The final for the Asia-Pacific qualifiers for the Polo World Championship is fast approaching; it will be between New Zealand and Malaysia. This match will take place on neutral ground at the Thai Polo & Equestrian Centre on the 2nd February 2017. This match will determine who goes through to the Championship rounds in Sydney in October.
It is not the first time that Malaysia and New Zealand have competed in the final of the qualifiers. Peter Abisheganaden, tournament director, recalls “Malaysia beat New Zealand in the 2011 Zone D Playoffs, so the game on 2nd February is going to be very competitive.”
The New Zealand team consists of:
• Henry Wood 2 Goals – A young up and coming player from the notable Wood family. Father Roddy well known in polo circles. His youthful enthusiasm and ability should a major bonus to the NZ Team.
• Henry Jones 3 Goals – From another well-known polo “family” Henry has been in Argentina honing his polo skills and should be a player to reckon-with.
• Guy Higginson 5 goals – A powerful player who should prove a reliable anchor for the team. – Sport runs in the family as Guy is the son of Graeme Higginson the former New Zealand All Black rugby player.
• Cody Forsyth 4 goals – Most polo players worldwide know Cody Forsyth. Notably, one of the best players to ever come out of New Zealand. Cody has the skills and knowledge to be the lynchpin of the team.
• Manager – Richard Hunt: An experienced managerial campaigner. His presence will be felt in Thailand! He will be the guiding hand for the team.
The Malaysian team will be selected from this squad:
1. Shaik Reismann, 3 goals
2. Saladin Mazlan 3
3. HH Prince Ahmad Shazril 3
4. Amran Selamat 2
5. Muhammad Edham Shaharuddin 3
6. HH Prince Amir Nasser 1
7. HRH Prince Hassanal Shah 1
8. Toh Muda Rizal Ramli 1
9. Dato’ Mohamad Zekri Ibrahim 1
Team Coach: Federico Bachmann
Team Manager: Dato’ Mohamad Zekri Ibrahim
Abisheganaden says “As the FIP appointed Tournament Director, I’ve made two trips to Thailand since the General Assembly and I am happy to report that all three fields at Thai Polo are in excellent condition and we will have the final between New Zealand and Malaysia on field No 1.
The horses from Malaysia arrived in early December and combined with the horses generously loaned by Thai Polo; we have a very good batch of horses. Horse Master Gines Bargallo has been at Thai Polo since 5th December, and he has been playing all the horses to assess them, and he has been working closely with the Malaysian and Thailand grooms and supervisors.”
Sydney Polo Club and their strategic partner, the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency Destination NSW, look forward to inviting the winning team to Sydney, Australia in October 2017 to compete in the top eight for a chance to win the title. Chile currently holds the title of the World Champion.