Dubai defeated Ayala in one of the closest finals in the 52-year history of this great high-goal polo match played at Guards Polo Club. The scores were tied, 11-all, when the timekeeper rang the bell to warn the teams that there was just 30 seconds left of this match. Almost immediately, Ayala committed a foul for which Dubai were awarded a penalty. Adolfo Cambiaso lined up the shot and successfully scored, ensuring that it was his patron Ali Albwardy that stepped forward to receive the Cartier Queen’s Cup from Her Majesty The Queen and Arnaud Bamberger, Executive Chairman of Cartier.
This is the fifth time that Albwardy’s Dubai team have won this trophy, with either Ali or his two sons, Rashid and Tariq, playing for the winning side. This victory also saw Dubai’s Cambiaso, considered by many to be the Best Player in the World, win his 8th Queen’s Cup winners’ prize and be named Most Valuable Player. It was Ayala’s Gonzalito Pieres though who received the Cartier Best Playing Pony Award for Centimetre. Pieres had played his own 10-year-old chestnut mare for some of the fifth chukka.
Although Cartier has sponsored the Queen’s Cup before, as a one-off in 2006, this event is the first of a new sponsorship agreement with Guards Polo Club. After 27 years’ support of International Day at the Club, Cartier announced last year that it was transferring its sponsorship to this earlier, high-goal fixture in June. They wanted to support a more tournament-based event and with 16 teams entering this most prestigious of tournaments, including five of the greatest exponents of the sport in the world – those elusive 10-goalers – Cartier has not been disappointed.
The Cartier Queen’s Cup Final 2012 began with a subsidiary game for the Cartier Trophy. El Remanso defeated EFG Bank Aravali a match for the newly created Cartier Trophy. Played as a subsidiary final, it featured the losing semi-finalists who had battled so hard last Wednesday (13 June) to earn a place in today’s’ final.
This sold-out day, which attracted a crowd of some 5,000 people, concluded with a unique display on The Queen’s Ground. The Royal Cavalry of Oman, who were already in the country as they had taken part in the All The Queen’s Horses Pageant at Royal Windsor Horse Show and Beating The Retreat in London, put on a magnificent display of equine skill, featuring some 70 magnificent Arab horses as well a couple of flag-bearing Shires too.
The Cartier Trophy at 11am
EFG Bank Aravali El Remanso
Karan Thapar (0) George Hanbury (2)
Mark Tomlinson (6) Charlie Hanbury (4)
Eduardo Novillo Astrada (9) David Stirling (9)
Marcos Di Paolo (7) Guillermo Terrera (7)
The Cartier Queen’s Cup at 3pm
Inigo Zobel (1) Rashid Albwardy (2)
Gonzalito Pieres (10) Alec White (2)
John Paul Clarkin (8) Ignacio Heguy (8)
Tomas Garbarini (3) Adolfo Cambiaso (10)