Polo Updates from Around the World
International Polo Club Palm Beach, USA
After a hugely busy week, which saw six matches played to determine the eight quarter finalists, Sunday 21 February was yet another jam-packed day at the International Polo Club Palm Beach. With four teams out of the running for the coveted Ylvisaker Cup it was down to the top teams to battle it out for a place in Wednesday 24 February’s Semi Finals. After four exciting matches the results were as follows:
Orchard Hill beat Enigma, 12-10
Palm Beach Illustrated beat White Birch, 9-3
Dubai beat Coca-Cola, 12-7
Valiente beat Tonkawa, 9-6
The first of the Semi Finals of the 2016 Ylvisaker Cup is scheduled to take place at the International Polo Club on Wednesday 24 February between Orchard Hill and Dubai. The second Semi Final will feature Valiente and Palm Beach Illustrated.
Casa de Campo and Los Establos Cap Cana, Dominican Republic
The final matches of the first stage of the Polo Challenge Silver Cup in the Dominican Republic took place on Sunday 21 February. Non-stop matches since Wednesday 17 have seen wins from Agualinda, Lechuza Caracas, Los Semanes, La Carbuccia, Los Establos and Test Drive. Current favourites and Bronze Cup winners Lechuza Caracas had their first close call of the tournament in their match against Test Drive, but they held strong, still unbeaten and moving forward as the team to beat.
Three out of four of the Semi Final spots have already been decided with Agualinda, Test Drive and Lechuza Caracas scoping up the top three positions in the tournament. The fourth place is still up for grabs and will be determined by a penalty shoot out between Los Semanes and La Carbuccia set to take place Monday 22 February.
Dubai Polo and Equestrian Club, Dubai
The 18 goal Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series (Dubai Open), the highest handicapped tournament in the UAE, moves in to its seventh year in 2016, under the Patronage of HH Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai. The Dubai Open has been split into two tournaments. Starting with the McLaren Cup 2016, which ran from Friday 22 January to Friday 5 February and was won by Mahra. The second tournament, the Julius Baer Gold Cup, commenced on Friday 19 February, with wins from Bin Drai and Zedan.
In the first match of the day Bin Drai defeated the Julius Baer team by 9 goals to 3, thanks to great team play and discipline.
In the second match of the day, Zedan defeated Abu Dhabi Polo Team by 11 goals to 10 in a thrilling match decided in the last seconds with an amazing goal by Pablo MacDonough.
Saturday 20 February was another exciting day at the Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club with two great matches. In the first match Alejandro Novillo Astrada, playing at a great level, led his Mahra Polo Team to a deserved 11-6 victory against the always tough Wolves team.
In the second match of the day, UAE Polo achieved a really important victory against powerful Ghantoot team by 11 goals to 7. HH Sheika Maitha’s team played one of their best matches of the season showing great teamwork, with Jack Hyde scoring on every occasion he had. Hyde scored 5 goals while Bautista Bayugar scored all the goals for Ghantoot Polo Team (7) and was the top scorer of the game.
The Julius Baer Gold Cup will continue next Monday with another double action day at the Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club when Zedan will play against Edrees Polo followed by Bin Drai Polo vs Abu Dhabi Polo.
Photograph: Ghantoot vs UAE in the Julius Baer Gold Cup. By Gonzalo Etcheverry