Uploaded by Byron Bradshaw
The U.S. Piaget polo team crossed the Atlantic in May to challenge England’s national team in the St. Regis International test match at Cowdray Park Polo Club, “the Home of British Polo."
This match was the first in a 2012 series of international matches being staged by the Hurlingham Polo Association (HPA), and is supported by the upscale car manufacturer Audi. It also marked was the first time in 15 years that the two countries have met on grass in the UK.
The U.S. team, sanctioned by the U.S. Polo Association (USPA), was fielded by husband and wife duo Melissa and Marc Ganzi, who put together Piaget teams in high-goal polo at the International Polo Club Palm Beach (IPCPB) and their own club, Grand Champions. The team also included two of America’s top professionals and Piaget Polo ambassadors, 7-goalers Nic Roldan (captain) and Jeff Hall, who play regularly with the Ganzis in Florida. American-born Paul Pieres, 8, completed the USA’s 23-goal line-up.
The Americans were faced with a well-practiced, 24-goal England team of 7-goalers Luke Tomlinson (captain) and James Beim; Malcolm Borwick, 6, and Ollie Cudmore, 4, all professionals. As the USA team included a 1-goal amateur player, the home team were originally favourites to win the St. Regis.
The two teams appeared evenly matched in both player and pony power and the Piaget team dominated the first half of the match. In the end, however, Piaget USA lost by only half a goal to England in a nail-biting finish.
The visitors started the match with half a point on the scoreboard reflecting the handicap difference. England briefly took the lead in the first chukker, but the U.S. responded to end the period with a 2½-2 advantage.
England came back in the second period to lead 5-3½ at the bell. The U.S. forged ahead in the third chukker, ahead 6½-6. The fourth period went to England who outplayed the visitors to finish 9-7½.
Five minutes into the fifth and final chukker, the Piaget team snatched the lead back from England, but lost it again almost immediately. In the final minute of the match, England fouled and the USA was awarded a 60-yard penalty try. England’s Beim blocked the try, the bell sounded and the home team became the victors, with a final score of 11-10½.
The USA Piaget player Nik Roldan, who scored seven of his team’s goals, took the honours as the Most Valuable Player of the match.
The HPA and the USPA are now discussing a 2013 revival of the famous Westchester Cup series between England and the U.S., which started in 1886 and was last won by England at IPCBP in 2009.
Next year’s Westchester Cup would be played for at the HPA’s Audi International, the world’s biggest one-day polo event. It appears likely that Piaget Polo’s U.S. stars would again be called upon to represent their country.
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