By Victoria Elsbury-Legg
Hot off the polo press is the news of a new team set up to take the 2016 high goal season by storm, in an unprecedented alliance between two polo organisations at the highest of levels – and what a setup it looks to be. Masterminded by the enduring ‘master of polo himself’ – Adolfo Cambiaso it would appear has come up with the perfect solution to enable two patrons, who both wanted to play, with him to realise their vision by joining forces across the ocean.
For the 2016 high goal season in both the United States and England, Bob Jornayvaz, patron of Valiente, will join with Rashid Albwardy, patron of Dubai, to share both facilities and teams on either side of the Atlantic.
Preliminary reports would appear to suggest that Cambiaso will play the first two 26 goal tournaments of the US Triple Crown – The C.V. Whitney Cup and Piaget USPA Gold Cup – at the International Polo Club Palm Beach with Bob Jornayvaz, Santiago Chavanne and Santiago Torres, then team up with Rashid Albwardy to play the final jewel in the US Triple Crown – the 112th US Open Polo Championship. Prior to playing in the US Open, it would seem plans are also afoot for Rashid Albwardy to play some of the 20 goal tournaments in the US alongside Alejo Ortiz de Taranco (cousin to one member of the ‘La Dolfina’ dream team – Pelon Stirling) and Diego Cavanagh. With many successful English high goal seasons behind Dubai, and as the 2015 winners of the high goal Silver and Gold Cups in Sotogrande (with team mates Alejo Ortiz de Taranco and Martin Valent) it looks certain that the pairing of Adolfo Cambiaso and Rashid Albwardy will be creating quite a polo sensation in the USA in the 2016 season.
Following the US high goal season, another polo first will take place, with Juan Martin Nero then joining Adolfo Cambiaso to play the 2016 high goal season in England. Never before have the pair (who make up half of the La Dolfina ‘dream team’ – completed by Pelon Stirling and Pablo MacDonough), played together outside of Argentina.
In England, playing out of their home stables, Rashid Albwardy will join with Cambiaso and Nero in the 2016 Cartier Queen’s Cup, before Valiente patron Bob Jornayvaz will arrive on English shores to play his inaugural high goal tournament in England – the 2016 Jaeger LeCoultre Gold Cup. With recent successes for team Valiente (with Bob Jornayvaz and Cambiaso playing), including winning last year’s 111th U.S. Open Polo Championships (beating Steve Van Andel’s Orchard Hill team, which included Facundo and Polito Pieres in the Final) and ‘doing the triple’ in their debut season in Sotogrande in 2014 – lifting the high goal Bronze, Silver and Gold Cups, it looks certain that the lawns of Cowdray will provide the perfect backdrop for some intense polo action for Valiente in their debut English season.
From cloning to now team sharing at a truly global level – Cambiaso it would seem, even after so many years at the top of his game, still continues to innovate and find the ultimate in solutions for patrons and players to work together at the very highest of levels.