Gracida adds Queen’s Cup to laurels
Labegorce defeated Azzurra in a closely contested Queen’s Cup Final at Guards Polo Club yesterday to add victory in this premier high-goal tournament to captain Carlos Gracida’s collection.
There were some fast and furious moments in the match, which saw each team take the upper hand at various occasions, and the end of the fourth chukka saw the two teams level-pegging at 6-6. But Gracida used the full weight of his nine-goal experience to successfully convert a penalty in the fifth chukka and prevent Azzurra from scoring any more.
The title is one of few to have eluded him until now, and he was delightedly philosophical about his victory: “It is only luck whether you win and today we won by only inches. If you have a chance in the game and you miss it then there is no one to blame but yourself,” he explained.
England faces Chile at Cartier International
The English team, which will face Chile on Cartier International Day at Guards in July, has been announced by the Hurlingham Polo Association (HPA). Twenty-nine-year-old Henry Brett will debut as captain in the match, where he will be joined by Will Lucas, who has 11 Carter Internationals under his belt, and the Tomlinson brothers, Luke and Mark.
Luke is having a brilliant season so far, having already notched up victory with Labegorce in the Queen’s Cup, and his younger brother makes his debut for England. It is the first time in 11 years that siblings have represented England on International day.
Six-goaler Mark commented: “Cartier International Day is the biggest day in the polo calendar so it is a huge thrill to have been selected. Playing at Guards is always very special, but playing for England at Guards will be a whole new experience”/
Top class polo at Beaufort Polo Club
This England team will be on show at the Beaufort Polo Club this week in the Argentine Club Cup, the highest handicap tournament (28 goal) in the world outside of Argentina. Four “all-professional” teams from Cowdray, Guards, Royal Berkshire and Beaufort will be battling it out for the trophy.
The tournament is designed to provide an opportunity for English players to compete at a higher level than English high-goal polo. Beaufort Chairman Simon Tomlinson explains: “The tournament gives the opportunity for people to witness polo played at the highest level with all professional teams, while also benefiting English players who rarely get the opportunity to play all-professional polo”/
Disqualified patron fined for failure to play
Fabien Pictet, patron of Emerging, which was disqualified from the Queen’s Cup after its failure to turn up for a league match against Black Bears at the Bears home ground at Shiplake, has been fined £20,000 and banned from playing any match or practice chukka at an HPA-affiliated club until early July.
The Board stated: “The proper organisation of polo tournaments is seriously jeopardised by conduct of this kind, and the Board considers that it merits a severe penalty in its own right and also to send an appropriate message to the polo community that such conduct will not be tolerated and will be dealt with seriously. “