THE Veuve Clicquot Gold Cup for the British Open Polo Championship opened at Cowdray Park, Midhurst, last Tuesday and, with the early rounds of the tournament well under way, there has been drama and some surprises for the 16 teams taking part.
The Ellerston team, back in the UK after a four-year absence and always considered strong contenders, were beaten on their first outing by 2011 winners Zacara who on present form look capable of lifting the trophy again.
A blistering match took place between 2011 finalists Les Lions and 2009 winners La Bamba de Areco which resulted in a confidence building win for La Bamba.
However, in their second match against Sumaya, spectators were treated to as dramatic a finish as they could have wished for when the six chukkas closed on 16-16.
Sumaya were eventually the first to score in the eighth chukka and won the match 17-16.
Talandracas, based at Witley, were resoundingly beaten 14-6 in their opening match by the Gloucestershire based El Remanso and Enigma, from Todham near Midhurst, beat Thai Polo 10-6.
On Sunday, Thai Polo had their second match of the tournament playing for The Midhurst Town Cup as part of Cowdray Park’s South Downs Polo Day.
Playing against Piaget, and despite a one-goal advantage on the scoreboard because of fielding a 21-goal team in the 22-goal tournament, the Thai Polo side lacked the necessary staying power.
At half-time Piaget were ahead by just one goal but a pivotal fourth chukka saw three good field goals scored by the Piaget team taking them ahead 8-4.
Although Thai Polo came back with two goals in the fifth chukka, goals from Piaget’s Joaquin Pittaluga and Alejandro Muzzion in the final chukka put Piaget further ahead to win the match 10-6.