Hectic week of polo ends in silverware for trio of teams

The Holden White Cup finalists / Picture by Clive Bennett
The Holden White Cup finalists / Picture by Clive Bennett

Cowdray Park Polo Club’s traditional Goodwood Week polo came to a close with the finals and subsidiary finals of three HPA tournaments, the 15-goal Harrison Cup, eight-goal Holden White Cup and 18-goal Challenge Cup.

Harrison Cup

Thirteen teams entered the 2016 Harrison Cup with Kassem Shafi’s Shalimar and Spencer McCarthy’s Emlor teams making it to the final.

Playing for Kassem Shafi were Pedro Harrison (4 goals), James Harper (6) and Vieri Antinori (5). Spencer McCarthy’s side included his son James McCarthy (0 goals) playing at No1, Alejandro Muzzio (7 goals) at three and Nacho Gonzales (6) at back, making up a 14-goal side and receiving a half goal advantage on the scoreboard.

Shalimar made a fine start, Antinori racing away to score, and by the end of the second chukka they ahead 4-1½. Ale Muzzio sent through a mighty 60-yard penalty in the third chukka to pull one back for Emlor while Shalimar failed to score and the first half ended with Shalimar 4-2½ ahead.

Emlor looked a different team in the second half, scoring from a 30-yard penalty shot sent through by Muzzio, followed by a superb goal by Gonzales which saw them take the lead for the first time.

Shalimar made a fine start, Antinori racing away to score, and by the end of the second chukka they ahead 4-1½.

Shafi cleared a shot at goal by Spencer McCarthy but Muzzio pounced on the ball and sent a lofted shot through the posts.

Shalimar benefitted from a penalty – Harper’s shot from 60 yards reducing Emlor’s lead to 5½-5.

Soon into the final chukka, a penalty gave Emlor a double measure of goals and it was 7½-5. With confidence rattled, Shalimar tried to get back intoit. A drive forward by Emlor saw another goal on the board and a final score of 8½-5 to Emlor.

Bridget McCarthy presented the Harrison Cup to son James. She also presented prizes from sponsors Casablanca Polo. Ale Muzzio’s stirling efforts were rewarded with the prize for MVP presented by The Polo Magazine and his black mare Negrita was voted best playing pony receiving the historic Brooke Joynson Cup and a rug from Polo Times.

In the subsidiary finals, the Maidensgrove Cup, presented by Charles Roberts, was won by Simon Arber and his Four Quarters Orange who beat the Ephson’s Poulton/Balvanera side 7-6½.

The Aotea Cup was played between Guy Schwarzenbach’s Black Bears and Max Kirchoff’s Snake Bite, Guy sustaining an injury to his leg and being replaced by 17-year-old James McCarthy for the final three chukkas.

James scores two impressive goals and, with the scores even on 9-9 at the end of chukka five, the match went to a sixth chukka. The deciding goal was scored by J J De Alba for Black Bears.

Cowdray Park Challenge Cup

Cowdray Park’s oldest trophy, dating back to 1911, was entered by four teams in 2016 with Apes Hill and BHC making it to the final.

Playing for Sir Charles Williams’ Apes Hill were 13-year-old Luke Wiles at No1, Nicolas Antinori (5 goals) at two, Mark Tomlinson (6) at three and Luke Tomlinson (7) at back.

Momin Sheikh’s BHC saw three six-goal players in a balanced line-up of Chris Mackenzie at No2, Jack Richardson at three and James Harper at back.

At the end of chukka three BHC were 4-3 ahead but in the second half Apes Hill staged a rousing comeback to lead 7-4.

Mackenzie swooped on the ball, turned it, headed for the goal posts but lost it on the way. Richardson swept it up and sent it through the posts and the score was 7-5.

Apes Hill hung on to the lead and Sir Charles Williams fulfilled his long-held dream of winning the Challenge Cup.

Lila Pearson presented the historic Cup to Sir Charles and prizes sponsored by Casablanca to both teams. Mark Tomlinson won The Polo Magazine’s award for MVP and his pony Silk was awarded the Vickers Trophy for Best Playing Pony together with a rug from Polo Times.

Holden White Cup

From an entry of 18 teams, Peter Barfoot’s Maiz Dulce side made it through to the final to face Ahmad Aboughazale’s Sumaya.

Still in hospital following his recent injury, Peter was replaced by Lottie Lamacraft, Maiz Dulce stalwarts Matt Pitts and Glenn Sherriff played at two and three and Kian Hall took Peter’s usual position at back.

For Sumaya, Will Harper took the No1 position with Ahmad Aboughazale at two, Nicolas Ruiz Guinazu (3 goals) at three and Juan Pablo Villela (5) at back.

Sumaya went into the second half leading 4-3 but Sherriff put through a 30-yard penalty to level the score at 4-4.

Maiz Dulce forged ahead at 6-4 and hung on for a final score of 6-5.

Nicci Bethell presented the Holden White Cup to Matt Pitts on behalf of Peter Barfoot and both teams received a selection of high-quality polo items from prize sponsors Casablanca Polo.

Kian Hall was given The Polo Magazine’s MVP award and the Best Playing Pony was judged to be Idaho, owned by Peter Barfoot and ridden by Kian Hall.

In the subsidiary finals of the Holden White Cup, Beaufort Blackhound won the Ruins Cup, and Feedmark took home the Ambersham Cup.

LIZ HIGGINS

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