The Jaeger-LeCoultre 2015 Gold Cup is in full swing and Telegraph Sport will be on hand to bring you the best action and colour from this year’s tournament.
Set within Viscount Cowdray’s 16,500 acre estate in Midhurst, West Sussex, Cowdray Park Polo Club, with its cricket square and castle ruins next to the polo grounds, mark it out as quintessentially English. With cars parked close to the action, the commentator’s voice reverberating across the lawns as the ponies let fly, and the world’s finest players on show, the Gold Cup is rightly hailed as the sport’s showcase event outside of Argentina, albeit in its own unique atmosphere.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Gold Cup 2015: the story so far
• LIVE feeds, latest results and schedule
• Profiles of young British riders Ralph Richardson and Tom Brodie
• Eduardo Astrada opens up on English life
• Why England’s nursery players need to be groomed
• Gareth A Davies’ preview: Gold Cup draws in £40m
What happened in …
1999 Gold Cup final – In the biggest upset of the polo season, Pommery defeated Ellerston 12-8. It was a remarkable achievement by the foursome put together by John Horswell, the Pommery and Australasia team coach, last year. Horswell said: “The victory is the culmination of 12 months’ hard labour. It was an outstanding performance against Ellerston, who have been the team of the year.”
The Gold Cup itself started when an Argentine farmer called Antonio Heguy came over to England on holiday with three of his friends. Lord Cowdray had invited them to play in his new tournament. They arrived with a boatload of home bred horses – so different to today’s multi-million pound high-goal team operations. Their team, Los Indios, beat the home side 9-4 to become the first winners of the Gold Cup. 2016 will mark the Gold Cup’s 50th anniversary.
Semi-final day at Cowdray
A life less Maradona
In 2004, Sue Mott spoke to a typically understated Adolfo Cambiaso. “I don’t know eef I want to make polo more popular. I like my life the way it is. Eef polo is more popular, I am going to be more famous and I don’t know if I want that. I don’t want a life like Maradona.” As Mott wrote: “Much more Jonny Wilkinson than David Beckham then.” That statement still holds true 11 years on.
What they say about the Gold Cup
“Playing at the British Open is always special, it’s the most important tournament in the UK, in fact, besides the Argentine Open its probably the most important tournament in the world. To take part in that means you are taking part in something big, increasing your determination to win.”
Mark Tomlinson, England polo player
For information on tickets, schedules and results, go to Cowdray Park website. The 2015 Championships starts on June 23. The finals will be played on July 19