Friday, 09 March 2012

Habtoor Polo Wins The KBL Dubai Polo Gold Cup 2012

Beat Bin Drai in a big final
March 9, 2012

Mohammed’s Al Habtoor team won The KBL Dubai Polo Gold Cup by defeating Bin Drai by six goals to five after a fantastic game. The Subsidiary Cup was won by Abu Dhabi who defeated Mahra by seven goals to five.
With their intensity increasing match by match during the tournament, Habtoor Polo showed today their fantastic skills in a tough final against Bin Drai that gave them the championship.
The meeting of Habtoor and Bin Drai was very balanced, in a very tough match that showed a 2-all in the first chukker of play. Habtoor Polo took control of the match in the second chukker, and went to a 5-2 lead in the third period.
Bin Drai made a spectacular comeback in the fourth chukker, with three unanswered goals, including a great shot by Juan José Brané, which leveled the score at 5-all with only 30 seconds to go in regulation time.
That was when Habtoor's lethal weapon, Guillermo Cuitiño, the tournament's top scorer ran to the goalposts, and with only two seconds remaining, scored the goal that secured the Gold Cup for Mohammed Al Habtoor and his boys.
Habtoor's Ignacio Acuña was named MVP, and Crack, owned by Mohammed Al Habtoor and played by Francisco Elizalde, took BPP honors.
Abu Dhabi takes Subsidiary Cup
Prior to the Gold Cup final, Abu Dhabi met Mahra to play the match for the Subsidiary Trophy.
Mahra took a 2-0 advantage in the first chukker, but Abu Dhabi made a comeback, scoring four consecutive goals, to a 4-2 lead.
Mahra went back to the lead in the third chukker, 5-4, but Abu Dhabi decided the match in the last chukker, to win 7-5.
Mohammed Al Habtoor
I still can't believe it, for three years, I tried and I tried, and here it is, the results of hard work for the team and the horses I bought to win this tournament. All the players put their heart into this tournament, it's really great.
About the match, I can tell you that we made a couple of mistakes when we were leading 5-3. But I knew we were ready to play an extra chukker, because we had our best horses ready for it. We were lucky; Guillermo scored the winning goal with only two seconds to go. It was fantastic, the only thing I could do in that moment was go to the ponyline, take the flag and run like crazy!!!!
Guillermo Cuitiño has been playing with us for the last three years, both in England and Dubai. He is a person who lives polo, it is his passion. He supported me and the tournament, and helped the team a lot. I trust him when he gives me an advice about horses. About John Horswell, he's been a great help for us, he did everything to organize us as a team, and made sure that everyone of us knew exactly what to do.
Thanks to the live broadcast by PoloLine TV, my friends in California woke up a 3am just to watch the match. They sent me photos and messages telling me they were watching the match through PoloLine TV, which is great for people who want to see polo and they can't travel for many reasons. And my message is to thank all the people who came to see the tournament, not only because my team plays but also because they are showing interest in Dubai and the polo of the Dubai Gold Cup. We're planning next year's tournament, that will be at 16-goal. It's only one goal, but it's a lot for us, because we want to have players like Nachi Heguy, who give a higher level to this tournament.
Now we're about to organize with Guillermo to play a couple of 15, 18 goal tournament in England, I will decide which ones in the next two weeks. I will organize the team with Guillermo, Fran (Elizalde), and a 1-goaler.
Guillermo Cuitiño
It's great to have won this tournament, it's the third year we played, and we never could win it; now, we finally did it. The first thing I thought when I scored the winning goal in OT was in my kids, my family. I'm very happy, for me it was one of the happiest moments in my life.
About the match, we did know that Bin Drai was going to be hard, that this game was not going to be that easy. I think we've been lucky. And I am very thankful to Mohammed, who always believed in me, who supported me, followed my advice and trusted me enough to let me choose the players to form the team. It was a lot of work to choose the players, the horses, but we are happy, we got it.
Now, we're going to England with Mohammed, to play 18-goal. I hope we can go to St. Tropez, so Mohammed, if you see it; we can go to St. Tropez. Oh, but definitely, we're going to England to represent Habtoor once again.
This tournament means everything to Mohammed, he had worked hard during three years to make a big competition as the Gold Cup is, and now he had his reward. His idea is making the Gold Cup as one of the world's best tournaments.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Six of the top polo players in the world to play in Dubai at the first ever High Goal Exhibition mat

At the invitation of Habtoor Polo, six of the most famous polo players in the world will be playing at the 26-handicap High Goal Exhibition polo match, which takes place for the first time ever in the Middle East at the Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club on April 22, 2011.

Julio Novillo Astrada, Miguel Novillo Astrada, Javier Novillo Astrada, Ignacio Novillo Astrada, Alejandro Novillo Astrada and Eduardo Novillo Astrada are all members of the famous Novillo Astrada dynasty which includes nine brothers, all of whom are renowned for their unequalled prowess at polo.

The Argentinean family is considered one of the top five polo teams in the world and has played in Argentina, the United Kingdom and the United States. This will be the first time they compete in Dubai.

All six are the sons of the acclaimed polo player Julio Novillo Astrada, who founded the La Aguada polo club, which holds the record as being only the fourth team in history to have ever won three titles in the same season. It also won the Argentine Republic Cup in 1990 and the First Open of Pilar that same year; as well as making it to the finals of the Chapaleufu in the Jockey Club Open.

The High Goal Exhibition will be the finale of the Dubai 2011 Polo season, organised by the Dubai Polo Gold Cup series, and will feature Habtoor Polo, of which Mohammed Al Habtoor is the patron, and the Dubai Falcons, headed by Saeed Bin Drai.

The event begins at 1600hrs on April 22, 2011 and promises to be a match to be remembered.


Monday, 14 March 2011

Abu Dhabi win the Dubai Polo Gold Cup 2011

Mon 14th Mar 2011
Abu Dhabi defeat Dubai Falcons in final of Threadneedle Gold Cup on Friday

Abu Dhabi Polo lifted the 2nd Threadneedle Dubai Gold Cup held at the Dubai Polo and Equestrain Club on Friday.
In a thrilling final, Abu Dhabi beat Dubai Falcons 9-7 on Friday, claiming the Threadneedle Gold Cup at Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club.

Abu Dhabi’s Facundo Sola scored eight goals for his team and was named most valuable player while his mare Horminga was awarded the best playing pony prize. Abu Dhabi made a positive start taking a strong 3-1 lead in the first chukka.
Saeed Bin Drai’s Dubai Falcons put in a strong performance, matching Abu Dhabi’s score at the end of the second chukka, 3-3. The Falcons bounced back in the second chukka to level with their opponents at 4-4 after Ulloa scored twice more and Mario Gomez struck once. Oscar Colombres’ goal was the only one Abu Dhabi scored during that period.

In the third chukka, Sola struck twice and Ulloa and Gomez struck once each to ensure their teams were locked at 6-6. However, three goals by Sola in the final chukka with the match heading towards a close finish, Sola put on a brilliant performance as he led his team to an unbelievable victory scoring three goals to seal the title for Abu Dhabi.
Sola was adjudged the Player of the Tournament while his horse Hormiga was declared the Best Horse.
In the subsidiary final, Ghantoot beat DCC Sumaya 8-7.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club Confirm Team for Polo Gold Cup

Ghantoot Polo Club has today confirmed its participation in the Dubai Polo Gold Cup 2010. Under the visionary chairmanship of Sheikh Falah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the United Arab Emirates is rapidly carving a distinct niche for itself on the world polo circuit, with Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club leading the way.


Monday, 07 September 2009

Habtoor Polo Enter Gold Cup

Habtoor Polo confirmed their participation in the inaugural Dubai Polo Gold Cup 2010 today. The first Dubai team to register and recent quarter finalists of the 2009 Queens Cup in England are sure to put on a great show of force on their home turf.

Known for their passion and dedication in putting polo on the calendar at home and abroad the Habtoor team will be a team to watch out for.

About Habtoor Polo

Since they met in March 2000, The Brothers Al Habtoor and Justo del Carril have been playing polo together and working to build what today can be recognized as a serious polo organisation. Del Carril had been playing professional polo since the age of 23 around the world.

Habtoor Polo consists of over 40 horses, mostly from Argentina, taken care by a head groom, also from Argentina, Luis Vignolles, and 8 grooms, Luis is a polo pony trainer, so in charge of the horses since they are made, traveling with them to Dubai, and heading the barn operations whilst in the UAE. Although the head polo barn is in Dubai Polo Club at Arabian Ranches, the team trailers the horses between the other three polo clubs of the UAE, Desert Palm Polo Club, Plantation and Ghantoot, to play the best possible polo available.

This is also achieved by hiring other professional polo players, such as Fernando Pipi Bourdieu, 6-goal player from Argentina, who played exclusively for the Habtoor Polo Team during the 2007 polo season. Pipi also plays international professional Tournament when not in Dubai, such as in Singapore, Pakistan, Spain and France.

Del Carril has also accompanied The Brothers Al Habtoor to play polo around the world, hiring high goal players such as Alejandro Piki Diaz Alberdi to play 22 goal tournament in the Melbourne Polo Club, the Cartier Polo in Dubai with Adolfo Cambiaso and Lolo Castagnola, Guards Polo Club with Peter Webb and Ryan Pemble and then on to play snow polo in Austria. Rashid has also played in St. Tropez and Paris, at the Chantilly Polo Club.

The Al Habtoor Farm in Al Khawaneej, Dubai is undergoing massive reconstruction to accommodate the polo playing need of the family, with a brand new 50 horse stable, polo field, tennis court, guest houses and a lake, and pastures to turnout the horses during the off season.


Thursday, 03 September 2009

Hurlingham Polo Association Associated With Dubai Polo Gold Cup

The Hurlingham Polo Association (HPA) confirmed today that they will provide umpires for the Dubai Polo Gold Cup 2010 (Gold Cup).

This tournament is open to minimum handicapped players of 0 goal and any minus 1 handicapped players will assume a 0 goal rating for the purpose of the tournament subject to approval by the committee.

The association with the HPA further strengthens the polo bond of the two nation's proud polo history, England and the UAE respectively.


About the Hurlingham Polo Association

The HPA is the governing body of polo in the UK, Ireland and many other countries throughout the world. As such, it is responsible for the regulations and rules under which the game is played.

This includes the handicapping of any one playing in the U.K. or Ireland. The object of the HPA is to further the interests of polo generally and support by all possible means the common interests of its affiliated clubs and associations.


Tuesday, 01 September 2009

Chile's Sumaya Polo Enter Team for Dubai Polo Gold Cup

Sumaya's Ahmad Aboughazale (nephew of Oussama – Chilean team patron) has confirmed their entry into the Dubai Polo Gold Cup 2010. Sumaya, one of the leading polo teams in the world, twice runners up of The Queens Cup in 2009 and 2008, they present a potent force anywhere they play polo.

The quality of Sumaya speaks for itself and will be a welcome sight on the lawns of Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club in March 2010.


Monday, 31 August 2009

Polo Gold Cup Comes to Dubai

The inaugural Dubai Polo Gold Cup (Gold Cup) is to be held on March 6-12, 2010. The 10-12 goal open handicap will be the most prestigious polo tournament in the Middle East with teams competing over one week at the Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Some of the world's best international players and teams will be competing in Dubai. A total of eight leading international teams will compete for the prestigious Gold Cup.

The glamour, excitement and passion of polo will be a fitting match to the already world renown Dubai lifestyle. Royalty, celebrities, sportsmen and families from around the region will congregate over a one week to witness the best polo players in the world play for the Gold Cup trophy.


About Dubai Polo Gold Cup

The Dubai Polo Gold Cup was founded in 2009 by an independent committee of polo players, esteemed members of the UAE business and people with a passion for polo and sport in order to further advance the development of polo in the United Arab Emirates and wider region.

Under the banner of the Hurlingham Polo Association (HPA), the Gold Cup is being played according to HPA rules and the provision of umpires will be managed under strict international supervision by the HPA.



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