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Thu 26th Apr 2018

Copa de las Naciones 2018

Ninth annual tournament is underway

Under the hot Argentine sun the ninth edition of the Copa de las Naciones got underway yesterday, Wednesday 25 April. In the first match of the tournament, Colombia took to the field against the North American Team.

The game was narrowly fought from the first throw-in, with neither team allowing the other the space to score. The Colombians were the first to break through the American defensive line and for the next two chukkas the scoreboard rested in their favour. Colombia began the third chukka with a surge of goals, four to be exact, following a series of great plays from ‘Pipe’ Marquez and Juan Esteban Uribe. The fourth chukka continued in the same suit as Colombia scored another two goals, bringing the scoreboard to 8-0 in their favour. Fred Mannix Jnr could not find his bearing for the North American Team and despite valiant attempts to come back and finally score, it wasn’t until a successful penalty in the last 36 seconds of the match that the North Americans even made it onto the scoreboard, quickly following with a field goal. The final score rested on 15-2 in Colombia’s favour, an excellent score with which to start this international tournament. 
2018 is the first time in recent years that a British team has not participated in the Copa de las Naciones, which may be due to the levies implemented on British players by the Argentine Polo Association. Tomorrow, Friday 27 April, the tournament will continue as North American take on Argentina.
The Copa de las Naciones 2018 Day One Teams:
Colombia (24): Felipe Márquez (6), Juan Esteban Uribe (6), Martín Huertas (6) & Federico Uribe (6)
North America (26): Julian Mannix (6), Jesse Bray (5), Fred Mannix Jnr (9) & Jared Zenni (6)
Argentina (26): Manuel Novillo Astrada (2), Ruifino Bensadón (4), Guillermo ‘Sapo’ Caset (10) & Juan M. Nero (10) Reserves: Nicolás Pieres (10), Jorge Fernández Ocampo (4) & Ignacio Arbelbide (2)

Photograph: Colombia defeated the North American Team by 15-2 in the first game of the Copa de las Naciones. By Matias Calléjo
 

 


Wed 25th Apr 2018

APPL Takes Brazil by Storm

World Tour Continues in Southern Hemisphere

The All Pro Polo League (APPL) has continued its 2018 World Tour, setting down in Brazil for a weekend of exhibition polo at the Helvetia Polo Club in Indaiatube. Over the weekend 21 – 22 April, world class players such as David ‘Pelón’ Stirling, Guillermo ‘Sapo’ Caset and Facundo Sola took to the field to showcase APPL polo to the gathered spectators. 

The international professionals were teamed up with four local 7 goal players to make up two competing teams – Caset and team mate Ignatiues Du Plessus teamed up with two local players, Pedrinho Zacharias and Willian Rodrigues, to challenge Sola and Stirling with their team mates Joao Paulo Ganon and Olavo Novaes. The tournament, was the perfect opportunity to showcase the APPL rule system to the Brazilian players, following an 18 year absence of any high goal Argentine professional in Brazil – the last Argentine high goal players to come to Brazil were the Heguy brothers in 2000.
On the first day of play, the two teams of 32 goals and 33 goals respectively played in an exhibition match to the delight of the gathered crowd. The following day, Caset and Sola then partook in a four team, 18 goal exhibition tournament with local players. Caset said after the weekend’s play, “Playing the APPL is always good fun and we are working to further polish the rules. In fact, after discussing it with Javier [Tanoira, founder of the APPL], we tweaked a rule before the games on Sunday. It is always positive to continue innovating and improving. I think Javier’s concept of an APPL World Tour is great. So far this year I have played the APPL in the US, now in Brazil and we hope to be able to organise an exhibition in Russia during the football World Cup. It is also likely that we will do something in England.”
Javier Tanoira continued, “Brazil has a very prominent polo culture. Those who play have a higher than average level of polo than other countries, so there are not necessarily many patrons. In most places, the only way to create good polo is by hiring foreign players, but the Brazilians can play good polo amongst themselves. Brazil is going to be a set fixture in the APPL World Tour. We are working together with the locals and we are very in sync with everyone there.”
The next stop on the APPL World Tour is France, at the Chantilly Polo Club later this year. For more information, please visit the website www.allpropololeague.com
 
Photograph: 10 goaler Guillermo ‘Sapo’ Caset challenging Sérgio Figueiredo for possession during the APPL World Tour stop in Brazil. By 30jardas

Mon 23rd Apr 2018

Daily Racing Form Become American Champions

U.S Polo Open Championship Final

Sunday 22 April saw the highlight of the culmination of months of hard work and preparation for the ultimate goal of the 2018 American high goal season. Going into this Final, C.V. Whitney Cup and USPA Gold Cup winner Valiente looked like the stronger team, but as the Floridian rain began to fall and the national anthem rang out across the Engel & Völkers Field 1 at the International Polo Club, Palm Beach, all previous matches were forgotten, with focus on the job at hand. 

Facundo Pieres was the first to find the posts, turning the ball from a defensive line to fly through the posts at the far end of the field, quickly answered by Daily Racing Form’s (DRF) 10 goal powerhouse Hilario Ulloa. DRF continued to shut down Valiente’s plays, despite impressive teamwork from the world number one and two, Adolfo Cambiaso and Facundo Pieres. It wasn’t until the third chukka that the stalemate was broken, as DRF took the lead for the first time, following an in-air goal from Ulloa. They quickly extended their lead to 5-3 with a field goal, but just before the half-time bell, Cambiaso ensured Valiente weren’t done yet, scoring a goal to bring Valiente within a goal of DRF once again. Valiente continued their attack, but whilst still a goal down in the fifth chukka, an errant ball connected with Ulloa’s face, temporarily halting the match while he received stitches to his right eye. The Obregon cousins, Agustín and Mariano, stepped up their game as they welcomed their 10 goal team mate back onto the field, but Valiente evened the scoreboard just before the final chukka. Jared Zenni scored a breathtaking goal, from an almost impossible angle, to give DRF a little more breathing room as they went up to a two goal lead. As the seconds ticked down, DRF gave away an all-important penalty, which Pieres ably slotted through the posts, but as the final bell sounded, DRF’s defense had held off Valiente to the final moment and their fervour was rewarded with the US Polo Open Championship Final title, with a 10-9 final score, halting Valiente’s Triple Crown dreams in their tracks. For his incredible angled goal, Jared Zenni was awarded the Most Valuable Player Award, whilst his team mate Mariano Obregon’s pony Millonaria, was presented with the Best Playing Pony rug. 
This tournament marks the end of the American high goal season, with the lion’s share of professional players now turning their attention to the UK high goal season, which is due to commence in the coming weeks. Polo Times will be on hand throughout the season to keep our readers up to date with all the polo action, so be sure to keep an eye on our social media feeds and news pages to stay up to date. The forthcoming May issue includes the 2018 High Goal Guide – not a subscriber? Click here to subscribe now!
The US Polo Open Championship Final Teams:
Valiente (26): Bob Jornayvaz (2), Tommy Beresford (4), Facundo Pieres (10) & Adolfo Cambiaso (10)
Daily Racing Form (26): Jared Zenni (5), Agustín Obregron (5), Hilario Ulloa (10) & Mariano Obregon (6)

Photograph: Brit Tommy Beresford battles Hilario Ulloa for possession in the Final of the US Polo Open Championships at the International Polo Club. By Joel Auerbach
 

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