When you score 3 goals in a single chukka and hoist your team back into the game from a large deficit, it feels great, especially when you’re playing a crucial match in the Cartier Queen’s Cup. When the horse that took you there is a member of the family, so to speak, it feels even better.
Ollie Cudmore was aboard “Rosita,” a homebred, when he shocked the whites off RH Polo in the semifinal of the 2017 Queen’s Cup. At halftime things were looking pretty grim for El Remanso, who were trailing by 4 goals. By the end of the fourth chukka, however, Cudmore’s team was just a single goal behind RH Polo.
The game changer was Rosita, who Cudmore purchased from his father as a 5-year-old. She carried him on a magic carpet ride (3 goals in less than 3 minutes) in the fourth, considered by many the best-played chukka of the entire tournament. Cudmore and Charlie Hanbury swiftly added 2 goals together, bringing El Remanso’s chukka total to 5.
Probably no one was more surprised than Adolfo Cambiaso, who as always was mounted on one of his Argentine rocket ships. Rosita blazed past Cambiaso’s pony en route to goal, and Cudmore slammed in a near side shot. He attributed his next two goals to Rosita “being so easy and comfortable and giving me huge confidence on the ball. When I play her I definitely have that extra confidence to try plays that I possibly wouldn’t on a different horse.”
It’s no surprise that Cudmore plays Rosita in every game, normally in two chukkas. “She’s fast and has everything you need in a polo pony,” he said, pointing to her stopping and turning abilities as her best assets on the field. “She’s always first around when the play changes.”
This week Rosita proved herself yet again, as did Cudmore, who earned a spot in the final of both the Bentley Motors Royal Windsor Cup (15 goal) at Guards Polo Club, playing with Twelve Oaks, and the Warwickshire Cup (17-22 goal) at Cirencester Park Polo Club with El Remanso. With both finals this Sunday at 3 p.m., Cudmore must be wishing he had cloned Rosita—and himself. They will compete in the Royal Windsor.
After that Rosita’s next stop will be the 2017 Jaeger-LeCoultre Gold Cup for the British Open Polo Championship, which begins Tuesday, June 27, at Cowdray Park Polo Club.
BREEDING SNAPSHOT: ROSITA
Breed: Homebred (Australian dam)
Sire: “Chess,” owned by the Tomlinson family
Height: 15.2 hands
Color: Liver chestnut
Bred & trained by: Rob Cudmore
Personality: “Sweet and easy”
Quirks: Fussy eater
Photography: Snoopy Productions