Talandracas Triumphant in the Queen’s Cup

Talandracas Polo Team won the final 2The Carmignac family’s Talandracas team beat Dillon Bacon’s La Dolfina Great Oaks 12-11 to win the 2024 Cartier Queen’s Cup but only after a dramatic final 30 seconds. Falls, a loose horse and a goal-mouth melee were all crammed into the last moments of this match. With the game looking like it was heading into extra time, Pablo Pieres tapped through the winner after a frantic few seconds in their opponent’s goalmouth. It was fitting that such a close game between these two outstanding teams, should go down to the wire like this.

The result meant that it was Hugues Carmignac who received the Cartier Queen’s Cup from HM King Charles lll – a winner himself of this trophy in 1986 – and Laurent Feniou, Managing Director of Cartier UK. This is the second time that the Carmignacs have won this high-goal silverware. Hugues father Edouard, who joined his son for the post-match presentations, lifted the Queen’s Cup in 2011.

Some great team-work from both squads ensured that this was always going to be a battle to the final bell. La Dolfina Great Oaks had a slight edge in the first half – leading 7-5 at half-time. Adolfo Cambiaso Jnr (Poroto) and Diego Cavanagh worked perfectly together, firing through all of their team’s goals, while their team-mates, Dillon Bacon and Kian Hall did a great job of clearing their path to goal.

Polito Pieres, Alejandro Muzzio, who was later named the Cartier Most Valuable Player, and Rosendo Torreguitar did an equally brilliant job for Talandracas. This team was the only unbeaten squad after three weeks of intensive play and La Dolfina Great Oaks could not relax for a moment.

Talandracas got themselves level in the fourth (9-9) and these teams traded shots to stay even (11-11) in the fifth. Incredibly, there were no fouls in the sixth chukka for the first four minutes. Usually at this point in a key game tension tightens a match, keeping the umpires busy. However, this game flowed, with some fabulous horse races from both teams.

All the drama of this match was condensed into the final few minutes. Firstly there was a delay as Pieres came off his horse when changing ponies. He was ok but it was quickly followed by Muzzio falling off in pursuit of Cambiaso. Finding himself alone Diego Cavanagh took the ball to goal but the whistle had blown as Muzzio’s horse, instead of heading back to his stablemates in the pony lines, stayed in the game, running up the field with the other players. Great Oaks’s Kian Hall did an amazing job of catching the errant horse at top speed. There was 30 seconds left to play of this sixth chukka and the scores were still tied up. The umpires dropped the ball around 60 yards from the Talandracas goal. Cambiaso took the hit but it did not make the distance and was picked up by Pieres, who turned it and took it down field. The ball hit the post but stayed in play and in the subsequent melee – almost everyone had a touch of the ball – Pieres fired through the winner, with just seconds to spare.

Chukka Breakdown:

Talandracas Polo Team won the final 4

Score Progression:

Talandracas Polo Team won the final 5

Game Statistics:

Talandracas Polo Team won the final 6

With such a game it is all about the ponies. As high-goal player David Stirling said during the Polocam TV livestream commentary, “the level of horses has been outstanding”. The Cartier Best Playing Pony Prize reflected this, with the honour going to JM Fanta. This 13-year-old dark bay mare, owned by HRH The Crown Prince of Johor, had been played by Pieres four times in this game and was the mount he was riding when scoring the winner.

Earlier in the day the sub final match for the Cartier Trophy saw another fast-paced game, this time between La Dolfina Scone and Cibao La Pampa. This was a wonderfully open, running match from these two strong teams. La Dolfina Scone, fielding the master of the Queen’s Cup, 10x winner Adolfo Cambiaso, went on to win this match 10-7. However it was a different Cambiaso who was named the Most Valuable Player. Mia Cambiaso, Adolfo’s eldest daughter, who made her Cartier Queen’s Cup debut this season, received this coveted Cartier prize from HM The King.


Photo credit – Pablo Ramirez