Some of the biggest names in polo were on the sidelines of the polo fields at Coworth Park on Saturday 15 June. They were watching the games intently, but this time their focus was not on their high-goal rivals, but their own children who were taking part in the first La Aguada Guards Youth Tournament, supported by Coworth Park and La Martina. The UK’s leading polo club, Guards Polo Club and the Novillo Astrada’s La Aguada Polo Club in Argentina joined forces to organise this event which featured some of the youngest players of the sport, many of whom will no doubt will go on to emulate their parents’ success in polo. Well-known names such as Cambiaso, Novillo Astrada, Merlos, di Paola, and Monteverde were featured in the team lists.
This tournament is the idea of nine-goal player Eduardo Novillo Astrada, who runs a similar competition in his native Argentina. However this is the first time that the children of the Guards players had the opportunity to play against and alongside their South American counterparts in the UK. In addition, all the children were playing on the impressive number two ground at Coworth Park, probably something some of their parents have not yet experienced!
In the really junior match, the teams were helped out by Lucas Monteverde and Miguel Novillo Astrada. However these professionals had to have their wits about them as the children were really fast on their favourite ponies. In the more senior game, which saw victory for Team 7, there were two extra prizes. Charlie Pidgley was named Most Valuable Player while Max Rumsey received the Fair Play Award from Eduardo Novillo Astrada.
With Glen Gilmore overseeing the umpiring and making sure there was no dads coaching from the sidelines, the event was both a great success, and more importantly, a really fun event. With the team from Dorchester Collection’s Coworth Park hosting a delicious lunchtime BBQ for all the teams and their families, and with Disney, La Martina and La Aguada providing some great prizes, everyone went home happy.
Team 1: Lucas Monteverde jnr, Mia Cambiaso, Flynn Busson, Erik Appen.
Team 2: Ned Hine, Dennis Antonov, Adolfo Cambiaso Jnr, Manuel Novillo Astrada.
Team 3: Luca Fasal, Mía Novillo Astrada, Saskia Mathias, Santi Di Paola.
Team 4: Rufino Merlos, Benjamin Quiroga, Indi Hine, Lucas Monteverde snr
Team 5: Matteo Dressman, Louis Hine, Santos Merlos, Miguel Novillo Astrada.
Team 6: James McCarthy, Segundo Merlos, Max Rumsey, Cruz Novillo Astrada.
Team 7: Lachie Gilmore, Tom Brodie, Charlie Pidgley, Justo Novillo Astrada.