Story by Ron Allen. Photography by Celine Genonceau
The British Open Championship belongs to Zacara and the game's new superstar, Facundo Pieres. Just weeks after taking home the Queen’s Cup , Zacara polo team was back in the winners circle taking back-to-back titles in England’s two biggest summer polo events.
To set the stage for an amazing final match at Cowdray Park, Adolfo Cambiaso scored the first goal of the game for Dubai polo team. The game was tied at the end of the first chukker 1 to 1. The second period saw only one goal by Facu. The match was tied twice in the third at 2-2 and 3-3. Then Facundo made a 30 yard penalty shot to break the tie and put Zacara ahead 4 to 3 at the half.
The fourth chukker saw Zacara with their best chukker of the match as they out scored Dubai three goals to one including two by Facu within one minute. In the fifth Adolfo scored two and Nico Pieres converted a penalty shot to try and bring Dubai back to life. But again, it was Facundo retaliating with two more goals and at the end of the fifth the scoreboard showed 9-7 in favor of Zacara.
Then just two minutes into the last chukker Cambiaso suffered a knee injury as Dubai struggled for the remainder of the match. With less than two minutes left on the clock Facundo charged head on toward Adolfo and stole the ball away and made a 170-yard run to goal in the most spectacular play of the game. Final score was 11-8 in a hard fought victory for Zacara. Pieres’ nine goals earned him the Most Valuable Player Trophy and his horse “Open Top Model” was the Best Playing Pony.
For Lyndon Lea it was a repeat of his 2011 Gold Cup win and for Facundo aswell who also won the trophy in 2010. However, this victory was much sweeter for the Zacara teammates as they now have won three of the world’s biggest tournaments in a row. Hold on, the era of “Facundo Polo” is just beginning.