31st July 2018
Spotlights on the Westchester Cup 2018 Final
The highly extolled Westchester Cup 2018 resumed after four years brought back a similar frisson for which it has been known since its inception. Played between the United States and England at the Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club in Windsor, Berkshire, England on Saturday, July 28, the match carried a special stake as the Junior Westchester Cup was already won by the American team. The U.S team comprised of Julio Arellano, Peke Gonzalez, Jeff Hall and Nic Roldan clad in the U.S Polo Assn. were confronting their arch-rivals English team containing winners of the King Power Gold Cup 2018 from the El Remanso team.. The players were James Beim, Ollie Cudmore, James Harper and Tommy Beresford who were clearly in their best form after winning the title.
England started the match with a goal in their favor so as to equalize the handicap between the two teams but the English couldnt keep the lead as a glib teamwork between Peke Gonzalez and Nic Roldan soon earned a goal for the americans equalizing the scores in the first chukker itself. U.S performance in the first half of the game remained ephemeral as the horses seemed to be exhausted and playing perfunctorily. US. team player Jeff Hall Stated after the match- “I felt like we were okay in the first part of the chukkers, but then the horses would get a little tired at the end of every chukker and England would score a couple of goals on us”.
The spectacular moments in the match unfolded in the form of a superb hat trick by an english Player- Ollie Cudmore which provided his team a huge lead of 4-1. The fourth Chukker arguably remained the most well-played chukker for the US as Arellano received a chance to lead his team by converting penalty 3 in a goal. Nic Roldan’s spectacular performance kept the game alive for the US as he managed to score two more goals for his team. But the unsurpassable spirit of the English players seemed bent on disallowing any luck for the US players. It was Arellano’s goal which provided the match with the final scoreboard at 12-6 by helping U.S inch at 6 from 5 goals.
James Beim received the title of the most valuable player while his pony Salsita was awarded the blanket of the best playing pony.Happy with the performance of her pony Beim shared his feelings- “She is a homebred I trained, out of an American Thoroughbred called Salsa and an Australian Ellerston stallion named Clark. She just turned eight, so I am very happy with her progress”
Another title Repurposed Racehorse Best Playing Pony was given to Nic Roldan’s nine-year-old bay gelding Mariscal. Roldan shared the whereabouts of the pony- “I bought him last year,” Roldan said. “He is an Argentine Thoroughbred. I bought him in the states and flew him straight here. I played him in the first and fourth chukker today and have been playing him here in England all season.”
USPA CEO Robert Puetz congraluted team England for their splendid performance-“I’d like to congratulate the English team on an amazing win today, They played solid polo, were strategic, well organized and well prepared.”