Cartier Queen’s Cup Semifinals – Guards Polo Club
Wednesday, June 12th was a big day at Guards polo club, two important semifinal matches were on the roster.
The first semi-final was Cartier Queen’s Cup veterans VS King Power against the newcomers Scone Polo Club.
With big heavy and dark clouds looming we took our seats in the grandstand ready to watch what we knew would be an impressive match.
And we were right! Fast-paced with very few whistles blown by the umpires, these teams were flying over the velvety green Duke’s field. Scone Polo Club took the win 7-5. With James Harper being named MVP of the match and Honey d’Amore, owned and played by Nico Pieres received the Best Playing Pony blanket.
I managed to catch up with Nico after the match to see who he was hoping to play the final against.
The rain started to come down, but luckily for me, it was time to head into the beautifully decorated Guards Polo Club House and Marquee, where my dear friend Philippa Davin’s amazing art adorned the walls.
A delightful and beautiful lunch by Mosimann’s was served smoked salmon as the starter and expertly grilled fowl and vegetables.
And of course my favorite part dessert: a fresh passionfruit mousse.
By the time the second semifinal match started, it was literally pouring, but in England, you still play polo in the rain (otherwise half the season would be canceled). Adding rain to the pressures of an already high-pressure situation of the Cartier Queen’s Cup is unfortunate, but both teams, Park Place Polo and La Indiana are well-seasoned at this kind of pressure, being the finalists of last year’s Cartier Queen’s Cup final (where La Indiana took the trophy home).
Park Place dominated the game from the second chukker and was winning 7-3 at half-time. Hilario Ulloa was on fire in the third chukker scoring three goals in almost as many minutes. The new team member since last year Benjamin Urquiza also once more proved himself and had a great game for Park Place, scoring four goals total.
La Indiana is a very strong team with some impressive horsepower and should never be discounted. Facundo Pieres and Rodrigo Andrade fought back and successfully converted penalties and field goals. The change in dynamics took Park Place by surprise, they failed to score in the fifth chukker and the gap shrunk down to two goals (8-6 in favor of Park Place). But Juano Britos scored and they kept the gap and ended the match 10-8 and secured their spot in the final on Sunday.
Hilario Ulloa received the MVP title and his amazing stallion Machitos Mesquite received BPP.
Both teams will looking to register their first Cartier Queen’s Cup victory on Sunday and will have to bring their best game – and ponies – to ensure success. The main final will be played at 3 pm, historically played in the presence of HM The Queen.