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Battle of the polo giants

The final for the Bulgari Gold Cup in the 44th Land Rover International Polo Tournament could hardly have been more exciting: As in the final for the INDI Silver Cup, Dubai Polo Team including Rashid Albwardy (+2), Alejo Ortiz de Taranco (+6), Martín Valent (+4) and polo superstar Adolfo Cambiaso (+10) faced team Lechuza Caracas with Víctor Vargas (+1), Julián Lusarreta (+6), José Donoso (+5) and 10-goaler Juan Martín Nero and both teams eagerly fought for the trophy until the last second of the match.

As in the years before, the final match brought the polo world to the Santa María Polo Club in Sotogrande, Spain, to see the deciding match of the most important tournament in continental Europe. Thousands of spectators came to see the action-packed match and the tribune next to the polo field was filled to the capacity.

Right at the beginning the foursome of team Lechuza Caracas showed its will to win the match and scored the first goal. But this was the only time during the match that the team was in the lead and shortly afterwards Dubai Polo Team not only tied the match, but scored once more and gained the lead right before the end of the first chukka.

During the following chukkas both teams gave their all to score more goals, but each time Dubai Polo Team was in the lead, Lechuza Caracars tied the match, followed by a goal by Dubai Polo Team and so forth. It was a true head-to-head-race between both teams. Polo giants Adolfo Cambiaso and Juan Martín Nero, both 10 goalers and among the best players in the world, eagerly fought for the ball and lost no opportunity trying to score. The audience accompanied the actions of the players by loud screaming and frenetic cheering.

In the sixth chukka Dubai Polo team finally achieved to gain a lead of three goals and right after the beginning of the sixth and final chukka, the score board said 11-8 for Dubai Polo Team. Lechuza Cararcas would not give up and fought to the last second of the match. But in the end Dubai Polo Team scored more goals and as the sound of the bell was heard for the last time, Dubai Polo Team left the field as winner of the match and a final result of 12-10.

Once known the results, it was time for the awards. The first one delivered was the Best Pony Trophy, sponsored by the Argentinean Embassy, an award for the mare Yun Yun, rode by Adolfo. Carlos Espinosa de los Monteros, High Commisioner of Marca España, gave Juan Martín Nero (Lechuza Caracas) the trophy for the Best Player in the Tournament. Dos Lunas A&G Banca Privada received the Subsidiary Cup by Pedro Domecq Urquijo. The Spanish Secretary of Sports Council and President of the Superior Sports Board, Miguel Cardenal, and the mayor of San Roque, Juan Carlos Ruiz Boix, gave the trophy to the finalists, Lechuza Caracas. Finally, Vincenzo Pujia, CEO at Bulgari Spain, and the top model Nieves Álvarez delivered the Bulgari Gold Cup to the champion, Dubai Polo Team.

Luis Estrada, Santa María Polo Club’s Vice-President: “The tournament was the whole month of August, we had more than 120 matches, 22 teams in three different handicaps, low, medium and high goal. The event was really successful, from the point of view of the sport of polo and also in regard to the number of spectators. We had more spectators than ever before, in total more than 80,000 visitors came to see the matches. We are really happy and I think it was a great success.”

Saint Mesme and Valdeparras Lynx, winners of the Gold Cup in Medium and Low Goal

Saint Mesme and Valdeparras Lynx are the winners of the Gold Cup in Medium and Low Goal, respectively, of the 44th Land Rover International Polo Tournament.

Saint Mesme achieved the Gold Cup in Medium Goal after defeating Golden Goose Deluxe Brand by 11-10 in the extra chukka. A goal by the Spanish player Pelayo Berazadi gave the victory to the French team, also formed by Robert and Birger Strom and Clemente Zavaleta.

Saint Mesme dominated the first half of the match and established a supremacy in the game and the score. In the second part of the game, Golden Goose, with Christian Bernal playing on a high level, tied the match and forced the extra chukka. In the sixth chukka, a minute before the end, Pelayo Berazadi scored a goal and put the scoreboard in 10-9. But 30 seconds before the bell rang, Frankie Menendez in a large individual action tied the game in 10-10. In the extra time, another goal by Berazadi gave the victory and the title to Saint Mesme.

Christian Bernal, playing for Golden Goose Deluxe Brand, was voted as the best player of the final. His mare Manuela (played in the fourth and in the extra chukka) achieved the trophy for the best pony of the final.

The Subsidiary Gold Cup was for Opel John Smith, after defeating Yaguara by 7-4.

Land Rover International Polo Tournament Saint Mesme
Team Saint Mesme at the award ceremony. (© Pablo Ramírez / SMPC)

Low Goal
In Low Goal, Valdeparras Lynx won the Valecuatro Gold Cup after winning La Clarita in another tied final. The victory of the team formed by Fernando Primo de Rivera, Yago Espinosa de los Monteros, Gastón Bardengo and Jaime Espinosa de los Monteros won by 9-7 and achieved the most important trophy of the season. Mahra Polo Team won the Subsidiary Cup after beating El Cañal by 7-4.

Land Rover International Polo Tournament Valdeparras Lynx
Team Valdeparras Lynx at the award ceremony. (© Pablo Ramírez / SMPC)

High Goal Teams:
Dubai Polo Team (+22)

Rashid Albwardy (+2)
Adolfo Cambiaso (+10)
Alejo Ortiz de Taranco (+6)
Martín Valent (+4)

HB Polo Team (+21)
Ludovic Pailloncy (+2)
Ignacio Toccalino (+8)
Guillermo Terrera (+8)
Sebastien Pailloncy (+3)

Lechuza Caracas (+22)
Víctor Vargas (+1)
Julián Lusarreta (+6)
Juan Martín Nero (+10)
José Donoso (+5)

Murus Sanctus (+22)
Corine Ricard (0)
Juan Gris Zavaleta (+7)
Facundo Sola (+8)
Temy Willington (+7)

La Indiana (+22)
Michael Bickford (+1)
Max Charlton (+7)
John Paul Clarkin (+8)
James Harper (+6)

RH Polo Team (+21)
Francisco Elizalde (+7)
Nicolás Pieres (+9)
Benhour Soleimani (0)
Santiago Von Wernich (+5)

Ayala Polo Team (+22)
Iñigo Zobel (+1)
Ignacio Laprida (+7)
David Stirling (+10)
Santiago Stirling (+4)

Dos Lunas – A&G Banca Privada (+22)
Luis Domecq (+3)
Pascual Sainz de Vicuña (+6)
Agustín García Grossi (+7)
Martín Iturraspe (+6)

Medium Goal Teams:
Golden Goose Deluxe B. (+14)
Ian Galliene (+1)
Christian Bernal (+5)
Kevin Korst (+2)
Frankie Menéndez (+6)

Yaguara (+14)
Martina Lowe (0)
Juan Manuel Guevara (+3)
Javier Cabrera Castilla (+5)
Gerardo Mazzini (+6)

Sainte Mesme (+14)
Pelayo Berazadi (4)
Robert Strom (+3)
Clemente Zavaleta (+6)
Birger Strom (+1)

Opel / Royal Salute (+14)
Malcolm Borwick (+6)
Carlos Piñal (+1)
Pascual Álvarez (+1)
Santiago Cernadas (+6)

Equus (+14)
Peter Silling (0)
Juan José Britos (+6)
James Beim (+7)
Kian Hall (+1)

Sapphire – Bayswater (+14)
Pablo Mora Figueroa (+1)
Tomás Fdez. Llorente (+6)
Tomás Fdez. Llorente (H) (+6)
Lawrence Isola (+1)

Kazak (+14)
Sebastien Aguettant (0)
Gaetan Charloux (+3)
Juan Ambroggio (+7)
Patrick Paillol (+4)

Low Goal Teams:
La Clarita (+6)
Claire Mathias (0)
Chris Mathias (0)
Juan Cruz Merlos (+3)
Freddie Horne (+3)

Valdeparras LYNX (+6)
Fernando Primo Rivera (+1)
Gastón Bardengo (+2)
Yago Espinosa de los Monteros (+2)
Jaime Espinosa de los Monteros (+1)

Mahra Polo (+6)
Khalaf Al Habtoor (0)
Mario Gómez (+4)
Mariano Iturrioz (+1)
Luciano Irazábal (+1)

El Cañal (+6)
Arturo Figar (0)
Ricardo Trujillo (+3)
Pedro Beca (+2)
A. Collado / S. Satrústegui (+1)

GSA (+6)
Henry James Biddle (0)
Santiago Torreguitar (+3)
Rosendo Torreguitar (0)
Daniel Gariador (+3)

Opel – John Smith (+6)
Carlos Piñal (+1)
Gabriel Aguirre (+1)
Diego Gallego (+4)
Luis Alfonso de Borbón (0)

Santa Quiteria (+6)
Daniel Entrecanales (0)
Jose M. Entrecanales (+1)
Hernan Pieres (+3)
Gonzalo Entrecanales (+2)

View all results here: Land Rover International Polo Tournament

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