Of all the polo tournaments that take place in the UK over the summer, there are two that really matter: the Cartier Queen’s Cup at Guards, and the Jaeger-LeCoultre Gold Cup, at Cowdray. Why are these two more important than any of the others? Well, these are the two high goal (aka top-level) tournaments of the British polo season, where you’ll see the cream of the polo crop go head to head. The Gold Cup takes place from the end of June until mid-July, while the Queen’s Cup is taking place right now, with the final tomorrow at 3pm, and the subsidiary final at 11am. This is abnormal in itself; the final normally takes place on a Sunday, but for the first time the match has been moved forward, to allow people (and, presumably, the Queen, who normally presents the prize) to celebrate the Queen’s birthday on the Sunday.
But what’s also interesting about tomorrow’s match is what happened in the semi-finals on Wednesday. The King Power Foxes team are backed by Leicester City owners, and after winning the tournament last year, were seen as ‘the team to beat’ this year. But on Wednesday that’s exactly what happened. King Power’s first match of the tournament, back in May, had been against La Indiana, who are playing the tournament for the first time, and they won fairly comfortably, 12-9.
On Wednesday, however, they faced one another again, and things weren’t quite the same. After a tense match in the rain, La Indiana triumphed in the final chukka, with King Power Foxes losing 13-12. It seems only fair – after all, the Foxes have already won the premiership this year – they can’t win everything. But until then the Foxes had been unbeaten in the tournament, making it a fantastic win for newcomers Indiana. Has the Foxes’ magic started to wear off? For Jamie Vardy and England’s sake, let’s hope not!
Tomorrow’s match will almost certainly be a tense one. La Indiana will now be playing the famous Dubai team, led by Adolfo Cambiaso, who’s considered to be the best player in the world, who will be playing alongside the only Englishman on the pitch, 18-year-old Kian Hall. The Dubai team, in various guises, has won the Queen’s Cup six times before. La Indiana, on the other hand, will be there for the first time – but have certainly proved their worth. Whatever happens, it’ll be a match to remember. And if you haven’t got tickets for tomorrow’s match, there’s no excuse: it’ll also be livestreamed on polochannel.com.