Talandracas Victorious in the Carlos Gracida Memorial Cup

Tuesday the 25th of June kickstarted the British Open Polo Championship for the Cowdray Gold Cup, with newly crowned Queens Cup Winners’s Talandracas taking on Desert Palm Polo Team, on a very sunny Lawns 1.  

Hugues Carmignac (0) rode out at 1 for Talandracas, with Rosendo Torreguitar (5) at 2, 10-goaler Pablo Pieres at 3, and Alejandro Muzzio (7) at Back. Tariq Albwardy (0) wore the number 1 shirt for Desert Palm Polo Team, with Rufino Laulhe (4) at 2, Matias Torres Zavaleta (8) at 3, and defending champion Bartolome Castagnola (9) at Back. 

The first chukka saw equal play from both teams with a hattrick of goals by both Castagnola and Pieres to leave both teams equal on 3 goals going into the second. Strong defence by both teams saw not much advancement in the second, however a cut shot by an unstoppable Castagnola put Desert Palm up one. In the third Castagnola continued his goal-scoring streak for Desert Palm, but a successful penalty by Pieres kept Talandracs in contention, leaving them following Desert Palm 4 goals to 5 going into the second half. 

A collective push from Talandracas, following a halftime break, saw a goal from Muzzio, Torreguitar, and Carmignac, but Desert Palm wasn’t backing down with two further goals, leaving them 7 goals all. The fifth was no different, with another goal for each side taking them into the last chukka 8-8. With the crowds on the edge of their seats, Castagnola continued to show his skills with a further two goals for Desert Palm, but Talandracas was not giving up responding with two more goals by Pieres and Carmignac. A costly missed penalty by Dubai in the last 30 seconds meant these evenly matched teams would continue into an extra chukka. In the extra chukka both teams continued their quest however a foul by Dubai meant a calm and collected Pieres stepped forward to successfully score, taking victory for Talandracas 11 goals to 10.  

A delighted Carmignac stepped forward to collect the Carlos Gracida Memorial trophy, presented by the Hon. Mrs Lila Pearson. With the Cowdray Vikings Best Playing Pony rug being presented to ‘Ganadora’ played and owned by Matia Torres Zavaleta. 

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