The Dubai Open is one of the most exciting polo events on the UAE sports calendar. This year ten teams were vying for the prize. Joanna Andrews brings you the highlights from part one in the Series - the McLaren Silver Cup…
It was an exciting final, fought between Ghantoot Polo and Desert Palm 2. But Ghantoot did it again! The team successfully defended its title and continued its winning streak with a 7-5 victory over Desert Palm 2. Ghantoot won both the McLaren Cup and the Dubai Gold Cup last year.
Ghantoot patron Yousuf Bin Dasmal and Argentinean professional Juan Gris Zavaleta were named the Most Valuable Players (MVPs) of the final, while Media Negra, with Zavaleta on board was adjudged the BPP (Best Playing Pony) of the final.
Habtoor Polo, led by Mohammed Al Habtoor, claimed the Hildon Cup after defeating Abu Dhabi 9-7 in the subsidiary final. Al Habtoor’s team controlled the game from the start to lead in all four chukkas.
The Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series - the highest handicap event in the Middle East, Africa and Asia - is now among the best polo tournaments worldwide. The World Polo Tour upgraded the Tournament from Challenge Cup to WPT Cup, which means winners will receive 60 points. It is now an 18 goal handicap competition.
Each year the Dubai Open competition gets better and better. The Series, split into two tournaments, is played at the Dubai Polo and Equestrian Club at Arabian Ranches. The McLaren Cup, which ran from Friday January 23 to Friday February 6 and the Julius Baer Gold Cup - from Monday February 23 to Friday March 13. The event is held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai.
Played under the banner of the Hurlingham Polo Association (HPA), the Gold Cup is being played according to HPA rules and the provision of umpires will be managed under strict international supervision by the HPA.
The results from the Julius Baer Gold Cup will feature in our next issue!
TEAMS & PATRONS
Abu Dhabi (Faris Al Yabhouni)
Bin Drai Polo (Saeed Bin Drai)
Desert Palm I (Rashid Al Bawardy)
Desert Palm II (Tarik Al Bawardy)
Edrees Polo (Sultan Edrees)
Ghantoot (Ali Al Merri)
Habtoor Polo (Mohammed Al Habtoor)
Mahra Polo (Rashid Al Habtoor)
UAE Polo (Sheikha Maitha Bint Mohammad)
Zedan Polo (Amr Zedan)