Sunday, 05 May 2013

Present & Future of the Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series

Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series 2014
Release Date: Thursday, 2nd May 2013
Present & Future of the Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series
Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai.

With its exciting mix of top-class sportsmanship and glamour, it has earned a reputation as one of the most prestigious events on the international polo calendar and also one of the most important annual tournaments in the region and always attracts a high profile crowd.
The Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series 2013 came to an end last 15th March 2013. This year the teams were completely different, with a handicap increased to 16 goals, all the teams had good players and it was a very competitive tournament. In the great final, Ghantoot Polo Team won the Gold Cup 2013 and Habtoor Polo won Silver Cup 2013. 

Dubai Polo Gold Cup organization managed to put all the patrons together to get a fair competition and fair play with everyone.
For the next season “2014” the tournament will be 16 goal handicap. And for “2015”, we will increase the handicap from 16 to 18 goal, to target the highest handicapped tournament in Asia and Africa. Our tournament is getting bigger and our objective is to reach the maximum goal handicap of an International polo tournament.

Dubai Polo Gold Cup series has been growing by leaps and bounds, and at present is one of the most eagerly awaited polo events in the Middle East.

الحاضر والمستقبل في سلسلة كأس دبي الذهبي للبولو
تحت رعاية كريمة من صاحب السمو الشيخ مكتوم  بن محمد بن راشد آل مكتوم ، نائب حاكم دبي.
تمتزج الروح الرياضية والتألق مع الإثارة في كأس دبي الذهبي للبولو كواحدة من أكبر وأكثر البطولات السنوية المرموقة أهمية في المنطقة وتستقطب جماهير غفيرة وشخصيات عالمية من جميع أنحاء العالم.
كانت بطولة هذا العام  والتي إنتهت في 15 مارس 2013 مختلفة من خلال مشاركة فرق عالمية ومحلية على أعلى مستويات اللعبة بنسبة هاندكاب أكثر من 16 جول. وقد شارك نخبة من أفضل لاعبي الإمارات والعالم في مباريات غاية في الإثارة حتى النهائي الرائع حيث فاز فريق غنتوت للبولو ببطولة الكأس الذهبية والحبتور ببطولة الكأس الفضي للعام 2013.
وقد أضاف حسن تنظيم البطولة والرعاة إى نجاح الحدث بالإضافة إلى اللعب النزيه والمنافسة العادلة من الجميع.
وسوف تكون بطولة العام القادم موسم 2014 بنسبة  هاندكاب 16 جول ، وبطولة 2015 سيزيد مستوى الهاندكاب من 16 جول إلى 18 جول لتصل إلى أعلى نسبة هاندكاب لبطولات البولو في آسيا وأفريقيا. وهدفنا هو أن تصل بطولة كأس دبي الذهبي إلى أعلى مستويات الهاند كاب على مستوى العالم.
بطولات كأس دبي للبولو تتطور بطريقة مذهلة ومتزنة وتعد الآن واحدة من الأحداث الكبرى وينتظرها متابعي اللعبة في الشرق الأوسط والعالم بفارغ الصبر.

Thursday, 02 May 2013

Ghantoot crowned Dubai Polo Gold Cup champion

Bin Drai took the Subsidiary Trophy

Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club took home their biggest scalp of the season on Friday, 15th March, 2013 when they wrestled the Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series away from defending champions and hosts, Habtoor Polo in a 14-6 victory at Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club.

The Dubai Polo Gold Cup is considered one of the sport's biggest titles in the region and is the concluding tournament in a series that also includes the Dubai Silver Cup.
Habtoor, the defending champions and 2013 Dubai Silver Cup holders, began the match as justifiable favourites, having defeated the Royal Abu Dhabi club 8-7 in golden goal extra time in the preliminaries.

Yet, Ghantoot held firm over the home side prior to this match after orchestrating a 9-7 victory over Habtoor in a charity match at Ghantoot last month.
Ghantoot made their way into the final following a 10-5 semi-final win over today’s subsidiary final winners, Bin Drai Polo, but did weather two scares after suffering another defeat, also by golden goal, at the hands of capital city rivals, Abu Dhabi Polo, before the knock-out stages.

Ghantoot finished the first chukker with a single goal lead for a 2-1 scoreline. By the end of the second period, Ghantoot had doubled their goal tally, to lead 4-2.
The third period proved rich pickings for a dominant Ghantoot, with the side’s top goalscorer, Facundo Sola, Pelayo Berazadi and Juan Zubiaurre all getting onto the scoreboard, which read 9-3 by the time the claxon went.

Habtoor, never a team to underestimate no matter the scoreline, executed a revival in the fourth period of this five-chukker final, with Ezequiel Martinez scoring twice to bring his side’s haul to five. Anyway, Ghantoot had another ideas in mind. Leading 9-5 by that time, goals came one after another, courtesy of Facu Sola, Juan Zubiaurre, Pelayo Berazadi and Ali Al Merri, so by the time they entered the fifth and last chukka, Ghantoot was leading by a comfortable 13-5.

But the visitors could taste victory and a flurry of fast-paced play late in the period saw three more Ghantoot goals. Then an angled strike from Emirati player, Ali Al Merri, seconds before the end of the chukker brought the score to 13-5 in favour of Ghantoot and left Habtoor facing an uphill battle to save the championship in the fifth and final period.
It wasn’t to be Habtoor’s day. Sola notched again in the fifth period and the best the hosts could muster at that late stage was a consolation goal from Guillermo Cuitino to see out the game 14-6 to Ghantoot.

The Ghantoot players embraced on the field following the conclusion of the match and Al Merri was lifted high on the shoulders of Ghantoot’s jubilant travelling fans.
“It’s a great feeling to have won this tournament,” he said. “It has been a principle focus of ours since the start of the season and to achieve such an important goal is incredibly gratifying as a team.

“We did not have the smoothest progression throughout this tournament, but we survived to the final and the produced our best polo on the day and that’s really what matters. Habtoor are a very tough team and, as you can see from all our past meetings, the results are always very close when we play each other.”
HE Saeed Bin Houfan Al Mansouri, Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club Vice Chairman said the club was now focusing on Ghantoot’s biggest tournament of the season, the HH President’s Cup, which starts on March 24.

“Congratulations to the players and staff at Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club,” he said. “This victory has come as the result of a lot of hard work and it’s pleasing to see that this has earned us real rewards. Now we focus on hosting the H.H. President of UAE Polo Cup 2013 where no doubt we will be treated to more fast-paced and exciting polo.”

We're very happy, we played very good and we had a great season. It's a big opportunity for me to play in such a team like Ghantoot.
We never expected a game like this. The match started a bit slow, and I told the boys to take it easy, have patience, and fortunately, we could play as we wanted to; we also have luck and take advantage of our goals.
This is a big team effort and we had our rewards. We played a great match and everything went as planned. We never lost concentration, that's why we played match and take such big differences, you lose concentration, but it didn't happen so good and give everything until the last chukka. Usually, when you control the to us. We were strong enough and retain our level.
We had many previous talks about this match with Hugo Barabucci and Oscar Colombres. All of us did a great previous work, and we could apply that on the field.
It's been such a great experience to come to Dubai to play the Gold Cup, and win it.
It's been such a fantastic tournament, and we're so happy to have won the Gold Cup. We already played very well against Bin Drai, and we were confident that we could win this match.  Yes, we took a huge advantage, but it was a bit difficult, as well, we had to work hard.

Thursday, 02 May 2013

Habtoor win Silver Cup

Defeated Abu Dhabi in extra chukka in thrilling match
Ghantoot took the Subsidiary Cup
February 16, 2013
Ezequiel Martinez Ferrario scored the winning goal in extra chukka to give Habtoor a 10-9 win over Abu Dhabi and the title of the Silver Cup, following a very tight final that took place at Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club.
Abu Dhabi opened the scores in the first chukka, but the reply from Habtoor came quickly, to take a 2-1 lead, with goals by Guillermo Cuitilo and Ezequiel Martinez Ferrario. Following a goal by Juan José Storni to tie 2-2, Habtoor's attack broke down their rival's defense, and finish the first chukka with a 3-2 lead.
Habtoor put much pressure on Abu Dhabi during the second chukka, but Faris Al Yabhouni's team made a comeback in the second chukka, when the scores were leveled at 6-all.
A very tough fourth chukka followed, as both teams put on a fantastic offensive work, despite Habtoor had a slight advantage. With a minute remaining, Habtoor was leading 9-8, but that was when Abu Dhabi scored to send the match into extra chukka.
Within a minute in extra chukka, Ezequiel Martinez Ferrario picks a missing ball, and run to the goalposts, to score the goal that gave Mohammed Al Habtoor's team not only the 10-9 win, but also the title of the Silver Cup,
Prior to the final, Ghantoot met Bin Drai to play for the Subsidiary. Ali Al Merri's foursome took control of the match and the score, led by a fantastic Facundo Sola, and won 6-2,5. Bin Drai had Nito Uranga filling in for Salvador Ulloa.
The award ceremony, led by His Highness Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ezequiel Martinez Ferrario was named MVP Pro, while the MVP Amateur Award went to Faris Al Yabhouni. Overa took BPP honors.
After four years we finally won the Silver Cup. We worked really hard today, I thought we would beat them by around two goals, but they made a good comeback and put some pressure on us. But we did our best and we deserved to win, we worked hard as well as we'd been in the lead most of the match.
This is the fourth game we won in extra chukka, but I've always had the feelings that we were going to win. It was a tough game and in the fifth chukka they had the chance to win it, but  they missed a goal but fortunately I was behing and put the ball off the goal line. When Ezequiel scored the goal it was really amazing, I couldn´t belive we finally won the Silver Cup
It was really hard, it was just pure heart. We won all four games in extra chukka, but that was it, we won, and we are happy to take the Silver Cup. But this is how games are. The most important thing is that we all get along really well in the team, and that works very good in all the matches. I can't tell how happy I was when I saw I scored the winning goal!!!!
It was a very strange match; we took the lead at first, but we failed in the next chukkas. Fortunately, we could win in overtime. I guess we have moments when we lose concentration, but I can tell you that won't happen in the Gold Cup. For sure we will play the next competition much more relaxed, but we still are looking much forward to win the Gold Cup.

Tuesday, 01 January 2013

Dates and Teams confirmed for Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series 2013

Silver Cup – 2nd to 15th February, 2013
Gold Cup – 25th February to 15th March 2013

Habtoor Polo Team, winner of the Dubai Polo Gold Cup 2012 with Ignacio Acuña, Mohammed K. Habtoor, Guillermo Cuitino and Francisco Elizalde.

Despite the 2012 polo season far from having ended, in fact, the most important stages of Argentina’s Triple Crown remain, but several clubs from around the world are already organizing their calendars for 2013.

The Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series is gradually shaping up as we head towards the 2013 edition, which as usual will feature its two traditional competitions, the Silver and Gold Cups that will take place between February and March at Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club. This event has been growing by leaps and bounds, and at present is one of the most eagerly awaited polo events in the Middle East.

An impeccable organization in addition to the Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series’ growth has enabled its most important tournament (the Gold Cup) to enter the World Polo Tour within the Challenge Cup category. The certificate of entry was presented by the international polo ranking representatives last March after the tournament concluded.

"Dubai is the ideal place. Everyone wants to come here", mentioned Mohammed Al Habtoor, Chairman of the Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series, in an interview with PoloLine during the 2012 Gold Cup. "The tournament has increasingly improved since we first started a couple of years ago. Back then, it was a 12-goal competition, but the latest edition featured 15-goal teams, so everybody brought their best horses from Argentina, England and the Middle East". Both the Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series and the 26-goal exhibition held every year at Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club (the first of its kind in the Middle East), have undoubtedly given the region a huge boost, which does nothing but improve the level of polo ponies, fields and players, who in turn consider this event to be a great opportunity to take their career to an international level.

As regards the upcoming Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series 2013, six teams up to 16-goals have been confirmed up to now - another step towards fulfilling one of the series’ objectives, that is, to have 18-goal teams participate:


  • Zedan Polo Team ~ Patron Amr Zedan
  • Habtoor Polo Team ~ Patron Mohammed Al Habtoor
  • Bin Drai Polo Team ~ Patron Saeed Bin Drai
  • Mahra Polo ~ Patron Rashid Al Habtoor
  • Abu Dhabi Polo Team ~ Patron Faris Yabhouni
  • Ghantoot Polo Team ~ Patron HH Sheikh Falah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan


More teams are expected to participate in 2013 which will be announced soon by the organizer.

About Dubai Polo Gold Cup

The Dubai Polo Gold Cup was founded in 2009 by an independent committee of polo players, esteemed members of the UAE business and people with a passion for polo and sport in order to further advance the development of polo in the United Arab Emirates and wider region.

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.


Thursday, 23 August 2012

The Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series returns

The Dubai Polo Gold Cup organizers have announced that, following its success in previous years, the annual Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series will be returning this season for the third time.

The event which includes the Silver Cup, from February 3 to 17 2012, and the Gold Cup, from February 24 to March 9, 2012, promises to be bigger than ever with both local and international teams contesting the trophy.

As on other occasions it will take place at the Dubai Polo and Equestrian Club and as usual it promises a great day out with parades, prize-giving sessions and more.

Part of the Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series is also the 5th Mitsubishi Beach Polo match which takes place on December 28 and 29 in Dubai at Habtoor Grand Resort, 2011. This is one of the most prestigious beach polo events in the world and it too is set to be even better this year, attracting some of the biggest international players and drawing a high profile, glamorous crowd.


Friday, 09 March 2012

Habtoor Polo Wins The KBL Dubai Polo Gold Cup 2012

Beat Bin Drai in a big final
March 9, 2012

Mohammed’s Al Habtoor team won The KBL Dubai Polo Gold Cup by defeating Bin Drai by six goals to five after a fantastic game. The Subsidiary Cup was won by Abu Dhabi who defeated Mahra by seven goals to five.
With their intensity increasing match by match during the tournament, Habtoor Polo showed today their fantastic skills in a tough final against Bin Drai that gave them the championship.
The meeting of Habtoor and Bin Drai was very balanced, in a very tough match that showed a 2-all in the first chukker of play. Habtoor Polo took control of the match in the second chukker, and went to a 5-2 lead in the third period.
Bin Drai made a spectacular comeback in the fourth chukker, with three unanswered goals, including a great shot by Juan José Brané, which leveled the score at 5-all with only 30 seconds to go in regulation time.
That was when Habtoor's lethal weapon, Guillermo Cuitiño, the tournament's top scorer ran to the goalposts, and with only two seconds remaining, scored the goal that secured the Gold Cup for Mohammed Al Habtoor and his boys.
Habtoor's Ignacio Acuña was named MVP, and Crack, owned by Mohammed Al Habtoor and played by Francisco Elizalde, took BPP honors.
Abu Dhabi takes Subsidiary Cup
Prior to the Gold Cup final, Abu Dhabi met Mahra to play the match for the Subsidiary Trophy.
Mahra took a 2-0 advantage in the first chukker, but Abu Dhabi made a comeback, scoring four consecutive goals, to a 4-2 lead.
Mahra went back to the lead in the third chukker, 5-4, but Abu Dhabi decided the match in the last chukker, to win 7-5.
Mohammed Al Habtoor
I still can't believe it, for three years, I tried and I tried, and here it is, the results of hard work for the team and the horses I bought to win this tournament. All the players put their heart into this tournament, it's really great.
About the match, I can tell you that we made a couple of mistakes when we were leading 5-3. But I knew we were ready to play an extra chukker, because we had our best horses ready for it. We were lucky; Guillermo scored the winning goal with only two seconds to go. It was fantastic, the only thing I could do in that moment was go to the ponyline, take the flag and run like crazy!!!!
Guillermo Cuitiño has been playing with us for the last three years, both in England and Dubai. He is a person who lives polo, it is his passion. He supported me and the tournament, and helped the team a lot. I trust him when he gives me an advice about horses. About John Horswell, he's been a great help for us, he did everything to organize us as a team, and made sure that everyone of us knew exactly what to do.
Thanks to the live broadcast by PoloLine TV, my friends in California woke up a 3am just to watch the match. They sent me photos and messages telling me they were watching the match through PoloLine TV, which is great for people who want to see polo and they can't travel for many reasons. And my message is to thank all the people who came to see the tournament, not only because my team plays but also because they are showing interest in Dubai and the polo of the Dubai Gold Cup. We're planning next year's tournament, that will be at 16-goal. It's only one goal, but it's a lot for us, because we want to have players like Nachi Heguy, who give a higher level to this tournament.
Now we're about to organize with Guillermo to play a couple of 15, 18 goal tournament in England, I will decide which ones in the next two weeks. I will organize the team with Guillermo, Fran (Elizalde), and a 1-goaler.
Guillermo Cuitiño
It's great to have won this tournament, it's the third year we played, and we never could win it; now, we finally did it. The first thing I thought when I scored the winning goal in OT was in my kids, my family. I'm very happy, for me it was one of the happiest moments in my life.
About the match, we did know that Bin Drai was going to be hard, that this game was not going to be that easy. I think we've been lucky. And I am very thankful to Mohammed, who always believed in me, who supported me, followed my advice and trusted me enough to let me choose the players to form the team. It was a lot of work to choose the players, the horses, but we are happy, we got it.
Now, we're going to England with Mohammed, to play 18-goal. I hope we can go to St. Tropez, so Mohammed, if you see it; we can go to St. Tropez. Oh, but definitely, we're going to England to represent Habtoor once again.
This tournament means everything to Mohammed, he had worked hard during three years to make a big competition as the Gold Cup is, and now he had his reward. His idea is making the Gold Cup as one of the world's best tournaments.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Six of the top polo players in the world to play in Dubai at the first ever High Goal Exhibition mat

At the invitation of Habtoor Polo, six of the most famous polo players in the world will be playing at the 26-handicap High Goal Exhibition polo match, which takes place for the first time ever in the Middle East at the Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club on April 22, 2011.

Julio Novillo Astrada, Miguel Novillo Astrada, Javier Novillo Astrada, Ignacio Novillo Astrada, Alejandro Novillo Astrada and Eduardo Novillo Astrada are all members of the famous Novillo Astrada dynasty which includes nine brothers, all of whom are renowned for their unequalled prowess at polo.

The Argentinean family is considered one of the top five polo teams in the world and has played in Argentina, the United Kingdom and the United States. This will be the first time they compete in Dubai.

All six are the sons of the acclaimed polo player Julio Novillo Astrada, who founded the La Aguada polo club, which holds the record as being only the fourth team in history to have ever won three titles in the same season. It also won the Argentine Republic Cup in 1990 and the First Open of Pilar that same year; as well as making it to the finals of the Chapaleufu in the Jockey Club Open.

The High Goal Exhibition will be the finale of the Dubai 2011 Polo season, organised by the Dubai Polo Gold Cup series, and will feature Habtoor Polo, of which Mohammed Al Habtoor is the patron, and the Dubai Falcons, headed by Saeed Bin Drai.

The event begins at 1600hrs on April 22, 2011 and promises to be a match to be remembered.


Monday, 14 March 2011

Abu Dhabi win the Dubai Polo Gold Cup 2011

Mon 14th Mar 2011
Abu Dhabi defeat Dubai Falcons in final of Threadneedle Gold Cup on Friday

Abu Dhabi Polo lifted the 2nd Threadneedle Dubai Gold Cup held at the Dubai Polo and Equestrain Club on Friday.
In a thrilling final, Abu Dhabi beat Dubai Falcons 9-7 on Friday, claiming the Threadneedle Gold Cup at Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club.

Abu Dhabi’s Facundo Sola scored eight goals for his team and was named most valuable player while his mare Horminga was awarded the best playing pony prize. Abu Dhabi made a positive start taking a strong 3-1 lead in the first chukka.
Saeed Bin Drai’s Dubai Falcons put in a strong performance, matching Abu Dhabi’s score at the end of the second chukka, 3-3. The Falcons bounced back in the second chukka to level with their opponents at 4-4 after Ulloa scored twice more and Mario Gomez struck once. Oscar Colombres’ goal was the only one Abu Dhabi scored during that period.

In the third chukka, Sola struck twice and Ulloa and Gomez struck once each to ensure their teams were locked at 6-6. However, three goals by Sola in the final chukka with the match heading towards a close finish, Sola put on a brilliant performance as he led his team to an unbelievable victory scoring three goals to seal the title for Abu Dhabi.
Sola was adjudged the Player of the Tournament while his horse Hormiga was declared the Best Horse.
In the subsidiary final, Ghantoot beat DCC Sumaya 8-7.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club Confirm Team for Polo Gold Cup

Ghantoot Polo Club has today confirmed its participation in the Dubai Polo Gold Cup 2010. Under the visionary chairmanship of Sheikh Falah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the United Arab Emirates is rapidly carving a distinct niche for itself on the world polo circuit, with Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club leading the way.


Monday, 07 September 2009

Habtoor Polo Enter Gold Cup

Habtoor Polo confirmed their participation in the inaugural Dubai Polo Gold Cup 2010 today. The first Dubai team to register and recent quarter finalists of the 2009 Queens Cup in England are sure to put on a great show of force on their home turf.

Known for their passion and dedication in putting polo on the calendar at home and abroad the Habtoor team will be a team to watch out for.

About Habtoor Polo

Since they met in March 2000, The Brothers Al Habtoor and Justo del Carril have been playing polo together and working to build what today can be recognized as a serious polo organisation. Del Carril had been playing professional polo since the age of 23 around the world.

Habtoor Polo consists of over 40 horses, mostly from Argentina, taken care by a head groom, also from Argentina, Luis Vignolles, and 8 grooms, Luis is a polo pony trainer, so in charge of the horses since they are made, traveling with them to Dubai, and heading the barn operations whilst in the UAE. Although the head polo barn is in Dubai Polo Club at Arabian Ranches, the team trailers the horses between the other three polo clubs of the UAE, Desert Palm Polo Club, Plantation and Ghantoot, to play the best possible polo available.

This is also achieved by hiring other professional polo players, such as Fernando Pipi Bourdieu, 6-goal player from Argentina, who played exclusively for the Habtoor Polo Team during the 2007 polo season. Pipi also plays international professional Tournament when not in Dubai, such as in Singapore, Pakistan, Spain and France.

Del Carril has also accompanied The Brothers Al Habtoor to play polo around the world, hiring high goal players such as Alejandro Piki Diaz Alberdi to play 22 goal tournament in the Melbourne Polo Club, the Cartier Polo in Dubai with Adolfo Cambiaso and Lolo Castagnola, Guards Polo Club with Peter Webb and Ryan Pemble and then on to play snow polo in Austria. Rashid has also played in St. Tropez and Paris, at the Chantilly Polo Club.

The Al Habtoor Farm in Al Khawaneej, Dubai is undergoing massive reconstruction to accommodate the polo playing need of the family, with a brand new 50 horse stable, polo field, tennis court, guest houses and a lake, and pastures to turnout the horses during the off season.



All match information can be found by visiting the Tournament and Results page




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