History was made at Cowdray Park Polo Club on Saturday, June 23rd, as the All Pro Polo League (APPL) gave the club its first ever 40-goal match. Eight 10-goal players took to the field to showcase a set of rules, proposed by APPL founder Javier Tanoira, which intend to make polo a more dynamic and spectator friendly sport. Saturday’s event proved that Tanoira’s vision has the potential to transform modern-day polo.
Action kicked off at 4:30 pm with an 18-goal “Young Guns” battle, which saw up-and- coming players from England, Uruguay, Chile, Argentina and Australia play a competitive, fast flowing match. Kings and Hurlingham Polo 1875 fought hard to claim the victory, but Kings managed to score in the last minute to win 7-6. “The rules are really simple and well thought out,” shares Hurlingham Polo 1875 Captain Jack Richardson. “I loved the hit-ins after the goal because it keeps the game flowing, and from what people said on the sidelines it was entertaining to watch. It was amazing to play on Lawns 1 and there was a really good crowd there.”
Up next, eight of the world’s best players rode onto Lawns 1. Representing Hurlingham Polo 1875 were Facundo Pieres, Pelon Stirling, Gonzalo Pieres and Juan Martin Nero. They took on Cowdray Park, composed of Polito Pieres, Sapo Caset, Hilario Ulloa, and Nico Pieres. The 10-goalers put on a fantastic spectacle, much to the delight of the viewers, many of whom had never witnessed this level of polo before. After six full speed chukkas, Cowdray took the win to claim the APPL Eagle trophy.
“It was a great event and it was a lot of fun to play 40-goal polo,” says Cowdray Captain Sapo Caset. “I had never played that level here in England and it was a pleasure to do so. We have been working on the rules and improving certain aspects of the league to make it better for spectators, players, and horses. This is my third APPL event this year and I am very happy to be a part of it. The feedback between the players and Javier is very positive. He is always open to new ideas, which is great because at the end of the day we all want the best for the sport.”
“We are very happy,” says Tanoira. “It was a historic day for the APPL and for Cowdray. Both exhibitions were fantastic to watch. The 10-goalers played hard and fast, it was clear both sides wanted to win. It was the best possible way of showcasing the rules. I got a lot of positive feedback from people who are very involved with polo. I want to thank everyone who worked to make this event a success.”
Roderick Vere Nicoll, Chairman of Cowdray Park Polo Club and an early supporter of the APPL, recognised the significance of the event: “What a tremendous day for polo at Cowdray! I salute Javier Tanoira for his vision. What better endorsement than to have eight of the world’s best players play under the APPL rules! I would like to thank the players and their patrons for allowing them to play on the eve of the Gold Cup. There was a wonderful vibe and I hope we can do it again next year!”
The 40-goal match is available to watch online via Cowdray TV (cowdraypolo.co.uk/cowdray-tv/). The APPL World Tour 2018 continues with matches in France and Spain, before returning to Argentina to host its annual tournament in Pilar. For more information, head to allpropololeague.com or follow @allpropolo.