For all the news from international Polo, the blog of Argentina Polo Day we reported the latest news about the sport.
One new coach and a new team in the Triple Crown, among other news
After a very exciting year for polo, the season in Argentina is just around the corner: the 40-goal season and the much expected Triple Crown, the most coveted polo trophy worldwide will kick off on September 25 with the Tortugas Open, and will come to an end with the most important final of the year, the 120th. Argentine Polo Open, in Palermo, on December 6.
One can say that the 2014 season started by end of 2013, when players submitted a letter to the Argentine Polo Association with a request to have 10 teams to play the Argentine Open. After several months of rumors and many talks coming and going, the idea was finally dropped and the Association announced last May that there won’t be any changes at all, and everything will remain the same: the Triple Crown, with the six highest handicapped teams in the Tortugas Open, and eight lineups in the Hurlingham Open and Argentine Open, with those two coming from the quaifiers.
Regarding the teams, all eyes will be set on La Dolfina, current title holders of the Triple Crown and back to 40-goal status, after the raise of Pelon Stirling. A reloaded La Dolfina foursome, who’s coming back for more this year; they already announced that will be playing the Jockey Club Open, with their complete lineup, in the tournament’s 50th. Anniversary. They’ve already made it three, and simply they want to make it four…
One of the most outstanding news of the upcoming season is that Ellerstina hired Ernesto Trotz as their new coach; a very important addition for the Pieres brothers and Mariano Aguerre, who will be guided by the man who played with Gonzalo Pieres Sr. in those memorable days of La Espadaña, back in the 80’s. “Everything came up following talks with Gonzalo Sr. and Facundo, when he was in England, around May”, says Ernesto. “We couldn’t have a meeting yet, but we will meet as soon as the boys come back to Argentina from Sotogrande, and Mariano from the US. It’s a big honour for me to coach Ellerstina, an extraordinary team, whose best value is to know that you can always get better and which are the chances to do so”.
Ernesto’s large experience will be a strong point for Ellerstina, however “it’s not about what I think on a personal side”, he says, and adds: “It’s because I spent several years playing with and against great players from I’ve learned a lot, and I’ve also watched many more great players later as well as the evolution of polo. I absolutely love to watch the way teams play”.
The Ellerstina boys know they have to work hard to improve their weak performance in 2013, and there’s no doubts that they can do it. Plus, this is the last year of Mariano Aguerre in the team, as Polito Pieres has been already confirmed to play with his cousins Gonzalito, Facundo and Nicolás, in 2015. This means that Polito will leave Alegria by the end of the year. By the way, we have to say that Fred Mannix’s foursome will be back to Argentina to demonstrate that their success in 2013, that led them to play no less than the Argentine Open final, was not only a matter of luck…
There will be a touch of nostalgia this season as well, due to the sad loss of the much loved Javo Novillo Astrada, who passed away last May. His four brothers, Eduardo Jr., Miguel, Nacho and Alejandro, will carry on with Javo’s legacy in a season that definetly won’t be that easy for them on the emotional side. Miguel and Nacho will be with La Aguada, along with Facundo Sola and the comeback of Guillermo Caset Jr., while Eduardo and Alejandro will remain with La Aguada Las Monjitas, with Lucas James and Magoo Laprida.
A new team joins the big six: hard work paid off, and after a fabulous performance thoroghout the 2013 season, Magual is very much welcomed to their first complete Triple Crown. A big challenge for the lienup comprised by Marcos di Paola, Jaime García Huidobro, Alejandro Muzzio and Ignacio Toccalino after an impressive 2013, that included a very important win against La Natividad, in the Open.
And last but not least, there’s the qualifiers, a very tough competition that provides two places for the Hurlingham Open and Argentine Open. As tough as it is for both players and horses, it is also a great tournament to watch. Six powerful teams will be in search of the two coveted spots, among them La Natividad, with Lolo Castagnola and a full brand new lineup, and once again, Indios Chapaleufu II, with the comeback of the three Heguy brothers (Eduardo, Pepe and Nachi). Bautista Heguy won’t be playing with his cousins, so his place will be taken by Francisco Bensadon.
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