This year’s Thai Polo Open saw six teams from across Asia play – Thai Polo, Jogo Polo, Royal Pahang (HIS Polo), La Familia, 22BR and Tang Polo. Hosted by Harald Link at the Thai Polo Equestrian Club, Pattaya.
This 14-goal tournament is fought over two weeks culminating in Saturday’s final event which saw three matches played, all really closely fought with the 5/6th play-off being a 4 vs 4 goal draw played in the morning and leading to the afternoon’s entertainment.
The 3rd, 4th play-off held in front of a packed crowd who had just enjoyed show jumping and a delicious lunch, resulted in an intense match to watch with both teams running equal scores all the way to the last moment 9 vs 9. Tournament umpires Jose Ignacio Araya and Matias Baibiene had their work cut-out as the match went from end-to-end. With La Familia’s, Matias Vial scoring a golden goal in an extra chukker beating Royal Pahang with a final score of 10 vs 9.
The final fought between Thai Polo (Harald Link 0, Juan Manuel García Grossi 3, Martin Joaquin 4, Facundo Fernández Llorente 7. Total 14), and Tang Polo (Shilai Liu 0, Diego Gómez 4, Toly Ulloa 5, Darío Musso 5. Total 14) opened with Tang Polo scoring 3 goals to 0 in the first chukker, thanks to Darío Musso and Toly Ulloa, this left Thai Polo on the back-foot with a lot to make up.
By the end of the third chukker the scores where back to 5-4 to Tang Polo with goals from Thai Polo’s Martin Joaquin and Juan Manuel García Grossi and two more goals from Toly Ulloa.
The final chukker saw both teams fight hard to win, Martin Joaquin scored a goal from a penalty, Facu had control of the game and looked like he could get Thai Polo back into the lead but was stopped time and time again. Harald Link scored a crucial goal from a 30-yard penalty to bring the scores to level at 7 vs 7. It looked like the match would go into an extra chukker as time ran out but Diego Gomez got the ball from a throw in, passed it to Toly who broke away from the pack and charged down the field to score the final goal for Tang Polo and win the Thai Polo Open 2020 for China.
TANG POLO 8 vs 7 THAI POLO
TANG POLO – Shilai Liu 0, Diego Gómez 4, Toly Ulloa 5, Darío Musso 5. Total 14
THAI POLO – Juan Manuel García Grossi 3, Martin Joaquin 4, Facundo Fernández Llorente 7, Harald Link 0. Total 14
Chukker Score 2-0, 3-1, 5-4, 8-7
Tournament Umpires – José Ignacio Araya and Matías Baibiene
MVP – Harald Link
BPP – Mamuschka. Martín Joaquín
LA FAMILIA 10 vs 9 ROYAL PAHANG
La Familia – Imran Moiz 0, Ignacio Ithurburu 3, Andrés Vial 5, Matías Vial 6. Total 14
Royal Pahang – Andy Harrison 0, Amran Selamat 2, Tomás Fernández Llorente 7, Tomás Gándara 5. Total 14
FIFTH PLACE: JOGO POLO 4-4 22BR
Jogo Polo – Rodrigo Castro 0, Khairy Jamaluddin 0, Isidro Strada 7, Bautista Ortiz de Urbina 6. Total 13
22BR – William Zhao 1, Claude Haberer 0, Agustín García Grossi 7, Pedro Fernández Llorente 5. Total 13
Photos: Dominic James
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