UAE and Thai Polo will battle it out in the final of the British Open Gold Cup. Both teams qualified for the final after claiming respective wins against Great Oaks Les Lions and Scone on Wednesday, July 21. The tournament, hosted by Cowdray Park Polo Club, in Midhurst, West Sussex, is recognised as one of the three Grand Slams of Polo, alongside the Argentine Open and the US Open. This year’s tournament sees thirteen teams, up to 22 goals, compete.
First up, UAE and Great Oaks Les Lions played a very hard fought match. UAE, recent winners of the Queen’s Cup, managed to maintain the lead in the first two chukkas, but were outscored in the third (5-7) and fourth (8-8). The story changed in the two last periods, however. Despite pressure from Dillon Bacon’s team, HH Sheikha Maitha and her boys managed to take control, claiming a 12-10 win to secure the first place in the final.
But the biggest surprise of the English season came up later in the afternoon, in the second semifinal between Thai Polo and Scone (who received one goal on handicap). Thai Polo played their best match to overwhelm Scone and the Cambiaso duo over the six chukkas of play. By half time, Thai Polo were leading by a commanding 7-3. Scone, unable to get back in the game, fell to the mercy of the Hine brothers, Nico Pieres and James Harper, scoring their fourth and last goal in the fourth chukka. Thai Polo’s extraordinary performance gave them the heavy 12-4 victory and a place in the final.
UAE and Thai Polo will play the final of the British Open Gold Cup on Sunday, July 25, at 3pm.
SEMIFINALS – WEDNESDAY, JULY 21:
UAE 12-10 vs. GREAT OAKS LES LIONS
UAE: HH Sheikha Maitha 0 (2 goals), Tomás Panelo 6 (4), Pablo Pieres 9 (5), Tomás Beresford 7 (1). Total: 22.
Great Oaks Les Lions: Guillermo Terrera 7 (3 goals), Dillon Bacon 2 (1), Bartolomé Castagnola Jr. 9 (4), Cruz Heguy 4 (2). Total: 22.
Score UAE: 3-2, 5-4, 5-7, 8-8, 11-9, 12-10.
Umpires: Peter Wright & Tim Brown.
Third Man: Julian Appleby.
BPP UK: Open Profesor, ridden by Tomás Beresford.
Racing Retraining Horse Award: Lady, ridden by HH Sheikha Maitha.
THAI POLO 12-4 SCONE
Thai Polo: Louis Hine 2 (4 goals), Ned Hine 4 (1), Nicolás Pieres 9 (3), James Harper 7 (1). Total: 22.
Scone: David Paradice 0, Poroto Cambiaso 7 (3 goals), Isidro Strada 6 (1), Adolfo Cambiaso 10. Total: 23.
Progresión Thai Polo (0-1): 3-1, 5-2, 7-3, 9-4, 10-4, 12-4.
Umpires: Julian Appleby & Jason Dixon.
Third Man: Peter Wright.
BPP UK: Open Bermejo, ridden by Nicolás Pieres.