Polo-challenge-qualifiersHigh Goal Gets Underway in the Dominican Republic
The brand new high goal season has started in the Dominican Republic, with first round matches taking place Thursday 19 January at the beautiful Los Establos, Cap Cana. The matches signify the start of The Bronze Cup, the first of the three 22 goal tournaments set to take place between now and the beginning of April. Each day the location is alternated, giving the fields time to recover from the pounding of hooves. The two luxury polo complexes are Los Establos, Cap Cana and Casa de Campo.

The first matches were dominated by two teams, which unsurprisingly considering their inclusion of a La Dolfina 10 goaler each, have yet to be beaten. Victor Vargas’ Lechuza Caracas, with Juan Martin Nero, has taken two victories in the opening stages: a 10-7 win over Los Samanes followed by a 14-10 win over Casa de Campo. David ‘Pelon’ Stirling’s Agualinda are the other hot favourites, and have not dissapointed, with early wins against Power Infrastructure and Pitirri-Potranca. The two teams’ superior horse power is undeniable, as is their ability to play strongly as a team, a quality so crucial at this level of polo, where one solid back is not enough to win.

In other matches, recent Camára de Diputados Cup winner, Francisco Bensadon’s La Carbuccia was defeated 11-7 by the host team Casa de Campo. It seems the other home team is not having much luck as Los Establos suffered defeats from both Pitirri-Potranca, 10-7, and Power Infrastructure, 10-9.

The action at will continue Casa de Campo on Thursday 21 January, after a brief three day break for ponies, players and fields before the final qualifying matches, Semi Finals and the Finals, set to take place on Saturday 30 January.

Photograph: Andres James for Power Infrastructure and Alejandro Muzzio for Los Establos. By Matias Callejo

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