No shortage of action as Cowdray polo season takes shape
A very active programme of polo continues at Cowdray Park with both the Cicero and Dollar Cups in full swing and the May four-goal, Barrett Cup and Trippetts Challenge Cup having reached their conclusions over the weekend.
The 22-goal Trippetts Challenge is played for the James Wentworth Stanley Cup. The cup commemorates the oldest son of Clare, Marchioness of Milford Haven, who took his own life ten years ago and the tournament is open to teams based locally to Cowdray Park, where James played polo.
Five sides entered the 2016 tournament with USA patron Michael Bickford’s La Indiana facing Charlie Hanbury’s Brittania El Remanso in the final.
Bickford’s team included American 7-goal player Nic Roldan and Argentine players Agustin Merlos (8 goals) and Julian de Lusarreta (6 goals). Britannia El Remanso is an all British side with Charlie Hanbury (4 goals) joined by Ollie Cudmore (5 goals), England captain James Beim (7 goals) and Malcolm Borwick (6 goals).
La Indiana started well with two goals from Nic Roldan and one from De Lusarreta within three minutes. A 30-yard penalty taken by Borwick opened Britannia El Remanso’s scoring, Beim contributed an excellent field goal and the first chukka closed at 3-2 to La Indiana.
The second closed at 4-3 to La Indiana. At the close of the third, two penalty shots from Borwick, an accurate long shot to goal by Hanbury and another from Beim had eclipsed two goals from La Indiana and put Britannia El Remanso in the lead for the first time at 7-6.
Chukka four ended at 8-8. The fifth chukka saw La Indiana increase the pressure with two goals from Roldan taking his team back into the lead on a score of 10-9. Merlos scored from a massive hit at the beginning of the sixth and produced his final goal of the match from a 60 yard penalty shot. Nic Roldan contributed two further goals to nail a conclusive 14-9 victory for La Indiana.
Clare Milford Haven presented the James Wentworth Stanley Cup to Michael Bickford and was assisted in the prize-giving by Zahra Kassim-Lakha, UK director Jaeger-LeCoultre. The Best Playing Pony Award went to Miriam owned by Michael Bickford and played by Nic Roldan.
The final of the 8-goal Barrett Cup was played between Peter Barfoot’s Maiz Dulce and Ray Fine’s Las Estrellas. Playing alongside Peter Barfoot were Maiz Dulce regulars Glenn Sherriff (5 goals), Matt Pitts (2 goals) and Ollie Cork (1 goal). Ray Fine’s line-up included Nick Pepper (4 goals), Malcolm Borwick (6 goals) and 14 year old Will Harper (-1).
Pepper was first to score and Pitts equalized for Maiz Dulce as the first chukka came to a close. It was 2-2 at the end of the second. Always the pivotal player for Maiz Dulce, Sherriff made two fine goals in chukka three while Pepper made a terrific goal for Las Estrellas to close chukka 3 just one goal down.
A 60 yard penalty shot from Sherriff increased Maiz Dulce’s lead to 5-3. Pepper backed the ball to Borwick who passed it to Will Harper who made a neat shot through the posts to pull one back for Las Estrellas. Maiz Dulce won the ball from the throw-in although good defensive play by Pepper prevented Sherriff scoring again but Peter Barfoot was ideally placed to pounce on the ball and send it through for a winning score of 6-4.
Andrew Swaffield’s Alcedo and Ray and Wilf Fine’s Sea Breeze teams reached the final of the May 4-goal Spring Cup and a lively match saw Alcedo run out the winners.
* Seven teams entered the 2016 Tyro Cup, traditionally the first cup of the season presented at Cowdray Park Polo Club.
Making it through to the final were 2015 winners Cowdray Vikings and Jaeger-LeCoultre/Hurlingham Media. The Vikings won 8-4.
Carinthia Pearson presented the Tyro Cup to her mother, Lila Pearson, and team prizes to all the players. The Award for Best Playing Pony went to Muppet, owned by James Beim and played by Ed Hitchman.
The subsidiary final was a 5-4 victory for Romilla Arber’s Four Quarters Black over Andre Fattal’s River side.
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