10 teams are drawn at Old Bond Street

Last night, the draw to decide match play in the opening league phase of this year’s Jaeger-LeCoultre Gold Cup tournament took place in Jaeger-LeCoultre’s flagship boutique at 13 Old Bond Street, London.

With ten teams taking part, Cowdray Park Polo Club’s Polo Manager, Chris Bethell, devised a matchplay programme formed by two Leagues. At the top of League A will be the winner of the 12pm Semi Final of The Cartier Queen’s Cup, and the losing team in the 4pm Semi Final of the Cartier Queen’s Cup taking place on Wednesday 14 June. Habtoor, La Bamba de Areco and King Power were all drawn into this League by the open draw. League B will contain the winner of the 4pm Semi Final of The Cartier Queen’s Cup and the 12pm loser of the Semi Final of The Cartier Queen’s Cup taking place on Wednesday 14 June, together with Talandracas, Monterosso and Sommelier. Chris is satisfied that this device enables fairness in each League, in which all teams play against each other before playing across the Leagues.
2016 winners, King Power, will be trying for a hat trick of wins, having won The Jaeger-LeCoultre Gold Cup for the first time in 2015 and repeating their success in 2016. Once again the outstanding 10 goal players Gonzalito and Facundo Pieres will join ‘Top’ Srivaddhanaprabha’s line-up. Patron Ben Soleimani has snapped up Adolfo Cambiaso for his RH Polo team. Playing alongside Cambiaso are Rodrigo Andrade (8 goals) and young local player Tommy Beresford, now playing off 4 goals, who has a very promising future ahead of him. So far their line up is proving solid as RH Polo are unbeaten in The Cartier Queen’s Cup.
Local favourites, El Remanso, based at Ambersham, will this year be composed of four English professionals brought together by Charlie Hanbury. He will be joined again by Ollie Cudmore playing off 5 goals, England captain James Beim (6 goals) and James Harper (6 goals).  Also based at Ambersham is Charlie’s brother, George Hanbury, who has joined with Canadian 8 goal patron Fred Mannix Jnr in bringing the Sommelier team into the 2017 Jaeger LeCoultre Gold Cup. Stabled within the Cowdray Estate for a fourth year is American businessman Michael Bickford’s La Indiana team. His 2017 line-up again includes 8 goal player Agustin Merlos and the USA team captain, Nic Roldan, who are joined this year by former England captain Luke Tomlinson and La Indiana are also, so far, unbeaten in The Cartier Queen’s Cup.
A trio of French teams re-enter the British Open: Edouard Carmignac and his Talandracas side have entered for many years but Monsieur Carmignac still longs to take home the coveted trophy. He has retained ‘Sapo’ Caset from his 2016 side but has added 10 goal player David ‘Pelon’ Stirling along with young English player Jack Hyde playing off 3 goals. Jean François Deçaux, who won the Gold Cup in 2009, returns with his La Bamba de Areco side unchanged from 2016, comprising Cristian Laprida, Diego Cavanagh and Rodrigo Rueda Jnr. Corinne Ricard, the only woman playing in the Gold Cup, re-enters with her Murus Sanctus side and welcomes 10 goal player Hilario Ulloa into the team to play alongside South African Dirk Van Reenen and Argentine Facundo Sola. Murus Sanctus secured a strong 10-7 win against Talandracas on Sunday 11 June in the Semi Final knockout stages of The Cartier Queen’s Cup, highlighting what this team is capable of.
Making their debuts in the 2017 Jaeger-LeCoultre Gold Cup are one of Dubai’s leading businessmen, Mohammed Al Habtoor, with his Habtoor team and Italian patron Alessandro Bazzoni with his Monterosso side.
Zahra Kassim-Lakha, Director UK Market and Global Strategy commented; “Jaeger-LeCoultre has enjoyed a rich history with polo ever since the creation of the Reverso watch in 1931. As we celebrate eleven years of partnership with Cowdray Park Polo Club, first as Official Time Keeper in 2006, and since 2015 as sponsor of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Gold Cup for the British Open Polo Championship, I wish all the players taking part in this year’s tournament a brilliant four weeks of sport and achievement.”
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Gold Cup for the British Open Polo Championship begins on Tuesday 27 June when the Carlos Gracida Memorial Trophy will be played. Quarter Finals take place over the weekend of 15 – 16 July, Semi Finals on Wednesday 19 July and the Final on Sunday 23 July.
Photograph: The draw of the 2017 Jaeger-LeCoultre Gold Cup. By Dominic James for Jaeger-LeCoultre @jamesesq @jaegerlecoultre