The UK was hopping this weekend, with several big tournaments—most notably the King Power Gold Cup for the British Open 2018—thundering to a conclusion. El Remanso took the Gold Cup 13-12 over La Bamba de Areco at Cowdray Park Polo Club on Sunday.
The four British professionals of El Remanso relished the win, having lost the final last summer to three-time champion King Power Foxes. “It’s an amazing, amazing feeling. I could not be happier,” said El Remanso patron Charlie Hanbury. “It’s an incredible result that came from a massive effort of everyone behind the scenes, from grooms to vets, farriers and managers that helped to get us where we did.”
Hanbury added, “After everything my parents [Christopher and Bridget Hanbury] put into polo, to be able to reward them by giving them the Gold Cup means everything to me.”
Many consider 2018 to have been the most competitive Gold Cup in recent years. Both finalists whacked their way into the decisive game, winning last week’s semifinal matches in overtime (El Remanso defeated La Indiana 14-13, and La Bamba de Areco took RH Polo 10-9).
In the final El Remanso’s balanced trio of 6-goalers (Ollie Cudmore, James Beim and James Harper), along with Charlie Hanbury (4 goals), got a four-goal jump on their opponent early in the third chukker (6-2). La Bamba de Areco turned it around and held onto a two-goal advantage at the top of the sixth (12-10). Harper tied the score at 12, and Cudmore came through in the final beat of regulation time to make the winning goal.
Hanbury, who played a stunning game and made four goals, was prominent on the awards podium. He was named MVP, and his horse, Lovelocks Sex, took the honors as Best Playing Patron’s Pony (a new award this year). BPP of the match was Stirling’s Blanca Nueve.
HUNTSMAN WINS USPA SILVER CUP AT GREENWICH
The big news in the U.S. this weekend was Huntsman’s successful run in the 2018 USPA Silver Cup final at Greenwich Polo Club on Saturday. Huntsman took a 10-8 win over Postage Stamp Farm in the 16-goal tournament. Marcos Garcia del Rio (Postage Stamp) was MVP. Cali Marino, owned and played by Tomas Garcia del Rio in the sixth chukker, was BPP.
For Postage Stamp, losing the final can’t be seen as all for naught. This summer they have shown some of their best performances to date in high-goal competition, which started only three years ago.
“It was super exiting for me to play the Silver Cup final. Last year Postage Stamp won the Monty Waterbury, but I only got to play three games in it because then I broke my back. So it’s nice to be back here at Greenwich and in a final,” said Postage Stamp patrona Annabelle Gundlach. “We have such a fun, great team, and we were getting better every game. We were hoping for a ‘W’ in our camp, but we knew we were up against a young, underrated, super-competitive team, with Segundo Merlos on his dad’s horses and Dillon Bacon, who is still handicapped at 1.”
COWDRAY VIKINGS TAKE INDIAN EMPIRE SHIELD TROPHY
Cowdray Vikings (Ollie Cork 2, George Pearson 2, Juan Gris Zavaleta 7, Jack Richardson 7) defeated HB La Forge (Luke Wiles 1, Mark Tomlinson 6, Iñaki Laprida 8, Sebastien Pailloncy 3) 9-5 in the final of the Indian Empire Shield at Guards Polo Club on Saturday. The finalists were both 18-goal teams. Thirteen teams competed in the tournament.
The day before the Gold Cup final,the British Ladies Championship Open final took place on Saturday at Cowdray Park. Dodson and Horrell (Jenny Doherty 1, Saffron Hutchinson 3, Hannah Henderson 4, Nina Clarkin 10) won 5-4 over UAE Polo Team (Maitha Al Maktoum 3, Mia Cambiaso 6, Candelaria Fernández Araujo 8, Catalina Ayerza 1). A total of 10 teams up to 18 goals competed in the tournament.
LUCCHESE CLAIMS ROBERT SKENE TROPHY
Lucchese (Carlos Ulloa 3, Facundo Obregon 6, Jeff Hall 7, John Muse A) defeated Restoration Hardware (Ben Soleimani A, Santi Von Wernich 5, Iñaki Laprida 7, Geronimo Obregon 4) 14-13 to win the Belmond El Encanto Robert Skene Trophy at Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club on Sunday. It was a big day for 7-goaler Jeff Hall. He was selected MVP, and his horse, Gipsy, was Best Playing Pony in the 16-goal tournament. In Friday’s Robert Skene semis Lucchese rode over Klentner Ranch16-11 and Restoration Hardware defeated Farmers and Merchants Bank 14-11.
SPRING SEASON DATES FOR WOMEN'S POLO IN ARGENTINA
The Asociación Argentina de Polo (AAP) has released the official schedule of all championships and tournaments for the Official Spring Season of Women's Polo 2018.
After great success with last year’s debut championship, the Argentine Open Women's Polo Championship will be held in December. The first three games will take place at the Alfredo Lalor de Pilar Headquarters. The final is slated for Saturday, December 15, on field two a few hours before the 125th Argentine Open HSBC Polo Championship final.
Here is the complete schedule of women’s tournaments with dates and handicaps:
Photography by Katerina Morgan, David Lominska, Helen Cruden and Clive Bennett