Cowdray Park Polo Club announces that ten teams have entered the 2017 Jaeger-LeCoultre Gold Cup for the British Open Polo Championship and the Draw to decide matchplay in the opening league phase of this year’s tournament took place in Jaeger-LeCoultre’s flagship boutique at 13 Old Bond Street, London, on the evening of 12th June.


    With ten teams taking part, the Polo Manager has devised a matchplay programme formed by two leagues.  At the top of League A will be the winner of the 12 pm semi final of the Queens Cup, and the losing team in the 4.00 pm semi final of the Queens Cup taking place on Wednesday 14th June.  Habtoor, La Bamba de Areco and King Power Foxes were all drawn into this league by the open draw.  League B will contain the winner of the 4.00 pm semi Final of the Queens Cup and the 12 pm loser of the semi final of the Queens Cup taking place on Wednesday 14th June, together with Talandracas, Monterosso and Sommelier.  The Polo Manager is satisfied that this device enables fairness in each league, in which all teams play against each other before playing across the leagues.


    Last year’s winners, King Power, will be trying for a hat-trick of wins, having won for the first time in 2015 and repeating their success in 2016.  Once again the outstanding 10 goal players Gonzalito and Facundo Pieres will join ‘Top’ Srivaddhanaprabha’s line-up.  Adolfo Cambiaso, still considered the world’s number 1 player, has been snapped up by patron Ben Soleimani for his RH Polo team.  Playing alongside Cambiaso are Rodrigo Andrade (8 goals) and young local player Tommy Beresford, now playing off 4 goals, who has a very promising future ahead of him.


    One of the favourites of the local crowd in 2016, El Remanso, based at Ambersham,  is composed of four English professionals brought together by Charlie Hanbury who is joined again by Ollie Cudmore playing off 5 goals, England captain James Beim (6 goals) and  James Harper (6 goals).  The team will play off a 21 goal handicap in the 22 goal tournament and receive a goal on the scoreboard to start every match.  Also based at Ambersham is Charlie’s brother, George Hanbury, who has joined with Canadian 8 goal patron Fred Mannix Jnr in bringing the Sommelier team into the 2017 Jaeger LeCoultre Gold Cup.  Stabled within the Cowdray Estate for a fourth year is American businessman Michael Bickford’s La Indiana team.  His 2017 line-up again includes 8 goal player Agustin Merlos and the USA team captain, Nic Roldan, who are joined this year by former England captain Luke Tomlinson.  


    A trio of French teams re-enter the British Open: Edouard Carmignac and his Talandracas side have entered for many years but Monsieur Carmignac still longs to take home the most coveted trophy in polo.  He has retained ‘Sapo’ Caset from his 2016 side but has added 10 goal player David ‘Pelon’ Stirling along with young English player Jack Hyde playing off 3 goals.  Jean François Decaux, who won the Gold Cup in 2009, returns with his La Bamba de Areco side unchanged from 2016, comprising Cristian Laprida, Diego Cavanagh and Rodrigo Rueda Jnr.  Corinne Ricard, the only woman playing in the Gold Cup, re-enters with her Murus Sanctus side and welcomes 10 goal player Hilario Ulloa into the team to play alongside South African Dirk Van Reenen and Argentine Facundo Sola.


    Making their debuts in the 2017 Jaeger-LeCoultre Gold Cup are one of Dubai’s leading businessmen, Mohammed Al Habtoor, with his Habtoor team and Italian patron Alessandro Bazzoni with his Monterosso side. 


    Zahra Kassim-Lakha, Director UK Market and Global Strategy says: “Jaeger-LeCoultre has enjoyed a rich history with polo ever since the creation of the Reverso watch in 1931.  As we celebrate eleven years of partnership with Cowdray Park Polo Club, first as Official Time Keeper in 2006, and since 2015 as sponsor of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Gold Cup for the British Open Polo Championship, I wish all the players taking part in this year’s tournament a brilliant four weeks of sport and achievement.”


    Jaeger-LeCoultre and Cowdray have started a new tradition. Every year four specially engraved Reverso watches honour the Jaeger-LeCoultre Gold Cup winners.  Engraved with the date of the tournament and the revered Gold Cup, these wonderful prizes encapsulate the longstanding relationship between Jaeger-LeCoultre and Cowdray Park Polo Club.  Once again in 2017, the four Gold Cup specially-engraved Reversos will add a new milestone to Jaeger LeCoultre’s rich heritage and history. Following the Jaeger-LeCoultre special exhibition “Reverso: wrist-style since 1931” held at Christie’s from May 30th to June 9th, the style of Reverso plays once again the leading role at the British Open Polo Championship.


    The Jaeger-LeCoultre Gold Cup for the British Open Polo Championship opens on Tuesday 27th June when the Carlos Gracida Memorial Trophy will be played.  Quarter Finals take place over the weekend of 15/16th July, Semi Finals on Wednesday 19th July and the Final on Sunday 23rd July.