By Alejandra Ocampo
While the season in Palm Beach is entering the last stage with the US Open, England gets ready for a new an exciting season, due to start soon.
As many remember, the upcoming British season was in jeopardy due to the Visa ruling issue. At one point, the Home Office has banned the Hurlingham Polo Association to provide endorsements for the 2017 season, suspending a special rule that allowed the employment of foreign players, rated at any level, as well as grooms. Luckily, the parts came to an agreement, so teams are getting ready to play several tournaments in England, including the two most important competitions: the Queen’s Cup, at Guards Polo Club and the Gold Cup for the British Open, at Cowdray Park Polo Club.
The most important news with regards to the teams, is Adolfo Cambiaso’s new challenge. He won’t be playing with his long time team, Dubai, and moved on to play with Ben Soleimani’s RH. The winners of the two past editions of the Gold Cup, King Power, will remain with brothers Gonzalo and Facundo Pieres.
Speaking of brothers, the Hanbury will play in different teams: Charlie will be with El Remanso, and George will be featured in a new foursome: Sommelier Polo Team. Meanwhile, La Indiana, one of the most successful teams in 2016, who played the finals of the Queen’s Cup and the Gold Cup as well as won many tournaments last year, will be back. Michael Bickford will be joined by Nic Roldán and Agust�n Merlos once again, and will hire Luke Tomlinson.
There will be two new teams: Corinne Ricard’s Murus Sanctus (only played the Gold Cup in 2016), in a lineup that will include two young stars, Facundo Sola and Hilario Ulloa, and Alessandro Bazzoni’s Monterosso.
Two lineups have chosen to play one of the two tournaments: Habtoor, with Nico Pieres, will be at the Gold Cup and Sifani are due to play the Queen’s Cup.
The Queen’s Cup will be held through May 23 to June 18, and the Gold Cup for the British Open will take place through June 27 to July 23. But of course there will be plenty of tournaments for all levels, to make sure England will have a very competitive season.
HIGH GOAL TEAMS
Charlie Hanbury 4, Ollie Cudmore 5, James Beim 6, James Harper 6.
Sommelier Polo Team:
George Hanbury 3, Fred Mannix 8; Juan Gris Zavaleta 7, Alec White 4.
Michael Bickford 1, Agustín Merlos 8. Nic Roldán 7, Luke Tomlinson 7.
Ben Soleimani 0. Adolfo Cambiaso 10, Rodrigo Ribeiro de Andrade 8. Tomás Beresford 4.
Corinne Ricard 0, Facundo Sola 8, Hilario Ulloa 10, Dirk van Rennen 4.
Edouard Carmignac 0, David Stirling 10, Guillermo Caset 9, Jack Hyde 3.
Top Srivaddhanaprabha 0, Gonzalo Pieres Jr. 10, Facundo Pieres 10, TBA 2.
La Bamba de Areco:
Jean-Francois Decaux 0, Rodrigo Rueda Jr. 6. Cristian Laprida 8, Diego Cavanagh.
Alessandro Bazzoni 0, Ignacio Toccalino 8, Santiago Toccalino 8, Matt Perry 5.
Sifani (Queen’s Cup):
Hilali Nordeen 0, Jerónimo del Carril 5, Julián de Lusarreta 7. Guillermo Terrera 8.
Habtoor (Gold Cup for the British Open):
Mohammed Al Habtoor 0, Nicolas Pieres 8, Francisco Elizalde 7, Isidro Strada 6.