His Majesty King Juan Carlos of Spain handed the Santa Maria Polo Gold Cup to the Ayala Polo Team, after a deserved victory in the final by 13 goals to 8 against La Indiana. His Highness Infanta Elena de Borbón and Pablo MoraFigueroa, Santa María Polo Club president also presided the prize giving ceremony in a brilliant closing day of the high goal competition at Los Pinos fields, main venue of the Santa María Polo Club.
His Majesty King Juan Carlos presided the trophy award ceremony and personally handed the Gold Cup to Iñigo Zobel, Ayala Polo Team patron as well as the individual awards to the other three players, Gregorio Gelosi, Santiago Laborde and Facundo Pieres. His Highness Infanta Dona Elena handed over the Best Playing Pony Tio Pepe Award of the final to the mare Cube, property of Ellerstina and played by Facundo Pieres in the third chukker.
Ayala Polo Team defeated La Indiana by 13 goals to 8 to win the Santa Maria Polo Club High Goal Gold Cup. Patron´s Iñigo Zobel team rises, ten years after, the most important trophy of the 46th International Polo Tournament.
It was a deserved triumph for a foursome that had a really good teamwork throughout the season and with Facundo Pieres at a great level all the season and mostly in today´s final. Ayala Polo Team achieved a quick lead in the first chukker (3-0 part) and that initial difference was the clue for the rest of the match.
Despite of the continuous efforts by La Indiana to get back in the game, Ayala kept full concentration and a great level for a final deserved victory by 13 goals to 8. Pieres was named MVP of the final and his mare Open Galática, owned by Ellerstina and played by Facundo in the second and sixth chukker, was distinguished as Best Playing Pony (BPP) Raza polo Polo Argentino of the final. Ellerstina´s mare Cube, played by Facundo in the third chukker, where also awarded as the BPP of the final.
Iñigo Zobel, Ayala Polo Team: “It’s a very important victory, especially for me as I withdraw from the High Goal competition and I’m very happy for winning the Gold Cup. Today the team had a great teamwork, I think it was the key throughout the season where we had a very outstanding performance winning two of the three trophies, the Bronze and Gold Cup”.
Facundo Pieres, Ayala Polo Team: “We knew this trophy was very important for Iñigo (Zobel) and also for all of us because for polo player to win the Gold Cup at Santa María Polo Club is a great honour. Today we had a great peformance, we run the game plan in a perfect way, starting really focused and achievieng a three goal gap that gave us confident to keep on going during the entire match. To end the season like this, with the Gold Cup and the other distinctions (MVP and BPP) is very important but honestly what I really value is the effort of the grooms, vets and all the Ayala Polo Team organization. They deserve this trophy much more than me”.
Photo: Snoopy Productions / SMPC