Thousands watched as two of the world’s best polo teams – England and Argentina – took to the field for a thrilling Audi International at Guards Polo Club, Windsor Great Park, on Saturday 26 July 2014. It was undoubtedly the most exciting polo game of the season with Argentina lifting the prestigious Coronation Cup.
The match began after Prince Charles arrived to loud applause in the Royal Box overlooking The Queen’s Ground. VIPs Thandie Newton, Dominic Cooper, Douglas Booth, Eddie Redmayne and Gemma Arteton were among the other famous faces that turned out in force to see the action-packed game. The crowd on the side-line cheered as England took on the Argentine powerhouse of Adolfo Cambiaso and Facundo Pieres – two of the world’s elite players.
England started very strong and it was the home side who was the first to score, Captain Luke Tomlinson leading the way for his team mates, Ollie Cudmore, Mark Tomlinson and James Beim. At the end of the first chukka, England had maintained a two-goal advantage with the score reading 3-1. However, this was the only time Audi England was to be in the lead. Mid-way through the second chukka, Argentina found its form and England’s biggest fear became a reality – Cambiaso and Pieres were working together.
England performed well as a team with all four players showing why they were selected to take on polo’s toughest nation, yet Argentina became stronger and stronger as the match went on and there was little England could do to inhibit the fluidity of its South American opposition.
At the end of the day Argentina simply excelled. It produced exceptional goals and consistently seemed to play just out of England’s reach. In 2009 we watched as the Cambiaso-Pieres duo dominate at this same event, this year England put up a much stronger fight. However, the 13-8 result in favour of Argentina meant that the Coronation Cup was once again presented to Argentina.
Prince Charles was invited to present the impressive trophy to a very proud Argentine captain, Facundo Pieres, who also received the Garrard most valuable player award. Cambiaso picked up the Gaucho best playing pony prize for his pony Yum Yum. Prior to the Coronation Cup, two eight-goal teams battled for the honour of representing England in the Federation of International Polo (FIP) European 8-Goal Championships, which take place in Chantilly this September. The Dear family’s Apache team won the day, defeating Chester Racecourse.