The Queen’s Cup, one of the most prestigious polo tournaments in the world, resumed on Wednesday with the semifinals. In the opening clash, Park Place beat Valiente, and will be playing the Queen’s Cup final in their first ever season playing the english high-goal. Up next, at The Queen’s Ground, La Indiana defeat La Bamba and will play for the title for a third year in a row. But this time they won’t have Adolfo Cambiaso on the other side of the field. The final of the Queen’s Cup will be on Sunday at 3pm.

PARK PLACE 11-9 VALIENTE (at The Duke’s Ground)

Park Place produced an impressive performance on The Duke’s Ground to secure their first Queen’s Cup Final ticket. Juan Britos, top scorer in the Queen’s Cup coming into this semi-final, did not disappoint, firing through four goals and delivering some breath-taking runs up the field. Not surprisingly he was later named MVP. Park Place’s hallmark in this competition has been teamwork – with no individuals wanting to steal the limelight. This reaped rewards for them today with both Hilario Ulloa and Tommy Beresford delivering strong performances; be it a perfect pass to a team-mate or being in the right place at the right time to receive the ball. Their patron, Andrey Borodin was equally strong, guaranteeing he was very much part of this competitive quartet. Meanwhile Valiente struggled to find their form today and did not take the lead once in this match. Cristian Laprida tried his best to put Valiente ahead, with some impressive play, but just could not find a response to Park Place’s consistent play. Tensions started to appear in the final two chukkas, with the umpires starting to earn their money. However Valiente still could not close the gap and Park Place ran out the winners, receiving the Hubert Perrodo Trophy from Cari Perrodo and Laurent Feniou of Cartier. Hilario Ulloa received the BPP Prize for Machitos Mesquite, a seven-year-old stallion whom he had played in the third and sixth chukka.

Park Place: Andrey Borodin 0, Juan Britos 7 (4 goals), Hilario Ulloa 10 (7), Tommy Beresford 5. Total: 22.
Valiente: Rob Jornayvaz Jr 1, Hugo Lewis 4, Magoo Laprida 7 (5 goals), Adolfo Cambiaso 10 (4). Total: 22.
Score Park Place: 3-2, 5-4, 7-5, 8-6, 9-7, 11-9.
Umpires: Jason Dixon and Tim Bown. Third man: Peter Wright.

LA INDIANA 13-6 LA BAMBA DE ARECO (at The Queen’s Ground)

The second match, on The Queen’s Ground, was a very different experience, a stop/start match that was marred by too many umpires’ whistles. Michael Bickford’s La Indiana dominated the game, earning his team their third Queen’s Cup finals tickets in succession. Ros Packer, the widow of the late Kerry Packer, who had watched this game from the Royal Box, presented the prizes, including the Best Playing Pony prize for the American-bred Ole, played by Facundo Pieres. Unfortunately, Jean Francois Decaux’s La Bamba de Areco struggled to find the form that had seen them through to today’s semi-finals. Although Juan Martin Nero produced some wonderfully fast runs down the Queen’s Ground, he failed to convert these to goals. It was David Stirling who scored the lion’s share of his team’s tally, firing through five goals. In fact La Bamba also created too many penalty situations – which Facundo Pieres and Nic Roldan – later named Most Valuable Player – fired through. This sharp shooting paid dividends in the final two chukkas with Pieres and Roldan delivering six goals to only two in reply from La Bamba. Such a performance has now earned Michael Bickford and his team a Cartier Queen’s Cup Final contest against Park Place this Sunday at 3pm.

La Indiana: Michael Bickford 1, Alec White 4, Nic Roldan 7 (6 goals), Facundo Pieres 10 (7). Total: 22.
La Bamba de Areco: Jean Francois Decaux 0, Byron Watson 3, Pelon Stirling 9 (5 goals), Juan Martín Nero 10 (1). Total: 22.
Score La Indiana: 1-1, 4-2, 5-4, 7-4, 10-5, 13-6.
Umpires: Peter Wright and Julian Appleby. Third man: Jason Dixon.

The Queen’s Cup will resume on Thursday with the subsidiary semifinals:
12pm: RH Polo vs Talandracas, at The Castle Ground, Flemish Farm.
3pm: Les Lions vs Emlor, at Les Lions.

QUEEN’S CUP: Fixture & Teams