On Saturday this week, Bob Champion will complete the last ‘leg’ of #Bobs40For40Challenge, sponsored by Wasdell Group, by riding a chestnut horse up the same Sussex lane Aldaniti paraded as he returned home victorious from Aintree 40 years ago.

Grand National winning jockey and cancer survivor Bob Champion pictured at the 12th stop of his charity walk at Jonjo O’Neill’s yard Jackdaws Castle in the Cotswolds raising funds for the Bob Champion Cancer Trust.
Bob is half way through his marathon trek which started from Aintree on 11 April, the day after the Randox Grand National 2021, the 191 mile route represents the 191 days from Bob’s diagnosis on 24th July 1979, his months of gruelling treatment to then receiving the all clear on January 31 1980 before going on to win the Grand National the following year.

This comes as he admitted yesterday that he faces an operation in the next few weeks to remove a tumour on his kidney.

He said:” I had a very bad back pain just before I started my walk and scans showed I have a tumour on my kidney which needs removing. I was determined I would carry on with my 40th anniversary walk since raising money for the Bob Champion Cancer Trust has been my life’s work and I didn’t want to fall at the final fence when the money is still much needed.

“So far we have raised more than £55,000 and money is still coming in. Thank you to my sponsor Wasdell Group, and everyone who has walked and supported me.”

His 191-mile linear route to mark the 191 days of cancer treatment he underwent, started at Aintree on Sunday April 11, and has taken in many trainer’s gallops along the way. It will finish at 10.30am on Saturday 15 May as Bob, pictured below, walks a few miles on the famous Findon Gifford gallops, where Aldaniti was trained, as well as riding a horse not dissimilar to Aldaniti.

Members of the public are welcome to join him on his walk which continues on May 11 from Chris Gordon’s stables at Winchester, then Barkfold Manor KIrdford. On May 12 he will go to :
Gary Moore – Lower Beeding
David Menuisier – Pulborough 
Amanda Perrett – Pulborough 
Luke Dace – Pulborough

Then on May 14 he will visit Richard Rowe’s yard at Storrington, and Suzy Smith at Angmering before his final stop on May 15 at Nick Gifford’s yard at Findon.

Bob can be supported here by donating to: