On the morning of Saturday 24/4/21, Don Francisco Emilio Dorignac ,passed away after suffering a heart attack at his home at the Tortugas Country Club , an institution that he presided over since 1980, more than 40 years. He was the former president of the Argentine Polo Association, three times (1987-1991, 2005-2009 and 2013-2017.
“Frankie”, as he was known by the whole world of our sport, was born on September 22, 1938; and married to María Marta Dagnuzzo –she passed away in 2014–, he was the father of 4 children: Francisco (h), Agustín, Valeria and Emilio -who left us just a few days ago, victim of a severe illness-; and grandfather of 15 grandchildren, who were the light of his eyes.
Successful businessman – member of the Board of Directors of the National Grain Board and Director of the Buenos Aires Cereal Exchange -, commercial pilot and extraordinary polo player, he achieved 10 handicap goals for the first time in 1963 and then between 1969 and 1976. Three times winner of the Argentine Open with the Santa Ana jacket (1971, 73 and 82) and twelve times a finalist, he also achieved, together with his brother Gastón, Daniel González and Héctor Merlos, the Triple Crown of Argentine Polo in 1973. He was a member of one of the most important classics in the history of our sport: Coronel Suárez-San Ana, in a golden age of polo.
Among other titles, Dorignac was awarded in 4 consecutive years the Intercollegiate for the Santa Paula Cup (1952 to 1955); four times the Hurlingham Open and the Jockey Club Open; seven that of Tortugas; and he was also champion of the Argentine Republic, Stimulus, Desert Campaign, Buenos Aires Province and Chamber of Deputies Cups, among many others. In addition, he participated in the Match of the Century –the first to be played with 80 handicap goals in 1975–.
With the jacket of the Argentine Polo Team, “Frankie” won the Americas Cup twice (1966 and 1969), defeating his counterpart from the United States in Palermo, sharing a team with his brother Gastón, Juan Carlos Harriott (h ) and Horacio A. Heguy.
Among the innumerable awards he received throughout his life, the Delfo Cabrera award for sports career, received in 2005 by the Sports Commission of the Honorable Senate of the Nation; and three times (71, 73 and 82) the Olimpia de Plata en Polo, awarded by the Círculo de Periodistas Deportivos.
Under the presidency of Dorignac in the AAP, the Argentine Championship with Handicap (CAIH) was created, which began to be played in 1988, giving great preponderance to polo in the different provinces of our country. In that same year, he achieved what seemed impossible since after six years of absence since 1982, “Frankie” unblocked the sporting conflict with England, which had nothing to do with the diplomat and led a delegation together with Carlos Menditeguy, Agustín Bourdieu and Gonzalo Pieres to play the Confraternity Cup, which was left in the hands of the national team.
The following year, the English visited our country returning that visit and in this way the polo was opened again for the Argentines in England.
Finally, among other achievements, in its third term the AAP acquired a piece of land adjacent to the Alfredo Lalor de Pilar Headquarters and began the construction of four new fields for a total of twelve, which today are the greatest pride of the Argentine Polo Association.
The president of the AAP, Eduardo Novillo Astrada (h), along with his entire Board of Directors, Subcommittees and Staff, accompanies the entire Dorignac family, his friends, relatives and the Tortugas Country Club in this difficult moment, asking for a prayer in his memory.