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Volume 16 • Issue 10 • November/December 2011 • £5.50


HOSTS WITH THE MOST Argentina wins record fourth World Cup title

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Hyde goes seeking This action shot shows Ocho Rios–Altyon’s Chris Hyde going in search of a goal in the final of the 2010 Arena Gold Cup at the Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club (RCBPC), pursued by Jamie Morrison of eventual winners Cold Smoke. Gillian Hughes, who was at the other end of the lens, has been RCBPC’s official photographer for five years. She also attends the snow polo in St Moritz, has spent three years photographing polo in Sotogrande and has worked for English high-goal team La Bamba de Areco for two summers, snapping her favourite player Facundo Pieres. A low-goal polo player herself, Gillian played in the National Women’s Championships at Ascot Park Polo Club this summer. Gillian’s own polo pony, Vanity Fair, was bought from the late Paul Castle. She hopes that her passion for horses and their individual personalities is conveyed in the photographs she takes. ◗ Gillian can be seen at the HPA National Championships at RCBPC later this month. See more of her work at

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Interview – England’s FIP World Cup team

All four one, for Queen and country England’s World Cup foursome reflect on beating seven countries in 21 days, consider what might have been, and discuss how they’ve gelled as a team, how they’ve got on as individuals, how they rate the FIP, and how their coaches contributed to their successes

James Mullan in San Luis, Argentina

Photographs by James Mullan


n terms of genuinely sanctioned international competitions in polo, this is as big as it gets. Not since the game last formed part of the Olympics – way back in 1936 – has there been a more rigorous test for discovering the health of a country’s polo. Though international Test Matches are often played at higher-handicap levels, and of course one country in particular is home to all five of the world’s 10-goal players, by limiting the World Cup to 14-goal and to players of a five-goal handicap and below, nations are examined for their ability to handicap effectively and produce sides that are balanced and players that can perform on unfamiliar horses. It’s not an easy mix to get right, and so is an incredibly difficult tournament to win, let alone even qualify for. However, in case you’ve been living under a rock for the last month or so, England’s boys this year got painfully close. They finished fourth after only just missing out on their chance to contest for the top honour, losing the semifinal to Brazil in the cruellest of fashions. But how did the side come together, how did they make it work on the field, and how much did it work off it? I sat down with Nick Britten-Long, Jack Richardson, Max Charlton and Ed Hitchman in their hotel the day after their semi-final to try and find out.


Polo Times, November/December 2011

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So, how was this team selected, and by whom? Nick Britten-Long (NBL): I had very little to do with it at its embryonic stage. Once the HPA had agreed how the team for this tournament and the qualifiers that preceded it would be funded [a mixture of HPA money and funds provided privately, some of which came from the Britten-Long family] they approached Alan Kent to put together a side. Between Alan and [HPA steward] John Tinsley, the original idea was for a squad captained by Johnny Good, and I was fortunate enough that they included me in their plans. Jack Richardson (JR): Alan was then the person responsible for recruiting Max and me as well, and we all first had the chance to play together in the John Cowdray Trophy [for England FIP Europe] on Gold Cup day, which follows the final. We won that game [against Young England] but it wasn’t quite as smooth as we would have liked. Max Charlton (MC): A week later, Jack, Johnny and I were part of the Golden Jubilee Cup game on Cartier Day, playing

“With a similar standard of horses, more than normal it’s about how you connect as a team” – Jack Richardson together against Ed, and it was then that Alan started to consider if the formation we had could work better. JR: It seemed that Ed might fit in well, given the kind of polo we were hoping to play and so, after the Cartier Day game, we had a couple of practices with him, and it went from there.

NBL: The only problem was that when Ed was originally approached, he was unsure that he’d have the horses to bring to take part in the qualifiers [in Italy at the end of September]. Ed Hitchman (EH): It’s the wrong end of the season to be taking a string of horses abroad, but you play your own ponies in the qualifiers [– unlike in the World Cup itself, when each team is allocated a pool]. So we had to call in some favours. Luckily, George Meyrick, Billy Jackson-Stopps and John Horswell were generous enough to lend us some horses, and Nick also brought a few spares, so Max and I were able to mount ourselves with a couple of extras that definitely helped us. So, the four of you, plus Alan and, what, 25 horses, went out to Italy? MC: In total, we took 27, and John Kent came as our substitute. He couldn’t then make it for the trip out here to Argentina, because he’s at university and had to go back. JR: So Mark Baldwin got the call up instead, and I think he’s been a great sub. NBL: Yes, he’s been a very positive part of the squad. It can be difficult to come in, especially immediately after we’d been together as a group for several weeks in Italy and beforehand, but he slipped in well, integrated himself and has done his job helping the team excellently. EH: As has Anthony Fanshawe, who replaced Alan as coach at the last minute when Alan realised he’d be required on some business elsewhere [organising some horses for a deal in China]. NBL: Ant kindly delayed his trip back home in u Right: Jack Richardson and Nick Britten-Long (back row) line up with Max Charlton and Ed Hitchman (in helmets)

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FIP World Cup, Argentina

A Capella on song as maintains Status Quo

The same weekend that Argentina’s incumbant President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner was returned to office for a second term in the national general elections, there was also little surprise at the outcome of the ninth FIP World Cup in San Luis, when hosts Argentina marked their return to the tournament with victory

James Mullan

in San Luis, Argentina

Photographs by James Mullan

Argentina Brazil


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rgentina’s prolific dominance at the top of the world ratings in polo was underlined this October, when they won the FIP World Cup for a record fourth time, beating Brazil in an enjoyable final, 12-11. 28

Polo Times, November/December 2011

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The final bell sparked wild celebrations amongst the hordes of spectators at Estancia Grande, near San Luis, where the conclusion of the World Cup also marked a moment to reflect on the country’s admirable ability to host such a tournament successfully. Argentina’s victory came at the end of 11 days of competition, in which 10 nations in two groups fought out 22 games on four grounds, utilising some 300 horses hired from Pilar (at a cost of US$360,000). Thumping wins in the tournament’s first four fixtures – all by six goals or more – quickly established Argentina, Italy, Brazil and England as the clear favourites for the

championships, and little would change as the tournament progressed. Each with three World Cup titles to their names already, Argentina and Brazil were always likely to be competitive, and Italy and England came Most valuable player

Alfredo Capella straight from three weeks of playing and practising together at the European Zone C qualifiers, which only concluded 10 days before the start of the championships. Italy’s inclusion at those qualifiers, played

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FIP World Cup, Argentina



World Cup winners 1987

Buenos Aires, Argentina Winners: Argentina


Berlin, Germany Winners: USA


Santiago, Chile Winners: Argentina


St Moritz, Switzerland Winners: Brazil


Santa Barbara, USA Winners: Argentina


Melbourne, Australia Winners: Brazil


Chantilly, France Winners: Brazil


Mexico City, Mexico Winners: Chile


Estancia Grande, Argentina Winners: Argentina

England were drawn in the same World Cup group as Brazil, as well as defending champions Chile, who were something of an unknown quantity, fielding a very young side, changed completely from the their World Cup triumph in 2008. As it was, while their slight 16-year-old Felipe Vercellino impressed

The Argentines struggled to contain Brazil’s long-limbed playmaker, Pedro Zacharias, who was superb all tournament

in Italy at Villa a Sesta, was controversial, since half of the side could make very little claim to their newly-purchased Italian passports: brothers Francisco and Manuel Elizalde speak no Italian, have never lived in Italy and qualify only tenuously by the nationality of one of their grandparents. It was even worse in the World Cup itself, when Juan Jauretche replaced Goffredo Cuttinelli, and so the Italy team was comprised of – to all intents and purposes – three Argentine professionals. England however fielded a suitably AngloSaxon-looking outfit, funded for the first time by a joint venture between the HPA

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Above: Argentina’s Pablo Llorente, Alfredo Capella, Martin Inchauspe and Salvador Jauretche prepare for the World Cup final during the anthems

and private investment. Alan Kent eventually settled on a team made up of amateur patron Nick Britten-Long, promising young talents Jack Richardson and Max Charlton, and seasoned professional Ed Hitchman for the trip to Italy in September, with Alan’s son John as substitute. The two Kents were then unavailable for the trip to Argentina after the successful qualifying campaign, replaced by Anthony Fanshawe and Mark Baldwin as coach and sub respectively.

with consistently classy and composed performances at back, it was fortunate the Chile team didn’t have a dog, because they seemed incapable of holding a lead and slipped to defeats against Brazil and Australia from commanding winning positions, eventually finishing 8th. Despite the most vocal support from the sidelines in the group stages – “Chi, chi, chi; li, li, li; viva Chile!” – the Chileans managed just one victory, over the USA, in their four games. The England team made light work of Chile in their opening encounter, but then showed both sides of their personality in stop-start wins over the USA and Australia. At times the foursome from the UK were simply unplayable but – with eerie similarity to the England rugby team also engaged in a world u Polo Times, November/December 2011


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Youth polo

Goldin U18 International Tournament, China

Presented by

American youngsters find the Goldin touch

The quartet from the United States saw off talented squads from England, Argentina and South Africa to lift the Goldin U18 trophy after a thrilling two days play in China

John O’Sullivan reports from Tianjin

Photograph by John O'Sullivan

USA England


5½ 4

he United States showed tremendous fighting spirit as they won the inaugural Goldin U18 International Tournament at the Tianjin Metropolitan Polo Club in China in early October. The recently formed Chinese club showed its commitment to promoting youth polo by inviting a quartet of international teams from four different continents to play in front of

hundreds of enthusiastic local spectators. And after four thrilling matches played over two days – each one of which was very much in the balance until the final chukka – the well-drilled three-goal American team beat a talented four-goal England line-up 5½-4 in the final to win the crown. In the subsidiary final Argentina, coached by six-goaler Santiago Gaztambide, clinched third place by beating a young, but very impressive, South African side 8-6. The tournament, the Metropolitan’s fifth since it was officially opened last November, was played while the club’s ambitious and sustained building work (which includes luxurious field-side town houses and apartments, the tallest tower in China and a new match-day VIP area) was in full flow on three sides of the ground.

In the final the United States started with a half goal lead on handicap but England, coached by David Morley, soon turned things in their favour. Kirtlington-based Will Berner scored two goals and Cowdray Park’s Charlie Scott scored a close range spot-penalty to put the young Brits into a commanding 3-1½ lead midway through the second of four chukkas. A powerful surge forward and emphatic finish by Kareem Rosser put the American’s back in contention before half time and they went on to dominate the last two chukkas to claim the trophy. Matt Coppola, who earlier scored the US opener, scored three more goals before England’s Barney Wilson – whose flowing locks made him something of a local celebrity in Tianjin – scored a consolation goal from long range. US coach Harley Stimmel felt that overall


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his team were good value for the win and praised their temperament in the second half. He said: “After getting through the semi-finals I knew that we could win. “As a team, I felt we were organised on our set plays. Even though the boys changed it up during the game, we had a game plan. “After the second chukka I reminded them to play for fun, I did not put any undue pressure on them. The desire to win and perform to the best of their abilities was already a given. One main aspect of polo is to be able to get back into the game after a mistake. Although we made some key mistakes we were able to recover quickly.” The US and England booked their place in the final with wins over Argentina and South Africa respectively on the first day of the tournament. In the opening game Argentina looked to have the edge over the Americans in the early exchanges, making the most of their physical power and prowess in the Most valuable player

Max Hutchinson ride-offs. But the Americans grew in strength as the game went on and eventually booked their passage into the final with a 5½-5 win that included three goals by Philadelphiabased 18-year-old Rosser. South Africa were by far the youngest team in the tournament with two 15-year-

olds (the prodigious Dirk van Reenan and Byron Watson) in their squad. They may have finished in last place, but they won many fans with their expansive play and they showed enough talent to suggest that, but for an unfortunate accident in their opening game against England, things could well have been very different.

Youth polo

How the final unfolded...

"Although we made mistakes, we always recovered quickly" – USA coach Harley Stimmel With South Africa leading by 3-0 in the first chukka, Watson fell from his pony and suffered concussion, which ruled him out of the rest of the tournament. Argentina’s Silvestre Hunter sportingly filled in for him as South Africa maintained their three-goal lead until the final chukka when England staged a remarkable comeback. Trailing 5-2, a quick-fire hat-trick by Berner, who finished the tournament with six goals, brought England level, setting the scene for Barney Wilson to score the most dramatic goal of the tournament. The 17-year-old from Beaufort Polo Club sprinted the length of the field, crossing half way with only 23 seconds left on the clock before slotting the ball home as the final bell sounded to seal an unlikely 6-5 win. Despite the disappointing finish, South African coach Greg Caine was full of praise for the u Visiting polo teams are given five-star accommodation in the luxurious Goldin Metropolitan Hotel in Tianjin

First chukka

The Americans started with a half-goal lead on handicap and Matt Coppola almost extended their advantage in the opening minute, but he dragged his shot wide. Will Berner showed tremendous horsemanship and great control as he burst clear to put England in front 1-½. Max Hutchinson went close before a close-range spot-penalty by Charlie Scott gave England a 2-½ lead. USA ½, England 2

Second chukka Having missed several chances in the first chukka, Matt Coppola scored a goal to move the US within half a goal of England early in the second chukka. Will Berner soon restored England's one and a half goal lead with a 30-yard penalty to make the score 3-1½. An explosive goal by Kareem Rosser, with an assist by Tony Uretz, put the US back in touch before half time. USA 2½, England 3

Third chukka The USA started the third chukka with a renewed energy. Coppola had a penalty deflected wide and Rosser went close before two quick goals by Coppola – the second of which was a 30-yard penalty – put the Americans in charge, 4½-3. Russell Stimmel created two chances to extend the lead even further, but both slipped wide. USA 4½, England 3

Fourth chukka England sensed they still had a chance to force the win, but were given a mountain to climb when Coppola galloped clear to collect a great Stimmel pass to score America's fifth goal of the final. An accurate long-range shot by Barney Wilson gave England hope with three minutes to play, but Hutchinson, Berner and Scott all missed chances as the US saw out the win. Final score – USA 5½, England 4

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Winter wish list Georgie May picks out the season’s must-have fashion favourites – for him, for her, and even for the dog

Francesca wears: Mordale Jacket in khaki from Joules, £84.95; V-neck jumper in lime green from La Martina, £90; Sheringham jeans in indigo from Joules, £69.95; Buckle Boots from Pampeano, £179; country socks in pink from Spanish Boot Company, £27; bush hat from Spanish Boot Company, £49; cashmere-lined leather gloves in black from Pampeano, £59; cow hide handbag from UberPolo, £180 Max wears: Barbour Lundy Jacket in brown from Cotswold Country Clothing, £199; Alan Paine V-neck jumper in navy from Cotswold Country Clothing, £62.99; classic stripe shirt in blue from Hackett London, £55; Lawton classic jeans in sand from Joules, £69.75; Estancia belt from Pampeano, £35; Original wellington boots in navy from Hunter, £79; James Dermot flat cap from Top Secret Hats, £40 Tiny wears: Barbour quilted dog coat in olive from Cotswold Country Clothing, £27.95; collar in red/ green/gold from Pampeano, £25; lead in red/green/ gold from Pampeano, £35 For stockists see page 97


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Francesca wears: jacket from Liberty Freedom, £435; Sheringham jeans in indigo from Joules, £69.95; Country Boots from Spanish Boot Company, £189; Trussel Welly Socks in red from Joules, £17.95 Max wears: Horse and Hound jacket from Hackett London, £500; Barbour Field Tattersall shirt in red/olive from Cotswold Country Clothing, £59.95; Polistas tie in red from UberPolo, £80; Lawton classic jeans in sand from Joules, £69.75; striped belt from UberPolo, £30 For stockists see page 97

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Polo Times, November/December 2011


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Motoring special

ize matters

Whether you’re looking for something to tow the horsebox with or a nifty little runabout, this month we review some of the smartest cars on the market at either end of the size spectrum, and everything in between

Big is beautiful: looking for an SUV?

Photographs by James Mullan

VW Touareg Altitude V8 TDI


much quicker and far more luxurious alternative to the VW’s other large production vehicle capable of towing (the new Amarok), the Touareg is a classy bit of kit. It’s so strong in so many areas that it’s hard to see who it wouldn’t be suitable for, so long as whoever it was had some cash in the

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bank. Because, alongside the chunky look is a hefty pricetag. And you’ll want to be sitting down when you fill up the 100-litre tank: it takes so long that Roger Bannister could run a mile faster (even today), and is so expensive that the numbers tumbling on the display at the pumps will make you feel as though you’re in another Matrix sequel.

First impressions It’s huge. It gives the Range Rover a run for its money in terms of its sheer size, and the one we reviewed was also colossal under the bonnet. However, whilst drawing admiring glances from those driving the kinds of cars that make you think they must know what they are talking about, it somehow achieves a more understated feel than its meaty competitors. The only shame is its silly name. TOUAREG. It looks like a collection of letters left over at the

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Motoring special


end of a game of Scrabble, and one wonders if the peculiar series of consonants and vowels was ever one of Carol Voderman’s creations as a “crucial Countdown conundrum”.

How does it drive? Despite being longer, wider and taller than the older versions, the new Touareg is lighter and, as a result, goes like an absolute rocket. There’s a Sport function, which will give you 335bhp, though it’s so fast anyway that the difference isn’t that discernible. It’s also remarkably stable compared to other SUVs, and the ride quality is superb.

Pretty-fly factor In terms of cool extras, you get plenty: VW’s top eight-inch touchscreen DVD satellite navigation system; keyless entry and a keyless start; automatic electric tailgate; parking sensors and a rear-view video for reversing; sensors for lights and wipers; an iPod connector and built-in Bluetooth capabilities for your phone – to name but a few. However, the most memorable function is the intelligent cruise control, which senses the road in front of you and brakes when the traffic ahead of you in your lane does. It’s eerie at first, but then you realise it’s the future...

Polo practicality Well, you can see for yourself that there’s plenty of room, so it’s well set up for the rigours, equipment and entourage that go with fulfilling the requirements of most polo players. There’s also an ESP (Electronic Stabilisation Programme) built in to ensure maximum stability when towing a trailer (great, but read on).

Full marks for… The safety features are cutting edge and the look and finish both inside and out oozes quality. This is the automotive equivalent of travelling first class. Just beware that it may be difficult to ever go back into economy, and economic it ain’t!

Could do better… It was by no means the best SUV I’ve ever driven offroad when it was muddy and, even worse, the option to have a tow-bar fitted

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The new Touareg looks the part, both inside and out. There’s a mind-blowing amount of technical support for the driver in the cabin, where the views out include a panoramic retractable sunroof that stretches back over the passengers in the rear seats. Great for games of “I spy”

was withdrawn from all Touaregs in July and, while it is anticipated that the problem with it will be resolved by the new year, it means you probably won’t have seen too many of the new Touaregs at polo so far this year. Whoops. JM u

Essentials Engine: 4.2 litre V8 TDI 0-62: 5.8 seconds Mpg consumption: 31 Warranty: three years, up to 60,000 miles Insurance group: 46E Price: £58,730 on the road Polo Times verdict: 8 out of 10 Polo Times, November/December 2011


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Celebrity guest, Argentine TV presenter Susanna Gimenez

The Australian entourage caught being distracted by some quality literature

The ninth FIP World Cup, Argentina 2011 Estancia Grande, San Luis – 20-21 October

Lunch but no punch Though there was a carnival atmosphere on finals’ day, when Argentina raised the FIP World Cup for the first time in 13 years (and the first time on home soil since the tournament’s inaugural year, in 1987), the extra-curricular entertainment laid on during the rest of the tournament in San Luis was actually generally rather disappointing. The teams all stayed in Hotel Quintana, a half-hour drive from Estancia Grande in San Luis, and each made the daily trip in a specially emblazoned mini-bus decorated with their national flag. They then joined up with the other teams, their entourages, selected press and FIP’s own special guests to enjoy lunch in the VIP marquee, where they were looked after by a raft of pretty English-speaking PR girls from Mendoza.

Nick Britten-Long puckers up

Newlyweds Micaela Watt Bozzolo and Cristian Benkö

Argentina celebrates victory with the trademark soaking of the team’s coach

w All photos by James Mullan. Read his full report from the championships on page 28

FIP president, Eduardo Huego

Argentine technical director Martín Zúbia after his soaking

Some of the enthusiastic Argentine jubilation at the final bell

A groom exercises Brazil’s horses Interest in polo begins young in Argentina

PR girls at the final

Valerio Aguilar Sotelo readies himself for action against Italy

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Brigadier VP Singh

The band plays beneath a shot of the Estancia Grande high-goal team

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Bike polo at the club

Dawule Buba

Roderick Vere Nicoll

Nicholas Colquhoun-Denvers

The African Patrons Cup, Nigeria – 26-30 October 2011

Colour in the grandstands

HPA approved!

England’s Max Charlton reflects on the team’s win over Australia

Seven Nigerian patrons formed the contested teams, among them, Alhaji Adamu Atta (founder of the host club, Fifth Chukker). The final of the 15-goal tournament saw Linetrale Delaney, featuring Damian Duncan, Mustapha Fasinro and Argentines Frankie Menendez and Marcelo Pascual, score a 9-8 victory against Atta’s AMG. The event featured a fashion show and Nigeria’s first International Bike Polo Exhibition to mark the 10th anniversary of Fifth Chukker Polo Club. Proceeds were donated to Breast Cancer Awareness. HPA’s Nicholas ColquhounDenvers attended the tournament and commented, “With the improvements in horse care and field maintenance, Nigeria can now compete at an international level”. w Photos by Leonora de Ferranti

Umpire Peter Wright

Senator Ike Ekweremadu

Alhaji Adamu Atta

Gareth Evans

Danny Davis and Ciccio Fiorila

Frankie Menendez and Babingada Hassan

Winners, Linetrale Delaney

Tory Bigge and George Hanbury Indian supporters in front of the team’s minibus

Euan Douglas and Cata Huidobro

Ollie Cudmore

El Remanso bike chukkas, Argentina – 22 October 2011

Ball and chain Chile’s coach Tono Irurrate with his son, Martin

British umpire, Peter Wright

A selection of familiar Brits and their antipodean chums took stick and balling to the next level last month, when grooming meant putting the chain back on your mount to discover its horsepower. w Photos by James Mullan Jaime Huidobro

The Hanbury boys fight for the ball

Charlie Hanbury

Luke Reid

Will and Alec White

The musical build up to the final

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The private bank for polo Proud supporters of leading polo teams and events worldwide.

Practitioners of the craft of private banking

EFG International’s global private banking network includes offices in Zurich, Geneva, London, Channel Islands, Luxembourg, Monaco, Madrid, Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai, Taipei, Miami, Nassau, Bogotå, Montevideo and Buenos Aires.

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Polo Times November/December 2011 preview  

Polo Times November/December 2011 preview