Team UAE continued their fine form as the Julius Baer Gold Cup final delivered a classic. Fans were treated to entertaining polo that didn’t disappoint the spectators at the Al Habtoor Polo Resort and Club.
A flag presentation by the Al Habtoor Riding School marked the start of the afternoon followed by the Bentley Subsidiary Final with Dubai Wolves competed against Zedan Polo team. The Wolves came in strong with the lead on the first chukker, which Zedan matched with goals on the second that led to a tie 3-3. Zedan charged further and stretched the gap with subsequent goals from Santiago Laborde and Raul Laplacette.
Manuel Crespo and Yousef Bin Desmal from Dubai Wolves evened out the advantage by the end of the fourth chukker. The last one had seen the teams in a tight game, each battling to take home the win. Zedan closed the match with a one-goal lead and claimed the Bentley Cup 2019 title and trophy.
Prior to the highly anticipated face-off between Habtoor Polo and UAE Polo teams, the crowd was treated to a performance by the Dubai Police Marching band followed by the UAE National Anthem. A display of fine Bentley Cars accompanied the teams for their presentation. The first chukker showed an even performance from both teams, which ended at 3 – 2 in favour of UAE Polo. The team kept increasing its goal advantage with a series of goals until half time, notably from Tomas Panelo. The Habtoor team came back with three goals from Facundo Sola and Tommy Beresford before the fourth chukker was finished at 9-6. Facu managed to deliver two more goals at the last chukker but was not enough as the UAE Polo team went on to win 10–8.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Maktoum bin Rashid al Maktoum graced the afternoon and awarded the winners of the Julius Baer Gold Cup 2019. Trevor Weller, Director – Prestige Division of Bentley Emirates joined him on the stage to award the Bentley Cup runner up – Dubai Wolves and the winners – Zedan Polo Team. For the final awardees, Régis Burger, Head Middle East of Julius Baer (Middle East) Ltd., joined the stage to give the awards to the runner up of the Julius Baer Gold Cup 2019 final – Habtoor Polo – and the champions – UAE Polo Team. Alejandro Muzzio was awarded the Most Valuable Player and Milly, the horse he rode, was named the Best Playing Pony.
If you haven’t had a chance yet to watch a show jumping competition this season, you can catch the national at the Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting & Golf Club this weekend on Friday, March 8thand Saturday, March 9th.
Held under the supervision of the UAE Equestrian and Racing Federation (UAEERF), the two-day Al Ain national show jumping competition will provide riders with the opportunity to jump heights of up to 140cm in the club’s spacious outdoor sand arenas.
This weekend features 13 classes – six on Friday and seven on Saturday – for riders and horses of varying skills. This national includes competitions for advanced riders (Division 1), amateurs (Novice Division and Division 2), juniors (riders between the ages of 14 – 18), Children (riders between the ages of 12 – 14), and Young Horses (4 – 5 year-olds & 5 – 6 year-olds). Riders will be competing for their share of 160,000 AED.
For more information on the Emirates Longines Show Jumping League or to learn about upcoming shows, please visit www.emiratesequestrian.comor call the UAEERF Jumping Department on 02 666 1800 between 9am – 4pm.
What: The EmiratesLongines Show Jumping League
The curtain comes down on the Middle East GAA season at Zayed Sports City this weekend, with 107 teams from across the Gulf expected to compete in mens’ and ladies football, hurling and camogie championship competitions.
The season-ending championship, which started in 2010, is a nine-a-side format with Irish, international and local players involved with nearly 1300 players from Oman, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait and the UAE.
The games are played over two halves of seven minutes with each team guaranteed four group matches over the course of the day, and the top team qualifying from each group earning a place in the final.
In the senior football competition, hosts Abu Dhabi na Fianna remain the team to beat after their league victory last month.
The men from the capital, who secured the double last season and won in Bahrain and Al Ain this campaign, have key men in Scott Oates, Cian Connolly, Eoin McEnery and Ken O’Malley.
Jumeirah Gaels from Dubai are also expected to mount a challenge, despite the loss of star man Peter Acheson to a hamstring injury.
The Dubai side finished second in the league after losing by a point to Abu Dhabi in a thrilling decider in Al Ain last month.
Dubai Celts, meanwhile, have shown a revival of form in recent months, tasting victory in Oman. With Aindreas Doyle and Peter Hughes shining, the Celts should be in with a shout of making the final.
More excitement is expected in the intermediate division where a strong Jumeirah Gaels B side will be among the favourites for championship glory after sealing promotion to the senior division for 2019-2020.
The senior ladies competition promises to be one of the highlights of Friday with Abu Dhabi na Fianna and Dubai Celts continuing to set the bar at an immense level.
Abu Dhabi, led by the sublime Nicola Fahy, Rachel Williams and Amy Rooney, to name a few, have won the league for the past seven years and play GAA at a pace and intensity that is ferocious.
In the senior hurling, Sharjah Gaels have looked in imperious form, clinching the league for the first time, and have a real star in centre-forward Niall O’Brien.
For rivals Abu Dhabi, Michael Gleeson and centre-back Wayne McNamara have been solid throughout the year, and will be integral to Na Fianna’s prospects this weekend.
In the camogie, league winners Abu Dhabi na Fianna will battle it out against a strong Sharjah side.
Emma Carroll and Niamh Ni Chaoimh are key cogs in the Abu Dhabi machine, while Aine Mannion is a real livewire for Sharjah.
The hurling and camogie action gets underway on Thursday from 19:00, while football takes place on Friday from 08:00.