Vikings raid is timely for Cowdray's feast of polo

The Harrisaon Cup finalists
The Harrisaon Cup finalists

A feast of polo drew to a close at Cowdray Park over the weekend with outstanding success for the home side Cowdray Vikings.

Cowdray Park’s three Goodwood Week tournaments, all run as part of the HPA’s Victor Ludorum series, were the 15-goal Harrison, 18-goal Challenge and eight-goal Holden White Cups.

Thirteen teams entered the Harrison Cup supported by Air Partner, with Northwood/Thai Polo facing Cowdray Vikings in the final.

Ned Hine (one goal) was No1 for Northwood/Thai Polo, with Manu Novillo Astrada (one goal) at two, Michel del Carril (six goals) at three and Juan Zavaleta (seven goals) at back.

For Cowdray Vikings, Will Harper (one goal) played at No1, George Pearson (two goals) at two, Will Emerson (five goals) at three and Jack Richardson, England seven-goaler, at back.

The first goal came from Del Carril, quickly answered by Will Emerson for Cowdray Vikings. A 30-yard penalty gave Jack Richardson an easy chance to add to Vikings’ scoreline in the first chukka.

Goals four and five came from Will Harper for Vikings to end the second chukka 4-1 ahead. In chukka three, Zavaleta and Del Carrill worked hard for Northwood/Thai Polo and Del Carrill was rewarded with his second and a penalty which he sent through from 60 yards to pull up to within a goal of Vikings.

Richardson soon sent a lovely pass to George Pearson who obliged with a good field goal taking Vikings 5-3 up.

Del Carrill’s fourth goal meant a one-goal difference in the score again. But Emerson was rewarded with a super goal and it was 6-4 in Cowdray Vikings’ favour.

In the final chukka, Northwood/Thai Polo were awarded a spot penalty which Zavaleta saw through for 5-6. The visitors increased the pressure but great defence from Jack Richardson prevented them scoring again. Cowdray Vikings had their third consecutive victory in the Harrison Cup with a 6-5 win.

Guy Williams, sales manager of Air Partner, presented the cup to a delighted George Pearson and prizes to all players. Most valuable player, sponsored by The Polo Magazine, was Jack Richardson and best playing pony prize, sponsored by Polo Times, went to Miami, owned and ridden by Juan Zavaleta.

In the subsidiary Aotea Cup, Emlor beat HB Las Monjitas 12½-8 and the subsidiary Maidensgrove Cup was won by Ballinger beating Sumaya 6-4½.
Sunday saw the culmination of the 18-goal Cowdray Park Challenge Cup, Cowdray’s oldest trophy, first presented in 1911, and in 2018 supported by Fortunis Capital. Six teams contested the 2018 tournament with Cowdray Vikings again featuring in an important final, this time against King Power.

Ollie Cork (two goals) took the No1 positon for Cowdray Vikings with George Pearson (two goals) at two, Juan Zavaleta (seven goals) at three and Jack Richardson (seven goals) at back. For King Power, Santiago Di Paola (one goal) took the No1 position, Juan Martin Zubia (six goals) played at two, with Marcos Di Paola (seven goals) at three and Byron Watson (four goals) at back.

A cracking goal from Jack Richardson opened the scoring, but a swift response from King Power saw goals two and three coming from Zubia.
South African Watson saw King Power 3-1 ahead but the goals dried up for King Power in chukka two, while Zavaleta and Richardson linked up for Cowdray Vikings to make it 3-3.

Tremendous attacking play by both sides in the third chukka saw spectators on the edge of their seats and a goal apiece resulted.
When the match resumed Zavaleta for Cowdray Vikings raced away to score and make it 5-4 Richardson dashed away from the throw-in and scored again.

Zavaleta passed to Richardson who finished the play with a super goal and it was 7-4 in Cowdray Vikings’ favour. King Power were given a 40 yard penalty and Zubia sent the ball home to pull a goal back.

A 30-yard penalty enabled Zubia for King Power to pull up to within a goal of the Vikings at 6-7. The throw-in resulted in a foul against Zavaleta and a 60-yard penalty gave him the chance to send through a beautiful long ball to increase Cowdray Vikings’ lead to 8-6.

In an intense final chukka, Richardson set up Ollie Cork to make it 9-6. Di Paola scored for King Power before Vikings took the score on to 10-7.

Di Paola took the ball through the posts for another fine goal. A minute later the bell rang to signal the end of a thrilling final.

Emma McRae for Fortunis Capital presented the Challenge Cup to George Pearson and prizes to all players. The award for best playing pony, sponsored by Polo Times, went to Nobu owned and ridden by Jack Richardson. Richardson was also awarded the Polo Magazine prize for most valuable player.

In the subsidiary final of the Challenge Cup, Four Quarters Black beat Snake Bite 5-3.

The final trophy of the weekend, the eight-goal Holden White Cup, was entered by 17 teams with Wilf Hine’s Sea Breeze facing Christian Staubach’s Bamboleo/Madams Farm in the final.

Will Millard (-1) took over from Wilf Fine at No1, Will Harper (one goal) played at two, with four-goalers Nick Pepper and Henry Fisher at three and back. Christian Staubach was joined by Jack Taylor (one goal) at No2, Nick Johnson (two goals) at three, and Glenn Sheriff (five goals) at back in the Bamboleo/Madams Farm side.

Sea Breeze won the Holden White Cup with a 5-3 victory.

Sarah Millard presented the cup to Millard on behalf of Fine and prizes to all players. Fisher’s Sabine was awarded the best playing pony prize sponsored by Polo Times and Harper was voted most valuable player and presented with The Polo Magazine’s MVP prize.

In the subsidiary Holden White finals, Northwood beat Hascombe Stud to claim the Ambersham Cup and Katherine Smithwick’s Jet Set beat Strategic Help for Heroes 6-5 to take home the Ruins Cup.

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