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Mon 17th Jun 2019

The Underdogs Have It!

Scone Polo win The Cartier Queen’s Cup

On Sunday 16 June, thousands of polo fans gathered at the pristine Queen’s Ground at Guards Polo Club, for the annual high goal spectacle that is The Cartier Queen’s Cup Final. This year’s tournament has been a rollercoaster of ups and downs, but ultimately first-timers, Scone Polo found themselves in the Final, following a shaky start to the tournament with two losses, against 2018 runners-up and formidable rivals, Park Place.  

Looking at the horse list prior to the match, Park Place had a fantastic line-up of ponies as well as a real who’s who of polo power on their team sheet, but all this was quickly overshadowed as play commenced. 
The first three chukkas went by in a blur, with Park Place initially taking the lead, only for Scone to counteract with increasing confidence, to make it 4-3 going into the half-time break. Park Place’s 10 goal powerhouse, Hilario Ulloa and his normal partner in crime Juan Britos seemed to be off their usual A-game, missing a total of seven penalties which really made the difference for the usually strong team. Scone’s British pairing of James Beim and James Harper, however, were on fire, dominating plays and ensuring Park Place were unable to convert any attempt on territory gain. Frustration was the name of the game for Park Place, and with a goalless fifth chukka, and Scone in the lead 8-4, only a miracle would have saved the day in the last seven minutes of play. The miracle didn’t materialise and to a cheer from the assembled crowd, Scone Polo secured The Cartier Queen’s Cup trophy. Harper was the man of the hour, not only receiving the Most Valuable Player honours, but also The Cartier Best Playing Pony rug for Jim Gilmore’s pony Twitter, a seven-year-old mare he rode in the first and fifth chukka. 
HM The Queen, looking resplendent in coral, presented the teams with their prizes alongside Cartier UK Managing Director Laurent Feniou. It was a day of frustrating polo for some, but with the rain staying away and a sense of national jubilation at the close of play, the day was a resounding success, with all eyes now turning to The King Power Gold Cup, starting in two weeks’ time at Cowdray Park Polo Club.
The Cartier Queen’s Cup Final Teams:
Scone Polo (22): David Paradice (0), James Beim (7), Nico Pieres (9) & James Harper (6)
Park Place (22): Andrey Borodin (0), Juan Britos (7), Hilario Ulloa (10) & Benjamin Urquiza (5)
Photograph: Scone Polo, The Cartier Queen’s Cup 2019 winners, with HM The Queen, Laurent Feniou and Brian Stein, Chairman of Guards Polo Club. By ©www.imagesofpolo.com

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