Polo Players Edition

JAN 2019

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 41 "Since Milo Fernández Araujo took over as coach he convinced us that we had to play all at 100 percent because it was important to mark positions from the first match. And we understood it. That's why we started to win and we did not stop anymore," acknowledged the leader of the (almost) unbeatable quartet. The 2018 version of the Country Club Open located on the Pan-American Highway, some 25 miles north of Buenos Aires, had eight title contenders, between 31-40 goals, with a direct elimination system that also premiered a subsidiary cup for the teams that had lost in the initial round. The contest opened with two days of quarterfinals. On Wednesday, Sept. 26, La Dolfina Polo Ranch clearly defeated La Aguada, 14-9, despite a remarkable performance by Diego Cavanagh, author of seven goals. Next, La Dolfina Sancor Seguros swept Alegría-La Irenita, by a convincing 21-5, with Pablo Mac Donough as best scorer, hitting eight conquests. A day later, other strong results had Las Monjitas beat Albertina Abu Dhabi–with Nic Roldan debuting in the Triple Crown—by a wide 18-4, with notable work by Facundo Sola and Guillermo Caset, authors of 15 goals between them. Not to be outdone, Ellerstina premiered 40 goals and presented a new game plan, with Nicolás Pieres as No. 3 and his brother Facundo taking his place as back. Cría Yatay suffered, surpassed by a wide 18-7. The first semifinal, held on Thursday, Oct. 4, was the clash between the two representatives of La Dolfina. And the 40- goal team had no mercy on the "younger brother" beating it 18-9. "At least we won the first chukker," was the jocular response of Diego Cavanagh, No. 1 of La Dolfina Polo Ranch. A while later, Ellerstina took two periods to unlock the match against Las Monjitas in a remarkably fast game until it was unreachable for the team in orange. The final score (15-10) seemed little for such a demonstration by Ellerstina. Two days later, the semifinals of the subsidiary were played. Albertina Abu Dhabi beat Cría Yatay, 15-11, after receiving a goal on handicap, while La Aguada needed overtime to beat Alegría- La Irenita, 14-13, with a goal from Alfredo Bigatti. The definition was postponed and does not yet have a game date. At the same time, in the property that the Argentine Polo Association owns in Pilar, the Remonta and Veterinary Tournament was defined, offering two places for the Palermo and Hurlingham Opens. La Cañada Angiocor Daily Racing Form gave the surprise, defeating the thus-far unbeaten Alegría Fish Creek with a goal in overtime when Jared Zenni converted a 30-yard penalty. The triumph generated a three-way tie between these two quartets and Pilará EN that was defined in favor of La Cañada by that agonizing victory. In the other zone, 24 hours earlier, La Ensenada beat La Esquina LM, 13-7, decreeing that for the first time in 62 years no Heguys will compete in Palermo since Chapaleufú, the third in contention in that bracket, lost against both teams. On Sunday, Oct. 7, the first 80-goal final was celebrated in Tortugas, a hot match between two giants. Thanks to a sizzling start by David Stirling, La Dolfina took a 3-0 lead in the initial chukker that would condition the process in the next six periods. When Ellerstina managed to match 5-all at the beginning of the fifth chukker, La Dolfina was a machine and scored four unanswered goals to get back in the lead. The Pieres' honor allowed them to be only one down (10-9) with four minutes on the clock. "We had our moments, we went against the wind all the game but failed some penalties in decisive moments. That was the difference: we failed, they did not," acknowledged Gonzalo Pieres, top scorer of Ellerstina with four goals. At that boiling moment, Pelón Stirling appeared, stealing the ball, scoring the decisive goal and securing the MVP award. "The prize is something nice, you can see that they gave it to me for the goal at the end. But the most beautiful thing is to have a team that goes ahead in any circumstance," explained the Uruguayan player. At the time of the horse awards, Bárbara, owned by Valiente Polo and played by Cambiaso, was chosen as the best horse in the tournament, while Open Léxica, owned by Ellerstina SA and played by Gonzalo Pieres, was elected as the best Polo Argentino horse. La Dolfina Sancor Seguros: 40 Adolfo Cambiaso 10 David Stirling 10 Pablo Mac Donough 10 Juan Martín Nero 10 Ellerstina: 40 Pablo Pieres 10 Gonzalo Pieres 10 Nicolás Pieres 10 Facundo Pieres 10 La Aguada: 32 Alejandro Novillo Astrada 8 Alfredo Bigatti 8 Julio Novillo Astrada 7 Ignacio Novillo Astrada 9 La Albertina Abu Dhabi: 31 Nicolás Roldán 7 Francisco Elizalde 8 Ignacio Toccalino 8 Alfredo Cappella Barabucci 8 Las Monjitas: 36 Facundo Sola 9 Hilario Ulloa 10 Guillermo Caset 10 Julián de Lusarreta 7 La Dolfina Polo Ranch: 32 Diego Cavanagh 8 Guillermo Terrera 8 Alejo Taranco 8 Ignatius Du Plessis 8 Alegría-La Irenita: 32 Juan Martín Zavaleta 8 Clemente Zavaleta 7 Frederick Mannix 9 Matías Mac Donough 8 Cría Yatay: 32 Valerio Zubiaurre 8 Cristian Laprida 8 Joaquín Pittaluga 8 Ignacio Laprida 8

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