Ten teams have entered the 2019 King Power Gold Cup, played to decide the British Open Polo Championship, with one brand new side joining the competition. It is the first time for many years that Adolfo Cambiaso will not be seen in the high goal at Cowdray Park, the world’s number one player for almost two decades having decided to retire from UK polo. However, several exceptional young players will be making their mark.
New to the Gold Cup is ‘Scone’ the team of Australian patron David Paradice, which sees Nico Pieres (9 goals) taking up the number 2 position and England captain James Beim (7 goals) and James Harper (6 goals) at number 3 and Back respectively. Beim and Harper were team-mates in the winning El Remanso side of 2018, which disbanded following the 2019 Gold Cup. Scone has reached the Final of the Cartier Queen’s Cup.
Seven teams return from the 2018 King Power Gold Cup. Amongst them are finalists La Bamba de Areco, the team of Jean Francois Decaux, who brings in young Englishman Kian Hall, 3 goals, to play alongside David ‘Pelon’ Stirling and 10 goaler Juan Martin Nero. La Indiana, semi Finalists from 2018, sees patron Michael Bickford introduce young English player Jimbo Fewster to his team, playing alongside Rodrigo Andrade who has taken over from Nic Roldan, and 10 goaler Facundo Pieres. Corinne Ricard brings back Murus Sanctus with Facundo Sola and Gonzalito Pieres, the final team member to be confirmed.
Park Place returns with patron Andrey Borodin playing at number 1, Juan Britos at 2 and 10 goaler Hillario Ulloa at 3, the final team member to be confirmed. Park Place have also reached the Final of the Cartier Queen’s Cup. Spencer McCarthy retains ‘Tincho’ Merlos in his Emlor side but brings in Alfredo Bigtatti and Fred Mannix Jr, both playing off 7 goals. Alessandro Bezzoni is joined in his Monterosso side by Juan Gris Zavaleta, Ignacio Toccalino and Joaquin Pittaluga. Edouard Carmignac brings back an unchanged Talandracas team with Fran Elizalde, Ale Muzzio and Julian de Lusarreta.
Returning after a year’s absence is King Power, with ‘Top’ Srivaddhanaprabha at the front door, Juan Martin Zubia at 2, Polito Pieres at 3 and Marcos di Paola at Back. Returning after an absence of several years is the Albwardy family’s Dubai side with Rashid Albwardy joined by the young talent of Camilo and Bartolomé Castagnola, and a former popular young player at Cowdray, South African Nachi du Plessis, now an 8 goal player after being based in North and South America for a number of years.
Chris Bethell, Polo Manager, announces that there will be two leagues in the competition with the Finalists of the Cartier Queens Cup Semi Finals, Scone Polo, King Power, La Indiana and Park Place, seeded into each league, the remaining teams having drawn for places in either league at the recent King Power Gold Cup Draw held at Cowdray House on Monday 10th June. A list of teams and schedule of match play can be seen here .
The tournament gets underway on 25th June with Quarter Finals over the weekend of 13/14th July, Semi Finals on 17th July and the Final taking place on Sunday 21st July.