Six teams representing all five continents competing in Rome during last week-end in the 3rd International University Polo Challenge (IUPC). The tournament aiming to bring together the best university players in the world and, as in previous two years, has been hosted at the prestigious Acquedotto Romano Polo Club, just outside the ‘eternal city’.

The exciting final match (3 chukkers) was played between Cornell (Ithaca-New York), winner of IUPC 2014, and University of London Polo Club (London). The British polo team, including Natascha Hedegaard, Arthur Cole-Fontayn, Reda Shetty, James Cooper, dominated the scene from the first chukker and won the final (6-4) despite Cornell (three girls and the captain Hakan Karabey, the only one competing in the 2014 winner team) did one impressive third chukker, scoring 3 goals.

In the other finals, Sydney beat Lahore (6-5) for 3rd and 4th place and Accra defeated Princeton (3-2) for 5th and 6th place.

Kristina Karailieva – President of University of London Polo Club, the university association that gathers players (75 at the time) from all major universities in London: “We were aware that they can win – but we feared that Cornell appeared very motivated after the victory of 2014. I think the joke of Peter Elser on the day of the presentation was a good omen but also a spur to our team. Our team is the only one who participated in 2013 and 2014, and Peter ‘teased’ us wondering ‘if we would ever be able to win’.

Reda Shetty – University of London Polo Club, Playing for third time in the IUCP: “As always polo was fantastic. We have enjoyed our stay in Rome more over we took advantage of all the opportunities that the ‘eternal city’ as to offer. The tournament has grown a lot and I think it can become one of the most expected events in the international polo calendar scene. Peter has really got a great insight including showing remarkable skills to organize an event of such great success”.

Peter Elser – Head of the event management: “I have just graduated but I will certainly continue organizing this tournament. In the world university scene polo has become very active for this reason the climate is different. It is a moment where strong friendships can be established and where inter cultural exchanges can be made on and off the polo field”.

The teams:
GROUP A

University of London Polo Club – Great Britain (-1)
Natascha Hedegaard (-1)
Arthur Cole-Fontayn (-1)
Reda Shetty (0)
James Cooper (+1)

Lahore University – Pakistan (-1)
Malik Muhammad Shamsher Aslam (-2)
Sahibzada Iskander Pataudi (0)
Sufi Haroon (0)
Mumtaz Abbas Khan (+1)

Princeton University – United States (0)
Kasey Morris (-2)
Carolina Salazar (-1)
Richard Weidel (+1)
Cacho Galindo (+2)

GROUP B
University of Sydney – Australia (+1)

Max Lloyd (-2)
Georgia Higgins (-1)
Jasper White (+3)
Hugh Coachrane (+1)

Cornell University – United States (0)
Kaitlin Hearn (-1)
Devin Cox (0)
Anna Winslow (0)
Hakan Karabey (+1)

Accra Business School – Ghana (-2)
Yannik Awuah-Darko (-1)
Segundo Darritchon (-1)
Rashid El Aschkar (0)
Ramzy El Aschkar (0)

Gallery:

About the International University Polo Challenge
The International University Polo Challenge, organized by Peter Elser (22 years, born in Rome, polo players family, just graduated in political economy at King’s College London) started as a friendly tournament between Harvard, Cambridge, University of London (UoLPC) and La Sapienza University of Rome. As a result of positive feedback from sponsors, spectators, and participants coupled with successful results from the players, the Organizing Committee achieved the goal of becoming an international tournament. Teams are now coming from all five continents. Along with the tournament the IUPC provides guests with a cross section of Italian culture, cuisine, history, and most importantly, night life!