It was great to be a finalist the past two years in the Cartier Queen’s Cup, but yesterday La Indiana topped that by finally shattering the “always a bridesmaid, never a bride” curse. After losing the final in 2016 and 2017, they won the trophy 9-7 Sunday over Park Place, a new team that made its high-goal debut in the Queen’s Cup.
Just as La Indiana did in their debut Queen’s Cup in 2016, Park Place surprised everyone by reaching the final in their first go in the 22-goal tournament. The combo of Facundo Pieres in the back and Nic Roldan at #3 gave Park Place the weapon it needed to best 10 opposing teams in an ultra-strong field.
“This is the most competitive year England has had in a long time. We haven’t had one easy game. They’ve all been tough,” said Roldan before the final, adding, “Hopefully this is our year.”
The final was rugged combat from the get-go. In the first two chukkers two La Indiana players got yellow-flagged and were banished to what the Brits call the “sin bin” (penalty box). That triggered four minutes of play total with four players on three (advantage Park Place). Most of the hold time was uneventful, except for a penalty two goal by Juan Britos for Park Place, which was the first goal of the day.
The yellows went to Alec White and Roldan when Park Place’s 10-goaler, Hilario Ulloa, and patron Andrey Borodin flew out of the tack in separate collisions. Borodin was taken off in an ambulance, and young Charlie Tighe (who has been playing for Park Place in medium goal) subbed in. After Ulloa went off he grimaced, clutched his stomach and writhed on the ground for several minutes before remounting.
The rest of the game played out without incident, and in the fifth chukker Pieres tipped the advantage to La Indiana, the victor.
PIERES SHARES ELLERSTINA HORSEPOWER
At the Queen’s Cup awards ceremony Facundo Pieres was named Cartier Most Valuable Player, and Cube, one of his favorite ponies, won Best Playing Pony. Pieres lent teammate Roldan two powerful Ellerstina mares, Americana and Roca. Roldan also played some La Indiana horses, as well as personal favorites from his own string.
Here’s how Roldan describes his personal top three mares that took him to the Queen’s Cup victory:
- New York, an American Thoroughbred bought from Mariano Aguerre and Nick Manifold: “A lot of power, good handle, great sides.”
- Miriam, an Australian TB bought from La Indiana three years ago: “A beautiful, beautiful mare. She has everything! Power, stop, handle.”
- Cubana: an American TB bought from Kris Kampsen: “Powerful, good mouth, pretty turnkey like my others.”
ARGENTINA: LA NATIVIDAD WINS SECOND CONSECUTIVE COPA DÍA DE LA BANDERA 2018
Defending champion La Natividad handily defeated San Sebastian RUS (11-3) June 11 to win the Copa Día de la Bandera (Abierto) for the second consecutive year and for the third time in five years (they also won in 2014). Eight teams with handicaps between 12 and 19 goals participated in the Flag Day Cup (Open), organized by the Jockey Club Rosario. The two finalist teams were both 19 goals.
At the awards ceremony Salvador Ulloa (San Sebastián RUS) was honored with the Ernesto Lucas Rouillon Award for Fair Play, while Milagros Sánchez (Los Sauces) received an award for being the first woman to play in this tournament. Anay Sur El Gomina, played by Alfredo Cappella Barabucci (La Natividad), was chosen by the AACCP as Best Playing Argentine Pony.
Photography: Snoopy, Images of Polo, Ernesto Rodríguez/ClickPolo