|Mon 26th Jul 2021|
Thai Polo Claim Cowdray Gold Cup
Smiles all round despite the weather
As Gold Cup Final day dawned the heatwave had well and truly passed and the dark skies loomed with the threat of storms, but in true British style the spectators were unperturbed by the wet weather and turned out en masse complete with parasols, umbrellas and full wet weather gear to watch Thai Polo take on UAE Polo Team. With each team having claimed a 22 goal trophy this year, The Prince of Wales at The Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club for Thai Polo and The Cartier Queen’s Cup at Guards Polo Club, the jury was out which team would be lifting the trophy in the afternoon.
After thunder and lightening stopped play for almost one hour after the end of the first chukka, a competitive match ensued despite consistent showers with Thai Polo NP and UAE Polo Team battling in open play where the balanced attack of Thai Polo NP proved to be a winning factor. All four players found the scoreboard along with six assists on nine field goals as Thai Polo NP scored all nine of their goals from the field. Led by three goals and three assists from Nico Pieres, Thai Polo NP took the lead and never looked back against the solid UAE Polo Team. Holding Polito Pieres scoreless, Thai Polo NP’s defence helped guide them to victory, despite the best efforts of Tomas Panelo and Tomas Beresford who combined for all seven of their team’s goals. Outshooting UAE Polo Team 22-5 throughout the game, Thai Polo NP overcame the rain to claim the hard-fought tournament victory with a final score of 9-7.
The win was the first Gold Cup title for brothers Ned and Louis Hine, whose father, Andrew, first won the tournament in 1983 when aged 18, while James Harper enjoyed his second title win and Nico Pieres’ inaugural Gold Cup title.
Nico Pieres cleaned up in the post-match presentations, receiving the Most Valuable Player award as well as the best Playing Pony award for his nine-year-old Argentine mare, Open Lourdes (Virgin x Sportivo).
2021 Gold Cup Final Teams:
UAE Polo Team (22): HH Sheikha Maitha (0), Tomás Panelo (6), Polito Pieres (9) & Tomás Beresford (7)
Thai Polo NP (22): Louis Hine (2), Ned Hine (4), Nico Pieres (9) & James Harper (7)
Photograph: Andy, Ned, Robyn, Louis, Milly & Indi Hine celebrate Thai Polo’s win. By Polo Times