Ten teams have entered this year’s 22-goal Cartier Queen’s Cup competition, which starts on Tuesday 23rd May at Guards Polo Club. This is Cartier’s sixth year of sponsorship of this leading high- goal tournament and Laurent Feniou, Managing Director of Cartier UK, carried out the draw at Guards Polo Club on Monday 8 May.
Such is the importance of this competition in the global polo calendar that the world’s top patrons, players and ponies compete for this silver cup, which was first presented by HM The Queen in 1960. This year is probably the most open competition for many years, with the world’s number one Adolfo Cambiaso, changing teams for the first time in 17 years. This year he will be in action for Ben Soleimani’s RH Polo team and his presence ensured that this team was seeded for the draw in the absence of Cambiaso’s previous team and current holders of the trophy – Dubai.
The three other seeded teams are the 2015 winners, King Power Foxes, featuring an almost unaltered line-up of Top Srivaddhanaprabha, Gonzalo and Facundo Pieres. They are yet to name their fourth player, but the combination of the Pieres siblings’ 10-goal status and their corresponding pony power makes them a formidable opponent. Michael Bickford’s La Indiana, runners up last year, and again fielding Agustin Merlos and Nic Roldan, will be hoping to go one better in 2017, while Edouard Carmignac’s Talandracas are aiming to repeat their 2011 victory.
Within the remaining six teams are three new names to the line-up – Corinne Ricard’s Murus Sanctus, Alessandro Bazzoni’s Monterosso and George Hanbury’s Sommelier teams. Ricard and Bazzoni may be new to this tournament, but have surrounded themselves with plenty of experience, not least 10-goaler Hilario Ulloa and the eight-goal Toccalino brothers.
Of course, Sommelier may be a new name to the team lists, but patron George Hanbury is no stranger to the Cartier Queen’s Cup, having previously played with the family’s El Remanso and Halcyon Gallery teams. Older brother Charlie Hanbury will be heading up the El Remanso quartet, which features three talented British players who are all on the England team long-list, including England team captain James Beim.
Meanwhile, Jean Francois Decaux’s La Bamba de Areco is making a welcome return after a couple of years, while Hilali Noordeen’s Sifani side – sub finalists in 2017 – have secured the services of Julian de Lusarreta, who was named Cartier Most Valuable Player in 2016.
Matches start on Tuesday 23 May and concludes on Sunday 18 June, a day which is historically attended by HM The Queen.
League One: La Indiana, Talandracas, Sommelier, El Remanso, Monterosso
League Two: RH Polo, King Power Foxes, La Bamba De Areco, Sifani, Murus Sanctus