British Polo Gold Cup Final VIP Lunch
Sunday July 17th was an exciting day for all polo lovers in the UK, it was the final of the Jaeger- LeCoultre Gold Cup, the British Open.
I woke up early, with that anticipatory feeling of excitement in the pit of my stomach… my friends on the La Indiana team were in the final and they were up against the defending champions of last year: The King Power Foxes. These two powerful teams had been up against each other a few times in this UK polo season, with La Indiana coming out victorious on most occasions. So I was definitely hopeful of the result on this glorious Sunday.
The sun was shining and it was unusually warm, which I was very delighted about as I could finally wear my white Lilly Pulitzer dress, which I had been waiting all summer for an opportunity to wear and as Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. had invited me to the VIP lunch in the Cowdray Marquee, it was very fitting.
A very welcoming glass of bubbly Louis Roederer champagne and some delicious canapés had already set the mood for the day; light and cheerful.
Shortly after we were invited in for lunch, our table decorated with the colours of the Barbados blue and yellow flag. As a delicious 3-course meal was served I switched over to the famous Rum-Punch, a traditional Barbadian drink, we were after all in Barbados (at heart at least).
My fellow guests were as delighted as I was to be there, but most had no clue about polo, which is my cue to enthusiastically explain the main rules, what to look out for and of course that they should cheer on the team in white, La Indiana.
Between courses we headed outside to watch the spectacular synchronized parachute show.
The main attraction of the day started off with the teams riding around the field greeting their spectators and a presentation of each player. Then it was game on!
The first chukker of the match was exhilarating! These boys were ready to play and it was like watching ping-pong, but on horseback, with the first chukker ending 3-2 for King Power.
The second chukker only saw a single goal, off the stick of Julian (Negro) De Lusarretta tying the teams up. The third chukker was again full of action and by half time the two teams were tied again at 5.
The usual spectator job of divot stomping which takes place at half time, was a perfect opportunity for me to meet up with my Swedish friend Philippa Davin, on the field.
Philippa is a talented equestrian photographer and had been down by the pony lines taking lots of fabulous pictures (some of which will be in the next issue of Polo Magazine). Check out her work here.
The second half of the match was not very fortunate for La Indiana this time. The 4th chukker was scoreless and Gonzalito Pieres took over the 5th and 6th chukker, ending the match with a 9 to 5 lead, ensuring that the King Power team could take home the golden trophy once more.
The Golden Trophy was ceremoniously awarded to the King Power Foxes and both teams shared a sip of champagne from the coveted cup. Then the entire team behind the mighty blue’s came up to the stage chanting in glee.
Polo is truly a team sport, which goes beyond the 4 players on the field. Everyone from the grooms to the wives play a big role in the success of these teams.
As the excitement of the ceremony was quieting down it was time to relax and celebrate, both teams held barbecues at their barns, where friends and family gathered to enjoy the moment. They all have a lot to be proud of.
Once again thank you to Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. for inviting me to experience this special day with you guys, I can’t wait to experience polo with you in Barbados 😉