Eight teams battle for HH President of UAE Polo Cup

Players and officials at the press conference to launch HH President of UAE Polo Cup in Abu Dhabi on Monday. (SUPPLIED)

Eight teams will battle it out in the 2014 edition of the prestigious HH President of UAE Polo Cup, to be held from January 14-24 at the Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club (GRPC).

Hosted under the patronage of Sheikh Falah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of GRPC, the event offers fans an exciting combination of international polo and family fun.

“HH President of UAE Polo Cup is a perfect event for our facility. The venue offers exceptional facilities and every year we witness thrilling polo action and an entertaining atmosphere. Over the years the success of the tournament has greatly been due to the continued support from our valuable partners. We are once again looking forward to high quality action and I extend a warm welcome to the players, officials, special guests and spectators attending this year’s tournament,” said Ahmed Al Nuaimi at a  press conference held on Monday in St. Regis Abu Dhabi.

“HH President of UAE Polo Cup is considered one of the finest and most prestigious polo tournaments across the Middle East. We are proud and honoured to once again lend our support to this annual event which has made its mark on the Emirate’s sporting and social lifestyle calendar,” said Dr. Majdi Abdel Muhdi.

The HH President of UAE Polo Cup is a unique opportunity to be a part of an exclusive state-of-the art polo experience at the UAE’s only Royal polo facility.

Qualification games begin on Tuesday with the Sub Final and Grand Final on January 24.

The event will showcase talents of Emirati players as well as international professionals.

Defending champions Bin Drai Polo, along with seven other teams will be in the fray in the 16-goal handicap event.

There will two pools of four teams each and two matches will be played every day, over eight days.

Bin Drai Polo will take on Ghantoot Al Basti in the opening match while UAE Polo face Al Habtoor Polo in the second match on day one.

All games will consist of four chukkers except the Grand Final match, which will have five chukkers.

The top two Teams from each pool will play the semifinals.

In the event of a tie, the winner will be determined by golden goal.

Among the family activities on offer during the final day will be shows supported by Sheikh Mohammed Sports and Physical Fitness Programme, Dubai Police dog show, DJ music and adventure games.

Also on the itinerary are a performance by the Abu Dhabi Police Band, military sky dive show and a show by the UAE National Aerobatic Team – Al Fursan.

The venue will host a picnic area, children’s entertainment playground and a food court, making it an ideal setup for adults and children to spend a special day.

HH President of UAE Polo Cup is organised by Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club with Abu Dhabi Sport Council being the Supporting Governing Partner.

The event is presented by Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) and the Official Partner is Al Basti Equiworld.

It is supported by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktom Sports & Physical Fitness Program, Dubai Police, Government of Dubai and St. Regis Abu Dhabi.

Following are the teams (handicaps are in brackets):

Pool A

Bin Drai Polo: Mohammed Bin Drai (0), Tomas Iriarte (4), Manuel  Llorrente (6), Raul Laplacette (6).

Ghantoot Al Basti Polo: Nasser Al Shamsi (1), Diego Cossio (4), Juan Zavaleta (7), Oscar Colombres (4).

UAE Polo: HH Shaikha (0), Tomas Gagliardi (2), Ollie Cudmore (5), Lucas Monteverde (9).

Al Habtoor Polo: Habtoor Al Habtoor (0), Santiago Romero (3), Francisco Elizalde (7), Guillemo Cuitino (6).

Pool B

Abu Dhabi Polo: Faris Al Yabhouni (0), Victorio Monteverde (3), Juan Storni (7), Alfredo Cappella (6).

Desert Palm Polo: Tariq Albwardy (0), Matias Machado (4), Santiago Laborde (5), Alejo Taranco (6).

Zedan Polo: Amr Zedan (0), Luis Gagliardi (2), Felipe Viana (4), Pelon Stirling (10).

ADCB Polo: Ali Al Merri (0), Juan Zubiaurre (4), Facundo Sola (8), Pelayo Berazadi (4).           

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