El Remanso are taking part in the English high goal for a tenth year, and they kicked off the season playing the Trippetts Challenge, at Cowdray Park Polo Club.
Last year the Hanbury team had a spectacular season – they qualified for the semifinals of the Queen’s Cup and played final of the Gold Cup. This year they will continue their campaign with the same team; this will mark the third consecutive year they compete together.
“We know each others strengths and weaknesses a lot better! I hope we can improve what we did last year. We have invested in a few more horses and hope that will help. In the end it comes down how you perform on the day, we have prepared ourselves well and are all hungry to try to win one of the cups! This will be the last time that El Remanso plays in the high goal, so hopefully we can win something and go out on a high,” shares Charlie.
Beyond the decision they have made to not put a team in the high goal as of 2019, Charlie says: “Nevertheless, both my brother (George) and I have our horses and will continue to play, so if you know anyone looking for a 2 or 4 goal player, send them our way!”
What teams do you think have high chances this season in the UK?
I think that this season the teams are all a lot more even, it is going to be a hard season for everyone. Horsepower will be a big part of winning this year. I would like to think we can beat anyone on a good day but I’m sure all the teams think the same…
Another development this season is the active recognition of the best playing horses, something similar to what happens in the Argentine Triple Crown, where the Argentine Breeders Association nominate the top horses of each match. But in this case, the prize will be more than a nomination. “The idea of the Best Playing Pony UK is to try and reward the horses more. We will be picking a best playing pony from every game in the Queens, Warwickshire and Gold Cup. It used to frustrate me that the only one horse was winning per tournament. This concept gives all players and teams a chance of winning. This year there are eleven teams in the Cartier Queen’s Cup, that means thirty-one games, and therefore thirty-one Best Playing Pony prizes, not just one or two like there has been in the past. It should help promote the breeds and breeders,” says Hanbury.
Regarding his future off the field, the Englishman says: “I will be spending a lot more time in England. My daughter, Cara, will be starting nursery in September and we have another baby due in November so it will be good to travel less and spend some time at home. George is also busy in England with his family and his company Shefford Park.”
However, the biggest upcoming change for the Hanburys is their decision to sell their farm in Argentina. “My family have decided that we will sell El Remanso in Lobos. It has been a big part of our lives but now we have to think of the future.”
What do you think the El Remanso farm has brought to the area of Lobos over the years?
It is an amazing place where I have nothing but incredible memories. Since we created El Remanso the level of polo in the area has gone up. There are more grounds, more players, and more tournaments of a higher level. It is a beautiful place and polo is growing there every season.
At the end of the 2017 Argentine Open, Charlie’s handicap went from 5 to 6 goals, and he was tempted by La Aguada form part of their team in 2018, an unique opportunity to fulfill his dream of participating in the best tournament in the world. However, Hanbury declined the offer: “I didn’t think that ‘patroning’ a team straight into the Triple Crown was the right way to do it. If I was to play I would want to qualify and feel I deserve a place amongst the other teams. I have a baby due in November so 2018 is not possible but who knows in the future.”