Around 14,000 spectators were at Cowdray Park on Sunday 19th July to watch the Final of the 2015 Jaeger-LeCoultre Gold Cup when King Power Foxes and UAE played for the Jaeger-LeCoultre Gold Cup and the title of British Open Polo Champions.

King Power Foxes, the team of ‘Top’ Srivaddhanaprabha, had already won the 2015 Queen’s Cup with Top’s new line-up of 10 goal Pieres brothers, Gonzalito and Facundo, and young 1 goal English player Hugo Lewis. The all pro-side of UAE consisted of 10 goaler Pablo MacDonough, the leading goal scorer of the British Open, Santiago Stirling (4 goals), experienced high goal player Lucas Monteverde (8 goals) and 16 year old Jose Ramon Araya, currently playing off 0 goals, whose handicap will no doubt rocket after his performance in the UK this year.

MacDonough made the first mark on the scoreboard for UAE with an accurate 60 yard penalty.  King Power Foxes’ very able Patron ’Top’ Srivaddhanaprabha answered with a field goal and by the end of the first chukka the score was level at 2-2.  The second chukka was disappointing for UAE with two missed opportunities at goal and the Pieres brothers combining well to rack up their score to 5-2.  Chukka 3 opened with Gonzalito Pieres finding the ball from the throw-in and masterfully tapping it all the way to the goal for 6-2.  The Foxes then gave away a penalty which MacDonough saw through the posts for 3-6. Hard marking on both sides saw the half time score creep up to 7-4 in King Power Foxes’ favour.

Chukka 4 opened with a throw in and UAE winning the ball, Facundo Pieres impeded their progress but Monteverde claimed it back and raced away to score a super field goal.  MacDonough was pressured by Facundo Pieres as he made an attempt at goal and the ball went over the boards. The resulting roll-in gave Facundo the perfect chance to pass the ball to ‘Top’ who obliged with his second field goal of the match. The chukka closed at 8-5 to the Foxes.

King Power Foxes’s Patron was unseated in chukka 5 but was able to walk from the pitch, his place being taken by young 1 goal player Kian Hall. As he settled into the match UAE were able to gain some ground and pulled up to within two goals of their opponents, the chukka closing at 10-8 in King Powers’ favour.  However, the final chukka belonged to the blue shirts of King Power Foxes.  Try as they might, the goals simply didn’t come for UAE, one hit going wide and a super ball from young Araya hitting the posts and deflecting. Gonzalito picked up the ball, sent it to Facundo and he was off on his own all the way to the goal and tip, tap, through the posts for 11-8.  The line-out saw Facundo in possession once again, Monteverde saw him off, Stirling passed the ball to Araya who had another try.  But suddenly the ball was with the Foxes’ Hugo Lewis who raced down the pitch to enormous cheers to score his first Gold Cup Final goal.  Again Monteverde gained the ball only to be stolen by Facundo Pieres who off-loaded it to Hugo Lewis who brilliantly secured his second goal of the match and 13-8 for the Foxes.  UAE gave away a penalty, taken by Facundo, moving the score on to 14-8 and soon it was all over.  ‘Top’ Shrivaddhanaprabha had won the Jaeger-LeCoultre Gold Cup at only his second attempt.


The Jaeger LeCoultre Gold Cup presented by Daniel Riedo to King Power Foxes’ patron, ‘Top’ Srivaddhanaprabha 

Photo credit: Jaeger-LeCoultre’s official photographer Vanessa Taylor.

The teams were driven up to the presentations arena to huge cheers in two open top Land Rover Defenders customized by specialists Twisted Automotive, who presented the award for Best Playing Pony to Divina played by Pablo MacDonough.  Facundo Pieres was presented with the award for Most Valuable Player by Zahra Kassim Lakha, Jaeger-LeCoultre UK. Individual prizes were presented to both teams by Daniel Riedo, CEO, Jaeger-LeCoultre and Zahra Kassim Lakha.  Frédéric Rouzaud, CEO Louis Roederer presented a Salmanazar of Louis Roederer to the King Power Patron, who was also delighted to receive a Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso watch from Zahra Kassim Lakha.  The final prize of the day, the most coveted trophy in polo, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Gold Cup, was presented to ‘Top’ Srivaddhanaprabha by Daniel Riedo.


Facu showers his grooms with champagne

Photo credit: Jaeger-LeCoultre’s official photographer Vanessa Taylor.

Information supplied by Liz Higgins, Press Officer, Cowdray Park Polo Club, direct tel: 01730 813257, mobile 07887 994787.


Tuesday, July 28th, 2015