10 GOALERS AT COWDRAY GOLD CUP 2012
THE HARDER THEY COME, THE HARDER THEY FALL
Story by Alberto Van der Mye Photography by Celine M-P Genonceau
Polo is a challenge in English weather in the best of times , June was the wettest month since 1860 nevertheless all matches of the British Open Gold Cup have been played on schedule with the final at 3:30pm on Sunday 15 July .
All of the active 10 goal players on the planet are playing the English polo season but of that elite group of players at the maximum rating only Mr. Adolfo Cambiaso is undefeated and marching on towards a probable victory in the Gold Cup to add to his triumph in the Queen's Cup. The much anticipated duel of Dubai polo team and La Bamba de Areco featuring Cambiaso and Facundo Pieres on the superb Lawns 1 at Cowdray Park Polo Club was a non starter as 10 goaler A. Cambiaso gave a polo exhibition in the first three chukkas to lead 8-1 at half time both sides superbly mounted on horses that could play in Palermo . Facundo Pieres is the equal of Cambiaso in horsepower & talent but when AC is firing on all 12 cylinders Adolfo still holds a slight edge.
Frankie Dorignac the 10 goal legendary captain of Santa Ana used to say that there is a team handicap higher than the sum of the individual players handcap as was the case with Coronel Suarez 23 time winners of the Palermo Open and indeed Santa Ana also winners at the Cathedral of Polo at Palermo, Argentina. Indeed the undefeated teams at the Gold Cup : Sumaya, Salkfeld, Zacara ,Dubai all feature well balanced teams who together play above their aggregate handicaps.
The most fun in polo is friends playing together and two young Americans Will Johnston rated 2 goals and Steve Orthwein rated 4 goals are playing as Coca Cola Polo Team (hereby photographed) in the Gold Cup with Lucas James & Alejandro Novillo Estrada rated 7 & 8 goals the young American sponsored quartet have given a good account of themselves playing against Cambiaso ( lost by 2 goals) , The Merlos brothers and yesterday by the minimal difference to 10 goaler Pablo MacDonough of Richard Mille Polo Team.
Now on to the Gold Cup quarterfinals next weekend despite lousy weather the English polo officials say "Play on"