43rd Land Rover International Polo Tournament – Day 33 – Gold Cup
Location: Santa MarÃa Polo Club Sotogrande
By Victoria Elsbury-Legg
So as the Gold Cup High Goal nears its end in Sotogrande first up in the Semis on Wednesday were a seemingly unstoppable Valiente (Robert Jornayvaz, Santiago Laborde, Adolfo Cambiaso and Santiago Torres) in their third Semi Final match of the Spanish season against RH (Ben Soleimani, Nicolas Pieres, Facundo Sola and Santiago Von Wernich). Cambiaso, already with a Gold Cup victory to his name (won with Dubai on the Lawns at Cowdray) had most definitely set his sights on another Spanish cup of the same shade to add to his Bronze and Silver success.
At the end of the first chukka it was Valiente 3-2 RH, but with Cambiaso off his horse and a subsequent delay in play there were anxious moments for team Valiente on the Los Pinos III pitch. With a remounted Cambiaso heading up the side, team Valiente went 4-2 up in the second and by half time it was 9-6 to Valiente. From three goals ahead, Robert Jornayvazâ€™s team then stretched their lead to six goals, going into the fifth 12-6. With Sola and Torres adding to the goal tally, there was little surprise when Valiente rode of the pitch heading for their third High Goal Final in Spain 16-10 to RH at the final bell.
In the second Semi of the day Ellerston (James Packer, Gonzalo and Facundo Pieres and Thomas Brodie) faced King Power (Top Srivaddhannaprabha, Alejandro Muzzio, Marcos Di Paola and Martin Espain). There might have many players with the same name once again together on a High Goal ground (albeit in Spain rather than England) but this time they were heading for different ends of the pitch. This might have been the first meeting between Ellerston and King Power in Spain, but as in all their matches, both teamsâ€™ sights were set on Saturdayâ€™s Final and the opportunity to steal the triple from Valiente.
With 11 all on the scoreboard heading into the sixth there was everything to play for in the closing minutes of the game. Then with only a goal between them in the last minute, Pieres power (this time Facundo) won the day once again as he put the ball between the posts and a 14 against Ellerston name, leaving King Power 2 goals behind on 12.
Post-match presentations included Rookie of the Sotogrande season being awarded to Hugo Lewis (whose been playing in Peter Sillingâ€™s Equus alongside Juan Britos and James Beim and now face FCT in the Medium Goal Gold Cup Final), sponsor of the season to Bob Jornayvaz and the player of the Sotogrande season was Facundo Pieres.
Thoughts now turn to the upcoming Low and Medium Goal Gold Cup Friday Finals and the battle the Pieres brothers face on Saturday against the might of Cambiaso and an as yet undefeated Valiente.
Friday 29th August 2014
Gold Cup â€“ Low Goal