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Park Place Raises British Open Polo Championship Trophy

Park Place Raises British Open Polo Championship Trophy

British Open Polo Championship cowdray polo cup final 2022

The prestigious British Open Polo Championship’s finale for the Cowdray Gold Cup witnessed a match like no other. Featuring Park Place and Dubai Polo Team, the former was in search of their first British Open title against the latter’s undefeated resume. The world-renowned Lawns Polo Grounds at Cowdray Park Polo Club served as venue for the game last July 17.

Spectators flocked to the gleaming Lawns grounds to enjoy picnics on the side-lines. There are also VIP hospitality in front line private pagodas, luxury shopping, live music, and competitions like the U.S. Polo Assn Longest Shot and the No.3 Gin Best Dressed.

Of course, the excitement of the match itself was the day’s highlight—with world number one Facundo Pieres playing for Park Place in their first Gold Cup final.

A crowd of several thousand settled in around the field. The battle into the final chukka began in a fast, entertaining match that featured few whistles and fast, open polo. Conceding a one-goal on handicap, Park Place set the early tone with a dominant first chukka. 

Francisco Elizalde opened the game by erasing the one-goal deficit on a 30-yard penalty conversion. Picking the ball up on the nearside at midfield, Louis Hine ran the rest of the way for his first goal. He quickly followed this with his second goal to give Park Place the 4 to 1 lead. 

A long pass from Camilo Castagnola was finished by Matt Perry to get Dubai Polo Team onto the scoreboard. This igniteed a strong second chukka that included goals from Camilo and Jeronimo Del Carril. It tied the game at 4-all.

The momentum swings continued as Park Place regained control with three consecutive goals in the third chukka. They were minutes from entering halftime with a significant lead, but Camilo took the ball out of the air and ran it through the goal to bring Dubai Polo Team within two goals. 

Adding his second goal, Camilo inched his team closer by half time, but they remained trailing by one at 7 to 6 in favor of Park Place.

The beginning of the second half saw Francisco Elizalde weave through the defense to score two minutes into the fourth chukka. Excelling alongside Facundo, Francisco helped change the dynamic of the match. Park Place extended their lead to four due to an organized defensive effort that held Dubai Polo Team off the scoreboard for the entire chukka. 

Determined to battle back into contention, Dubai Polo Team turned to their own defense to prevent Park Place from scoring. Camilo added a goal and an assist to cut the deficit in half. With the help of his pony, the ball was kicked forward and he fought off the defenders in front of goal. 

This sent the ball through the posts and raised the excitement field-side as Dubai Polo Team pulled within one. With two and a half minutes remaining, Park Place’s Francisco stole the ball on the sideboards and sent a pass to goal. 

On an impressive cut shot, Facundo scored the decisive goal and followed up with a 60-yard penalty conversion in the final seconds. This move secured the 12 to 9 victory and the British Open Polo Championship for the Cowdray Gold Cup title.

Cries of joy could be heard from the Park Place team tent as a crowd surrounded the presentation area. With both the teams at the podium, the Hon. Emily Pearson, daughter of Lord Cowdray, presented the glittering Gold Cup trophy to Park Place team captain Facundo and patron Andrey Borodin. 

The Most Valuable Player award was presented to Francisco by Jason Eames-Illingworth of Brand Machine. The Robert Graham Umpires Trophy was awarded to Julian Appleby and Peter Wright by Mrs. Betsy Graham. 

The Best Playing Pony award was presented by George Pearson to Van Nikita, played and owned by Francisco. Finally, the Best Playing Patron Pony prize was presented to Open Sting by Ploy Binsaeng on behalf of King Power.

Celebrations continued in the EFG Lawns Enclosure as polo fans gathered back at the bar. And up at The Goalmouth Bar, partygoers danced late into the evening as DJ Simon Horn took to the decks.

Photographs by Mark Beaumont

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