THE AUTUMN ISSUE 2022
C E L E B R AT I N G Q U E E N E L IZ A B E T H I I
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HURLINGHAM THE AUTUMN ISSUE
CONTENTS 0 7_ P O N Y L I N E S The latest polo news, including One to Watch Charlie Wooldridge 12 _ L A S T I N G L E G A C Y Remembering Chevy Beh, healthcare entreprenuer and dedicated polo player, who has died at age 37 14 _U N D E R S TA N D I N G E Q U U S Gaining better knowledge of your horse through training – using theories derived from neurology, psychology and physiology 16 _ F U N A N D G A M E S After two years’ break during the pandemic, Chestertons Polo in The Park returned in June for its most successful event yet 18 _ A L E G E N D I N H I S L I F E T I M E Paying tribute to Major Christopher Osgood Philip Hanbury, philanthropist and former chairman of Cirencester Park Polo Club 2 0 _ P E R F E C T 10 Adolfo Cambiaso’s historic 30-year reign as a 10-goal player ends James Harper lifting the Coronation Cup
C O V E R : Q U E E N E L I Z A B E T H I I A N D P R I N C E C H A R L E S , J U LY 1 9 8 5 . C O V E R P H O T O G R A P H Y : M I K E R O B E R T S THIS PAGE: THE ART OF POLO
22 _ B U I LT O N S A N D Sandpolo, the British Beach Polo Championships, has grown bigger and better than ever as it marks its 15th year 66_ A YE AR TO REMEMBER
2 4 _ P O L O : A PA R E N T ’ S V I E W
Oak Brook Polo Club celebrates its 100th anniversary
A child who plays polo is setting themselves up for future success 2 8 _ R O YA L R E M E M B E R A N C E A look back at Her Majesty The Queen’s long relationship with equestrianism and polo
H U R L I N G H A M M AG A Z I N E Publisher Roderick Vere Nicoll Executive Editor Peter Howarth
3 4 _S TA R S I N T H E M A K I N G
Editor Jemima Wilson
Héctor Martelli explores the Mac Donough’s La Irenita breed
Designer Iso Newman Chief Copy Editor Holly Quayle
4 0 _R O A D T O S U C C E S S The HPA’s Development and Coaching Committee plans to promote polo to children and aid the development of the most skilled 4 4 _ D E C A D E S O F D E D I C AT I O N
Deputy Chief Copy Editor Joel Barrick Contributing Photographer Tony Ramirez S H O W M E D I A Editorial
Edouard Carmignac of Talandracas looks back on 40 years of playing
Managing Director Peter Howarth
polo, and shares his ambitions for the future of the sport
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5 0 _T H E B E AT I N G H E A R T O F A M E R I C A N P O L O USPA’s National Polo Center in Wellington is making ‘the Sunday Field vision’ of regular, well-attended matches a reality 5 5_A C T I O N
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A round up of the action in the Coronation Cup; Gold Cup;
Queen’s Cup; Prince of Wales Trophy; French Open; and
Jockey Club Open tournaments
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Roderick Vere Nicoll with Her Majesty at Guards Polo Club, 1999 – Royal Windsor
RODERICK VERE NICOLL PUBLISHER
RORY HERON is the owner of
SAMANTHA LOPEZ is a former
A HPA Steward since 2008, ANDREW
RUPERT ULOTH joined the Household
Sportgate, an event management
journalist who has previously
BARLOW is currently chairman of
Cavalry in 1988 and his first week
firm that owns a variety of events
worked for the BBC. She now runs
the HPA Development and Coaching
was a polo course with Lord Patrick
including Chestertons Polo in the
a marketing and communications
Committee as well as a businessman,
Beresford at Guards. After a career
Park. Having worked in football, golf
consultancy, Sam Lopez PR,
former 3-goal player and recently
as an editor at Country Life magazine,
and tennis for most of his life, he
working with a broad range of
retired point-to-point jockey. His wife
he finds himself driving lorries
made the decision to work on polo
brands and clients that includes
and four children are all fully involved
ferrying increasing numbers
events, which he has greatly enjoyed!
in polo, racing and hunting life.
of ponies for his son, Rufus.
MARTHA HERON; HONOR ULOTH
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has been an example and inspiration to us all. In the Autumn issue, we re-visit a tribute written by the late Lord Patrick Beresford in 2016, looking back on the perennial presence of horses throughout Her Majesty’s life, from her enthusiasm for polo to her impressive horsemanship. No one has done more for English polo than Her Majesty and the royal family. We also have two articles about promising young English players. Rupert Uloth explains how his 17-year-old son Rufus’s polo journey has taught him invaluable lessons. And Andrew Barlow, chair of the HPA’s Development and Coaching Committee, explains its plans to promote polo to children to develop the best young players. Ponies are one of the integral parts of the game – have a look at Héctor Martelli’s article on the Mac Donough’s La Irenita breed. The brothers, Matias and Pablo will have over 100 ponies playing in the Triple Crown in Argentina. Also, in Features, Edouard Carmignac discusses what has made his 40 years in polo so special and how the sport has evolved. In the Action, you will see that the Coronation Cup has returned and that Park Place has won the Gold Cup. Edouard Carmignac has triumphed in the French Open with his son, and in the Jockey Club Open, history was made by David Paradice winning with the Castagnola brothers and their cousin Poroto.
FIP World Polo Championship RETURNS TO THE UNITED STATES
Tune in to the Opening Ceremony on October 29th
USPA NATIONAL POLO CENTER
Reopening October 15th
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ONE TO WATCH CHARLIE WOOLDRIDGE
I grew up around polo and started playing with my dad, Ian Wooldridge, at my home Twelve Oaks and out of the Royal Berkshire Polo Club when I was about 15. One of the most special things about polo for me is to have many friends and family who play and follow the sport, and to be able to share it with them. My most memorable polo game to date was my team Twelve Oaks, sponsored by Seasons Kitchen & Farm Shop, winning our first high-goal tournament, the 2022 Prince of Wales final at RCBPC. It was our first high-goal tournament ever – and the first one we played in this season – so the moment we won was an overwhelming feeling I will never forget, celebrating alongside my teammates Cristian Laprida, Joaquín Pittaluga and John Paul Clarkin, and my friends and family. I play polo at all levels, but really enjoyed the challenge of stepping up to high goal this year, as the speed of the game is incredibly fast, and it’s a very high standard of competition, playing against the best players in the world. I’ve learned a lot from this past season, but one of the most important things I’ll take away from it is to leave the ball when I’m told to leave it. I’ve been lucky to play polo in many countries, but would have to say Argentina has been my favourite, due to the excellent facilities and hospitality. Due to handicap changes, we have had to slightly restructure the Twelve Oaks team line up for next year, but we are still looking forward to next season’s high-goal challenge and keeping all the members of this year’s team involved.
IMAGES OF POLO
Charlie Wooldridge chasing the ball during a league game in the Queen's Cup 2022
ROBERT GRAHAM Many will fondly remember Robert Graham, who sadly died unexpectedly in August 2019. After reaching a handicap of 6 goals and playing in several Gold Cup tournaments, he became a
Grade A high goal umpire and was Chief Umpire for the HPA from 2003 for 16 years. The Robert Graham Umpires Trophy – a silver salver etched with a silhouette of Robert playing in Sotogrande – was commissioned by the Graham family in collaboration with the HPA, to be presented annually to the two umpires of the Gold Cup Final as part of the prize-giving ceremony. Betsy Graham is pictured here presenting at the Gold Cup final to Peter Wright (left) and Julian Appleby.
GUARDS LADIES CHARITY POLO On the last Saturday of August 2022, Semper Anticus added the Clé de Peau Beauté Guards Ladies Charity Polo Tournament trophy to their impressive collection. The talented quartet of Clarinda Tjia-Dharmadi (1), Chloe Horswell (1), Lucy Coddington (5), and Nina Clarkin (10) won 8
the British Ladies Open Championship at Cowdray a month earlier, and delivered another winning performance to claim the trophy 9-5 1/2, beating HH Sheikha Alya Al Maktoum’s AM Polo, who received half a goal on handicap. Nina Clarkin was named Most Valuable Player, and AM Polo’s Milly Hine received the Clé de Peau Beauté Best Playing Pony prize for Morejon Pelicana. Away from the polo field the main focus of the day was fundraising for Ovacome – the UK’s national ovarian cancer support charity.
PARK PLACE VICTORY The final of the 2022 Prince of Wales’s Championship Cup saw Park Place successfully defend their title to beat the Bey family’s BP Polo (who received two goals on handicap) 16-11 in a fast-paced game on The Queen’s Ground at Guards Polo Club. Facing a four-goal deficit going into the second chukka, Park Place began to turn things around with four unanswered goals to tie the match 5-all going into the third chukka, and 7-7 entering the half-time break. Despite coming from behind, Park Place began to storm ahead early in the second half, establishing a strong attack behind the trio of Ulloa, Santos Merlos and Juan Britos. Substituting for Sam Wisbey in the sixth chukka, Andrey Borodin made an immediate impact for his Park Place organisation, scoring the final goal to secure the 16-11 victory for Park Place.
HOOKED ON POLO M AT H I E U VA N D E L D E N Having grown up around semi-professional show-jumping, Mathieu van Delden started riding in 1964 when he was 4 years old
DEAUVILLE POLO CUP The final of the Marta & Lucien Barrière Gold Cup between the two most prestigious
M A R K B E A U M O N T ; I M A G E S O F P O L O ; R & B P R E S S E / PA S C A L R E N A U L D O N ; K AT H R I N G R A L L A
French polo teams saw Brittany Polo Club (Roberto Iturrioz, Jean-François Decaux
In 1988, aged 28, I started polo in Munich with former 5-goaler Micky Keuper. Between 1990 and 1998 I played with RAPA polo teams at all major British army camps in Germany, mainly with King’s Royal Hussars based in Münster barracks. My team mates were Nick Hunter, James Rogerson and Tom Moon. David Wood and Arthur Denaro were also playing in Germany as well. Polo is a great and unique team sport, as there is the opportunity to play with different generations in the same team. The Bad Boys team are celebrating with my son and I – Mathieu senior and Mathieu junior. We have had the same team for nearly 10 years. The perfect game of polo for me is when four players are playing together as a team and are all deeply involved in the game. Excellent organisation of the team with brilliant horses is the important foundation for success. My most memorable polo games to date have been winning the Ullstein Cup 6-goal tournament in 1996 at the Olympic stadium in Berlin, and naturally the win of the 8-goal PSI Trophy at Cowdray this summer. I play mainly 8-goal tournaments in England, Germany, the Netherlands and France. Bentheimer Polo Club (polobentheim.de) is the home of the Bad Boys polo team and it is one of the most beautiful polo locations in Germany. We organised the 8-goal International Bentheim Polo Days for more than 25 years. Based on the tradition of tournaments from RAPA, the IBPD were known as “The Queen of country polo”.
[holding the cup], Diego Cavanagh, Benjamin Urquiza) emerge victorious after a closely fought game with Talandracas (Hugues Carmignac, Rufino Bensadon, Juan Martin Zubia, and Edouard Carmignac), already six-times winner of this Coupe d’Or at Deauville International Polo Club. Not until the end of the third chukka was the gap greater than 1 goal, and the scoreboard showed a perfect tie (6-6) when the teams returned to the field after the half time break. Brittany then gained momentum to take a 3-goal advantage, but the genius of Rufino Bensadon – who was deservedly awarded MVP honours and his mare Peregrino Bandita was named BPP – kept Talandracas in the game until the very end. When Bensadon sent a 60-yard penalty shot just wide of the goal posts, the chance of an equaliser was lost, and the 10-9 victory was secured for Brittany – the team’s first win of the title.
HUBLOT GOLD CUP After a two-year absence, the 25th edition of the Hublot Polo Gold Cup Gstaad made a spectacular return to the Saanen airfield with a closely fought final, which saw Clinique La Prairie – captained by Sébastien Le Page (above), playing alongside Facundo Kelly, Lucas Labat and Raul Laplacette – emerge victorious in the final seconds of the game. MVP honours were awarded to top scorer of the tournament, Raul Laplacette.
In 2005, King Charles’ last season as a player, he and his sons raised just under £1 million for 28 charities playing in 15 matches. In 2022, Prince William played in one match for 10 charities and Prince Harry played one for his charity Sentebale. In those two games they raised more than double what King Charles did playing 15 games.
For the first time, two women (Nina Clarkin and Lottie Lamacraft, along with Lachlan Gilmore and Keelan McCarthy) won the Archie David Cup at Guards, one of the toughest 8-goal tournaments in the world. This win was even more impressive as 32 teams had entered the tournament.
SADDLE UP WITH… CRUZ HEGUY 10
The AAP is introducing more people to polo in Argentina. In celebration of the AAP’s 100th
COUNTRY: ARGENTINA H A N D I CA P: 7 ( U K ) 6 ( U S & A R ) AGE: 18
birthday there was an arena polo exhibition at La Rural in Buenos Aires featuring Facundo Pieres, Camilo and Barto Castagnola, Poroto Cambiaso, Augustina Imaz and Ina Lalor.
and assistant polo manager for 33 years, from 1966 to 1999. On 23 September a memorial service was held at Easebourne Church which is at the entrance to The Lawns.
The Hamburg Polo Club will be 125 years old in 2023 – making it the oldest club in Europe.
What makes polo special for you? To be able to play with all my family members, the constant connection with a horse and the speed of the game is what I find most special about polo.
With an inner-city location, the club has 3 polo fields and stabling for 200 ponies. To expand the membership it is building one of the largest polo arenas in Europe.
Who do you respect most in polo? My father, together with my grandfather and uncles, Pepe and Nachi.
Where did you play after England? I played the high-goal season in Sotogrande, Spain, for Dos Lunas. What is your most memorable polo game? The final of the Queen’s Cup 2022. What is the best pony you have ever played and why? The best pony I have played is Vasca Occasion. She’s a big chestnut bred by my father, and she does pretty much everything fast and very well. What are you playing in the autumn and winter months? I’m going to Argentina straight after the Sotogrande polo season to play the qualifier for the Argentine Open with UAE.
IMAGES OF POLO
Sarah Sugden was the Cowdray Park secretary
HPM: When and how did you start to play polo? I began playing polo at a very young age, when I was four or five years old. I started in La Pampa, riding a small horse called Pelusa, and my siblings also learned to play on her. My father is the one who has taught me everything.
XII FIP WORLD POLO The United States Polo Association, U.S. Polo Assn., the official brand of the USPA, the National Polo Center Wellington (NPC) and Valiente Polo Farm are making final preparations to host the XII Federation of International Polo (FIP) World Polo Championship in Florida this autumn from 29 October – 6 November. The eight competitors vying for international glory will include Argentina, Australia, Italy,
LOVE OF MY LIFE BY M AT I A S M AC H A D O
Mexico, Pakistan, Spain, the United States and Uruguay, and former 10-goaler and “Polo Hall of Famer” Adam Snow will join the event’s organisational effort as the FIP Horse Master.
P O N Y’ S N A M E : O P E N CA LL AWAY SEX: MARE ORIGIN: ARGENTINA Open Callaway was bred by Ellerstina, and I bought her in partnership with Andras Tombor (Bardon Polo Team) in 2018 at Ellerstina, Pilar, Argentina, when we went there to play.
M AT I A S C A L L E J O ; U N I T E D S TAT E S P O L O A S S O C I AT I O N ; I M A G E S O F P O L O
She was six years old at the time, and she came to the UK for the 2018 season, making her 10 years old now. She is special as she is strong and fast, with a sensitive mouth. She is a good-size horse, and very calm as well. Jeta Castagnola played Open Callaway in the 18 goal this summer for Bardon when the team needed a player. Jeta was helping us during the season, and when Bardon had some visa issues, he offered to play for us. We also spend a lot of time together in the UK, as we have our horses in the same place (Dubai near Windsor). Jeta’s father, Lolo, has also been helping Bardon with coaching for the past couple of years. We like Jeta playing on her (both pictured above), as he
SOTOGRANDE I N T E R N AT I O N A L P O LO
is a dynamic player and he and Callaway make such a great
After winning the Terralpa Silver Cup two weeks prior, Dubai
deserves to be well-known in polo!
(Camilo Castagnola, 9, Rashid Albwardy, 1, Matt Perry, 5,
combination. She was Jeta’s best pony this summer and she She won seven Best Playing Pony awards this summer
Carlos María Ulloa, 5) went on to celebrate the double, beating
in the UK, including the Royal Windsor, the semi-final against
Marqués de Riscal 12-9 in the 51st Sotogrande International
the Cambiasos, and the final of the Gold Cup against
Polo Tournament at Ayala Polo Club. From a tie of 9-9 early in
Facundo Pieres. These are the best mounted players in the
the sixth chukka, Matt Perry scored three consecutive goals
tournaments, and probably in the world.
assisted by Camilo Castagnola, which led Perry to deservedly
She is currently in Argentina for breeding purposes, so we
receive MVP honours. Alazanas Soñada, ridden by Castagnola,
will just go year by year, and we hope she will continue to give
was awarded BPP.
Bardon happiness the way she has been doing.
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LASTING LEGACY An innovative and accomplished healthcare entrepreneur and talented polo player, Chevy Beh will be sorely missed, but his legacy lives on
It was with great sadness that the polo world learned of Dato’ Chevy Beh’s passing, aged 37, in August 2022. The eldest son of BP Healthcare Group founder and chairman Datuk Dr Beh Chun Chuan, Chevy worked with his father in Malaysia between 2009 and 2014, after working in investment banking in New York. Under Chevy’s leadership, new strategies were implemented, which enabled the group to provide affordable quality healthcare and forge new business units, including spearheading BP’s own brand of products and medical devices, as well as its popular diagnostic centres. He was credited with increasing BP Diagnostic Centre’s branches from 50 to more than 200 in six years, and grew the workforce from a few hundred to a few thousand.
In 2014, Chevy left BP to partner with Joel Neoh, the ex-CEO of Groupon AsiaPacific, and co-founded online and mobile healthcare platform BookDoc, an integrated health tech company in Southeast Asia. BookDoc was the 2020 winner of the Alibaba Pfizer Asia competition as the most innovative healthcare company across regions including Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Thailand. Chevy received many accolades for his business achievements, including being the top nominee of the EY Entrepreneur of the Year in 2013, 2014 and 2020. Community service was also important to Chevy, and he introduced programmes including free health screenings with specialists. Chevy was an accomplished 4-goal player and was part of the Beh Family team.
Prince Harry played with Chevy at the 2019 Royal Charity Polo Cup, and at the Sentebale ISPS Handa Polo Cup at the end of August this year observed a moment of silence to commemorate Chevy. ‘Chevy was taken far too young,’ he said. ‘He was accomplished both on and off the pitch and... played a vital role in getting Malaysians vaccinated during the pandemic. ‘I found a quote that Chevy gave a number of years back that I wanted to share with you. He said, “Some people are simply just happy with what they’re doing. But personally, I believe I’m here in this world to do something that’s hopefully beneficial. I want to leave behind a legacy, a good and positive one”. Let’s make sure his words stay with us and guide us, not just for this week, but every day as part of our busy lives.’
IMAGES OF POLO
Entrepreneur, philanthropist and polo player Chevy Beh has passed away at the age of 37
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UNDERSTANDING EQUUS Adam Buchanan explores how to better understand your horse through training – using scientifically proven theories derived within the fields of neurology, psychology and physiology I have been privileged enough to play and work alongside a number of international 10-goalers including: Benjamin Araya, Adolfo Cambiaso, Adam Snow, Owen Rinehart, Carlos and Memo Gracida and Pite and Sebastian Merlos. Winning the Gold Cup for the British Open in 1991 at 19, my interest focused on training horses, and much of my incessant passion and inspiration is derived from flat racing and trainers within the UK and Ireland. If we are going to understand equus, we must understand the behavioural science
underneath the skin – like a veterinary surgeon performs a postmortem in order to understand the internal results that will give rise to a better understanding of the external pathologies. If a stressful event occurs during a horse’s developmental stage, the degree of severity of this event may be enhanced if the horse is separated from their “herd”, heightening the short-term negative impact of the event. Early adverse experiences, in particular during the neonatal (foal) stage can also cause long-term behavioural and
neurobehavioural after-effects, which may include a higher vulnerability to stress, and the development of abnormal or stereotypic behaviours in later life. We now know that when a horse exhibits a state of generalised anxiety, the brain activity is not the same as when they are experiencing an acute fear response. Within anxiety, neural activity is elevated across many specific regions of the brain; however, normal coordination within regions is lost. The greater the synchronising of neurons that is critical to establish the fear memory,
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the stronger the memory. The mental state term “fear” is used to describe feelings that occur when the threat or source of harm is either immediate or imminent, while anxiety describes feelings that occur when the source of harm is uncertain, or is distal in space or time. For example, a young horse may experience a fear response when confronted with a flapping plastic bag, but may exhibit anxiety when visiting an unfamiliar environment. The idea that animals are innately programmed to attend to specific cues in certain behavioural contexts suggests a mutually reinforcing relationship between learning and instinct, which provides a connection between ecology and cognitive ethology. In this context, fear is not just a momentary feeling, but also a learning experience critical to survival. When a new situation provokes a fear response, the brain records the details to help avoid similar situations in the future, or to use appropriate caution. Training philosophies that embrace learning theory can be ethological in the sense that they might consider the types of stimuli horses are most likely to respond to, and the types of reinforcement that are the most rewarding to them. Horses are so adept at learning that they are in constant danger of fitting themselves too well to their daily lives and tasks. Their skillset is limited and highly biased. Horses need to generalise their abilities to new and unexpected circumstances, both in terms of physical movements and reactions, and in cognition and understanding. There is an anthropomorphic view that they need to remember everything perfectly; instead of generalising from the limited things they have already seen or done, without
Adam Buchanan training his horses. He uses specific knowledge of each animal to achieve better results
enforcement. Maturation is only one of the many factors involved and the influence of physical and social milieu increases in importance with the equine growth. Although much of horse behaviour is controlled non-consciously, non-conscious does not mean non-mental. It means the horse was not explicitly aware of the process taking place in its brain. Below awareness, the unconscious brain ceaselessly evaluates dormant opportunities, testifying that the horse’s attention largely operates in a subliminal manner. For what horses lack in memory (their short-term/working memory is 15 seconds, but their long-term memory is 10-12 years), reasoning and creativity, they make up nonetheless in manifestations of complex social behaviours whose neural control must be innate. A social cooperation and ethical structure that would put any managerial system to shame. There are few species that own a quality of their own post-survival life, formation of future
plans,anticipated outcomes, new plans and goals. ‘Intelligence is based on how efficient a species became at doing the things they need to survive,’ said Charles Darwin. Pain and pleasure, punishment and reward are the levers the horse requires for instinctual and acquired strategies to operate efficiently and control the development of social decision-making strategies. Reward and punishment are not twins or opposites, at least not as far as their roles in leveraging survival. The brain handles positive and negative emotions with different neural systems. Affection alone could not suffice to produce obligation, and fear alone provokes only a physical or self-interested submission, but respect involves both affection and fear associated with the position of the inferior in relation to the superior, and thus suffices to determine the acceptance of orders and consequently, the sense of obligation and motivation.
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FUN AND GAMES Hurlingham Park’s first game of polo took place in 1875 and it enjoyed a fairly unbroken run of polo all the way through to 1939, when Hurlingham Park was dug up for the Dig for Victory campaign and the world’s most famous two polo fields became a very large and much needed vegetable patch! By the end of 1945, it was assumed that Winston Churchill might be allowed to return to his favourite polo grounds, but the local council had other ideas and Hurlingham’s number 1 polo field was turned into a municipal sporting park and the number 2 polo field was earmarked for social housing. The reinstatement of Hurlingham Park for polo was (and continues to be) an
expensive process, as it required the digging up and turfing over of a cinder running track. Olympic champion and polo fan Sebastian Coe was particularly pleased with this development as he still held the 800m record on that track and so will now forever be the record holder of 800m at Hurlingham… perhaps not as great as some of his achievements, but nevertheless one to be proud of! In 2010, polo finally returned to Hurlingham Park in the guise of Polo in the Park, with the aim of introducing a London audience to the sport of polo. The rules were tweaked and the owners effectively created a giant grass polo arena on the original site.
The idea behind these changes were to create a format and style of polo tournament that would encourage a totally non-polo crowd to explore and learn more about our wonderful sport. Surrounding the field is a plethora of bars, gardens, a food festival and a shopping area that gives those visiting a really good day out. Each day has a slightly different vibe. Friday is now a predominately VIP hospitality day, Saturday (Ladies Day) has become one of London’s great parties and Sunday is built around the young families of London. While all of this goes on, the serious job of charitable fund raising continues and the event is now used to completely fund an
CHESTERTONS POLO IN THE PARK; TIM EDWARDS
After a break of two years due to the pandemic, Rory Heron describes how Chestertons Polo in the Park once again returned to Hurlingham Park in Fulham on 10-12 June
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important local children’s charity, as well as multiple smaller charities. This year, 30,000 spectators attended the most successful Chestertons Polo in the Park event so far. Six teams competed over the three days, representing cities as far flung as Sydney, Dubai and Buenos Aires. After three days of play, however, it was the home team of Private Client by Bupa Team London, captained by James McCarthy that triumphed, narrowly beating ICM.com Team Dubai. Max Charlton really proved to be the difference in this closely fought final. This year was particularly special as The Hurlingham 1875 England Polo Teams (both men and women) were also on show at the event, competing in test matches against Argentina and the USA. Max Charlton, Ed Banner-Eve and Hugo Taylor represented England’s men’s team. The match was an incredibly tight game at a very high level, and ended in a draw at full time thanks to Argentina equalising in the last few seconds. With an eye on pony welfare, it was decided to use a “run off” to find the winners.
In the end, Argentina came out top after a somewhat controversial rerun! Meanwhile, the next day, England’s women’s team took on USA for the Annie Colquhoun-Denvers Cup. This match was to be a much more
decisive result, with England playing beautifully in front of a record crowd and winning by a fine margin. Milly Hine really showed her class in this match as she dominated the opposition. 17
Opposite: Malcolm Borwick in front of the stands. Above: England’s Milly Hine takes some water from her mother as her father looks on. Left: A clash between Millie Hughes, Team England (in white), and Olivia Merlos, Team USA
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A LEGEND IN HIS LIFETIME Kuldip Singh Dhillon, former chairman of Cirencester Park Polo Club and of the HPA, pays tribute to Major Christopher Osgood Philip Hanbury Christopher Osgood Philip Hanbury was a gentleman, family man, polo player, businessman and significant philanthropist. He was born on 16 February 1944 in County Meath, Ireland, where he hunted with the Meath and Ballymacad Foxhounds. As a student at Cirencester’s Royal Agricultural University, he began to play polo, but didn’t play seriously until he joined the Irish Hussars in 1965 and played regimental polo in Germany. In 1974, Christopher went to Brunei as ADC to HRH The Sultan of Brunei, and while
there he also set up the famous Jerudong Park Polo Club. Christopher and His Majesty remained firm friends over the years. Christopher’s polo career really took off when he was a playing member at Cirencester Park Polo Club, with his team Lovelocks, winning all of the most soughtafter trophies. A much-loved personality within the sport and an astute businessman, Christopher went on to take a seat on the executive board of directors at Cirencester, culminating in his position as chairman of the club from 1995 to 1999.
Under his transformative leadership at CPPC, Christopher significantly elevated the ethos of raising money for worthy charities through the game of polo, supported for many years by HRH the Prince of Wales, who played many charity games at the club. This period in the history of CPPC was its golden age, where royalty, rock stars, actors, actresses and internationally renowned businessmen all came to CPPC to support the charities, both playing and spectating – all this was down to Christopher’s incredible inspiration and larger than life personality.
IMAGES OF POLO; ZAHRA LUCAS
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His wife Bridget was his rock throughout life, and especially supported him unwaveringly with his philanthropic works using polo to raise funds for charity. With his connections, gentle persuasion and charm, Christopher was able to give many millions of pounds to various charities through CPPC. No-one, it seems, was able to resist his charm when it came to fundraising. Christopher also served a term as chairman of children’s charity Starlight Children’s Foundation. Christopher created a very wellrespected polo pony stud in Argentina, Lovelocks Polo Stud, which is now managed by his family and is one of the foremost breeding studs in the world, dedicated to the breeding of polo horses and equipped with the latest technology. In 2005, he was appointed chairman of the Hurlingham Polo Association and remained in the role until 2008, to the Association’s huge benefit. Ultimately, Christopher was one of the most significant
figures in polo, internationally renowned with friends and colleagues all over the world. Eventually Christopher and Bridget’s sons took on the reins of polo with great enthusiasm and delivered to Christopher one of the most sought-after trophies in the world, the British Open Gold Cup. Christopher was absolutely overjoyed by this. Christopher and his family have always been involved with and passionate about horses across many disciplines. Christopher and Bridget were also great enthusiasts of horse racing and breeding, and they enjoyed many successes on the racetrack and throughout their years of breeding. Christopher leaves behind his wife, Bridget, his children and his grandchildren and countless friends. He was much loved by all those who knew him, especially for his legendary sense of humour and his affable, caring demeanour. As the bugler plays his final retreat, his friends and colleagues will sorely miss him.
Opposite: Christopher Hanbury. Above: George, Christopher, Charlie (in centre) and Bridget Hanbury at the 2017 semis of the Gold Cup. Below: Christopher with his wife Bridget
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PERFECT 10 Adolfo Cambiaso’s 30-year reign as a 10-goal player comes to an end, as Hurlingham lowers him to 9 for 2023, says Alex Webbe
19 -Y E A R - O L D A D O L F O WA S E L E VAT E D T O 10 - G O A L S , M A K IN G H I M T H E YO U N G E S T 10 - G O A L E R IN H I S T O R Y edging him by a single month. Adolfo’s nephew, Camilo “Jeta” Castagnola, became the youngest 10-goaler in Argentine history in 2021, and was just elevated to 10-goals in England this summer. This season, Cambiaso’s son and teammate Poroto improved his game and confidence, making him one of the top scorers in both the Queen’s Cup and Gold Cup competitions. With an impressive performance in the Argentine Open competition this year, it also sets the stage for the 16-year-old to
become the youngest 10-goaler in the game. It’s deja vu all over again. This autumn Adolfo Cambiaso will lead a 39-goal La Dolfina team in the Triple Crown playing with 10-goalers Pelon Stirling and Juan Martin Nero and 9-goaler Poroto Cambiaso. For the better part of three decades Adolfo was rated the top player in the game, but his reign has come to an end and with a talented group of young players in the saddle it is truly a changing of the guard.
IMAGES OF POLO
For the past three decades Adolfo Cambiaso has vexed opponents and dazzled spectators in a remarkable career that resulted in 10 Queen’s Cup Championships and seven Gold Cup titles, as well as two Coronation Cups, eight U.S. Open titles, 17 Argentine Opens and 13 Hurlingham Opens. Adolfo won the English Gold Cup in 1991 on 7 goals and was raised to 9. He then went to 10 after the 1993 season, where he has stayed until now. He will go down to 9 for the 2023 season – marking 30 years at 10 goals, which is a record that will be tough to beat. It was following the 1994 Argentine season that 19-year-old Adolfo was elevated to 10-goals, making him the youngest 10-goaler in history. It wasn’t until 2006 that Facundo Pieres took that honour from him,
U.S. POLO ASSN. wishes the USA Team and all visiting teams the best of luck in the
XII FIP WORLD POLO CHAMPIONSHIP
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B U I LT O N S A N D The Sandpolo cocktail brought equal measures of a stunning beach, 8,000 exuberant spectators, world-class polo players and vibrant evening entertainment. While researching his family history at Sandbanks, Dorset in 2007, Johnny Wheeler, an amateur polo player, created the Sandpolo concept. His friend and polo manager David Heaton-Ellis rallied the teams together while Johnny tackled the licensing, infrastructure and marketing. Johnny recalls: ‘The beach was perfect – wide enough at high tide for a good size polo arena, marquees and grandstand. People were intrigued by the glamour and physicality
of the sport of polo, and Sandbanks was on the map due to TV documentaries and the astonishing house prices. Top polo players were hungry to play in front of large crowds and sponsors were keen to promote their brands and entertain clients.’ Fast track fifteen years later and the original form and ethos of the two-day polo event at the beginning of July is the same. Polo-driven, with a broad range of tickets from hospitality and VIP to general admission. The entertainment on the field is vital to its success, with glamorous parties on both nights enjoyed by players and supporters alike. Friday night’s “Boogie on
the Beach” is an explosion of soul, Motown and disco, while Saturday’s “Encore” beach party is a decade-hopping, genre-defying night of entertainment to celebrate the closing of the Sandpolo weekend in style. Initiatives to keep the event fresh have included the very first camel polo match in the UK, international beach volleyball, beach rugby, parachute jumps, celebrity DJs, fashion shows, celebrity chefs and, of course, the charity race between the fastest pony and a 4x4. Sandpolo now has international acclaim with visitors from all over the world, while global brands such as Barclays, Sunseeker,
As the British Beach Polo Championships, Sandpolo, celebrates its 15th year, Samantha Lopez describes how this summer’s event was bigger and better than ever
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U.S. Polo Assn., Land Rover, Moët Hennessy, Oakley and Whispering Angel clamber for exposure. While the event might sound over the top to many polo newcomers, it remains accessible to everyone who wants to get into the spirit of the occasion and be part of the experience. It is friendly and affordable and is now truly on the UK south coast’s social and sporting calendar. Sandpolo is fully endorsed by the Hurlingham Polo Association and is well-known to most professional and active amateur players. Sandpolo is an enduring boutique event that has enjoyed entertaining an enthusiastic and convivial audience for 15 years. Blessed with a superb beach and surrounding area, a supportive council and the most talented polo players around, there is no reason why the event should not continue for another 15 years and beyond. This summer’s event was blessed with incredible weather and the spectators enjoyed a dynamic display of fast-paced beach stadium polo and exceptional horsepower over the two-day tournament. Team Whispering Angel (Chris Gregory, Adolfo Casabal and Hazel Jackson), retained their
title again this year, battling it out against Team Singha (Garrie Renucci, Ollie Cork and Jimmy Wood). Team Whispering Angel’s Hazel Jackson excelled on the sand, and it was the team’s dominant performance that put them ahead both days with a 19-11 victory. Commentary came from Chris Hyde, the most highly decorated UK arena polo player, along with the charismatic Simon Ledger. U.S. Polo Assn. returned as the official apparel partner, with J Michael Prince, its
president and CEO of USPA Global Licensing – which manages the global, multi-billiondollar U.S. Polo Assn. brand – enjoying the action and presenting the winning trophy. Prince said: ‘The UK has been one of U.S. Polo Assn.’s most loyal and fastestgrowing markets, and it’s great to be back supporting these exciting British Beach Polo Championships. Sandpolo is not only great fun, but it’s a wonderful way for us to expose new polo fans and consumers to the sport and our global brand.’
Opposite: Sandbanks’ broad beach is ideal for a polo arena. This page, from top: Jimmy Wood on the ball; Whispering Angel (on the right in pink) were victorious over Singha (in yellow)
Polo: a parent's view Rupert Uloth explains how his 17-year-old son Rufus’s polo journey has not only taught him invaluable lessons, but continues to bring great enjoyment to the whole family I L L U S T R AT I O N : P E T E R J A M E S F I E L D
I blame Harry Potter. That was the name of our gorgeous, grey (actually, completely white), dish-nosed Welsh 11hh pony that we bought from a farm in Dorset for Rufus, our eight-year-old son, to go hunting on. Harry Potter had never been near a polo pitch, let alone a swinging mallet, and polo was the last thing on our mind. At first, it was an innocent enough phone call. Another parent saying that they had heard Rufus enjoyed his ball sports, regularly followed the hounds, and could he fill in for something called the Pony Club Jorrocks polo team, which needed another player. That, dear reader, was the beginning of a journey that has evolved from that small boy racing around in “Fluffies”, the Pony Club’s most junior section, to 17-year-old Rufus with a string of eight horses playing regular Club polo before he has even left school. Don’t reach for the smelling salts, pour a double scotch or forbid your young child to go near anyone with knee pads and a bag of polo mallets just yet. I have to say that it has been a wonderful experience and we as a family have enjoyed Rufus’s journey as much as he has. He has made many friends along the way, both his own age and older players who have been incredibly generous in advice and helping him to improve his game. It is always a team effort and there is a great sense of satisfaction arriving at a ground with a string of fit ponies ready to do their job. My wife, Louie, and I certainly did our apprenticeship of plaiting tails, inserting studs and assembling tack, but there comes a time when the sheer
weight of numbers means that you need professional help (I don’t mean a shrink, although that might be wise, but rather a capable groom). As Rufus gradually made his way up the Pony Club age groups, we found other ponies for him. At the higher end of the Pony Club, you are allowed to have actual polo ponies. The older the polo pony, the better. They are wiser and will have a lifetime of experience to pass on to their callow jockeys. They tend to be much cheaper as they will have been recycled down from players higher up the food chain who From left: Will Millard, Noah Hyde, Rufus Uloth and Beanie Bradley winning the SUPA Prep Schools Championship in 2018. The same team won the Pony Club Gannon this year
need younger ponies for the big stuff. We have also benefited from friends lending or giving us ponies as Rufus got bigger. The great thing about Pony Club is that you are constantly playing with children of your own age. Lifelong friendships are made as you meet those from other Pony Clubs at the various tournaments held in delightful venues such as Beaufort or Cirencester Park. The HPA also organises tournaments for the younger ones, which are more like playing club polo, when you turn up and play your match in one go. Again we have experienced the privilege of playing at special private
Below: Rufus on Harry Potter with Jason Coupe. Right: Rufus (in yellow) chased by Will Millard at the Coronation Cup at Guards
grounds such as Black Bears and the Dubai grounds in Berkshire. There is no doubt that joining a club and participating as much as possible in regular chukkas has enormous benefits. You get to know people and, once on the radar, local professionals or the polo manager will have you in mind if others are looking for a -1 or 0 to make up a team. Some parents are worried that the costs go up when they are asked to contribute to entries or the fees for professional players, but if your child demonstrates an aptitude as well as an enthusiasm there is no doubt that at the bigger clubs, teams are looking for “good value” low-handicap players; a young teenager should be improving all the time and there will be opportunities for a “free ride” where you don’t have to pay for anything else apart from arriving with a useful string of ponies. There is also the option of hiring ponies. By the time they get to 1 or 2 Goal, your child can expect to
be paid something, or at least get help towards expenses. As well as the junior HPA tournaments, the HPA also offers training days, and some of the children are selected to go on camps abroad. Rufus was lucky enough to spend time in South Africa with Buster Mackenzie on a couple of 10-day training trips. These are intense but highly enjoyable. They took place in the off season here, so that by the time spring came around, Rufus was playing at the top of his handicap and received plenty of offers to play. The Schools and Universities Polo Association also organises tournaments and your child may be able to represent your school, or they could go into the pool to combine with another school. Apart from being incredibly good fun, you may well ask where does all this lead? Is it a distraction from the serious bits of life like exams and other career options? There is no doubt that the life of a career polo professional can be tough, and the
requirement to fund a string of ponies with all the expense that goes with it, like lorries and grooms, is demanding; its unpredictable nature is not particularly conducive to family life but for a young man or woman can there be anything better? You learn from a young age the importance of horse welfare, how to interact with people much older than yourself, and how to cope with the incredible highs of winning a tournament or doing well in a game, and the unavoidable lows of losing a close contest. The better you manage and look after the horses, the better they will perform. They are extraordinary creatures and helping them achieve their optimum is one of the great thrills. Whatever Rufus ends up doing in life, he will look back on this time with tremendous affection. His sisters both helped him in the early days and loved being part of the team, as we did. I can think of no better way for a boy or girl to spend their summers in England.
RUPERT ULOTH; IMAGES OF POLO
T H E R E I S N O D O U B T T H AT J O I N I N G A C L U B A N D PA R T I C I PAT I N G A S M U C H AS POSSIBLE IN REGULAR CHUKK AS HAS ENORMOUS BENEFITS
The Queen riding on parade
ROYAL REMEMBRANCE ALAMY
Following the sad passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, we re-visit a tribute written by the late Lord Patrick Beresford in 2016, looking back on the perennial presence of horses throughout Her Majesty’s life, from her enthusiasm for polo to her impressive horsemanship demonstrated during an attempted assassination
indsor Great Park, June 1955: pony lines in the recently formed polo club. Top society photographer Albert Swaebe, camera at the ready, approaches a couple talking together. ‘I know you,’ he remarks to the player, ‘but what is the name of your young lady?’ The 21-year-old player is struck dumb and it is left to the “young lady” to reply. Turning with an enchanting smile, she says quite simply: ‘The Queen’. This vignette was described by Albert Swaebe in his memoir Photographer Royal as his ‘most embarrassing moment’. I can vouch for its accuracy, as the player was me. Her Majesty’s involvement with polo began in Malta soon after her marriage to Prince Philip. There, the couple was living in a naval married quarter while Prince Philip served with the Mediterranean Fleet. Under the tutelage of his uncle, Admiral Lord Mountbatten – himself a pre-war five-goaler and author of the definitive An Introduction to Polo – the prince readily took up the game and was enthusiastically watched by his new wife. Around the same time, after an eight-year gap owing to World War II, polo had been revived in England – by three remarkable men: John Cowdray in Midhurst, Archie David at Henley and Billy Walsh at Ham. When the royal couple returned to England in 1952, on the untimely death of King George VI, it was the former who encouraged Prince Philip to continue in polo by playing at Cowdray. In 1955, the prince conceived the idea of creating polo fields on Smith’s Lawn at Windsor Great Park and of inviting Archie David to move his 30 ponies from Henley to the Royal Mews at Windsor. What is now the Guards Polo Club was born and, as it gradually expanded, the top yard in the mews continued to stable Archie’s ponies, with his girl grooms in the dormitories above, the Queen’s horses and carriage horses in the middle yard, the 24 club ponies – most of them donated by Archie – in the bottom yard, and, in the adjacent lower yard (six boxes), Prince Philip’s own small string. Meanwhile, the prince formed a medium-goal team named Windsor Park, whose colours – dark green with red piping – were based on the cassocks worn by the choristers of the chapel in Royal Lodge. Its three other players were entirely mounted by Archie, as, of course, was Archie’s own team, Friar Park, named after the Davids’ Victorian home near Henley (which, incidentally, was later bought by the Beatle George Harrison). In those early days, prior to the re-emergence of the IRA, the need for security was far less stringent than it now is, meaning that the Queen could safely walk about at half-time, treading in like everyone else, shadowed distantly by a single inconspicuous detective. Like other polo wives, she attended virtually every weekend that her husband was playing. Later, she also came to watch her son Prince Charles, as well as her adventurous young cousin
Above: The Queen and Prince Philip at Guards Polo Club
Prince William of Gloucester, who was so tragically killed while piloting his own aeroplane in August 1972, less than a week after winning the Godley Memorial Tournament on Smith’s Lawn. Prince Philip made his first foray into high goal in 1957, and over the next 13 years won every tournament at that level, with the single exception of the Queen’s Cup – probably the one he would have valued most. The nearest he came was in 1964, when, with his teammate, the famous Argentine Juan Carlos Harriott, the Windsor Park team was frustratingly run out of it by a half-goal in the final.
IMAGES OF POLO; ALAMY
IMAGES OF POLO; RUTH LOVEJOY
HER MAJESTY PRESENTED MORE TROPHIES IN POLO THAN ANY OTHER SPORT AND HAS BRED M A N Y G R E AT P O L O P O N I E S
Opposite, clockwise from top: The Queen at the Royal Windsor, 2014; riding her pony; the Queen and Lord Patrick Beresford at Smith’s Lawn, 2016. Above: The Queen presents the Cowdray Gold Cup to (from left) the Marquis of Waterford, Lord Patrick Beresford, Paul Withers and Prince Philip in 1969. Left: The Queen in 2016
Above: Scone patron David Paradice with the Queen in 2019
Nelson. Also worthy of mention from the same bloodline was the well-named High Tea, by Teekay out of Bali Hai, considered by many to have been extremely unlucky not to have won the Best Playing Pony award in the Coronation Cup of 1998. The Queen has ridden since childhood. Her preference is not for side-saddle – even today she goes out astride in Windsor Great Park with her stud groom Terry Pendry. Yet, who can forget her elegance riding side-saddle for nearly 40 years at Trooping the Colour or her brilliant horsemanship when, in 1981, her charger was startled by a gunman who fired at close range on the approach to Horse Guards Parade. A Scots Guard street-liner, having returned to his battalion from the elite Guards Parachute Company, quickly disarmed the gunman and pinned him to the ground. As it turned out, the weapon was only a starting pistol, but no one was to know that, least of all the Queen, who rode on appearing totally unperturbed. This article ﬁrst appeared in our summer 2016 issue to mark the Queen’s 90th birthday
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Afterwards, when both teams were invited into the Royal Box, Prince Philip jokingly enquired of Harriott: ‘Juan Carlos, what does that word carajo, which I heard you muttering several times during the match, actually mean in English?’ Harriott had to think pretty quickly, but to his eternal credit – and to the Queen’s intense amusement – almost without hesitation, he replied: ‘Oh, it means, “Well played, sir”’. By way of compensation, the Queen has had the satisfaction of presenting her Cup to Prince Charles and Les Diables Bleus in 1986 and, prior to that, the Cowdray Gold Cup to Prince Philip on no fewer than three occasions, the last of which, in 1969, he won in an all-British foursome – the only time this has ever been achieved. Indeed, Her Majesty presented more trophies in polo than any other sport, and along the way, has bred many great polo ponies, often tracing back to playing mares given to Prince Philip in Argentina. Until 1981, Prince Charles’s favourite pony had been the coloured Pecas, which the London Dockers had given him as a 21st-birthday present. But then along came Happiness, who was a granddaughter of the lovely chestnut Inez, outstanding in the Palermo Open and subsequently given to Prince Philip by her owner/breeder Juan
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STARS IN THE MAKING Héctor Martelli explores the history of the La Irenita breed, and how the Mac Donough’s are growing and improving the breeding programme to continue producing the best Argentine polo ponies
perated by Matias Mac Donough and his brother Pablo, the breeding of the Mac Donough’s La Irenita line began with the buying of mares to resell in international markets. Any that were not sold or did not pass the veterinary examination were reserved for breeding with a thoroughbred stallion. This is how they managed to produce the famous “Fantasía”, a purebred grey mare that became a great Open pony played by Matias Mac Donough since 1994. She was awarded the Best Playing Pony award at the Hurlingham Open in 1999 and in 2017, and when the Argentine Polo Association of Polo Horse Breeders created the Hall of Fame for historical horses, Fantasía was one of the inductees. Due to her low head carriage, which some players didn’t like, she was not sold, and she, her daughters produced by embryo transplant, and a few other mares, marked the beginning of this important line of the Argentine polo breed. Of her many excellent offspring, six daughters and three stallions are regarded as particularly outstanding horses, along with four granddaughters. Among these
was an amazing sire called Lunatico, and mares Goaleada, Favourita, Fantantica and Francesca, who Sapo Caset plays in America. In 1998, the brothers’ father Jorge Mac Donough acquired the Haras La Irenita from the Perkins family, where they bred thoroughbred horses, located in the town of Daireaux in the southwest of Buenos Aires Province. Here he established an equine reproduction centre, which has now become one of the most important in Argentina for breeding polo horses of excellence. ‘My father started breeding ponies, and when I finished my career as a professional polo player overseas, I saw the breeding side of polo as a nice challenge,’ recalls Matias. ‘I enjoyed working alongside my father for a few years, and I learnt so much from him. Sadly, he passed away around four years ago, and it’s a shame he can’t see the level of success we have reached today. But, with the input of Pablo and myself, and our father, we all have a different type of horse we prefer, which makes things very interesting for La Irenita. I believe part of our success is that the three of us were all working towards the same goal but with different contributions.’
JUAN CRUZ BIANCHI
Opposite: Libano, one of the stallions in the La Irenita breeding programme. Right: Haras La Irenita in Daireaux, Buenos Aires
Until now they’ve only used cloning on a small scale. They believe the best way to improve the breeding is by mixing blood lines from all over the world, so there is a lot of natural breeding and the good mares go into the insemination programme. They clone only to recover lost blood lines, or to clone a gelding and produce a stallion. For example, they cloned an excellent open pony of Pablo’s, La Nuera, who died very young and also a thoroughbred stallion, Clarín, to continue those bloodlines. The Irenita produces about 280 foals each year, which are cared for by about 10 qualified employees, a fundamental step to ensure the foals have the best start. The mares that are about to give birth are monitored and, in the event of any problems during the birth, they are quickly assisted. When the foals, both male and female, reach two years of age, some are selected to be broken in by three “pilots” in La Irenita, and the others are broken in by third parties outside the establishment. Once broken in, they go to training for polo, which is carried out by the Mac Donoughs and about eight permanent pilots, plus other temporary riders – some with low
W E H AV E A YO U N G O R G A N I S AT I O N WITH LOTS OF EXPERIENCE. WE’VE B E E N O P E R AT I N G F O R 20 Y E A R S handicaps and others with high handicaps who play in the Triple Crown Open with ponies bred by La Irenita, such as Facundo Fernández Llorente. ‘We have a really great bunch of people working with us, and that’s the key,’ says Matias. ‘We have a young organisation with lots of experience. We’ve been operating for 20 years but we still have young people working with us. And we are always improving.’ During this stage of training, the selection for player quality begins, and the best are reserved for Matias, his son Vizcacha, and Pablo, either to play in Argentina, or to play in the United States and the United Kingdom. The remaining ponies are sold, always at two years old, either locally or for export. 36
Above: Jorge Mac Donough. Right: Matias Mac Donough riding a clone of Fantasia. Opposite, from top: Clarin, a stallion that was cloned to continue his bloodline; the stallion Libano
‘I really enjoy it when a dam and sire combination is successful and we start to see the results,’ Matias explains. ‘When the breaker says it’s a nice horse, then you start sitting on it and getting a feel for it, it’s satisfying to see how they progress over 2-3 years. The next step is when they start playing in gentle chukkas until they’re mature, then you can push them to see how good they really are in more advanced chukkas. Another big step is when they are entered to play the Triple Crown in the spring, and then you see 7-8 years of training paying off. It’s also great to see my son playing on mares, whose grandparents I bred!’ To illustrate the number of exemplary ponies they have in training, the 2022 edition of the Copa Republica Argentina – the most important of the autumn season for teams from 0 to 40 goals – was won by a team from La Irenita of 11 goals, with four very young team members, playing approximately 32 La Irenita-bred ponies. Turning now to the stallions, crucial to the excellence of breeding for polo horses,
JUAN CRUZ BIANCHI
T H E B R E E D I N G O F L A I R E N I TA I S CONSIDERED ONE OF THE BEST OF THE POLO ARGENTINO BREED
Above: Brothers Pablo and Matias Mac Donough playing at Palermo in 2019 in memory of their father. All the players in the last chukka rode La Irenita ponies Left: Winners of the Copa Republica (from left): Matias Mac Donough Jr (Vizcacha), Federico Panzillo, Tomas Delfino and Matias Sanchez Herrero
M AT I A S C A L L E J O
the Mac Donoughs currently use polo Argentino breeding stock, being the best Líbano breeding of Los Machitos de Mariano Aguerre, which passes on its benefits to every mare it is bred with. Having a stallion that transmits its characteristics in this way is not easy to achieve, so semen must be frozen to preserve these genetics for the future. They also use thoroughbred stallions, and the specimen that gave them the best result was Serrano, a Triple Crown race horse winner. The breeding of La Irenita is considered one of the best of the polo Argentino breed, not only for quantity but also for the high quality of the horses produced. It is common to observe that in the list of horses that players of the different teams participating in the Argentine Triple Crown use, several appear with the prefix “Irenita”. In 2006, the La Irenita Polo Club in Pilar was added to the La Irenita stud farm in Daireaux, with playing fields and 120 boxes to house the large number of mares and horses to play each season. Three teams from La Irenita Polo Club are entered in the next Argentine Triple Crown and it is likely that the 12 players will use ponies from this breed.
Road to success Andrew Barlow, chair of the HPA’s Development and Coaching Committee, explains its plans to promote polo widely to children, while creating a pathway to develop the best young players
Opposite: Andrew Barlow presents the Best Young Player Award 2022 to Ned Hine at the Coronation Cup. Left: The Pony Club parade ahead of the Westchester Cup in 2018 led by Mike Smith. Below: Dubai Queen’s Cup quarter finals, 2000, from left: Lolo Castagnola, Ali Albwardy, Norita Heguy, Marcos Heguy and Andrew Barlow
IMAGES OF POLO; THE ART OF POLO
oincidentally, my family and wife Sarah are all from Cheshire, but my parents moved south in the late 1960s and bought a farm in Buckinghamshire, where my elder sister and I grew up. Many of the wider family have played polo and still do, which causes plenty of confusion – 10 Barlows are currently HPA members. My father, Mark, played at Kirtlington Park during the 1970s and early ’80s with Alan Budgett – one year he won the Royal Windsor and Archie David in the same week! I was brought up in the hunting field, when my mother, Rosemary, was a Joint Master of the Bicester with Whaddon Chase. My childhood was extremely fortunate in riding ponies on the farm, hunting eventing and showing, with point-to-point race riding coming later in my 20s. My polo started at the age of 13 on an eventing pony, when Liza Crisp was the doyenne of the Bicester Pony Club. It was a relief not to do any more dressage and we were very lucky to have supportive parents and great mates to play with. Pony Club culminated in winning the Jack Gannon Trophy twice with the late Rupert Thorneloe, James Tomkinson and Piers Gibbs. Thereafter, I played low-, medium- and high-goal polo, reaching 3 goals, but I was always focused on a business career outside the sport. My three sons and daughter have all played in the Pony Club, and the boys also continue to play, based at Kirtlington. In 2008, the late John Tylor (HPA Chairman from 1991 to 1995) encouraged me to stand for election as a steward. Since then, I have held various roles on HPA Committees, currently chairing the Development and Coaching Committee. Everyone involved in polo knows that it is a unique sport combining incredible horses and the adrenaline of a fast and highly addictive game. It is also a team sport based around a handicapping system, which in my view is on the whole effective, allowing everyone of all abilities, men and women, to compete at all levels of the game.
E V E RYO NE IN VO LV E D IN P O L O K N O W S T H AT I T I S A U N I Q U E SPORT COMBINING INCREDIBLE HORSES AND THE ADRENALINE O F A H I G H LY A D D I C T I V E G A M E Watching the highest levels of polo up close (and increasingly online) means that one can see brilliant horsemanship, incredible skills and superb horses in a fantastic team sport – which is very exciting to watch. Social media now also gives great insight and up-to-date information on high-goal polo here, around the world and, of course, in Argentina.
T H E H PA’ S R O L E I S T O P R O M O T E POLO FOR AS MANY CHILDREN A S P O S S I B L E , W H I L E C R E AT I N G A P AT H W AY F O R E X C E L L E N C E
Polo is also a global community, where lifetime friendships are made, but is also accessible to anyone, and everyone is welcomed into the sport. In the UK, there are also many people who give up huge amounts of their time to promote and organise polo for the development of young players, whether their own children have played or not. For many people, polo is based around horses and family life. It is a lifestyle that can consume the whole family together. Looking after horses and organising matches and tournaments requires dedication from everyone involved, but it is ultimately very rewarding and creates great memories. From my perspective, any polo which creates a passion for the sport, regardless of ability or progress to higher levels of the game, is a good thing for children to play. The UK has a great tradition of equestrian excellence across many disciplines, and in particular the Pony Club has for many decades been the bedrock of introducing young players to the game at an early age. There are also now many polo schools and academies at clubs, which offer lessons and a different introduction to the sport. These are an important part of the system as well as clubs offering first entry points for all ages. The Committee’s view is that young players should combine playing the best “peer group” polo, and all the wider benefits that this brings, as well as playing in adult polo where the standards are better, but often young players are used to block and are made scapegoats in the patron/professional dynamic.
T H E A R T O F P O L O ; R U P E R T H E S E LT I N E
The HPA’s role in this regard is to both promote polo for as many children as possible, while at the same time creating a pathway for excellence to support and develop our best young players. This is why in February this year we announced a renewed partnership with the Pony Club to incorporate the Rocksavage and Hipwood Junior HPA competitions into one tournament structure, but still maintaining these 3- and 4-chukka tournaments on the best fields and with the best coaching available. We have also been able to resume England Select matches this year after Covid restrictions, and improve the development programme with generous support from Park Place. In addition, we have plans to again organise overseas trips this winter as in previous years. We are also now working much more closely in collaboration with the Schools and Universities Polo Association, to bring more people into the game and to encourage those who do play to stay in the game
after their school and university education. This year, for example, there was a Universities match on the Queen’s Ground after the England vs Uruguay Coronation Cup match, which was a fantastic platform. This all represents what we are aiming to achieve in terms of young players’ development through the England representative structure, integrating the HPA’s activities with the Pony Club and SUPA under one overall system, and creating a development pathway that provides opportunities for all young players and a programme to nurture the best talent. The HPA’s coaching licensing regime has also made huge progress in recent years, and from this growing pool, young players are able to benefit from the best coaching and mentoring available. Polo is a sport that is easy to take part in, but hard to do well at, which is part of the addiction. The sport here does offer many great opportunities for beginners and players improving into tournament polo.
P O L O I S A S P O R T T H AT I S E A SY T O TA K E PA R T I N , B U T H A R D T O D O W E L L AT David Woodd has left a great legacy from his long time as the HPA chief executive, and chairman Nick Wiles has put in place a five-year Vision for Polo with, inter alia, plans to grow the sport at all levels including beginners and patrons. One of the current priorities is to ensure that all stakeholders work collaboratively with effective HPA marketing and communications across the sport, something which Anna Hall (new chief executive) and Josh Tuthill (new director of sport) are particularly focused on.
Opposite: Alice Gregory (blue) and Henry Whittington (red). Left (L-R): Rupert Uloth on the ball, Hector Rogberg, Billy Barlow, Archie Heseltine and George Copcutt. Above, from left: Frank, Billy, Andrew and Freddie Barlow in 2021 at Kirtlington Park Polo Club
IMAGES OF POLO
Decades of dedication Edouard Carmignac discusses what has made his 40 years in polo so special, how the sport has evolved, and his ambitions for polo in the future
PASCAL RENAULDON/R&B PRESSE
first picked up a polo mallet in 1981, and have been playing ever since. But I have admired the sport of polo since I was a child. I grew up in Peru, and our house overlooked the lawns of the Lima Polo Club. When I came back from school, I would see these “centaurs” on foaming horses, and it seemed to me like magic. Beautiful women were looking at these centaurs in complete awe, and I thought, ‘Wow, when I grow up, this is what I want to do.’ It seemed so awesome. Moving back to France when I was 12 years old, I started playing polo in my early 30s in Paris, and have since played in France, the UK, Italy and Spain. Cowdray Polo Club is my favourite place to play in the world – the fields are extraordinary, and the organisation is top-notch. When I come to do my stick and ball before a game on Lawns, it’s like stepping into paradise. It’s an immaculate field, and the ruins make it like nowhere else. My team Talandracas – named after a deadly Peruvian scorpion – is the longestplaying team at Cowdray – currently in its 18th season.
So, what has kept me playing polo for more than four decades of my life? Polo has given me so much. I have a stressful occupation, and need a tension release. When I play polo, it overtakes my mind – I can’t think about anything else.
Mentally and physically, it keeps me very fit – your mind has to be sharp and your body has to be in shape, or you just can’t do it. It’s a whole-body workout. The great attraction of polo as well, is, as you age, you can compensate your ageing by
having better horses, and having a bit of wisdom with organising the team, to make sure it’s balanced and the players fit with each other. In most sports, this isn’t the case. When you play high-goal polo, it requires an efficient organisation – like a business. There are so many people involved. While I play some medium goal polo, I prefer to play high goal, with more experienced players on the field. High-goal polo has become very, very fast, but I find myself far more in danger playing low-goal polo, as you encounter players who are less experienced and ponies that are lower quality and less controllable. I have broken about everything I could break playing polo – mostly at low-goal level! A perfect game of polo for me is a game I contribute meaningfully to, and when the 46
team really clicks and gels together. If you win, it’s usually because of strong teamwork, and everyone contributing well. After you win, you feel very close to one another; it’s an incredible feeling to share. A good example of a particularly memorable game when everything came together is in a Queen’s Cup match, when Talandracas started losing by 1-5, but eventually the game went to an extra chukka. The number 4 of the opposite team did a knock in, and I did a nearside backhand, which Facu Sola picked up before scoring the winning goal. A lesson in never giving up! And winning the 2022 French Open again, this time with my son Hugues, 20 years after Talandracas’ first and only victory – until now! – was an amazing way to end this summer season.
IMAGES OF POLO
M E N T A L LY A N D P H Y S I C A L LY, P O L O K E E P S ME VERY FIT – YOUR MIND HAS TO BE SHARP AND YOUR BODY HAS TO BE IN SH A PE
Previous page: Edouard playing at Cowdray Park; the exercise track in Normandy. Above: Polito Pieres passes the ball to teammate Edouard during a Queen’s Cup game. Below: Long-time friend Santiago Gaztambide with Edouard looking on
I’M V ERY H A PPY TO H AV E SPENT S O MU CH TIME AND ENERGY IN POLO OVER THE Y E A R S , P L AY I N G A L L O V E R T H E W O R L D
Left: Edouard, Her Majesty and Arnaud Bamberger at Smith’s Lawn in 2014. Below: Edouard’s chateau in Normandy
IMAGES OF POLO; PASCAL RENAULDON/R&B PRESSE
a very smart player, but an extremely generous and delightful person to be around. Hugues also plays as part of the Talandracas team, and if you go to Palermo, you see many families of different generations of polo players. When I go to my practices, I see the children of my players riding on e-Wheels with hand mallets. Playing with family is a wonderful bonding experience. Reflecting on how polo has changed over the years, polo is not immune to sports in general becoming more physical, with the participants increasingly preparing themselves like athletes. When I started playing polo, you didn’t have people warming up with coaches doing exercises before the game. Now, the best polo players are like top athletes – they follow diets and do physical training every day.
This leads me to some of the most memorable players I’ve played alongside and formed friendships with. In polo you have to change teams along with handicap changes, but it’s amazing how amateur players can play with the best in the world. I’ve won many tournaments with Milo Fernandez Araujo – we’ve won in Sotogrande, Deauville, and the Queen’s Cup in 2011. I especially enjoyed playing with him, as when the going got tough, he really dug deep. Polo has given me some wonderful encounters with amazing individuals – Milo was one of them, and we remain great friends. Another special friend is Santiago Gaztambide, who I’ve known for nearly 40 years. We played together before he became my coach, and he organises all my polo. Now I play with Polito Pieres, who is not only
Left: Milo Fernandez Araujo played for Talandracas for a number of years. Below: Hugues hugs his father after winning the French Open in August 2022
my homebred horses, which I have been breeding in Normandy for the past 15 years. We produce six to 10 foals each year, and I would love to have some of my homebreds playing in Palermo with a 10-goaler such as
Polito. It’s amazing how a young mare will sometimes just be a copycat of the mother – the same gallop, the same reactions, the same ability to turn. You get a sense of immortality in certain horses, which is a phenomenal feeling. IMAGES OF POLO; PASCAL RENAULDON/R&B PRESSE
But the best polo I’ve ever seen was Chapaleufu 1 – with the four Heguy brothers playing together. The way they played together by instinct was mesmerising. They played backs, which went to the mallet of another brother, as if by magic. These days, fewer backs are played, and the horses are so fast. The modern style of playing is different. Talking about the evolution of polo, one thing I regret is that there are few patrons in polo I feel a genuine connection with. I don’t have a drink with many, or invite them round for dinner. I’m told Lord Cowdray would invite the patrons and players to his mansion and everyone would be diving into the pool. It’s a shame we don’t have more of that camaraderie these days. Overall, I’m very happy to have spent so much time and energy in polo over the years, playing all over the world. Looking to the future, as well as hoping my son will continue to play, I also have high hopes for
The beating heart of American Polo Chris Green, USPA’s chief operating officer, explains how the USPA’s National Polo Center in Wellington is making the “Sunday Field” vision a reality, and a level playing field for all
ROB FOLDY PHOTOGRAPHY
he USPA’s June acquisition of the International Polo Club Palm Beach (IPC) in Wellington, Florida, is the result of a consensus among the USPA’s 27 governors in support of what we call the “Sunday Field” vision. When USPA chairman Stewart Armstrong wrote about that vision in an essay called The Sunday Field in the Spring 2020 issue of this magazine, he was simply stating what every committed polo player knows. Team owners, who make the sport possible, want to play on the main field on Sunday in front of a crowd. To be sustainable, polo needs centrally located, permanent Sunday fields in large metropolitan areas, where it can draw enough spectators to both watch the Sunday games and entice commercial sponsors to join the team owners in supporting the sport. Since well before I was hired last July as the USPA’s COO, the number one priority of the USPA board has been creating and sustaining demand for polo in America. The board’s many discussions over the past two years about how to do that persuaded it that having a USPA-owned Sunday Field facility to serve as the permanent centre of polo in America would be a key driver in creating and sustaining demand – in part, by setting the standard for excellence in the sport. In the autumn of 2021, Stewart Armstrong was authorised by the board to discuss purchasing IPC, owned by Wellington Equestrian Partners (WEP), with WEP’s managing partner Mark Bellissimo. Soon after, Andreas Helgstrand’s Global Equestrian Group acquired Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, another WEP-owned property located nearby. That purchase was compelling evidence for Stewart’s contention that the polo community could easily lose out in the contest for space in Wellington if it didn’t act decisively. Wellington’s winter polo season has long been a key destination on both the international and American annual polo itineraries. Wellington’s first polo fields were introduced by Bill Ylvisaker in 1978. Several additional private fields were built in the late 1990s.
In 2002, IPC was founded by John Goodman, the owner of the Isla Carroll polo team. The USPA board was persuaded that by purchasing IPC it could secure a permanent home for USPA-supported polo in America, to serve the same function as the Palermo and Pilar fields of the AAP
DAVID LOMINSKA; NPC DRONE
Opposite: The Gauntlet of Polo Trophy. Above: USPA chairman Stewart Armstrong. Left: An aerial view of the main field at the NPC
L I L A P H O T O ; G L O B A L P O L O E N T E R TA I N M E N T
Above: A packed crowd on the U.S. Polo Assn. Field One in Wellington, Florida. Right: The swimming pool and the gym
medium- and low-goal levels. For 2023, NPC has worked with Florida members clubs to create a multi-club Florida Circuit 16-goal series and championship that will open the season. The 14-goal USPA Junior Open final is tentatively scheduled for 19 February, and the U.S. Open Women’s Polo Championship final will be played 19 March on U.S. Polo Assn. Field 1. And, while the plans are in the early stages, we hope to close the 2023 NPC season with an 8-goal series. To account for the new responsibilities, the USPA has formed two new subsidiaries. Under Charles Smith’s leadership, NPC Polo Operations, LLC is managing the polo side, and NPC Hospitality Operations Inc., led by Tim Gannon, is managing hospitality – for the polo community, the public, and The Polo Club at NPC members. Gannon, the co-founder of Outback Steakhouse and a three-time winner of The U.S. Open Polo Championship, has a particular focus on reinvigorating the Polo Club’s culinary offerings. He is supported by a strong board, including hospitality president Craig Callen and secretary John Klopp, two USPA members who have been instrumental in operating the Mashomack Preserve Club and the Mashomack Polo Club, located in Pine Plains, New York. Smith, currently USPA secretary, draws on experience and judgment gained from a stellar career in both engineering and polo, as a three-time C.V. Whitney Cup winner, two-time USPA Gold Cup winner, five-time winner of The U.S. Open Polo Championship, and a Museum of Polo Hall of Fame inductee. Smith hopes to create a world-class facility that players will love and spectators will enjoy. We look forward to hosting the polo community at the USPA National Polo Center – Wellington!
BOIES SCHILLER FLEXNER; DAVID LOMINSKA
USPA COO Chris Green. Below: Facundo Pieres playing at the NPC
do in Argentina. Now, the board’s aim is to make the facility the beating heart of American polo, rather than a strictly high-goal members-only polo club with the primary goal of turning a profit. The USPA will use the facility, now The USPA National Polo Center – Wellington (NPC), to showcase tournaments, develop players, and sustain an environment that will retain and attract new sponsors and players at every level. Through its ownership of NPC, the USPA aims to promote excellence as the goal for all who play polo in America. Excellence means many things – first-rate facilities to present the sport in the best light, great fields, intelligent rules, fair handicapping, quality umpiring, and a level playing field for all. NPC covers 161 acres and includes six fields, the grandstand, the Pavilion event space, the Mallet Grille, the Seventh Chukker café, the USPA Clubhouse, the Outback facility, and the social club (now called The Polo Club at NPC) along with the club facilities, which include a swimming pool, gym and tennis courts. NPC’s debut event will be the XII FIP World Polo Championship, on 29 October to 6 November 2022, on U.S. Polo Assn. Field 1. U.S. Polo Assn. is the official brand of the USPA and the official sponsor of the XII FIP World Polo Championship. In preparation for FIP and the 2023 season, the USPA is busy reinstalling Field Two, refurbishing the stadium, and refreshing the Mallet Grille. The USPA will still host the Gauntlet of Polo at NPC, but it will also use the facility to support women’s polo, youth polo and polo played at the
THROUGH ITS OWNERSHIP OF NPC, THE USPA AIMS TO PROMOTE EXCELLENCE AS THE G O A L F O R A L L W H O P L AY P O L O
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ACTION THE LATEST POLO ACTION FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Louis Hine, the youngest player to win the Coronation Cup, dribbles the ball
THE ART OF POLO
5 6 _ C O R O N AT I O N C U P Visitors Uruguay put up a spirited defence and kept the title match in close contention, but ultimately it was England that took home the Hurlingham Polo 1875 Coronation Cup, due in no small part to Tommy Beresford 58_GOLD CUP Dubai’s impressive streak of six wins took them to the final. However, Park Place showed tenacity to emerge the winners
60_QUEEN’S CUP In a thrilling twist in extra time, Great Oaks LL claimed the Queen’s Cup from Park Place Vaara, after four weeks of competition. King Power took home the subsidiary trophy
64_FRENCH OPEN Talandracas claimed a long-awaited second title with a sweeping victory over Los Dragones in Chantilly in the 22nd edition of the momentous tournament
62_PRINCE OF WALES TROPHY Despite falling behind at the start of the match, an extra chukka was all that was needed for Twelve Oaks to complete their fightback in the final against Great Oaks LL
65_JOCKEY CLUB OPEN Scone Polo took the cup in its first Jockey Club Open victory, defeating a strong Monterosso side with a dream team of Poroto Cambiaso, and Camilo and Bartolomé Castagnola
ACTION C O R O N A T I O N C U P, G U A R D S P O L O C L U B , E N G L A N D , 2 3 J U LY
Diana Butler reports on how England delivered an impressive and cohesive performance to defeat a strong Uruguay team
THE ART OF POLO
THE CORONATION CUP
Opposite: All eyes on MVP Tommy Beresford. Below: From left: Louis Hine, James Beim, James Harper and Tommy Beresford
The Hurlingham Polo 1875 Coronation Cup delivered a stand-out match befitting such a prestigious international test. England v Uruguay was the showcase match in a packed itinerary of sport curated by the Hurlingham Polo Association to highlight every generation playing polo in the UK today. England delivered an impressive and cohesive performance to defeat a strong Uruguay team 11-9. The visitors may have been making their debut in this match but put up a strong opposition, staying in contention until the final whistle. England may have finished ahead overall, but the margin between these two squads was so small that neither side could relax for a moment. Accurate goal scoring by Tommy Beresford was instrumental in keeping England ahead, especially in the later stages of the game. He finished the match as the home side’s top goal scorer, firing through five goals and was later named the Corpay Most Valuable Player. Highlighting the closeness of this match, Uruguay’s Ignacio Viana was his side’s top scorer, also with a five-goal tally. England captain James Harper was at the top of his game, often finishing a chukka with a goal to confirm England’s dominance. James Beim excelled in running through traffic, including scoring a crucial goal at the start of the sixth to give England a three-goal advantage (10-7) at a key moment. Meanwhile Louis Hine, who at 16 is the youngest player to represent England in the Coronation Cup, played with a maturity well beyond his years. Pony power is often an issue for the visitors, but this was not a problem for Uruguay. Alejo Taranco Stirling works for
A C C U R AT E G O A L S C O R I N G BY T O M M Y B E R E S F O R D WA S I N S T R U M E N TA L IN KEEPING ENGLAND AHEAD La Dolfina, and so it was not surprising that he played seven Adolfo Cambiaso horses. Juan Martin Nero provided the majority of Santi Stirling’s string, while Santi’s brother, Pelon, who was coaching Uruguay, offered several of his string to Viana and Juan Enrique Curbelo. Pelon’s Maserati, played on this day by Viana, was later named the Derby House Best Playing Pony. Meanwhile, Harper’s Lobster was named the Retraining of Racehorses Champion. Louis Hine’s older brother, Ned, may not have played on this day, but still headed home with a trophy. He received the
Ferguson Trophy after being named the HPA’s Best Young English Player of the Year. The day started with two games featuring the next generation. The Colts Cup featuring the under-17s was a win for the Hurlingham team, while the 1875 team collected the under-14s Stagshead Trophy. A chukka from the Pony Club “Fluffies” was played at lunchtime and the day concluded with a University Challenge match featuring the Hurlingham Academicals v the SUPA Stars. The Hurlingham Academicals won this four-chukka contest 7-4½, with Dom Lodge named the Most Valuable Player.
ACTION B R I T I S H O P E N C H A M P I O N S H I P, C O W D R AY PA R K , E N G L A N D , 2 1 J U N E -1 7 J U LY
THE GOLD CUP Park Place demonstrated determination and discipline to win their first British Open Championship at Cowdray Park Polo Club, reports Alex Webbe
PA R K P L A C E R O D E O U T T O A 7- 6 H A L F T I M E A D V A N TA G E B E F O R E R I D I N G O N T O O U T S C O R E D UB A I 5-3 IN T HE FIN A L T HREE CHUK K A S The quarterfinals saw Dubai emerge victorious against UAE with a 14-11 win, while Scone defeated 2022 Queen’s Cup winner Great Oaks, 10-7. Park Place earned a trip to the semifinals over Marquese De Riscal 15-11, while Talandracas came out on top against Park Place Vaara, 12-10. In the semifinal, Dubai notched their sixth consecutive victory with a very close 12-11 overtime win against Scone, with Nero replacing Cambiaso Sr. The Dubai win was marked by Jeta Castagnola’s lowest
offensive effort of the British Open, with Scone limiting him to a “mere” five goals. Facundo Pieres led a rejuvenated Park Place quartet past Talandracas, outscoring Edouard Carmignac’s team 7-3 in the second half for the 13-10 win. The final pitted the scoring leader of the high-goal season, Jeta Castagnola, against the top-ranked player in the world, 10-goaler Facundo Pieres, in a re-match of their earlier meeting a couple of weeks prior, which had resulted in a 17-14 Dubai win.
MARK BEAUMONT; IMAGES OF POLO
The 14 teams that lined up for the 2022 edition of the British Open Championship at Cowdray Park were divided into four zones, with Dubai (Rashid Albwardy, Matt Perry, Camilo “Jeta” Castagnola and Jeronimo del Carril) and Marques De Riscal emerging from qualifying rounds of play with 4-0 records. Scone, Talandracas, Great Oaks and Park Place Vaara all suffered single losses (3-1) in qualifying for the tournament quarterfinals. Park Place (Joshua Hyde, Louis Hine, Facundo Pieres and Francisco Elizalde) snuck into the quarterfinals with an unimpressive 2-2 record. The impressive stickwork and slashing, hard-riding style of Dubai’s 19-year-old phenom Jeta Castagnola led them to six consecutive wins while outscoring opponents 84-69.
This time, however, Park Place defense held Castagnola to five goals. Park Place rode out to a fragile 7-6 halftime advantage before riding on to outscore Dubai 5-3 in the final three chukkas, while the combination of Pieres and Francisco Elizalde combined for 10 goals in the 12-9 victory, Park Place’s first British Open Championship win. Castagnola led the field in scoring, with a tournament-leading 56 goals, but it was Facundo Pieres who would be lifting the trophy in the air at the end of the day. Elizalde was named MVP, with his pony, Van Nikita earning Best Playing Pony.
Opposite: Matt Perry (in green) on the ball in the final. Left, from top: Cousins Poroto Cambiaso (in red) and Jeta Castagnola were the stars of the tournament; Andrey Borodin and Facundo Pieres holding the Cup with Josh Hyde, Louis Hine, and Francisco Elizalde
ACTION Q U E E N ’ S C U P, G U A R D S P O LO C LU B , E N G L A N D , 1 7 M AY-1 2 J U N E
THE QUEEN’S CUP Despite a strong first half by Park Place Vaara, Great Oaks LL fought back to claim the Queen’s Cup in extra time, reports Diana Butler After four weeks of world-class competition, the final of the Queen’s Cup did not disappoint. This highly anticipated match, starring the best out of 15 teams, featured Park Place Vaara versus Great Oaks LL at Guards Polo Club. Park Place Vaara started the match in determined fashion, with Hilario Ulloa launching the ball from 60 yards out to score just seconds into the game. This initiated a strong first chukka, with Park Place Vaara taking a 3-0 lead. Cruz Heguy completed a breakaway run to keep Great Oaks LL in contention, trailing 3-1.
Incredibly, this field goal would prove to be Great Oaks LL’s only one of the first half. Strong defensive play from both teams meant all subsequent goals in these early chukkas came from penalties, with Park Place Vaara leading 5-3 at the break. This team’s strong defence allowed them to maintain their two-goal advantage going into the sixth chukka (7-5). So, when Juan Britos converted a penalty to give Park Place Vaara a crucial three-goal lead, a win looked assured. Juan Martin Nero, though, is certainly no stranger to either pressure or the big
occasion, and scored from a distance for the first Great Oaks LL field goal since the opening chukka! Scoring his second shortly after, Nero brought Great Oaks LL back within one with just over a minute remaining. He then hit a neck shot across goal and with a quick turn of his horse, Heguy found the equaliser. Park Place Vaara had the first opportunity in extra time but hit a penalty 4 short. Nero then sent James Beim racing towards goal and winning a ride-off against Britos, fired through the winner, giving Great Oaks LL a 9-8 win.
IMAGES OF POLO
Opposite: From left: MVP Juan Martin Nero and Hilario Ulloa. Left: The winning organisation
After the tournament, the Most Valuable Player prize was presented to Great Oaks LL’s Juan Martin Nero. Hilario Ulloa, meanwhile, received the Best Playing Pony prize for Lavinia Amber. Earlier in the day, King Power delivered a strong performance to beat the UAE Polo Team 9-7 to win the trophy for the sub-final. The winning team’s Mackenzie Weisz was named MVP in this match.
ACTION PRINCE OF WALES TROPHY, ROYAL COUNTY OF BERKSHIRE POLO CLUB, ENGLAND, 14 MAY 2022
PRINCE OF WALES TROPHY IMAGES OF POLO
Twelve Oaks held off Great Oaks LL to claim the Prince of Wales Trophy in a riveting extra chukka, reports RCBPC
Under a blaze of glorious sunshine on Saturday 14 May, the crowds gathered at the Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club for The Justerini & Brooks Prince of Wales Trophy final. In their debut high-goal season, Charlie Wooldridge’s team Twelve Oaks – Cristian (Magoo) Laprida, Joaquín Pittaluga and John-Paul Clarkin – were to take on Dillon Bacon and his Great Oaks LL team of James Beim, Juan Martín Nero, Cruz Heguy. In what was to become a thrilling match, the first two chukkas saw Great Oaks LL dominate and take an early lead, which they managed to hold on to until the fourth chukka when Twelve Oaks began to make a determined comeback and took control. Goal by goal, Twelve Oaks closed in on Great Oaks LL, and by the sixth chukka the scores were tied, 9-9. With 9 seconds remaining until the first bell, Twelve Oaks were awarded a 40-yard penalty that could have won the match. However, with the tension running high and the pressure on, the penalty was missed, pushing the match into an extra chukka. It was then all Great Oaks LL at the start of overtime, with the ball mostly in the
Twelve Oaks half of the field. Strong and spirited defence from Twelve Oaks nearly resulted in a runaway goal for Magoo Laprida, only for a foul to be called against him, resulting in a halfway hit for Great Oaks LL, but Twelve Oaks were not going to go down without a fight. Wooldridge and his team all worked incredibly hard and started to regain the momentum. Laprida won the team a 60-yard penalty only for it to be put wide. Not long after, another 60 penalty was awarded to Twelve Oaks that Joaquín Pittaluga converted, securing Twelve Oaks as the Justerini & Brooks Prince of Wales Champions for 2022. The Most Valuable Player prize for the tournament was awarded to Cruz Heguy, who also played the Best Playing Pony, Vasca Orgía.
T W E LV E OA KS W E R E N O T G O IN G TO GO DOWN WITHOUT A FIGHT AND A L L W O R K E D I N C R E D I B LY H A R D
Opposite: Juan Martin Nero between John Paul Clarkin and Christian Laprida. Above: John Paul Clarkin followed by MVP Cruz Heguy. Left: The two patrons, Charlie Wooldridge and Dillon Bacon
ACTION O P E N D E F R A N C E E N G E LE V&E NVTÖ LN KA EMRES ,L OC CH AATNI TO INL LDYA, T FE R A N C E , 1 9 S E P T E M B E R
FRENCH OPEN Twenty years after their first – and only – victory, Talandracas won the 22nd French Open by defeating Los Dragones 11-5, reports Jemima Wilson With 16 polo teams and 11 of the top 40 polo players in the world in participation, Chantilly Polo Club showed why the Open de France Engel & Völkers is now one of the three biggest tournaments in Europe – hosting a thrilling 18 days of polo with high quality organisation and beautiful grounds. The closely fought quarter- and semi-finals games leading up to the Final led everyone to believe it would be a close and relatively even match between the two French teams who emerged as finalists – Talandracas, captained by Edouard Carmignac (0) playing alongside Rufino Bensadon (7), Juan Martin Zubia (8) and
Hugues Carmignac (1); and Los Dragones, made up of Sam Sztarkman (2), captain Jota Chavanne (5), Bautista Bayugar (8), Alexandre Sztarkman (1). However, despite winning all their qualifying games, Los Dragones never built up enough momentum to put pressure on the dynamic Talandracas team, who dominated from the start by breaking away, gaining a seven-goal lead at the end of the final, fifth chukka. Bensadon and Zubia thrived, playing together in front of a record 2,000 spectators on “Honneur 1”, and Zubia’s spectacular neck shot from more than 80
yards was just one of the many incredible plays that made him the unmistakable MVP of the day. ‘It wasn’t an easy victory,’ stressed Zubia. ‘Our strength was that our team has grown stronger since Deauville, as did my understanding with Rufino with each game. We understood each other perfectly. But Huguito (Hugues Carmignac) and Edouard have also raised their game since the beginning of August and helped us a lot.’ Best Playing Pony was awarded to Peregrino La Banda “Bandita” by Grappa Granado and Open Bandera of the Zavaleta stud and ridden by Rufino Bensadon.
R&B PRESSE/PASCAL RENAULDON
MVP Juan Martin Zubia on the ball followed by MVP Amateur Hugues Carmignac
ACTION J O C K E Y C LU B O P E N T H A I P O LO C U P, S A N I S I D R O , A R G E N T I N A , 24 S E PT E M B E R 2 0 2 2
Barto Castagnola (in red) was the MVP in the Argentine Open in 2021. He was MVP in the Jockey Club as well. Barto is followed by Polito Pieres and Pablo Mac Donough
JOCKEY CLUB OPEN
M AT I A S C A L L E J O
David Paradice’s Scone Polo won its first Jockey Club Open, beating a strong Monterosso side with a dream team of Poroto Cambiaso, and Camilo and Bartolomé Castagnola, reports Jemima Wilson The 57th Jockey Club Open is the highest pro-am tournament in the world, with nine teams of 26 to 32 goals, half of which had patrons playing. The initial rounds were played at the AAP’s ground in Pilar with the semis and final being in San Isidro at the Jockey Club grounds. For the Argentine pros, the Jockey Club Open is a good tournament to get up to speed after playing overseas where the highest competition is 22 goals. For the amateurs, it is a chance to play with the best players in the world at a very high level you can only play in Argentina. Another characteristic of the tournament is it allows different combinations of players in teams who would not necessarily play together at this level. Polito Pieres was able
to team up with Juan Martin Nero and Pablo Mac Donough. David Paradice was speaking with Adolfo Cambiaso Sr and said it would be nice to play with his three grandsons. A couple of weeks later David received a text saying that he would be playing with Poroto Cambiaso, Camilo and Bartolomé Castagnola. In the final between Monterosso and Scone, the game was close until the 4th when Scone had a flurry of goals and ended the chukka at 8-3. In the remaining periods Monterosso would score but the boys would counter with goals of their own. During the game, the teamwork by the CastagnolaCambiaso tandem was wonderful to watch: quick changes of direction, pinpoint passing and very little dribbling of the ball.
Before the start of the tournament there was a lot speculation about the impact that the Castagnola brothers Barto and Camilo would have playing with their cousin Poroto. The results were impressive, beating the three Pieres brothers in the semi-finals 15-10 and dominating three of the best players (Polito Pieres, Pablo Mac Donough and Juan Martin Nero) in the world in the final, winning by 6 goals. For Scone it was their first title in the history of the tournament, as well as for David Paradice, Poroto Cambiaso and Camilo Castagnola. For MVP Barto Castagnola it was the second time, as he won in 2021 with La Ensenada. David Paradice had the best seat in the house and has confirmed the same team for 2023.
A YEAR TO REMEMBER 2022 has been a season of celebration for Oak Brook Polo Club as it celebrates its 100th anniversary, says managing director Danny O’Leary other leaders who have helped shape the sport in the country to become the powerhouse it is today. In 1986, Prince Charles played at Oak Brook in the Butler International and Prince of Wales Cup. On Sunday 25 September, to celebrate the club’s 100th birthday and the 50th anniversary of the 1972 Coronation Cup between England and the USA, a match was played at Oak Brook. The local team was Jim Drury, Tommy Collingwood, Horacio Onetto and Herndon Radcliff. England’s team was John Bunn, Alec Banner-Eve, Tommy Severn and Will Emerson. The home team came out on top 7-6. The game was close and decided in the last chukka. Hopefully, there will be a rematch in 2023. Above: 1986 – Andrew Seavill (#1), Martin Brown (#2), Oliver Ellis (#3) and Prince Charles (#4)
Founded in 1922 by businessman Paul Butler, the Oak Brook Polo Club is an American Polo treasure and one of the oldest polo clubs in the United States, with, at one point, 14 polo fields. It was once the sport’s epicentre for elite professional polo in the US, and served as home to the U.S. Open Polo Championship for 24 straight seasons and other prestigious international and national polo tournaments. Both Butler’s son, Michael, who produced the musical Hair, and his daughter, philanthropist Jorie Butler Kent, have acted as the club’s stewards throughout the years. In the early 1970s, Michael was playing in England and was instrumental in supporting the revival of the Coronation Cup, which had not been played since before World War II. Of the 30 or more countries that have visited and played at Oak Brook, England has been the most frequent. The relationship has lasted more than half a century and has deep roots in England’s polo community including Hurlingham, the royal family and countless
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