The first final of Cowdray Park’s series of six HPA tournaments involved Four Quarters Orange and White Crane from an entry of 12 teams.
Simon Arber took the No1 position for his Four Quarters Orange side with Kian Hall (two goals) at two, six-goal Argentine player Juan Ambroggio at three and Tom Morley (four goals) at back. For Jasmine Calvert-Ansari’s White Crane side, Josh Cork (two goals) played at No2, Andrew Blake-Thomas (three goals) at three, and seven-goal England international James Harper at back.
Andrew Blake-Thomas raced away to take the first goal for White Crane and both backs were controlling the action.
A spirited attempt at goal by Ambroggio saw the ball go wide. Harper came close, then a 60 yard penalty was awarded to White Crane. Blake-Thomas sent the ball straight between the posts and White Crane were 2-0 up.
Four Quarters won the ball from the throw-in, Cork stole it back, but suddenly young Hall was in the frame and the ball was between the posts for Four Quarters’ first mark on the scoreboard. Morley attempted a long shot at goal which went wide and the chukka ended with White Crane 2-1 ahead.
In the second chukka Ambroggio made his mark and Morley was deft in attack and defence. Harper had the ball stolen by Morley, Hall backed him up and made a neat move back to Morley who was able to send a lovely shot between the posts to equalise.
A good try by Cork was saved on the line and the match ended with a well-deserved 6-3 win for Four Quarters.
Cork won the throw-in but Morley backed it away. Off went Ambroggio and Hall, but Blake-Thomas turned the ball for White Crane.
Morley grabbed the ball and sent a beautiful lofty shot over the posts to take Four Quarters into the lead as the bell sounded for the end of the chukka.
Chukka three opened with a throw-in won by Four Quarters. Harper interfered but was worried by Hall and lost the ball.
Ambroggio raced into the action and passed to Morley who shot from a tricky angle to score a great goal and give Four Quarters a 4-2 lead. Ambroggio was rewarded for his keen play with a neat shot to goal for 5-2.
White Crane failed to score a penalty. Morley grabbed the ball, Ambroggio carried it on and Hall raced through and took Four Quarters to a 6-2 lead. Another 60-yard penalty awarded to White Crane saw the shot go wide and the chukka ended.
There was no let-up in the action in the final chukka. Harper and his men tried for the goals which simply wouldn’t come, with Morley in the right place every time to cut off any White Crane attack.
A 60-yard penalty by White Crane went wide, but Harper was successful with a good field goal. A good try by Cork was saved on the line and the match ended with a well-deserved 6-3 win for Four Quarters.
Sanchia Blake-Thomas presented the Dollar Cup to a delighted Arber and prizes to all players. The award for best playing pony, sponsored by Polo Times, went to Juan Ambroggio’s Top Model and Morley was awarded The Polo Magazine’s most valuable player prize.
In the subsidiary final, the Hanbury brothers’ Lovelocks side narrowly beat La Mangosta 5-4.
40-goal polo coming to Cowdray
The All Pro Polo League has announced a collaboration with Cowdray Park Polo Club during their 2018 world tour.
For the first time in polo history, an All Star 40-goal match will be played in England, and Cowdray Park, widely considered the home of British polo, has been chosen as the venue for the June 23 event.
The APPL first hosted a 40-goal match in Argentina in 2017 and it is the aim of Javier Tanoira, founder of the league, to see this level of polo played around the world.
Many ten-goal players have shown support, including Facundo Pieres, Gonzalito Pieres, Nico Pieres, Polito Pieres, ‘Sapo’ Caset, Hilario Ulloa, Pablo MacDonough, Juan Martin Nero and ‘Pelon’ Stirling. All these stars have confirmed their commitment to the Cowdray Park match.
Roderick Vere Nicoll, chairman of Cowdray Park Polo Club, said: “We are proud to be hosting the first ever APPL 40-goal polo match in the UK. To be the venue for such an exhibition of human and equine skill is a privilege.
“The APPL is trying to speed up the game and make it easier to understand, especially for those not familiar with the sport. One of our goals at CPPC is to take polo to a wider audience and show what a fantastic spectacle it truly is.”
Ten-goal superstar Facundo Pieres said: “We are very happy to support the league. The APPL has put forward a number of good things that we would do well to implement in polo.”
Caset added: “I think hosting a 40-goal exhibition in England is a great idea. Javier has been taking the league all over the world and there is no better way of putting the concept across than by getting the 10-goalers involved. We want to get as many people watching as possible so that we can popularise the sport.”
Tanoira founded the APPL with the intention of professionalising polo and providing a pure sporting spectacle for polo fans around the world.
The programme on June 23 will also feature a match starring eight young professional players from the major polo playing countries. The first match will start at 4pm and a prize-giving ceremony will follow the two matches. Entry is £5 per head, Cowdray Park Polo Club members free.
A barbecue will be available from 7.30pm in the members’ enclosure – tickets are £20 per head and available from Cowdray
Park, call 01730 813257.
Follow @allpropolo or head to www.allpropololeague.com for final team listings.
Roldan returns for another sunset
Top American polo player Nic Roldan will be holding his second annual UK Sunset Polo event at the ancestral home of British polo, Cowdray Park.
The event will include some high-calibre equestrian displays:
* A horse sense and healing demonstration, in which Monty Robert’s join-up methods are combined with empowering veterans suffering from post traumatic stress.
* Straight from the Argentine pampas, there will be a rare opportunity to see their national sport pato in action. Come see this traditional contact adrenaline fuelled sport which can be described a cross between polo and basketball.
* London 2012 Olympic gold medalist Laura Tomlinson will give a dressage showcase, come and see her and her horse dance the night away to music.
* The Sunset Polo game where top professionals as well as`up-and-coming players will join Roldan.
* Artwork created by local school children will feature throughout the event.
The event will take place on Tuesday, June 19, on the old polo field known as the House Ground at Cowdray House, a magical setting.
Roldan aims to make it an event to remember, and of course to continue on his mission to raise awareness and funds for both Chestnut Tree House hospice, for whom he is a patron, and for Coach Core, a programme delivered by the Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex.
Event partners include Cowdray, The Lickfold Inn, Jeep UK and Tregothnan, The Spread Eagle Hotel & Spa and many other local businesses.
In order to make the occasion as welcoming as possible to the local community, general admittance tickets will be available with 50 per cent off for children under 12. A new picnic area has been created and a food village with prime viewing. Afternoon Tea tickets give access to the event and complimentary tea adjacent to the demonstrations.