By Victoria Elsbury-Legg
Currently being played at the Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club from the 23rd January – 6th February 2015 is the McLaren Cup – the first tournament in the Gold Cup Series. Now in its sixth year, the Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series 2015 (Dubai Open) is held under the Patronage of HH Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai. Played as two tournaments, the Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series features the McLaren Cup: 23rd Jan – 06th Feb, 2015 and the Julius Baer Gold Cup: 23rd Feb – 13th March, 2015.
This year ten international teams have entered the 18 goal (five chukka) tournament, included in the team lists are Pablo MacDonough, Joaquim Pittaluga and Diego Cavanagh, who has playing alongside him young English player Tom Brodie.
UAE Polo Team
Patron: Her Highness Sheikha Maitha bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Santiago Stirling, Lucas Monterverde and Nacho Acuña.
Zedan Polo Team
Patron: Amr Zedan, Martin Gandara, Facundo Fernandez Llorente and Pablo MacDonough.
Bin Drai Polo Team
Patron: Saeed Bin Drai, Agustin Canale, Manuel Fernandez Llorente and Raul Laplacette.
Desert Palm 1 Polo Team
Patron: Rashid Albwardy, Martin Valent, Facundo Castagnola and Santiago Laborde.
Patron: Rashid Al Habtoor, Guy Gibrat, Joaquin Pittaluga and Ignacio Gonzalez.
Habtoor Polo Team (Julius Baer Team in Julius Baer Gold Cup)
Patron: Mohammed Al Habtoor, Santiago Cernadas, Martin Iturrazpe and Guillermo Cuitino.
Desert Palm 2 Polo Team
Patron: Tariq Albwardy, Tom Brodie, Diego Cavanagh and Matias Torres Zaveleta.
Edrees Polo Team
Patron: Sultan Edrees, Pierre Henri N’Goumou, Tito Ruiz Guinazu and Rodrigo Rueda.
Ghantoot ADCB Polo Team
Patron: HH Sheikh Falah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Yousef Bendesmal, Felipe Llorente, Juan Griz Zavaleta and Alexandro Muzzio.
Abu Dhabi Polo Team
Patron: Faris Al Yabhouni, Felipe Eduardo Martinez Ferairo, Alfredo Capela and Hugo Barabuchi.
Polo continues to expand in Dubai, as Mohammed Al Habtoor (Vice-Chairman and CEO of the UAE conglomerate, the Al Habtoor Group) recently announced work is underway in Dubailand on a new polo development. This will be called The Al Habtoor Polo Resort & Club, with features including four polo fields, state-of-the-art stables, equine disciplines from polo to dressage, a five star hotel and villas. Explaining the background behind building the new equine complex, Mohammed Al Habtoor said, “This helps with our aim to provide first class sporting facilities and to train the next generation of polo players.”
Matches & Results: McLaren Cup: 23rd Jan – 06th Feb, 2015
FRIDAY 23rd January
14:00 UAE POLO 9 V 12 ZEDAN POLO
16:00 BIN DRAI POLO 8 V 6 DESERT PALM
SATURDAY 24th January
16:00 HABTOOR POLO 7 v 8 GHANTOOT POLOL
SUNDAY 25th January
12:00 MAHRA POLO 9 v 8 EDREES POLO
15:00 DESERT PALM 2 POLO 9 v 8 ABU DHABI POLO
MONDAY 26th January
14:00 UAE POLO 3 v 7 BIN DRAI POLO
16:00 ZEDAN POLO 10 v 9 DESERT PALM
TUESDAY 27th January
14:00 MAHRA POLO 7 v 13 ABU DHABI POLO
16:00 HABTOOR POLO 8 v 3 EDREES POLO
WEDNESDAY 28th January
14:00 DESERT PALM 2 8 v 7 GHANTOOT POLO
THURSDAY 29th January – FREE DAY
FRIDAY 30th January
13:00 UAE POLO v DESERT PALM 1
15:30 ZEDAN POLO v BIN DRAI POLO
SATURDAY 31st January
13:00 HABTOOR POLO v ABU DHABI POLO
16:00 MAHRA POLO v GHANTOOT POLO
16:00 DESERT PALM 2 v EDREES POLO
SUNDAY 1st February – DAY OFF
MONDAY 2nd February – DAY OFF
TUESDAY 3rd February
14:00 2nd v 3rd
16:00 1st v 4th
WEDNESDAY 4th February – sub-semi finals
14:00 6th v 7th
16:00 5th v 8th
THURSDAY 5th February – DAY OFF
FRIDAY 6th February
The second part of the Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series (Dubai Open) – 18 goal is the Julius Baer Gold Cup: 23rd Feb – 13th March, 2015.