Polo Gold Cup, Cowdray Park


Veuve Clicquot Polo Gold Cup, Midhurst, England

We spent the last five days in Midhurst for the Veuve Clicquot Polo Gold Cup. David and I stayed at Loves Farm – a 17th century working farm - wonderfully clean and comfortable with excellent service and a typical farmhouse breakfast (definitely no need to eat lunch). I highly recommend staying there with John and Mally – the farmer and his wife – website www.lovesfarm.com check it out!

Suzi preparing her horses

Unfortunately Ellerston were beaten in the semi final on Thursday by Loro Piana, so everyone’s spirits were rather dampened when we went for the usual after-game drink at Steadham; although, this now meant that Suzi, Laura and Jamie could now frock-up for the final on Sunday. On Thursday evening we went to the Hamilton Arms at Steadham with Laura, her mum Sue, Jamie and Suzi for dinner. The Hamilton Arms is run by Thais and the food is excellent. I had the green curry – delicious!

On Friday, the Argentine grooms treated us to a lunchtime asado even though they were still down about losing the semi final! Clare joined us on Saturday and we went for drinks with some ex Zimbos living in Midhurst before going to Prezzo’s for dinner.

Smart Girls

Sunday was finals day for the Gold Cup and gave us all an opportunity to dress up. Fortunately, the weather was amazing and we didn't have rain all day. We began in the Ellerston hospitality tent – thank you Mandy – and then went to take our seats for the match. The finalists were Loro Piana and Lechuza Caracas. Such a strange match! Usually polo matches last about one and a half hours, this one lasted three hours!!

First Sebatian Merlos got knocked off his horse and Pelon took that opportunity to have his wrist attended to – he may have been injured in the first chukka. Pelon came back when Sebastian got back on his horse but he didn’t return after half time. Pelon (Loro Piana) was replaced by Pablo Huarechi.

In the fifth chukka, Pablo’s horse slipped and fell under Pite Merlos’s horse. Both horses tripped over and then scrambled up and galloped off down the field. Poor Pite broke his nose and had to be stitched up in the ambulance. Then a replacement had to be found. Unfortunately, the rules state that no one who has taken part in the contest is allowed to substitute and by then most players had left for other tournaments. They had to bend the rules to allow yet another Merlos brother to play, so Augustine appeared – in his jeans! (Not done in polo!) Play had just started again when Henry Fisher rode smack into the goal post and did a dramatic prat fall. Quite extraordinary!

The crowd didn't seem to mind all these delays as champagne corks were popping all over the stands and relays of pint glasses of Pimms helped keep us all in a merry mood. The upshot of the match was that Lechuza Caracas won by a goal and we all went back to Ellerston’s tent to continue the party. There was a match between young England and young Chile after the final, but unfortunately, after the three-hour marathon, there were few supporters.


  1. Hello,

    do you know when you might be in Johannesburg? I may be there in early January on my way to Tanzania and it would be great to meet up. Alternatively I could be there towards the end of Jan on my way back.


  2. Hello there. Good to catch up with your news. I am learning about Polo!!!Going to try and send this before writing more as have had a few problems.


  3. finally looks as if we have got it sorted out. great that youa re with family and friends. Looking forward to eharing your NZ plans.

    Wayne thought David would like to know that the on line entries for the Kepler Challenge opened at 6.30am on Saturday and the 400 person field was filled in less than 8 minutes. All waiting lists finished in about 15 minutes. Wayne gets automatic entry so is very pleased about that. 20th event this year and a big fuss for the instigators of the event.

    All well with us. 5 weeks until we head to london but not sure where you will be then.



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