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Wed 22nd Jan 2020

The Bryan Morrison Trophy is Postponed

The International Test Match for The Bryan Morrison Trophy to be played at Polo in the Park

Today, the announcement was made that The International Test Match for The Bryan Morrison Trophy, originally scheduled to take place on Saturday 7 March at The All England Polo Club, Hickstead, has been postponed. 

The Hurlingham Polo Association (HPA) have commented that the match will now take place on the Friday afternoon of Chesterton’s Polo in the Park, on Friday 5 June at Hurlingham Park, London. The idea behind the move is to enable more spectators to witness arena polo in all its glory, with over 20,000 spectators expected to attend.
The HPA are hoping the US Polo Association will continue to support The International Test Match for The Bryan Morrison Trophy, by sending a team over to compete against Frasers England. 
The HPA have commented on the postponement, “The match will now be played in Hurlingham Park on the Friday afternoon in order to showcase arena polo to one of the largest crowds at polo in the UK.
“Although played on grass and with slightly different rules, the games at Chestertons Polo in the Park are very similar to arena polo and attract huge crowds. It is anticipated that the USPA will still provide the opposition, as was the intention in March, although this is still to be confirmed. Max Charlton will remain as Frasers England Captain for the day.
“Complimenting the on-field attractions, the HPA will also have a #trypolouk trade stand promoting polo across the three days of the event. Similar to what was done at the recent Olympia Horse Show, this is intended to ensure that the polo world in general benefits from the publicity created by what promises to be an excellent Test match at the spiritual home of polo, Hurlingham Park.”
Earlier this month, the HPA announced that 10 goaler Max Charlton had agreed to Captain the Frasers England team set to compete in this illustrious match, taking to the arena for the first time as his nation’s Captain. 
Photograph: The International Test Match for The Bryan Morrison Trophy is set to be moved to the Friday of Polo in the Park. By ©www.imagesofpolo.com

Sun 19th Jan 2020

18th Bendura Bank Snow Polo World Cup Kitzbühel 2020

World Polo League champion maiden Final in Kitzbühel

With conditions nigh on pristine, a layer of fresh powder perfectly enveloping the field and two teams ready to take their maiden voyage into the Final of The 18th Bendura Bank Snow Polo World Cup Kitzbühel, the third and final day of this thrilling tournament was always going to be a spectacle. 

A snowy Sunday was what greeted the abundance of spectators, taking their positions on the sidelines for the first Final of the day in the heart of Kitzbühel, but as the first ball was thrown-in for The Kitzbühel Cup Final, the sun broke through and a cheer of expectant joy rustled through the crowd. 
2018 champions Bendura Bank were first up against rivals Laurent-Perrier, whose team coincidentally sported two of the three members of the 2019 winning Cîroc team, so it was champion versus champion to commence this epic day of polo. With the fresh snow making conditions a little slippery, and with safety as the paramount concern, the riders took the first chukka at a reasonable pace, but with the ponies finding their footing, they turned up the pace as the match went on. Bendura Bank’s Tito Gaudenzi was the first to find the posts, and two more goals off his stick ensured his team were ahead going towards half-time, but a quick fire goal from Laurent-Perrier’s Valentin Novillo Astrada turned the tables at the bell, putting his side half a goal ahead, 3½-3. Laurent-Perrier held the lead up until the final chukka, but a fall from Captain Sebastian Schneberger and subsequent substitution from Intocast’s Captain Matthias Normann, gave Bendura Bank the brief respite they needed to regroup. Alejandro Novillo Astrada, Bendura Bank’s powerful 8 goaler, secured the three goals needed in the final chukka to ensure a win for his team, 8-6½.
The second match of the day for the La Martina Cup was always going to be an even tussle. 2017 champions Corum, with the German number one Patrick Maleitzke leading the charge were all power from the word go, but they found a real challenge in the form of a new team for 2020, Intocast. Making their debuts at The 18th Bendura Bank Snow Polo World Cup Kitzbühel, Argentine 5 goalers Micky Duggan and Martin Jauregui, ably led by Captain Matthias Normann, meant business, scuppering Corum’s attempts on goal, time and time again. This end to end match upped the already heightened tempo on the Kitzbühel snow, with spectators on the edge of their seats in anticipation of the teams’ next moves. At half-time, Intocast firmly led 5-3 and there was little chance of them relinquishing the lead in a hurry. Maleitzke, in a constant battle with his rival Jauregui, fought valiantly, securing two goals in the third chukka, but following three near misses in the final minutes of play, Corum just couldn’t find the posts. This fast and thrilling match came to an end with Intocast holding onto the lead, 6-5. 
In the bid for third and fourth place, Engel & Völkers, in their true red devil form, were out for victory, following their win against Bendura Bank yesterday. Bernd Gruber however, making the most of their updated 2020 line-up, came firing out the starting gate. The match was fast and frenetic within moments, with the pace once again upped from the previous match. Brit 8 goaler Jonny Good, with his 17-year-old teammate Segundo Darritchon hot at his heels, scored two out of the red devils’ three goals in the first chukka, with only one in response from Bernd Gruber’s mighty Santiago Marambio. With tensions heating up on the field, it took an impromptu blizzard to cool heads and calm the pumped up players, but as the sun broke through once again, what is sure to be considered the goal of the tournament saw Marambio, with the head of his stick missing, score his team’s second goal. Going into half-time, the scores rested at 5-2 in Engel & Völkers favour, but with Bernd Gruber still very much in contention. The match continued to be close until the final bell sounded – with tit-for-tat goals between Darritchon and Marambio, in teshe next two chukkas. Depite the fiery play and cohesive team work of both sides, Engel & Völkers maintained the upper hand and the red devils left the field with an 8-6 victory, much to the delight of the red-shirted fans on the sidelines. 
So, with only one match to go, the all-important Final between two new, and powerful, teams, World Polo League from America and GP Mobility from the Copa Cabana itself, Brazil, the stage was set for an almighty showdown. 
Ahead of this exciting Final, the consensus was that the game was impossible to call, with the teams so expertly balanced. The daunting force of American number one Nic Roldan was unquestionable as the teams rode onto the field, but GP Mobility had the advantage of two goals on handicap, so World Polo League were going to have their work cut out. But the fear for the Ganzi contingent on the sidelines was short-lived, as within as many minutes, a goal from WPL Captain Marc Ganzi, aka the Cobra, and his 8 goal teammate Roldan, had evened the scoreboard 2-2. The 6 goal Brazilian, Guilhermo Lins was a force all of his own from the off. Scoring GP Mobility’s primary field goal, his ability to not only challenge the Americans, but overcome the powerful Roldan ride-offs was a spectacle to behold. In the first half, GP Mobility had their work cut out, with 80 percent of their play on the defensive. With a phenomenal pass, straight to the waiting stick of his Captain, Marcus Schdallach, later named Most Valuable Player for his consistently impressive play, GP Mobility were back in business at 4-4. It was fast, it was furious, and boy was it exciting. As the teams headed into the half-time break, a flurry of near misses and ultimately goals, saw World Polo League back ahead, but GP Mobility were hot on their heels, 7-6. 
Tensions were mounting both on and off the field in the third chukka, with players responding to bad bounces with bigger hits, as this end-to-end excitement seemed to bring these two powerhouse teams to almost breaking point. The scores evened up once again, this time at 7-7 thanks to Lins, but young Juan Bautista Peluso wasn’t done yet for his World Polo League side, as he found the posts just in time for the bell. If you thought the first three chukkas were exciting, then what happened in the fourth would have beggared belief. As the ball flew up to the Brazilian’s end of the field, Roldan, in a play worth way more than his 8 goals permitted, took the ball from the halfway line, in the air, bouncing one, two, three times before striking the ball under the neck of his pony and scoring a seemingly impossible goal from one of the most challenging positions on the field. His extraordinary skill had the crowd in stunned silence, which then erupted into a resounding cheer! This fantastic play was the sign of things to come and, however hard GP Mobility fought, the Americans were just that one step ahead. With another ‘air shot’ volley goal from Roldan, to only one in response from Lins, who was later named the recipient of the Fair Play Award, it was all over for the team from Brazil. The World Polo League team, a brand new addition to the 2020 instalment of The Bendura Bank Snow Polo World Cup Kitzbühel, were crowned the resounding champions and one thing’s for sure, with skill like that, we're sure Kitzbühel can’t wait to welcome them back next year!
The 18th Bendura Bank Snow Polo World Cup Kitzbühel 2020 Final Teams:
World Polo League (13): Marc Ganzi (2), Juan Bautista Peluso (3) & Nic Roldan (8)
GP Mobility (10): Marcus Schalldach (2), Henrique Schalldach (2) & Guilhermo Lins (6)
Photograph: Nic Roldan in action for World Polo League in the Final of The 18th Bendura Bank Snow Polo World Cup. By Reinhardt & Sommer Photography

Tue 14th Jan 2020

Palm Beach Equine Victorious

Joe Barry Memorial 2020

On Sunday 12 January, the second phase of the US 18 goal, the 2020 Joe Barry Memorial, came to an end at the International Polo Club Palm Beach, with Palm Beach Equine and Stable Door Polo pitted against one another in the Final.

Yesterday’s Final was a rematch of last weekend’s Iglehart Cup Final, again between Palm Beach Equine and Stable Door Polo, which Stable Door Polo sealed with a 10-8 win. With both teams possessing intimate knowledge of their opposition’s play and style, it was a fast-paced display of skill with the goals flying from end-to-end in a high scoring Final. The lead changed five times during the match and the result was anyone’s guess right up to the last chukka.
In the end, the fifth and final lead change happened in the sixth chukka in favour of Palm Beach Equine, which saw them take the title with a score of 14-12. Raúl ‘Gringo’ Colombres was named Most Valuable Player and also picked up Best Playing Pony for Coquito.
The 18 goal action continues this week with the Ylvisaker Cup, which has eight teams entered. The first match takes place tomorrow, Wednesday 15 January between Coca Cola and La Indiana.
The Joe Barry Memorial Final Teams:
Palm Beach Equine (18): Gonzalo Ferrari (4), Lucas Díaz Alberdi (6), Raúl ‘Gringo’ Colombres (8) & Scott Swerdlin (0)
Stable Door Polo (18): Matias Magrini (7), Santino Magrini (4), Henry Porter (3) & Robert Orthwein (4)
Photograph: Palm Beach Equine, winners of The Joe Barry Memorial 2020. By Alex Pacheco

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