The Midhurst Town Cup on Sunday attracted huge crowds to Cowdray Park where a range of entertainments including funfair rides, face painting, hair braiding by Q hairdressers of Midhurst, junior taster golf with Cowdray Golf Club, gun dog demonstrations, the Second Chance petting zoo, stalls, bars and food outlets created a fun-filled family day. One of the hits of the day was undoubtedly the appearance of the Bear Grylls Survival Academy which operates at Cowdray, giving children the chance to try a climbing wall and, in true survival style, taste some of the edible grubs and insects to be found in the wild!
At 3.00 pm commentator Karl Ude-Martinez introduced the two teams – Rashid Albwardy’s Dubai and La Indiana, a locally based team with American Marc Ganzi as patron. Playing for Albwardy were young Argentine brothers Bartoloméand Camilo Castagnola alongside South African Ignacio du Plessis. For La Indiana young English player Jimbo Fewster took to the field alongside Brazilian player Rodrigo Andrade and the world’s number 1 player Facundo Pieres.
Those new to polo could not have anticipated a more thrilling match with 16 year old Camilo and 18 year old Bartolomé Castagnola giving a display of polo skills that literally took the breath away. In the 80 minute encounter no less than 29 goals were scored. Dubai were 5-0 ahead at the close of the first chukka and by half time the score stood at 9-6 in their favour. Camilo Castagnola finished the match with a tally of six goals, his patron Rashid Albwardy adding five superb goals to the Dubai scoreline, Facundo Pieres for La Indiana making a total of nine. The match ended on a final score of 16-13 in favour of Dubai whose chances in this year’s King Power Gold Cup for the British Open Polo Championship look increasingly impressive.
The Midhurst Town Cup and stunning prizes of leather goods from Aspinal of London were presented by Mrs Mariya Burton. The Best Playing Pony of the match was judged to be Angelo owned and played by Bartolomé Castagnola. Bartolomé also picked up the prize for Most Valuable Player of the match and was presented with a pair of handmade Le Chameau boots. During half time Cowdray Park Polo Club’s Polo Academy brought mounted polo players onto the pitch so that visitors could get up close to these wonderful equines and understand a little more about the game. All in all, a fantastic day bringing polo to the people.