Valiente Dubai Win The Prince of Wales Trophy
On Saturday 14 May, with a backdrop of a different kind of horsepower in the form of Aston Martins glinting in the Spring sunshine, Valiente Dubai triumphed against Apes Hill in the Final of The Prince of Wales Trophy at The Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club. The match was a speedy display of talent and horse power which thrilled the crowds on the main ground at the Club, as each team took it in turn to take the lead throughout the six chukkas.
The young 1 goaler Henry Porter had an exceptional game from the first chukka when he began scoring for his team and making life difficult for both Mark Tomlinson and Eduardo Novillo Astrada. Commentator Chris Hyde said, “He has played incredibly well today, and only on a 1 goal handicap”. Apes Hill didn’t make it onto the scoreboard until well into the second chukka when Novillo Astrada somehow persuaded the ball over the line. It wasn’t a stylish affair, but it did the job nonetheless. The ground was perfect despite a week of torrential rain and the horses ate up the ground as the teams sped from one end to the other. Apes Hill managed to equalise the score in the third chukka, but a Penalty 4 converted by Del Rio, gave Valiente Dubai the edge as the spectators took to the field for some treading in, the score settled on 5-4.
In the second half, after a stern team talk, Apes Hill attempted to pick up the pace, Valiente Dubai edged forward in the fourth chukka with goals coming in thick and fast. Hyde highlighted Porter again for his success on the scoreboard, “Henry porter is on fire, he doesn’t need the eight goaler – he can do it himself”, as he took his team to an 8-4 lead. Chukka five didn’t start well for Apes Hill as Novillo Astrada received a Yellow Card from umpires Jason Dixon and Tim Bown, but he wasn’t the only one as Taranco also picked up a Yellow Card. Apes Hill managed to claw back the score a little to make 8-6, but the sixth chukka was their best, scoring three goals to Valiente Dubai’s one to make 9-9. The game went into an extra chukka. It took a few fraught minutes of play before Henry Porter sealed the deal for Valiente Dubai by scoring to finish the game 10-9.
The Subsidiary Final, scheduled for earlier in the day between Dubai and La Bamba de Areco was cancelled.
The Prince of Wales Trophy Final teams:
Valiente Dubai (21): Henry Porter (1), Tomas Garcia Del Rio (6), Guillermo Terrera (8) & Alejo Taranco (6)
Apes Hill (22): George Hanbury (3), Mark Tomlinson (6), Eduardo Novillo Astrada (9) & Alec White (4)
Polo Times Best Playing Pony: Silk, played by Mark Tomlinson
The Polo Magazine Most Valuable Player: Henry Porter
Photograph: Valiente Dubai won The Prince of Wales Trophy. By Lucy Wilson