|Wed 25th Mar 2015|
FIP games in Chile postponed
Tournament now rescheduled to start on Friday
The FIP World Championships tournament committee and host Club Mundial de Polo were forced to postpone the start of the 14 goal tournament following a violent weather front hitting Central and Northern Chile. Despite scheduling the dates of the tournament to coincide with the seasonal good weather normally experienced this time of year in Santiago, the area was hit with downpours of rain extending as far as the Atacama Desert (normal average annual rainfall 10mm). The change in schedules will undoubtedly cause problems for all the players in the teams as the tournament Finals were due to be played on Sunday 29 March and have now been moved to Wednesday 1 April. The revised schedule will include Argentina playing Brazil prior to the opening ceremony this Friday followed by England playing host country Chile. The draw remains the same as USA play Argentina and England take on Pakistan on Saturday followed by games for Brazil, Chile, USA and Pakistan on Monday before the Semi Finals on Tuesday and the Finals on Wednesday.
Photograph: The FIP World Championship Logo
Mon 23rd Mar 2015
FIP World Polo Championships due to start tomorrow
The 14 goal tournament takes place at Mundial del Polo, Chile
Tuesday 24 March will be the first day of games in the 10th edition of The FIP World Polo Championships at Mundial de Polo in Chile. England have been grouped with Pakistan and host country, Chile for the 14 goal tournament. USA, Brazil and current title-holders, Argentina (who also hosted the games in 2011) have been placed in Group B.
In the first game of the day, Argentina will face fellow South Americans Brazil followed by England’s first match against Chile. England, with a team line-up of Will Emerson (5), Pete Webb (5), Jack Hyde (2) and George Pearson (2) earned their place after winning the Zone C Playoffs held at Beaufort Polo Club in September 2014 against Spain, Ireland and France.
On Wednesday 25, USA will play Argentina followed by England’s against Pakistan. The third round of games will be on Thursday between Brazil and America followed by Chile and Pakistan. The Semi Finals with be held on Saturday 28 March with the Finals and Subsidiary Finals to be played on Sunday 29 March.
Chile last hosted The FIP World Championships in 1992 where England took third place behind Argentina and Chile. The World Championships began in 1987 and have yet to be won by England who have made it through in eight out of the 10 tournaments only reaching the Final in 2004 to lose against Brazil 10-9 when the games were hosted by France.
Keep watching our website and social media pages for further updates on the tournament.
Photograph: The England team at Beaufort Polo Club last September. By Lucy Wilson.
Mon 23rd Mar 2015
Audi take The Piaget USPA Gold Cup
Gillian Johnston’s Coca-Cola win Subsidiary Final
The 26 goal Piaget USPA Gold Cup came to an end with a win for Audi against Orchard Hill in the Final on Sunday at International Polo Club, Palm Beach after two weeks of intense games between six teams.
Orchard Hill looked set to be odds-on favourites for the win after a strong season with a performance rating to intimidate any opposition which included a record of seven consecutive 26 goal wins to date as well as The C.V. Whitney Cup title under their belts. Their team line-up featured the Pieres cousins, Facundo (10) and Polito (9) with Steve Van Andel (0) and Ezequiel Ferrario (7). Conversely, Audi, consisting of Gonzalito Pieres (9), Rodrigo Andrade (9), Fred Mannix (6) and Marc Ganzi (1), had yet to really make their mark on the 2015 season. The latter had a fairly smooth ride to The Gold Cup Final with four straight wins against Alegria Assist Card, Engel & Völkers and Las Monjitas (twice) to face Orchard Hill. The only blip in an otherwise textbook tournament game plan was a shoulder injury for Ganzi during the Semi Final against Las Monjitas, which cast a shadow of doubt as to his fitness to play in the Final. His son, Grant, was waiting in the wings, but Marc still took to the pitch in Sunday’s line-up.
Audi decisively made their intentions known in the chukka one with the first goal coming from Gonzalito and by the first bell they had left Orchard Hill trailing 3-1. Despite Facundo turning up the heat from Orchard Hill to try and close the gap, the second chukka had much the same outcome as the first with Mannix joining in to score for Audi and ending the seven minutes of play, 6-4. By half-time the match was still in favour of Audi with a close score of 8-6.
Steve Van Andel’s Orchard Hill managed to tie the game 8-8 in the fourth, before momentarily taking the lead for the first time in the Final when the scoreboard read 10-9 at the end of the chukka. However, an unrelenting Audi regained their lead by the end of the penultimate chukka with the score reading 14-12 in their favour.
The real nail-biting play came in the final chukka. Polito Pieres cut the margin to one goal, before Gonzalito replied to make it 15-13. With the clock ticking, Polito found space between the posts to score, whilst his cousin coolly scored the equalising goal for Orchard Hill with a mere four seconds left of play and thus forcing the match into over time.
A seventh chukka saw Audi win the line-out and drive towards the Orchard Hill goal. Audi were awarded a penalty just 29 seconds into the extra time, which Gonzalito – later named MVP – converted to make it 16-15 and win The Piaget USPA Gold Cup. Rosparita, owned and played by Gonzalito was awarded the honour of Best Playing Pony.
Coca-Cola, with a line-up of Gillian Johnston (2), Sugar Erskine (6), Pelon Stirling (10) and Julio Arellano (8), defeated Lechuza Caracas featuring Victor Vargas (1), Nico Pieres (8), Agustin Garcia Grossi (7) and Juan Martin Nero (10), in the Subsidiary Final for The Engel & Völkers Tesoro Cup earlier in the day with a final score of 14-11.
Photograph: Audi raise the USPA Gold Cup Trophy. By Alex Pacheco.