Polo Players Edition

SEP 2018

Polo Players' Edition is the official publication of the U.S. Polo Association. Dedicated to the sport of polo, it features player profiles, game strategy, horse care, playing tips, polo club news and tournament results.

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40 POLO P L A Y E R S E D I T I O N P O L O I N T H E P A M P A S BY ERNESTO RODRIGUEZ RELOADED T he first throw-in of 2018 is soon to be realized. The Argentine season, set to begin in a few weeks, shows an increase in participating teams, including two 40-goal quartets (La Dolfina and Ellerstina), which last happened in 2009. The action opens, as usual, with the celebration of the San Jorge Military Equestrian Club Open for the Duque de Edimburgo (Duke of Edinburgh) Trophy, which this year will be held between Wednesday, Aug. 29 and Saturday, Sept. 8. The first stop of the Triple Crown, the Tortugas Country Club Open, will put the Emilio de Anchorena Cup into play from Tuesday, Sept. 25 until Saturday, Oct. 6, having, for the first time, eight teams in competition instead of the usual six. From Sept. 24 until Thursday, Oct. 4, the Remonta y Veterinaria Cup, a qualifier for the Hurlingham and Open tournaments, will be played on the Argentine Polo Association fields located in Pilar to define the two teams that will contest the last two scales. The scheme of 10 teams in the two main tournaments (instead of eight), that was tested for the first time in 2017, left more doubts than certainties, but the commitment of the players with Eduardo Novillo Astrada, AAP's president, was to keep the scheme a couple of years to evaluate and decide the way instead of drawing hasty conclusions. Unlike 2017, when there were 10 teams committed to the last two events in the Triple Crown (six that played directly and four advancing from the qualification tournament) this year will involve 15 quartets (including seven teams in the qualifier) with players coming from the USA, Canada, Uruguay, Brazil, Chile, Spain and South Africa, showing great growth. The oldest Open on the planet, The Hurlingham Club Open, which disputes The Ayrshire Cup, will be held at the Hurlingham Club headquarters between Tuesday, Oct. 9 and Saturday, Nov. 3. The great closing of the season will be the 125th edition of the Argentine Polo Open, the most coveted event on the planet, which will be played in Palermo between Saturday, Nov. 10 and Saturday, Dec. 15. La Dolfina, the defending champion in Palermo, will maintain—at least for one more year—the structure that allowed it to get the unprecedented trilogy of the Triple Crown (2013, 2014 and 2015). The four stars (Adolfo Cambiaso, David "Pelon" Stirling, Pablo Mac Donough and Juan Martín Nero) have kept a 40-goal rating since 2014 and are the rival to beat for all. "We do not have a general objective, we will go tournament by tournament with the desire to win everything," acknowledged the Uruguayan Stirling. Ellerstina will premiere the highest rating this year with four Piereses together: brothers Gonzalo, Facundo and Nicolás, along with their cousin Polito. "The idea will be to be in the three finals again, like last year. Later we will see how many we won," acknowledged Polito. Alegría, last year's third best team in dispute, suffered a schism after the Argentine Open semifinal was lost in the last chukker against La Zeta (Ellerstina). Marcos Heguy, the manager of Las Monjitas, the team of Colombian patron Camilo Bautista, offered the two 10 goalers of the quartet (Hilario Ulloa and Guillermo "Sapo" Caset) along with 8-goaler Facundo Sola to leave Fred Mannix and join the organization. The place of the Canadian back will be occupied by Julián De Lusarreta, a man historically linked to Chapaleufú, the club of the Heguys, so the new team will have 36 goals. "I think we're here to win one of the three tournaments. That's what we aim for," said Sapo Caset. Mannix decided to stay at the highest Argentine Triple Crown shows encouraging outlook SERGIO LLAMERA Ten goaler Sapo Caset is hoping to win one of the Triple Crown tournaments as a member of Las Monjitas.

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