Polo Players Edition

DEC 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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POLO P L A Y E R S E D I T I O N 43 I N T E R N A T I O N A L S P O T L I G H T Berazadi played really well. We were aware of the competitiveness of our opponent. The players won together in Deauville whereas on our side we never played together before. But, we knew each other very well and we get along perfectly outside of the field. I was convinced that this team [would] work!" Strom and his teammates took In The Wings to the throat, starting the first part of the game perfectly, which they dominated entirely. After the third chukker, Cernadas accidentally hit Pancho Bensadon in the hand with his mallet. Cernadas had to sit out for two minutes, an action that allowed In The Wings to score a goal and equalize the points. The end of the game was a harsh battle where Sainte-Mesme took back the advantage. Pancho and his son Rufino Bensadon fought hard and multiplied the hard shocks against the French players who pushed back one at a time on the defensive. Once more, the Clásico ended with a small difference: 10-9. "This victory is important for us because it has been too long since we won this tournament," said Strom. Since 2009, year of our first win, we only played one other final in 2014, and lost in an additional period. We were starting to get impatient!" Venuziana, an 8-year-old Argentine mare, ridden by Pancho Bensadon and bred by Javier Tanoira, was Best Playing Pony. On the way to the final, Saint-Mesme qualified after winning all three preliminary matches. In The Wings had a more difficult time. It met Saint-Mesme in the first round, going into overtime before falling. Needing the win over another French team, Kazak, it took no chances. Motivated by the prospect of a second victory in the French Open and its first French Triple Crown after two wins at Deauville in August, In The Wings jumped out front early and kept the pressure on to finish 13-5. At the same time, the women battled. Never has a women's tournament been played at such a high level in France: eight teams, the three best players in the world, a final just as hard-fought as the men's and won (9-7) by the only 10-goaler within the women players, the British Nina Clarkin. "[Clarkin plays] perfect polo, always in a forward movement, but mostly, she never commits any faults," explained Lia Salvo, who was eliminated by the British in the semi-final. This match was also a more private duel between the two best British players—Nina Clarkin for DS Automobiles and Hazel Jackson for Engel & Völkers-Why Not. The ladies who face one another regularly in direct confrontations without any concession, DS Automobiles' Nina Clarkin, Lucy Coddington, Angela Robb and Suzanne Rosenkranz took the Women's French Open.

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