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Polo

AN AWARD FOR COWDRAY PARK POLO CLUB

Celebration of Sussex Awards - winnersClub staff centred from 1-r Matt Simm, Vanessa Graham, Pip Menzies, Liz Higgins and Janey Delow receiving the award alongside Sussex Life magazine officials

Cowdray Park Polo Club was the proud recipient of the award for Best Visitor Attraction at the Celebration of Sussex Life Awards on 25th October.

Hosted by Sussex Life magazine at the Grand Hotel, Brighton, there were numerous categories of awards including Restaurant of the Year, Hotel of the Year, Food & Drink Product of the Year, Spa of the Year, Best West Sussex Pub and many more. Cowdray Farm Shop was also a finalist in the Farm Shop of the Year category.

The award is testament to the efforts made by Cowdray Park to bring polo to a wider, more inclusive audience. The club’s pitch stated: “We proudly host the world famous Gold Cup for the British Open Polo Championship and Finals day is a brilliant family day out with spectators arriving early to grab the best viewing spot and enjoy wandering around the bars, delicious food stalls, children’s funfair and shopping village while enjoying a range of entertainments. This year even the RAF Falcons Parachute Display Team dropped in.” The pitch clearly resonated with the judges.

Jonathan Russell, CEO of Cowdray, said: “I am proud of the whole team for the massive behind-the-scenes effort that goes into the Gold Cup Final.. We hope that this award will indicate to the wider Sussex community that we offer not just a fantastic sporting experience but also a great day out.”

Cowdray Park Polo Club’s Chairman, Roderick Vere-Nicoll adds: “I am delighted to see polo at Cowdray Park recognised in such a way. The Gold Cup Final showcases the very best polo in the world and we want to share it with the wider community. We are delighted that our staff’s warm and inclusive welcome has been acknowledged. Aside from the Gold Cup Final, we welcome everyone to polo throughout the season - it’s a great day out.”

For further information visit www.cowdraypolo.co.uk

AN EPIC WIN FOR EL REMANSO IN THE KING POWER GOLD CUP FOR THE BRITISH OPEN POLO CHAMPIONSHIP

Gold Cup El Remanso & Russo

Approaching 15,000 spectators gathered to watch the Final of the King Power Gold Cup for the British Open Polo Championship at Cowdray Park on Sunday 22nd July in arguably one of the most thrilling Finals of recent times.

Following two spectacular Semi Final matches four days earlier, the Hanbury family’s El Remanso team faced up to Jean-François Decaux’s La Bamba de Areco and few would have been confident enough to predict the outcome. El Remanso comprised the close-knit line-up of four Englishmen, Charlie Hanbury, Ollie Cudmore, James Beim and James Harper, playing to the same line-up as 2017 when they reached the Final but lost to King Power. Jean-François Decaux’s La Bamba de Areco side comprised the enormous talent of 3 goal player Byron Watson, with Polito Pieres substituting for an injured David Stirling and 10 goaler Juan Martin Nero at Back. The popular home-based El Remanso team had come through the tournament without dropping a match but it was not to be plain sailing for the Englishmen as the game changed fortunes between the first and second halves.

The Patron, Charlie Hanbury, playing the match of his life, stormed away from the first throw-in to mark the scoreboard with the opening goal. His second goal of the match gave El Remanso a 3-2 lead to close the first chukka. With no answers from La Bamba during the second chukka, El Remanso went into the third with a lead of 4-2, consolidating the lead at 6-4 at half time.

The second half opened with a hit-in from Watson for La Bamba de Areco, Beim returned the ball which Nero tried to secure but Harper won the ball and his neat back-hand shot took El Remanso on to 7-4. However, the tables began to turn as exciting play from Watson for La Bambe de Areco, strong attacking play by Pieres and the gift of two 30 yard penalties which Juan Martin Nero had little difficulty in sending through, saw La Bamba finally ahead at 12-10 by the close of the fifth chukka.

The action raced on through the final chukka, with El Remanso fighting for every ball. Awarded a 30 yard penalty, Ollie Cudmore sent the ball between the posts to pull the side up to within a goal of their opponents. Beim won the ball from the throw-in and great teamwork saw Harper move it on and Hanbury then leave it for Harper who coolly sent it between the posts. To an enormous cheer from the crowd, the scores were level on 12-12. Cudmore took the ball away from the throw-in and, challenged by Decaux, he carried on going but the ball went out. Nero for La Bamba de Areco passed the ball to his patron but Decaux failed to get the goal they desperately sought. Harper brought the ball in and sent it to Beim who, despite being challenged, calmly turned it and found Cudmore who sent it between for posts for El Remanso as the final bell sounded. It was the sweetest victory for El Remanso and the crowd went wild.

A new prize for the Best Playing Patron’s Pony, donated by sponsors King Power, was presented by Marcos di Paola of King Power to Charlie Hanbury’s pony Lovelocks Sex, the award for Best Playing Pony of the match, presented by the Hon Lila Pearson, went to Blanca Nueve, owned by Pelon Stirling and played by Polito Pieres. Jon Rudkin, Director of Football for Leicester City Football Club, owned by sponsors King Power, stepped forward to present individual and team prizes on behalf of King Power. Charlie Hanbury was voted Most Valuable Player of the Final with four brilliant goals to his credit. As well as generous prizes to both finalists and winners, John Rudkin also presented gifts to the four umpires who had done stirling work through the four weeks of the British Open campaign. The commentators, Karl Ude Martinez and John Kent, were also presented with gifts. Corinne Ricard, on behalf of Pernod-Ricard, presented a Jeroboam of Perrier-Jouët, Cowdray Park’s Official Champagne, to the winning Patron, Charlie Hanbury. Finally Jon Rudkin presented the Gold Cup to a proud Charlie Hanbury who shared the moment with his parents Christopher and Bridget.

Roderick Vere-Nicoll, Chairman of Cowdray Park Polo Club said: “This was a tremendous day for the club - a great crowd, great sponsors, great weather, a wonderful vibe and superb polo from both sides. If it was a Hollywood script, we couldn’t have written it better.

Photograph - Clive Bennett - www.polopictures.co.uk

26 JUNE – 22 JULY 2018 - THE KING POWER GOLD CUP

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12 TEAMS FOR THE KING POWER GOLD CUP AT COWDRAY PARK 26 JUNE – 22 JULY 2018

The Draw for the King Power Gold Cup for the British Open Polo Championship was held in the historic surrounds of Cowdray House on the evening of 11th June. The recent signing of Spencer McCarthy’s Emlor team brings the number of entries for the 2018 British Open Polo Championship, to twelve.

Last year’s finalists El Remanso return with the same all-English player line-up of Charlie Hanbury, Ollie Cudmore, James Beim and James Harper. Michael Bickford’s La Indiana returns with the addition of Facundo Pieres, and with Alec White also a newcomer to the side. Nic Roldan continues as the team’s number 3. Past winner Jean-Francois Decaux has a completely new team with Pelon Stirling, Juan Martin Nero and Byron Watson joining his La Bamba de Areco side. Ben Soleimani retains Rodrigo de Andrade and adds Sapo Caset and Min Podesta to his RH team.

Talandracas returns with Hugues Carmignac replacing his father Edouardo and a new line-up comprising Fran Elizalde, Julian de Lusaretta and Alejandro Muzzio. Alessandro Bazzoni’s Monterosso is back with Ignacio and Santiago Tocccalino and the addition of Juan Martin Zubia. Harald Link brings back Thai Polo with Guillermo Terrera, Joaquin Pittaluga and Jaime Huidobro. Playing alongside Spencer McCarthy in the Emlor team will be Agustin Merlos, Diego Cavanagh and team regular Nacho Gonzales. Park Place is the team of Andrey Borodin who enters the Gold Cup for the first time with Hilario Ulloa, Juan Britos and Tommy Beresford.

Three other teams feature young English players. The Alfi Investments polo team of Alshair Fiyaz, entering the Gold Cup for the first time, sees Jack Hyde playing alongside cousins Polito Pieres and Nico Pieres. Adolfo Cambiaso features in Bob Jornayvaz’s Valiente side along with Christian Laprida and Englishman Hugo Lewis. The Murus Sanctus team sees Corinne Ricard, the only woman playing in the Gold Cup, joined by Facundo Sola, Gonzalito Pieres and English player Ed Hitchman.

The Draw saw the four semi-finalists in the Queens Cup drawn and placed at the head of Leagues A,B,C,D. A representative of each team entered in the King Power Gold Cup then came forward to draw a place within the Leagues. Highlights of the Draw may be seen on cowdraypolo.tv. The King Power Gold Cup opens on Tuesday 26 June with Quarter Finals on 14/15 July, Semi Finals on 18 July and the Final on 22 July. The schedule of matchplay will follow shortly. Please visit >>> cowdraypolo.co.uk