Siam Polo Newsletter

July 2004

Volume II - Summary.

Sponsored by KING POWER

2003 news

Welcome to the newsletter for Horse Polo in Thailand.
Contact Siam Polo Secretary & Manager
Map to the Polo Club   List of Hotels near the Polo Club
Learn Spanish with "La Profesora" - Email Carolina
Beginner Polo Riding Lessons - Email Evelyn (01-8611775)

Prince Charles playing with King Power Polo Team in England // 40 goal polo in England -- with a 40 goal team against a 0 goal team.
40 GOAL POLO !!!! picture and update by Khun Dara
After the finals of the Hildon Queen's cup at Guards Polo Club Windsor Great Park on Sunday June 13th, a unique charity match sponsored by King Power took place in aid of Monsoon, Breakthrough Breast Cancer and the Alfulie Cancer Trust of Argentina. Adolfo Cambiaso teamed up with three other world class players: Lolo Castagnola, Bautista Heguy, and Eduardo Heguy against Top and Ton Raksriaksorn, Matt Loder and Supermodel Jodie Kidd for a very interesting test of the Polo Handicapping system with a 40 goal team playing against a 0 goal team - called "Jodie's Golden Goal." It was a 6 chukka game with $1,000 donated to the charities for every goal scored. It was an exciting game with the world top player showing their great skills. Adolfo Cambiaso donated $10,000 to his charity when his team scored more than 41 goals. By the fifth chukka they had scored 35 goals, and by the end of the 6th chukka the score was 42 goals, with Matt Loder scoring 1 goal for Jodie's team. Khun Vichai presented beautiful Thai silver bowls to both teams. A great game for very good causes, and the handicapping systems seems fair!
Photo and update by our Roving Reporter Khun Dara FINALS AT ROLAY BERKSHIRE
The finals of the 12 goal Challenge Trophy at the Royal Berkshire Polo Club took place June 6th. King Power Polo Team has been left in the capable hands of Khun Top Raksriaksorn who captained the team in a 4 chukka match. King Power had Top at No. 1, Jamie Le Hardy at 3, El Topadora Gustavo at No. 4,  and Anthony Fanshaw at 2. Jamie Le Hardy was best player of the match scoring 3 of the seven goals. Gustavo scored 2 goals with Anthony and Khun Top securing one each. On the Bateleur side, Charles and Theresa Beresford (sister of high goal player Gabriel Donoso) played with two South African 4 goal players - Richard Pool and Gareth Evans. King Power led 6-4 in the third chukka. In the fourth chukka, Bateleur brought the score to 6-6 and in the final 10 seconds Anthony Fanshaw scored the final goal for King Power bringing the score to 7-6. It was a very exciting finish. Khun Tuk (Captain Top's mom) and Dara were on hand to support the team along with la professora de las cosas dulces, Maria Yanez, and Delfina.
Photo and update by our Roving Reporter Khun Dara

King Power took to the field in England on 26 May with Khun Top, Khun Vichai, Adolfo Cambiaso and H.R.H. The Prince of Wales playing against the Ham Polo Club team of Chris Mathias, Ali Albwardy, Lolo Castagnola and Nicholas Colquhoun Denvers. The match was in aid of the Mihai Eminescu trust and the Thames Landscape strategy. A large Thai contingent of supporters attended the event, including His Excellency the Thai Ambassador to Siamese Ladies with our Roving Reporter Khun DaraLondon. After the charity lunch, an exciting exhibition match took place with Khun Top scoring the first goal to great cheers of delight from the Thai supporters on the sidelines. The final score after the 4 chukkas was 5 to 5, with King Power claiming the 1/2 goal advantage on handicap. Cambiaso showed great skill on one of his successful drives going the whole length of the field tapping the ball and scoring for King Power. Castagnola scored three goals for Ham and the other goals came from Chris Mathias and Ali Albwardy. It was an exciting afternoon of polo with proceeds going to a good cause. H.E. The Thai Ambassador Presented the prizes to the two teams including the new Dara-designed burgundy umbrella complete with a polo stick handle. Our roving reporter Khun Dara submitted the details of this epic polo match and invites people to email her if they want an umbrella.

Pictured here is the new King Power Polo and Sports Complex located near the new Bangkok Airport. The polo field is currently under construction (06 April 2004). Click Here to see more pictures of King Power Polo and Sport Complex

Khun Vichai recently sponsored a Thai Wedding ceremony for Marco and his fiance Carolina at the Kuppa restaurant in Bangkok. The traditional Thai wedding ceremony involves guests and friends pouring water onto the hands of the two betrothed and then the tying of a string around their wrists. Marco and Caroline will be in England for the Summer Polo season, and then they will be married this September in Argentina. Email Marco and Carolina.
Khun Vichai recently won the annual Khun Vichai - Peter Davies Birthday Cup. Last year, the two teams tied 6-6. But this year, Khun Vichai's team was leading by 8-0 after 4 chukkas. Gustavo said that this was his Birthday present to Khun Vichai as he retired from the field to let Nicolas "Peperoni" Pieroni join Khun Vichai's team. The fifth chukka saw Peter Davies' team rally to get two penalty goals to finish off 8-2. Even though Peter's team had the famous Thai polo player Eric Barthe along with Jamie Woodward, Jim and Harald on it, they were unable to stop the combination of Gustavo "Topadora" and Khun Vichai with his two sons, Top and Ton. 

Churo is the vet from Argentina. Recently, he was seen with the newest addition to the polo stables. The 4 day old foal came out of Khun Vichai's mare "Polenta" and Churo gave her the name "Churita." Churo is 25 years old. He was born in Salta (N.W. Argentina) and has just finished Vet school in Rio Cuarto, Cordoba. He became a vet because of his interest in watching other vets on his farm care for animals. "I wanted to learn the picardia of healing and caring for animals," he said. He feels that horses are a noble animal, and if you look in the eye, you can see the attitude of the horse. He feels that the most challenging part of being a vet is explaining to the owner that the horse should stop. Churo likes polo, because in this sport, the horse is more special than the player. You can be Cambiaso, but if the horse is not good, you cannot play 100%. One of his greatest joys is watching the horses that love to play polo. They play with their heart. His advice to polo players is "try not to stop" and "don't turn the head hard." His dream for the moment is "tener mi lugar donde trabajar tranquilo" (have people trust me and my advice and gain confidence). 
Churo is putting together a manual of Veterinary Advice for Polo Players.
Recently, we were able to see our very own "Peperoni" playing with his uncle Canchi from Argentina. These two come from a very long line of polo players in Argentina. Canchi is president of the Rio Cuarto Polo Club and has been playing polo for 25 years. His passion for polo came from his father and his grandfather. His grandfather, Manuel Andrada El Paisano, was a 9 goal player who was on the world champion Argentina polo team at the 1936 Berlin Olympics and who also won the Argentine Open six times. Canchi's father was a polo coach in Spain, Columbia, England and Brasil. Canchi feels the most important tactic in polo is to play as a team. It is the heart and head of the other players that gives the spirit to the game. Read more about Nicolas Pieroni en Tailandia.

The polo club has recently seen the arrival of a new gaucho. Frederico Bachmann is a 5 Goal Handicap from Venado Tuerto. He has been playing 20 years professionally, most recently in Palm Beach, NY, and Richmond, Virginia. Federico's greatest mentor was Hector Borrantes (8 goal Argentinian), because "he taught me to read the game, rather than follow, and to use my head, not my body." Federico's main tactic in polo is to keep possession of the ball. "Hold it and pass, don't just hit it away to the other team. Even if you have a clean shot down field, wait for your team to get into position." To get into position on attack, move away from the man marking you; this is what Cambiaso does. In hitting, lean out onto the ball. Keep your body on the saddle. Don't get up and out. He feels that Adam Snow (USA 10 goal player) is a "student of the game," and Federico's dream is to reach his top. Federico is an excellent teacher fluent in English and Spanish.
The performance of the Kuppa Polo Team is getting stronger all the time. Recently, Khun Robin recruited "La Topadora" Gustavo, his wife "Mi Amor" Maria, and "Five Goal" Federico to join her on the polo field. Usually, Khun Suzy is also on the team, but she was held up in Bangkok for this event. The Kuppa Polo Team is also sporting the latest in Siam Polo fashion with their Kuppa Polo Shirts. The polo jerseys have Thai numbers on them to confuse the enemy, because they hope the opposing team can't read Thai. Gustavo and Maria will be in England for this summer season playing for Khun Vichai and King Power polo. 

Jim Gulkin is from Montreal, Canada. He has been playing polo for the past 6 years, and he loves it because it is intense, requires focus, and is good exercise for his mind away from work. Jim has been in Asia for 25 years, and he has been running his own business Siam Canadian, which exports frozen seafood, for the past 17 years. Jim likes the lifestyle in Thailand; it is a place where you still have the personal contact and the eye contact that you don't find in other parts of the world. Jim doesn't play polo on Sundays, because this is "wife day" and this day is reserved specially for his wife. Jim finds the most challenging task in polo is hitting the ball at speed. His philosophy for business is that "things are either expanding or shrinking; nothing remains static. Therefore, focus and get better." He thinks this philosophy applies to polo too.
Siam Polo Action...

Turn Around...

Khun Vichai backs it.

Nat neck shot!

Feder controlling the ball.

Top going for goal 
(watch out for the goal post!!!)

Canchi leading the gauchos in Folklore

The hard-working grooms from Muktahan

Terremoto and Juama

The victorious King Power Team

The air-conditioned tent.

La Musica Triste - "Adios Amigo Marco.... no mas expedition!"

Khun Un & Khun Em - 
New Thai polo enthusiasts.

Canchi and the gauchos about to fly.

Polo fans.

Marcelo Iraci Vet and Churo Vet
"La Expedition Golf en Tailandia"

Cabeza takes over the Kuppa kitchen to prepare the Argentine asado for Marco & Carolina's wedding

Rules of Polo

Polo has many rules. In each newsletter, we will share with you a different rule, penalty or picardia (trick) to increase your understanding of the game.
Control of the ball
Siam Polo Park's newest Gaucho - Khun Federico is a 5 goal player from Argentina. Federico's greatest mentor was Hector Borrantes (8 goal Argentinian). "He taught me to read the game, rather than follow, and to use my head, not my body." Federico's main tactic in polo is to keep possession of the ball. "Hold it and pass, don't just hit it away to the other team. Even if you have a clean shot down field, wait for your team to get into position." To get into position on attack, move away from the man marking you; this is what Cambiaso does. In hitting, lean out onto the ball. Keep your body on the saddle. Ride your horse to the ball. Don't get up and out.
Contributed by Federico -- 

Malaysia-Philippines "Friendship Match"

On 28 and 29 February, Siam Polo Park organized a Friendship Polo match hosting distinguished visitors from the Royal Pahang Polo Club in Malaysia and from the Manila Polo Club in Philippines. The Captain of the Malaysia - Philippines team was Inigo Zobel from Calatagan, Philippines (two hours South of Manila), who was joined by his lovely wife, Maricris. Inigo is a 2 goal player who has been playing polo for almost 30 years. His greatest teacher was his father, who played for almost 50 years and taught him that polo is a "team sport." He informed us that his team tactics while playing in Siam would be to use his whole team. Pictured here are team members: Inigo, Tengku Abdul Rahman, Mr. Link and Nicolas "pepperoni" Pieroni.
Tengku Abdul Rahman from the Royal Pahang Polo Club in Malaysia was playing up front for the Malaysia - Philippines team. Tengku is a 2 goal player who has been playing for  25 years. He comes from a long line of Royal polo players as both his father and his grandfather played. He told us that his greatest teacher was Eduardo Moore and that the most important thing that he learned was "to be cool in front of the goal." Tengku demonstrated this skill of grace and precision before the goal to a very high standard during the friendship match. Not only was he extremely fast off the throw in, having taken several balls from the center of the field down to the goal, but he also completed several drives to the goal with scores for his team. The Royal Pahang Polo club has about 30 members and 130 horses, and is one of the largest in Malaysia. Tengku has played in USA, Argentina, UK, Spain and Philippines. This was his first time playing in Thailand. He enjoys polo because of the people he gets to meet and the different parts of the world he gets to visit. He told us that his team tactics for this game would be to let Gustavo unload and then keep him away from the ball. Exciting polo to watch, and the final score was 8 - 7 for Thailand with Khun Vichai, Khun Top, Gustavo and Marco playing for Thailand.

RESULTS of the 2004
Thailand Polo King's Cup
27 Jan to 01 Feb
Thailand beat Dubai in the finals of the King's Cup Polo Tournament at Siam Polo Park.  It was a thrilling game to watch with both Cambiaso and Lolo on the field at the same time playing for different teams. The ball spent a lot of time in the air when it was in their possession. Khun Top, Khun Vichai, and Gustavo were playing with Cambiaso for Thailand.
Thailand vs England 12 - 5
Dubai vs Germany 10 - 9
Germany vs England 12 - 5
Ladies Polo - King Power vs Thai Airways 2 - 2
Elephant Polo - AIS Argentina vs Thailand 4 - 2
King's Cup Finals - Thailand vs Dubai 10 - 9

The Dubai Team gave Thailand a very good match on the field. It was very open polo with the ball going back and forth down the field with spectacular passes and goals for both teams. Ali Albwardy and Najieb Khoorhy were on the attack with Saeed Bin Drai and Lolo Castagnola in the back.

Cabeza Grande captaining the Argentine asado on Saturday

Sawadee Ka Cambiaso

Germany soundly defeated England, after having lost to Dubai, to secure third place. The English coach, Peter Davies, said that they had been expecting much more from their new compatriot, Eric Barthe, who had changed his nationality and passport just for this tournament. It is rumored that he has developed a special technique for a "smooth stroke..." 

The Ladies Polo proved to be a very exciting match with King Power and Thai Airways battling back and forth. Khun Robin and her sister, Suzy, were playing with Khun Nunthinee and Jamie Le Hardy at back for Thai Airways against the King Power team of Khun Mimi, Khun Apple and Khun Tim with the famous Thai polo player Eric Barthe at back. The highlight of the game was a spectacular pass from Eric up to his wife, Khun Apple, and she hit it! Eric was so surprised and pleased that he almost fell off his horse. The teams drew with 2 goals each.

Elephant Polo was very exciting this year. First Cambiaso and Lolo gave a short exhibition, then Khun Omsin took his Thai team up against the Argentine team. The Thais had a distinct advantage, because they could communicate with their mahoots, but somehow the Argentines pulled the game away from them with 4 sturdy goals scored by Marco Focaccia. Marco also managed to fall off his elephant after one of his goals, and the game was stopped, so that he could climb back up on his elephant. The final score was AIS Argentina 4 and Thailand King Power 2. Khun Omsin wanted Thailand to win, but he will have to do some more practicing for next year.

King's Cup

Knun Nok was sporting her cowgirl gear and did a very good job keeping everyone on the edge of their seats.

Last year, the newspaper reported 20,000 spectators for the King's Cup Polo. This year UBC covered the Final live, so there were 400,000 spectators across Thailand.

Jamie Le Hardy captained the England Team, and after the finals, he found some spare time to give Khun Robin some tips on her off-side.

Robert Thames practiced his near-side on a flight with his English teammates Jamie Gordon and Jamie Le Hardy.

German Captain, Andrew Hine, entertained polo fans with Maria Power and Khun Apple in the clubhouse.

Visiting Player Interview
Jamie Le Hardy is a 6 goal player from England. He was captain of the American Express England team, which unfortunately finished in last place at this year's King's Cup. Jamie had just returned from playing in South Africa for England, where they did much better and won. He took some time to share some tips with some of the club members. He started playing at age 14, and left school at 18 to work at grooming, teaching and schooling ponies. They used to call him "Dr. Death," because when someone got hurt, he would put his boots on and get to play. He has come a long way since then and is now playing professionally all over the world. He feels the most important thing is polo is "balance on the horse" and getting your half-seat right. If you work on your riding, this is the quickest way to improve your polo. He also showed us how using short reins up on the neck of the horse gives you better maneuvering, because the horse's neck is more responsive at the top. Hitting: Jamie says to get your hand up high, and hit through the ball, keeping the arm straight until it passes the up past the shoulder. He also says to remember to give yourself space when hitting the ball. Many people get to close to the ball when they try to hit it. "Take your time on the ball." Ride the horse before you hit the ball; set your horse up for the shot. And don't forget to look left and right - all around.
The Gaucho Open 
Thailand's first "Gaucho Abierto" Mini-Golf tournament was recently held in Pattaya after the King's Cup Polo Tournament. This year, the competition was fierce between the two teams - "Equipo Gaucho" and "Equipo Cabeza." The Cabeza team had the two Cabezas (heads) of the Siam Polo Park with their wives (or fiances). The Gaucho team had only gauchos on it, who had been training for months on many tea-drinking expeditions (The gaucho team is kneeling, "porque somos gauchos timidos"). Carolina shot three hole-in-ones for the Cabeza team and Ferderico provided outstanding play in the opening holes for the Gaucho team. Each team exchanged the lead several times, and after the 16th chukka, both teams were even. It was on the 17th, that the Gauchos showed their true form and took a commanding 15 stroke lead which carried them through the final chukka to capture the first Gaucho Open.

Rules of Polo

Polo has many rules. In each newsletter, we will share with you a different rule, penalty or picardia (trick) to increase your understanding of the game.
"COLA SHOT" (or Tail-shot)
We asked Gaucho Federico to submit this month's picardia for polo. He recommended to us that we should stress the importance of the Cola Shot when hitting the backhand in defense near your goal. Of course, you must always look first, but a good Cola Shot has two advantages: 1. It is faster to turn the ball around, and 2. It angles the ball in such a way that your own teammates can turn onto the new line of the ball and have it on their offside immediately and gain the advantage on a downfield attack. "Cola" means "tail" in Spanish. Normally, it would be the #3, or #4 making this shot, so his 2 could turn onto the new line immediately. The opposing #3 cannot take the ball on his nearside if 2 is on the line, and he would have to cross the line to take the ball on his offside, which would be a foul. This is why the "Cola" is the good shot on defense. But don't forget to look first!
Contributed by Federico Rosales -- 

Siam Polo Calendar

Upcoming polo events at the club. Submit event dates.

February 28-29 Malaysia-Philippines "Friendly Chukkas."
March 2-12 
(8am and afternoon)
Rege Ludwig "Polo Clinic." US$ 150 per lesson (beginners in the morning and advanced players in the afternoon). Please email Marco or Gustavo for booking ASAP.
March 12,13,14 
B.Grimm Tournament (4 high goal teams and 3 beginner teams) very exciting polo with teams sponsored by King Power, Siemens, B.Grimm and Burburry. Witness the exciting return of the terramoto Santos Anca!
March 20 Finals of the B.Grimm Tournament.
April 04 Khun Vichai Birthday Cup.
upcoming King Power Gold Cup - end of season.
upcoming Eric's Ball Chaser Cup - last year winner Khun Aktanai.
25 April Polo season closes in Thailand.
11 May King Power Team playing in England
26 May Prince Charles playing with Cambiaso and King Power in charity tournament in England. Email Gustavo for more info

Other Links

International Rules of Polo Polo Line (latest scores)
Grooms and Staff at the Club Argentine Polo Horses
Aerial photo of the Polo Field Argentine Polo Sticks
History of Argentine Tango  Lessons in Bangkok  

Manager at Siam Polo Park
Gustavo Yanez is the current manager at Siam Polo Park - Phone: 019403243. Email - Post address: Siam Polo Park, 100 M.9, T.Pong, A.Banglamung, Chonburi 20150. Fax: 66+38734940. Stable Manager: Khun Omsin Pratumse, mobile: 098312337.

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