When the final bell sounded it was Jean Francois Decaux’ Next Generation polo team (Jean Francois Decaux, Poroto Cambiaso, Diego Cavanagh and Adolfo Cambiaso) that hoisted the Gold Cup, symbolic of the British Open Championship with an exciting and fast-paced 14-12 win over Les Lions/Great Oaks (Jeta Castagnola, Dillon Bacon, Barto Castagnola and Santiago Laborde) at Cowdray Park Polo Club.
Fourteen-year-old Poroto Cambiaso became the youngest player to win the British Open Championship and the combination of Adolfo and Poroto (Adolfo Cambiaso, Jr.) became the first father-son combination to win the Cup since John and Jack Oxley won it in 1970.
Next Generation got on the scoreboard first with Adolfo converting on a 60-yard penalty shot in the first minute of play for a 1-0 lead. Poroto made it 2-0, just over a minute later, on a long run and a goal from the field, 2-0. Barto scored for Les Lions/Great Oaks at the three-minute mark, 3-1, with Cavanagh (filling in for an injured Pelon Stirling) scoring on a pass from Adolfo in the final minute of the chukker for the 3-1 advantage.
The pace was fast and the contact aggressive in the second period with Barto scoring on a 60-yard penalty goal at 6:03. Poroto scored the only other goal of the chukker to keep Next Generation on top, 4-2.
The Next Generation offense kept Les Lions/Great Oaks off-balance as play continued in the third. Cavanagh added a 30-yard penalty goal, 5-2. Laborde found himself on the scoring end of a pass at 5:59, 5-3. Another penalty conversion from Cavanagh was offset by a goal from the field from Jeta, 6-4. Laborde brought Les Lions/Great Oaks to within a goal of the lead, 6-5, in the final two minutes of the period. Adolfo ended the chukker with his second goal of the day for the 7-5 halftime lead.
A Next-Generation foul sent Barto to the penalty line where he converted from 30-yards out, 7-6. A minute later, Bacon scored his first goal of the game and tied the score at 7-7. Poroto showed promises of future greatness as he scored consecutive goals for the 9-7 Next Generation advantage. Adolfo extended the Next Generation lead to three goals, 10-7, and ended the fourth period with a 60-yard penalty goal.
Cavanagh added another penalty goal to the Next Generation total in the opening minute of the fifth chukker before Les Lions/Great Oaks responded. A goal from the field from Jeta was complimented by a 30-yard penalty goal from his older brother, Barto, but The Next Generation continued to lead, 11-9 with one chukker remaining in regulation play.
Jeta scored the opening goal of the sixth chukker from the field, 11-10, sparking thoughts of a rally, but fouls would prove costly for Les Lions/Great Oaks in the final frame. Cavanagh scored three of the next four goals (Jeta added a goal from the field) on penalty conversions for a commanding 14-11, lead with time running out. With just over a minute left in the match, Barto scored a goal from the field, 14-12, but that was where it ended as Next Generation rode off with the 2020 King Power British Open Championship.
Valiente’s Pintita, played by Poroto Cambiaso, was named Best Playing Pony of the Gold Cup while Adolfo Cambiaso earned MVP honors.
Cavanagh led the field in scoring with seven goals (six on penalty conversions). Poroto added four and Adolfo scored three times in the win. Barto’s five goals led the Les Lions/Great Oaks attack. Jeta scored four times; Laborde added two and Bacon was credited with a goal in the loss.
Alex Webbe contributed to the reporting of this late-breaking news.