by UK Polo Correspondent Alex Webbe

Yesterday started the 2013 Veuve Clicquot Gold Cup. The tournament for the British Open Polo Championship ranks among the most important and renowned polo tournaments in the country and is one of the highlights of the British polo season.

17 teams with a handicap up to +22 compete against each other at the Cowdray Park Polo Club. These include some of the world’s best players. All in all seven +10 goaler (Adolfo Cambiaso, Facundo Pieres, David Stirling, Pablo MacDonough, Guillermo Caset, Gonzalo Pieres, Juan Martín Nero) and six +9 goaler (Juan Ignacio, Agustín and Sebastián Merlos; Miguel and Eduardo Novillo Astrada as well as Hilario Ulloa) participate.

Talandracas (Edouard Carmignac, Juan Martin Nero, Lucas James and Juan Jauretche) and Dubai (Rashid Albwardy, Nico Pieres, Adolfo Cambiaso, Alec White) wasted little time in getting the 2013 edition of the Veuve Clicquot British Open for the Gold Cup underway with Talandracas scoring the first goal of the day, but Dubai retaliated behind a pair of goals from Adolfo Cambiaso to move ahead, 3-1. Talandracas scored the final goal of the opening chukker in the last 30 seconds of play, but it was Dubai leaving the field with the 3-2 edge.

Juan Martin Nero scored the first two goals of the second chukker, first tying the score, 3-3, and then giving Talandracas the lead, 4-3. Dubai responded with a single goal to knot it up at 4-4 at the end of the second chukker. Dubai and Talandracas exchanged goals early in the third period. Dubai went on top, 5-4 followed by a tying goal from Talandracas, 5-5. Another Dubai goal had them leading 6-5, but Talandracas answered with a goal to deadlock it at 6-6. Nico Pieres converted a penalty shot to give Dubai a 7-6 lead, and a final Dubai goal ended the first half with Talandracas trailing, 8-6.

Dubai opened the second half with a pair of goals. Nico Pieres converting a penalty shot for the second to give Dubai a 10-6 advantage. Lucas James got Talandracas on the scoreboard with a goal, but Dubai closed out the scoring with their third goal of the chukker for an 11-7 lead with just two chukkers left to play. Talandracas scores twice in the fifth, but a penalty goal from Pieres keeps Dubai comfortably ahead as the chukker ends. With one period left in regulation time, Dubai holds a three goal, 12-9 lead. Nero cut the lead to two goals, 12-10, in the opening moments of the sixth, and a second Talandracas had them trailing Dubai by a single goal, 12-11, as the rally continued. Talandracas continued to press the attack when Cambiaso took the wind out of their sails by carrying the ball from one end of the field to the other for the final goal of the game in a 13-11 Dubai win.

TWELVE OAKS 11, SALKELD 10
Salkeld (Nick Clarke, James Beim, Miguel Novillo Astrada and Max Routledge) and Twelve Oaks (Jack Hyde, Magoo Laprida, Marcos Di Paola and Inaki Laprida) got the second match of the day started on even footing. Each team managed a pair of goals in the opening chukker for a 2-2 tie at the end of the first chukker. Three unanswered goals had Twelve Oaks on top, 5-2 in second chukker action. Salkeld scored the final goal of the chukker, but trailed by two goals, 5-3 as the period ended. Miguel Novillo Astrada rallied Salkeld in the third, outscoring Twelve Oaks 2-1, and cutting into the lead. Twelve Oaks was still on top at the end of the first half, but the lead had been cut to a single goal, 6-5.

Salkeld scores the first two goals of the second half to first tie it at 6-6 and then move in front, 7-6 as the fourth chukker got started. The Twelve Oaks offense finally woke up in the fourth, scoring their first goal of the second half and tying it up at 7-7 to end the fourth. Twelve Oaks took early control of the fifth. Two goals went unanswered as they broke the tie and moved in front, 9-7. Salkeld responded with a goal, extending its lead to two goals Salkeld scored the final goal of the chukker, trailing Twelve Oaks by a single goal, 9-8, with one chukker left in regulation time. A determined Salkeld team took the field in the sixth, outscoring Twelve Oaks, 2-1 in the final chukker to knot it up at 10-10. Twelve Oaks would bounce back to score the final goal of the game for the 11-10 win.

British Open play continues on Tuesday with Emlor facing La Bamba de Areco at 3pm followed by a 5pm contest between Enigma and Thai Polo.



The Teams:
League A
HB Polo Team (+21)
Ludovic Pailloncy (+1)
Ignacio Toccalino (+8)
Juan Ignacio Merlos (+9)
Sebastien Pailloncy (+3)

Les Lions (+22)
Henry Fisher (+4)
Agustín Merlos (+9)
Sebastián Merlos (+9)
Joachim Gottschalk (0)

Salkeld (+22)
Nick Clarke (+1)
James Beim (+7)
Miguel Novillo Astrada (+9)
Max Routledge (+5)

Twelve Oaks (+22)
Jack Hyde (0)
Cristian Laprida (+8)
Marcos Di Paola (+7)
Ignacio Laprida (+7)

Zacara (+22)
Facundo Pieres (+10)
Lyndon Lea (+1)
Rodrigo Ribeiro de Andrade (+8)
Matt Perry (+3)

League B
El Remanso (+22)
George Hanbury (+3)
Guillermo Terrera (+7)
David Stirling (+10)
Alastair Patterson (+2)

Emlor (+22)
Spencer McCarthy (+2)
Joaquín Pittaluga (+7)
Luke Tomlinson (+7)
Ignacio González (+6)

Lucchese (+22)
John Muse (0)
Mark Tomlinson (+6)
Javier Novillo Astrada (+8)
Jaime García Huidobro (+8)

UAE Polo Team (+22)
Maitha Al Maktoum (0)
Lucas Monteverde (+8)
Pablo MacDonough (+10)
Jack Richardson (+4)

League C
Black Bears (+22)
Guy Schwarzenbach (+2)
Ignatius Du Plessis (+8)
John Paul Clarkin (+8)
Patrick O’Dwyer (+4)

Dubai (+22)
Rashid Albwardy (+2)
Nicolás Pieres (+7)
Adolfo Cambiaso (+10)
Alec White (+3)

Enigma (+22)
Jerome Wirth (+1)
Charlie Hanbury (+4)
Guillermo Willington (+7)
Guillermo Caset (+10)

La Bamba de Areco (+22)
Jean Francois Decaux (0)
Pablo Pieres (+8)
Gonzalo Pieres (+10)
Ollie Cudmore (+4)

League D
Cortium Jaeger-LeCoultre (+22)
Francisco Elizalde (+7)
Chris Mackenzie (+5)
Eduardo Novillo Astrada (+9)
Adrian Kirby (+1)

Sumaya (+22)
Ahmad Aboughazale (+1)
Tomás Garbarini Islas (+4)
Facundo Sola (+8)
Hilario Ulloa (+9)

Talandracas (+22)
Edouard Carmignac (0)
Juan Martín Nero (+10)
Lucas James (+7)
Juan Jauretche (+5)

Thai Polo (+22)
Harald Link (0)
Nick Roldan (+8)
Alejandro Novillo Astrada (+8)
Malcolm Borwick (+6)