From an article on Equestrian.Com.My:

For the first time outside of Argentina’s borders, a top-level professional polo game could be seen at Deauville this afternoon – in “The Revenge“ of the Open d’Argentine presented by Rolex. The world’s two best teams, which were both finalists of the last Open d’Argentine in Buenos Aires before 18,000 spectators in December 2008, were competing against each other once again.

This “French revenge” finished by Ellerstina’s victory after a match in which neither of the two teams tried to spare the other.This Deauville event did not assemble the same number of spectators as the final Buenos Aires matches – high level polo still stays a relatively unwellknown sport in Europe – but it was nevertheless able to arouse excitement among fans. More than 2,000 spectators came together around the “terrain Normandy” of the Racetrack of la Touques, and over 100 media followed the match, while fans in 102 countries were able to see the live transmission thanks to Eurosport. “It’s the first time that a polo match is broadcasted in so many countries” comments Philippe de Nicolay, the president of the Polo de Deauville. “I already got some feedback and it seems that the results are formidable. It’s a big step forward for polo… and this happened in Deauville!”.

Whoever had believed the promise of an extraordinary match could not have been deceived as the score was so close that there were only ever a few goals difference between the two teams at all times, even though at first Ellerstina seemed to have taken the course of the game in its hand with Pablo McDonough’s first goal which was quickly followed by his fellow team players Juan-Martin Nero and Facundo Pieres: 3-0 ended to be the biggest gap in the score. Adolfo Cambiaso managed to save the team’s face in the first chukker with a penalty from a distance of 30 yards. From then on until the end, the two teams competed neck and neck with incredible phases of quality, even though Lolo Castagnola’s injury in the second chukker lead to his replacement by Guillermo Terrera (who unlike the rest of the players is a handicap 7).

Thankfully Castagnola’s injury was not too bad (he overstretched his thumb) but thanks to this incident Deauville’s audience was able to discover or re-discover the talent of young Terrera, who played in the La Dolfina team for the first time and seemed to be aware of this twist of destiny as he showed several beautiful solo actions during the match, for which he finally received the distinction of “most valuable player”. “He’s a good friend of the team”, assures Adolfo Cambiaso “and he was a great replacement. In any way thanks to him we were able to stay on Ellerstina’s level and in the end this match stayed in the line of oppositions of our two teams.

The game today was quite a tough battle.” Terrera was also the cause of today’s second big shock when he ripped the left goalpost out of the field during the fourth chukker (and yet managed to stay on his horse) – but this spectacular accident caused more fear than pain.Thanks to the two goals that were achieved in the final chukker of the game, Ellerstina was able to confirm its title of the Argentinean Open and Facundo Pieres didn’t hold back his excitement about a job well done: “You have seen a very tight match. I think it was a pleasure to watch it with just a few errors and therefore almost no interruptions except for Lolo’s accident, which fortunately didn’t end too badly. I think it was an incredible day for polo. It has given us confidence for the Argentinean season that’s to come… I think that we are going to win the title again next December!!!”. All this said with the uttermost seriousness.

A celebration for polo and a beautiful day for Patrick Guerrand-Hermès, president of the International Polo Federation: “An achieved dream. Although the conditions were not exactly great with the rainy weather at the beginning of the game - and yet we saw an excellent match. Afterwards the players came to ask how the game had been perceived by the audience which proves that each of them had the desire to show how great this sport is. This match was magnificent and unforgettable.”

Ellerstina Etiqueta Negra: Facundo Pieres 10 (3 goals, 2 of which were penalties), Gonzalito Pieres 10 (3 goals), Pablo Mac Donough 10 (4 goals) et Juan Martín Nero 10 (1 goal)

La Dolfina Peugeot: Adolfo Cambiaso 10 (2 goals one of which was a penalty), Lucas Monteverde 10 (3 goals one of which penalty), Mariano Aguerre 10 (3 goals) et Bartolomé Castagnola 10 replaced by A. Terrera in 2nd chukker (2 goals)

Ellerstina – La Dolfina : 3-1 ; 4-3 ; 5-5 ; 8-6 ; 9-9 ; 11-9-END-

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Just wait until the Open!!!




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