British Open Polo Championship for the Cowdray Gold Cup commences tomorrow, Tuesday 21st June, at Cowdray Park, the home of British polo. Over 30 high octane matches will take place over the four-week period with the Semi Finals taking place on Wednesday 13th July and the Final being played on Sunday 17th July, both against the iconic backdrop of the Cowdray Ruins on the beautiful Cowdray Estate. The tournament is regarded as one of the top three polo competitions in the world, alongside the US and Argentine Opens, and features all the international stars of the game, both players and ponies. Several trophies and cups will be up for grabs throughout the competition including The Midhurst Town Cup which makes for the feature match on this much-loved family polo day on Sunday 26th June.
As part of the tournament celebrations, the Club will host the inaugural No.3 Gin & Jazz Evening on Friday 15th July and Ibiza Night will be held once again on Saturday 16th July. The Cowdray Gold Cup Final attracts thousands of spectators annually who flock to the prestigious ‘Lawns’ polo grounds in West Sussex. Visitors can expect to enjoy world class polo with all the usual entertainment around the field, including live music, bars, street food and luxury shopping.
The Club is proud to be supported by its Official Partners. Longstanding sponsors, EFG Private Bank, return as Official Banking Partner and sponsors of the EFG Lawns Enclosure and U.S. Polo Assn enter their second year as Official Apparel Partner. The American lifestyle brand will be kitting out match staff and officials throughout the tournament and they have also produced an exclusive USPA x Cowdray Park collection which will be available for purchase at the Semis and the Final. On these two key event dates, Nyetimber, Official Sparkling Wine Partner, will be served from their beautiful routemaster bus, and the Club also welcomes No.3 Gin, expertly curated by Berry Bros. and Rudd, as Official Gin Partner who will be offering a special selection of cocktails from their show piece bar.
For a third year, the Club has collaborated with Polo Cam and InPlayer, the world’s leading pay per view subscription solution, to bring the best polo the UK has to offer to fans unable to attend the games. All Gold Cup matches will be live streamed via Cowdray TV with thousands of viewers tuning in from all of over the world.
Fourteen teams will take part in the 2022 tournament which will see some of the top international players in action. Three of the best players in the world, Adolfo Cambiaso, Facundo Pieres and Hilario Ulloa, all 10-goals in handicap, will be back at Cowdray, along with some of the game’s rising young stars.
Cambiaso’s ‘Poroto’, already an impressive 8-goals at the age of 16, will once again be joining his father for Scone, the team of Australian patron David Paradice, who makes his fourth Gold Cup bid with Rosendo Torreguitar as the fourth player.
A promising number of English professionals will feature in this year’s tournament including Tommy Beresford (7 goals) who will be playing again for Her Highness Sheikha Maitha, alongside young Lucas Monteverde (6 goals) and Bartolome Castagnola (9 goals). English 5-goaler Matt Perry joins Bartolome’s younger brother, Camilo (also 9 goals), for Rashid Albwardy’s Dubai who took home the trophy in 2019. Former England Captain, James Beim (7 goals) will play with American Dillon Bacon for his team Great Oaks LL. Fresh from their victory in the Cartier Queen’s Cup a couple of weeks ago with teammates Juan Martin Nero (9 goals) and young 6-goaler Cruz Heguy, they will be gunning for gold.
Having played a key role in Thai Polo NP’s victory in 2021, homegrown 7-goaler James Harper will play again in the number 4 position alongside 2021 teammate Nico Pieres (9 goals), however this time for Top Srivaddhanaprabha’s King Power with American 5-goaler Mackenzie Weisz completing the line-up. Having scored an hattrick of wins between 2015 and 2017, they have yet to reclaim the title. Aside from retaining English 5-goaler Ned Hine, Harald Link will field new a line-up for Thai Polo NP to include Genaro Ringa (7 goals), Jared Zenni (6 goals) and English 4-goaler Charlie Hanbury, who won the tournament with his all-English side El Remanso in 2018.
Mark Tomlinson will join Siri Evjemo-Nysveen’s Vikings side, who make their second entry into the tournament. They will be accompanied by Argentine 8-goalers, Diego Cavanagh and Juan Martin Zubia. Alessandro Bazzoni brings his Monterosso side back to Cowdray for a sixth consecutive year. Due to injury, 9-goaler Pablo MacDonough will be substituting for David ‘Pelon’ Stirling. He will be joined by Matias Gonzalez (4 goals) and Ignacio Toccalino (8 goals).
French patron, Edouard Carmignac, who makes his impressive eighteenth appearance in the Cowdray Gold Cup with his team Talandracas, will play with Argentines Alejandro Muzzio (7 goals), Polito Pieres (9 goals) and Isidro Strada (6 goals). Also flying the French flag will be Corinne Ricard, one of two female patrons competing in this year’s tournament with her team, Murus Sanctus. She will be joined by longstanding teammate, Facundo Sola (8 goals) and Marcos Araya and Alfredo Cappella, playing off 6 goals and 8 goals respectively.
Andrey Borodin will field two Park Place teams this year. Borodin, who is currently side-lined due to injury, will replace himself with young Josh Hyde in the Park Place team. Hyde will be joined by fellow Englishman Louis Hine (4 goals), who was part of Thai Polo NP’s winning combination in 2021. Completing the line up will be retained 10-goaler Facundo Pieres supported by Francisco Elizalde (8 goals). The second team, Park Place Vaara, who were narrowly defeated by Great Oaks LL in the Cartier Queen’s Cup Final, will feature Sam Wisbey in the number 1 one position, 10-goaler Hilario Ulloa, Juan Britos (8 goals) and Santos Merlos (4 goals).
Two teams make their Gold Cup debuts. Alejandro Aznar will enter his team, Marques de Riscal, and will be joined by 9-goaler Guillermo Caset, alongside Santiago Cernadas and Santiago Laborde playing off 7 and 6 goals respectively. The other newcomer is Charlie Wooldridge’s Twelve Oaks. Wooldridge will play with New Zealand 6-goaler John Paul Clarkin, Joaquin Pittaluga (7 goals) and Cristian Laprida (8 goals).
The opening game will be played tomorrow at 12pm between UAE and King Power for the Carlos Gracida Memorial Trophy which was commissioned in memory of the legendary 10-goal player who won the Gold Cup a record ten times.
Chris Bethell, Cowdray Park’s Polo Manager commented: “‘We are excited to have fourteen strong teams competing in this year’s tournament including two new entries. We look forward to welcoming patrons, players, and spectators to the home of British polo to be part of one of the most coveted international tournaments in the sport.”
Pip Hitchman, Cowdray Park Polo Club