Champagne moments come thick and fast at polo’s Gold Cup

By the close of the second weekend of the Veuve Clicquot Gold Cup for the British Open Polo Championship, all 16 teams had played three matches each with three teams having won all of their matches – Dubai, Salkeld and Sumaya.

The first match of the day on Sunday saw Edouard Carmignac’s Talandracas win their first match of the tournament against Harald Link’s Thai Polo 12-10.

The afternoon match was played for the Cooch Behar Cup between Richard Mille and Coca Cola.

By half-time Richard Mille were showing themselves to be the stronger side with an 8-3 lead.

The second half saw Coca Cola rally, narrowing the gap to 9-8. Coca Cola’s supporters found their voices and a penalty 60 yard shot from Astrada levelled the score at 9-9.

But all too soon Richard Mille were awarded a penalty and Tomas del Rio planted the ball between the posts and completed a 10-9 victory to Richard Mille.

Prince Bahar Jefri Bolkiah was delighted to accept the Cooch Behar Cup, without doubt the most beautiful of all Cowdray Park’s trophies.

The later Gold Cup match at Manor Farm saw a faster and much tougher battle between Piaget and Zacara.

The scoring opened with a 60 yard safety from Joaquin Pittaluga for Piaget followed by his first field goal. Piaget had a score of 6-3 in their favour by half-time and it was 8-4 on the board by the close of the fourth.

Chukka five saw both sides continuing to attack, the pressure never abating and Zacara benefiting from a 40-yard penalty and a good field goal from Ulloa.

But just as the chukka was about to close Piaget’s Muzzio picked up a ball on the first bell and managed to score before the second had sounded, putting Piaget ahead 9-6.

Zacara were awarded a penalty which du Plessis put through the posts but Piaget were the victors at 9-7.