Darlene Ricker | 01/25/18

So where is Polito Pieres these days? For the first time in years, the winner of the 2012 British Open Gold Cup is not in Wellington for the 2018 Florida high-goal season. His Orchard Hill team disbanded after last year’s U.S. Open, when patron Steve van Andel retired from high-goal play. To see Polito (whose proper name is Pablo) in action, you’ll have to travel almost 8,000 miles from Florida or catch the live stream from Dubai. The 10-goaler is playing for the UAE team in the 18-goal Dubai Polo Gold Cup series of tournaments, which opens tomorrow with the McLaren Cup.

Another “10-goal Pablo” (Mac Donough) is playing in Dubai, too, fresh off winning the 2018 Argentine Open with La Dolfina. A three-time Argentine Triple Crown winner, Mac Donough is playing for Zedan Polo Team in Dubai. When building a team, he is normally Adolfo Cambiaso’s top pick. Cambiaso invited him to join Valiente for the 26-goal series at International Polo Club Palm Beach, but Mac Donough had already committed to Dubai.

In addition to los dos Pablos, top players in the McLaren Cup include 8-goalers Ezequiel Martinez Ferrario and Francisco Elizalde. Six teams have entered.

The Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series, an 18-goal tournament, enters its ninth year under the patronage of HH Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai. Earlier this week a live draw for the McLaren Cup 2018 took place at The St. Regis Dubai, Al Habtoor Polo Resort & Club, which is the new home ground of the Series.

Five high-goal tournaments fall under the umbrella of the Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series: The McLaren Cup, which runs from January 26 to February 9; The Polo Masters Cup (February 10-15); the Julius Baer Gold Cup (February 16-March 9); the Dubai Challenge Cup (March 14-23), and The Dubai Cup (April-13).

The Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series is the fourth-largest tournament of its kind after Argentina, the United States and the United Kingdom. Founded by Mohammed Al Habtoor in 2009, the tournament is the premier regional polo competition of the year, attracting VIPs, society figures, and senior corporate executives from across the region. It has grown in tandem with the city of Dubai, and since 2012 it is the only tournament in the United Arab Emirates to be recognized and certified by the World Polo Tour (WPT). It is played under the banner of the Hurlingham Polo Association (HPA), with the tournaments played under strict international supervision according to the HPA rules and provision of its umpires.

The Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series is being live streamed: dubaipologoldcup.com/live-stream

More information: dubaipologoldcup.com



Habtoor Polo Team 18

Mohammed Al Habtoor 0

Jack Hyde 4 

Bautista Ortiz de Urbina 6

Francisco Elizalde 8


Mahra Polo Team 18

Rashid Al Habtoor 0

Benjamin Urquiza 5

Isidro Strada 6

Jeronimo del Carril 6


Zedan Polo Team 18

Amr Zedan 0

Tomas Panelo 3

Martin Gandara 5

Pablo Mac Donough 10 


UAE Polo Team 18

HH Sheikh Maitha Bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum 0

Pablo Avalos 2

Matias Benoit 6

Polito Pieres 10


Bin Drai Polo Team 18

Rashid Bin Drai 1 

Andres Laplacette 4 

Matias Torres Zavaleta 7

Raul Laplacette 6


Wolves Polo Team 18

Habtoor al Habtoor 1 

Matias Diego Gonzalez Miguel 2 

Ezequiel Martinez Ferrario 8 

Manuel Crespo 7