In a smashing debut, Scone Polo won the 2019 Cartier Queen’s Cup on Sunday, April 25, at Guards Polo Club in England. It was also Nico Pieres’s first time winning the tournament. His brother Facundo holds 5 Queen’s Cup trophies; Gonzalo, his father, has 4; Gonzalito, 2; and Uncle Alfonso, 1.
Scone Polo’s story through this year’s competition has been
incredible, and this final was no exception. Some had written off this new team
after they lost their first two games. Things changed in the third league match
of the tournament – they suddenly found a winning way of playing and have not
looked back since. Great teamwork took them to the final.
David Paradice’s team delivered a
strong performance in the second half of the final, playing their
crowd-pleasing four-man polo, to win 9-5. Their coach is Alberto “Pepe” Heguy. Paradise, the popular Australian patron, received
the coveted cup from HM The Queen and Laurent Feniou, Managing Director of
Scone’s opponents, Andrey Borodin’s Park Place, were runners-up
for the second successive year. The game started in Park Place’s favor – they
were 2-0 up after the first chukker, and although Scone Polo got themselves on
even terms in the second (3-3), Park Place seemed to be in the driver’s seat,
but later on found themselves struggling to counteract Scone Polo’s increasing
confidence. Park Place did not to score at all in the fifth—and all of sudden,
with just seven minutes left to play, it was Scone Polo’s game.
Winning player, Englishman James Harper, who had a brilliant
game at back for Scone Polo, was named the Cartier Most Valuable Player. He
also received the Cartier Best Playing Pony Rug for Twitter, a Jim
Gilmore-owned, seven-year-old chestnut mare.
TALANDRACAS WINS SUBSIDIARY 11-8 OVER LA BAMBA DE ARECO
HM The Queen also presented the subsidiary final prize, the
Cartier Trophy, to Hugues Carmignac, patron of Talandracas, one of 12 teams
that had entered this year’s Cartier Queen’s Cup competition. They beat
Jean-Francois Decaux’s La Bamba de Areco 11-8 in an earlier match on this day.
There was little air between these two teams at half time – 7-6 in favor of
Talandracas. Things changed when La Bamba’s David Stirling retired after the
third chukker. He had been injured in the second, and although he continued to
play until half-time it was clear he was in some pain.
Polito Pieres subbed for him, but a change of personnel always
upsets a team’s dynamics and La Bamba failed to score in the next two chukkers.
Talandracas, meanwhile, put four more goals on the board. La Bamba got back
into the game in the sixth, but it was too late and Talandracas won the sub
final by three goals. The winning team’s Alejandro Muzzio was later named Most
Valuable Player, receiving his prize from HM The Queen.
Polo: David Paradice
0, James Beim 7 (3 goals, one penalty), Nicolás Pieres 9 (3, one penalty) and
James Harper 6 (3). Total: 22
Borodin 0 (1), Juan Britos (h) 7 (1), Hilario Ulloa 10 (2) and Benjamín Urquiza
5 (1 penalty). Total: 22
0-2, 3-3, 4-3, 4-4, 8-4, 9-5.
Talandracas: Hugues Carmignac 0, Alejandro Muzzio
7, Francisco Elizalde 8 and Julián de Lusarreta 7. Total: 22.
de Areco: Jean
Francois Decaux 0, Kian Hall 3, David Stirling (h) 9 (injured and was replaced
by Polito Pieres 9 at the start of the fourth chukker), and Juan Martín Nero 10
. Total: 22