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British Open: Park Place raise the Gold Cup for the first time

Ph: Oli Jauretche

The British Open Polo Championship for the Cowdray Gold Cup finished on Sunday 17th July, at Cowdray Park, the home of British Polo. After more than 30 high octane matches over the four-week period, the final featured Park Place in search of their first British Open title against undefeated Dubai Polo Team on the world-renowned Lawns Polo Grounds. A crowd of several thousand settled in around the field to watch the two teams battle into the final chukka in a fast, entertaining match that featured few whistles and fast, open polo. Conceding one-goal on handicap to begin the match, Park Place set the early tone with a dominant first chukka that began with Francisco Elizalde erasing the one-goal deficit on a 30-yard penalty conversion. Picking the ball up on the nearside at midfield, Louis Hine ran the rest of the way for his first goal and quickly followed with his second goal to give Park Place the 4-1 lead. A long pass from Camilo Castagnola was finished by Matt Perry to get Dubai Polo Team onto the scoreboard and ignite a strong second chukka that included goals from Castagnola and Jeronimo Del Carril to tie the game at 4-all.

The momentum swings continued as Park Place regained control with three consecutive goals to begin the third chukka and were minutes from entering halftime with a significant lead, but Castagnola took the ball out of the air and ran it through the goal to bring Dubai Polo Team within two goals. Adding his second goal, Castagnola inched his team closer by half time, but they remained trailing by one at 7-6 in favour of Park Place as the third chukka ended.

For the second half of the match, playing one of his best matches of the season, Francisco Elizalde wove through the defence to score two minutes into the fourth chukka. Excelling alongside Facundo Pieres, Elizalde helped change the dynamic of the match as Park Place extended their lead to four due to an organised defensive effort that held Dubai Polo Team off the scoreboard for the entire chukka. Determined to battle back into contention, Dubai Polo team turned to their own defence to prevent Park Place from scoring, while Camilo Castagnola added a goal and an assist to cut the deficit in half. With the help of his pony, the ball was kicked forward and Castagnola fought off the defenders in front of goal to send the ball through the posts and raise the excitement field-side as Dubai Polo Team pulled within one. With two and a half minutes remaining, Park Place’s Elizalde stole the ball on the sideboards and sent a pass to goal. On an impressive cut shot, Pieres scored the decisive goal and followed up with a 60-yard penalty conversion in the final seconds to secure the 12-9 victory and the British Open Polo Championship for the Cowdray Gold Cup title.

Cries of joy could be heard from the Park Place team tent as a crowd surrounded the presentation area. With both the teams at the podium, The Hon Emily Pearson, daughter of Lord Cowdray, presented the glittering Gold Cup trophy to Park Place team captain, Facundo Pieres and patron, Andrey Borodin. The Most Valuable Player award was presented to Francisco Elizalde by Jason Eames-Illingworth of Brand Machine and the Robert Graham Umpires Trophy was awarded to Julian Appleby and Peter Wright by Mrs Betsy Graham. The Best Playing Pony award was presented by George Pearson to Van Nikita, played and owned by Francisco Elizalde, and the Best Playing Patron Pony prize was presented to Open Sting by Ploy Binsaeng on behalf of King Power.

The tournament is regarded as one of the top three polo competitions in the world, alongside the US and Argentine Opens, and features all the international stars of the game, both players and ponies. Several trophies and cups will be up for grabs throughout the competition including The Midhurst Town Cup which makes for the feature match on this much-loved family polo day on Sunday 26th June.



1 H.H. Sheikha Maitha 0

2 Lucas Jr Monteverde 6

3 Bartolome Castagnola 9

BK Tomas Beresford 7

King Power

1 Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha 1

2 Mackenzie Weisz 5

3 Nico Pieres 9

BK James Harper 7


1 Alessandro Bazzoni 1

2 Matias Gonzalez 4

3 Ignacio Toccalino 8

BK Pablo Mac Donough 9


1 David Paradice 0

2 Rosendo Torreguitar 4

3 Adolfo Cambiaso Jnr 8

BK Adolfo Cambiaso 10

Park Place Vaara

1 Sam Wisbey 0

2 Juan Britos 8

3 Hilario Ulloa 10

BK Santos Merlos 4


1 Siri Evjemo-Nysveen 0

2 Mark Tomlinson 6

3 Diego Cavanagh 8

BK Juan Martin Zubia 8

Dubai Polo Team

1 Camilo Castagnola 9

2 Rashid Albwardy 1

3 Matt Perry 5

BK Jeronimo del Carril 7

Murus Sanctus

1 Corinne Ricard 0

2 Marcos Araya 6

3 Facundo Sola 8

BK Alfredo Cappella 8

Thai Polo NP

1 Charlie Hanbury 4

2 Genaro Ringa 7

3 Ned Hine 5

BK Jared Zenni 6

Great Oaks LL

1 James Beim 6

2 Dillon Bacon 2

3 Juan Martin Nero 9

BK Cruz Heguy 6

Park Place

1 Josh Hyde 1

2 Louis Hine 4

3 Francisco Elizalde 8

BK Facundo Pieres 10


1 Alejandro Muzzio 7

2 Pablo Pieres 9

3 Isidro Strada 6

BK Edouard Carmignac 0

Marques de Riscal

1 Alejandro Aznar 0

2 Guillermo Caset 9

3 Santiago Cernadas 7

BK Santiago Laborde 6

Twelve Oaks

1 Charlie Wooldridge 1

2 Joaquin Pittaluga 7

3 Cristian Laprida 8

BK John Paul Clarkin 6

Fixture and results

Tue 21 June 12:00PM UAE 10 v 8 King Power

Tue 21 June 3:00PM Monterosso 13 v 14 Scone

Wed 22 June 12:00PM Park Place Vaara 15 v 9 Vikings

Wed 22 June 3:00PM Dubai Polo Team 17 v 13 Murus Sanctus

Thu 23 June 12:00PM Thai Polo NP 7 v 15 Great Oaks LL

Thu 23 June 3:00PM Park Place 10 v 11 Talandracas

Fri 24 June 12:00PM Marques de Riscal 11 v 10 UAE

Fri 24 June 3:00PM Twelve Oaks 11 v 10 Monterosso

Sat 25 June 3:00PM Park Place Vaara 8 v 7 King Power

Sun 26 June 12:00PM Talandracas 10 v 9 Murus Sanctus

Sun 26 June 3:00PM Scone 10 v 12 Dubai Polo Team

Mon 27 June 12:00PM Thai Polo NP 8 v 11 Marques de Riscal

Mon 27 June 3:00PM Park Place 12 v 7 Twelve Oaks

Wed 29 June 12:00PM Murus Sanctus 11 v 10 Monterosso

Wed 29 June 3:00PM Vikings 9 v 10 Great Oaks LL

Thu 30 June 12:00PM Thai Polo NP 9 v 8 King Power

Thu 30 June 3:00PM Park Place 14 v 17 Dubai Polo Team

Fri 1 July 12:00PM Talandracas 11 v 10 Twelve Oaks

Sat 2 July 12:00PM Park Place Vaara 12 v 4 Great Oaks LL

Sat 2 July 3:00PM Vikings 10 v 11 Marques de Riscal

Sun 3 July 12:00PM UAE 15 v 10 Thai Polo NP

Sun 3 July 3:00PM Scone 10 v 9 Murus Sanctus

Mon 4 July Park Place 13 v 6 Monterosso

Mon 4 July Twelve Oaks 10 v 12 Dubai Polo Team

Tue 5 July Marques de Riscal 9 v 7 Park Place Vaara

Tue 5 July Vikings v King Power

Wed 6 July Scone 7 v 5 Talandracas

Wed 6 July UAE 9 v 12 Great Oaks LL

Sat 9 July 12:00PM - QF1 - Dubai 14 vs 11 UAE Sat 9 July 3:00PM - QF 4 - Great Oaks 7 vs. 10 Scone

Sun 10 July 12:00PM - QF 2 - Marques de Riscal 11 vs. 15 Park Place

Sun 10 July 3:00PM - QF3 - Park Place Vaara 10 vs. 12 Talandracas

Wed 13 July 12:00PM Dubai Polo Team 12 vs. Scone 11 - Semi Final - Ellerston Cup

Wed 13 July 4:00PM Park Place 13 vs. 10 Talandracas - Semi Final - Tramontana Cup

Sun 17 July 3:00PM Dubai Polo Team 9 vs. Park Place 12 - Gold Cup Final

Photo gallery by Mark Beaumont Photographer and Pablo Ramirez

Final - Dubai vs. Park Place - Match and around the field

Semi Finals - Wednesday 13 - Dubai vs. Scone / Talandracas vs. Park Place

Quarter Finals Games - 9th & 10th, July

Days 13, 14 & 15 - 4th, 5th and 6th, July

Sunday 26 & Monday 27, June

Wednesday 22, June - Park Place Vaara v Vikings / Dubai v Murus Sanctus - By Pablo Ramirez

Tuesday 21, June - UAE v King Power / Monterosso v Scone

TV: For a third year, the Club has collaborated with Polo Cam and InPlayer, the world’s leading pay per view subscription solution, to bring the best polo the UK has to offer to fans unable to attend the games. All Gold Cup matches will be live streamed via Cowdray TV with thousands of viewers tuning in from all over the world.

Info: Pip Hitchman


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