The King Power Gold Cup for the British Open Polo Championship, Europe’s leading tournament, opens on Wednesday 1st July at Cowdray Park, the Home of British Polo. The Final will take place on Sunday 26th July 2020.
Sponsored by King Power, the tournament is regarded as one of the top three polo competitions in the world, alongside the US and Argentine Opens. The Final attracts thousands of spectators annually who flock to the prestigious ‘Lawns’ polo grounds in West Sussex. However this year, due to current government restrictions on spectators at sporting events, the competition will be held behind closed doors.
Sadly, spectators will not be permitted to attend matches, however, all games will be live-streamed via Cowdray TV. The Club has collaborated with Polo Cam and InPlayer, the world’s leading pay per view subscription solution, to bring the sport to fans all over the world in the comfort and safety of their own homes. For full details click here.
Roderick Vere Nicoll, Chairman of Cowdray Park Polo Club, commented: “We are living in unusual times and it is terrific that we have 8 strong teams in the tournament. The two best players in the world, Adolfo Cambiaso and Facundo Pieres, are playing along with some rising young stars. It should be an exciting tournament and I hope you enjoy the Gold Cup on Cowdray TV!”
Eight teams will take part which will see some of the best players in the world in action. The tournament will be played with the usual speed and skill of high-goal polo, under modified rules which adhere to HPA (Hurlingham Polo Association) and government regulations.
Encouragingly for the future of the sport, 2020 sees the highest number of British players entering the tournament in recent years. Among the young British players is 18-year-old Will Harper who resides in Midhurst. Harper junior is likely to meet his father, James, on the pitch as they are rival team members.
The opening game, played for the Carlos Gracida Memorial Trophy on Wednesday 1st July, is much anticipated and will see Adolfo Cambiaso returning to the UK having been absent for the 2019 UK High Goal season. Cambiaso (10 goals) and his son Poroto (4 goals) will play for ‘Next Generation’ alongside David ‘Pelon’ Stirling (9 goals) of Uruguay and French patron Jean-François Decaux. They will go head to head against Cambiaso’s nephews, Bartolomé (7 goals) and Camilo Castagnola (7 goals) who will play for ‘Les Lions/Great Oaks’ aided by Santiago Laborde (6 goals) and American Dillon Bacon. Bartolomé and Camilo won the Gold Cup with Dubai in 2019 in a thrilling final against VS King Power.
We welcome back ‘Scone’, the team of Australian patron David Paradice, winners of the Queen’s Cup in 2019 and Semi Finalists in the Gold Cup 2019. David will be joined by Nico Pieres (9 goals) and England teammates, Ollie Cudmore (6 goals) and James Harper (7 goals).
New to the competition is ‘Polo Stud Schockemöhle’ which will see Echard Jules in the number one shirt alongside fellow German player Patrick Maleizke (4 goals), Jaime Huidobro (7 goals) and Diego Cavanagh (8 goals), who also makes a return to the UK High Goal season after a break in 2019.
World number one, Facundo Pieres (10 goals) will play alongside his brother Gonzalito (9 goals), for Andrey Borodin’s ‘Park Place’ team with another promising young English player, Kian Hall (3 goals). The Pieres brothers won the tournament together three times when playing for King Power in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
An exciting second Park Place team, ‘Park Place Vaara’, has also entered the competition. English young guns, Zac Beim (1 goal) and Will Harper (3 goals) will play in the number one and number two shirts respectively, backed up by Juan Britos (8 goals) and Hilario Ulloa (10 goals).
Alessandro Bazzoni returns with his ‘Monterosso’ side to play his fourth consecutive season in the UK High Goal. He is joined again by Ignacio Toccalino (8 goals), as well as Guillermo Terrera (8 goals) and Jeronimo del Carril (6 goals) who will be new to the team for 2020.
Harald Link’s ‘Thai Polo’ team will also be making a comeback and will feature two English players in the form of Ned Hine (3 goals) and England team member, Jack Richardson (6 goals), with Juan Martin Zubia (7 goals) and Rodrigo Rueda (6 goals).
There will be two groups in the competition with Park Place, Next Generation, Scone and Les Lions/Great Oaks seeded into each group and the remaining teams having drawn for places in either group at the recent King Power Gold Cup Draw which took place live on Cowdray TV on Tuesday 23rd June. View the tournament schedule and the teams.
Chris Bethell, Cowdray Park Polo Manager commented: “We are very much looking forward to play commencing. It has been a challenging start to the season. The grounds are in peak condition; there are some exciting Gold Cup team entries and 2020 has the potential for new talent to shine and perhaps provide an unexpected winner.”