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British Open Polo Championship Nominations

cowdray logoSEVENTEEN TEAMS ENTER veuve logo


by Liz Higgins  Cowdray Park Polo Club



Cowdray Park Polo Club announces an impressive entry of seventeen teams for the 2013 Veuve Clicquot Gold Cup for the British Open Polo Championship, the world’s premier polo tournament at 22 goal level. The Gold Cup for the British Open Polo Championship was launched at Cowdray Park in 1956 and ranks alongside the Argentine and US Opens in world significance. It has been sponsored by leading champagne house Veuve Clicquot since 1995.


The sport’s leading players, including seven 10 goal players – the highest ranking a polo player can achieve – will be seen in action at Cowdray Park over the four week period of the Veuve Clicquot Gold Cup tournament starting on 23rd June, leading to quarter finals over the weekend of 13/14th July, semi-finals on 18th July and the prestigious final of the most coveted trophy in polo on Sunday 21st July.


Adrian Kirby brings a new line-up to defend the title of British Open Champions, having won the Veuve Clicquot Gold Cup in 2012 at his sixth attempt. Playing in the team is 9 goal player Eduardo Novillo Astrada, an Ambassador for the iconic watchmakers Jaeger-LeCoultre, and the team will bear the new name Cortium Jaeger-LeCoultre. Co-finalists in the 2012 Final, El Remanso return with a new line-up, having lost Charlie Hanbury to Jerome Wirth’s Enigma team because of handicap changes.


Zacara, winners of the Veuve Clicquot Gold Cup in 2011, return with a strong team which includes 10 goal player Facundo Pieres. His 10 goal brother, Gonzalito Pieres, remains in the La Bamba de Areco side of Jean-Francois Decaux playing alongside Polito Pieres (8 goals) and young English player Ollie Cudmore. England captain Luke Tomlinson, at 7 goals one of England’s highest handicapped players, joins Spencer McCarthy’s Emlor side, Spencer entering the Gold Cup for the first time. James Beim, also a 7 goal England player, plays a third season with Nick Clarke’s Salkeld team; Nick’s new line-up also includes Miguel Novillo Astrada and English player Max Routledge.


Always a front-runner, the Dubai team, returns with the patron’s son, Rashid Albwardy, a competent two goal player, playing alongside Adolfo Cambiaso, arguably the world’s greatest player, Nico Pieres (7 goals) and Australian player Alec White, (3 goals). Black Bears, winners in 1992, 2002 and 2006, make a welcome return with their young patron Guy Schwarzenbach forming a strong and balanced team with Patrick O’Dwyer (4 goals), Nachi du Plessis (8 goals) and New Zealand captain John Paul Clarkin (8 goals).


Also in the frame are Les Lions, Sumaya, Talandracas and Thai Polo, while Patron Stefano Marsaglia has meanwhile re-named his team ‘Twelve Oaks’. New teams entering the competition are Lucchese with American patron John Muse, HB Polo with French brothers Ludovic and Sebastian Pailloncy, and UAE Polo Team brought into the Veuve Clicquot Gold Cup for the first time by HH Sheika Maitha bint Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum.