A QUARTER FINAL IN TRIBUTE TO QUEEN ELIZABETH II.
Friday 9 September 2022
It is a particularly competitive Engels & Völkers French Open that is taking place at the moment at the Polo Club du Domaine de Chantilly. An extraordinary selection of players offering breathtaking games, often ending with the smallest gap or in extra time as it was the case on Wednesday between Sainte Mesme (FRA) and Amanara Polo Club (NED). This spectacular qualifying phase has just ended and the eight quarte-finalists are now known. The second quarter-final will be played on Sunday in tribute to Queen Elizabeth II, an avid polo supporter.
Of course, polo of this quality has already been seen in Chantilly in recent years; one remembers the historic games between the Castagnola brothers two years ago. The difference this year though is the number of teams involved: 16 in total, with 11 of the 40 best players of the world. So much so that the contenders for the title are far more numerous. It is hard to predict which of the eight quarter-finalist will go all the way. La Magdeleine, for example, the title holder, lost today (6-5) in a difficult game against Brittany Polo Club, recent winner of the Coupe d’Or in Deauville. However, both teams were already through to the quarter-finals, having topped their leagues. Mungo’s team, based in Deauville, thought they could get through to the end against the Argentinian club La Fija Sandbox on Thursday, notably by coming back from 4-8 in the 3rd chukker to 7-8 in the 4th chukker, but in the end Simon Prado scored the decisive goal sending La Fija into the quarters. Sadly, with Mungo, some other good French teams are out: Sainte Mesme, Tédélou, whose Zavaleta squad deserved to go further, and Eternal J, defeated on Thursday by England-based team La Berta. With two young French talents in its midst, Eternal J was a strong contender: “Louis (Jarrige) and Julien (Reynes)…are very, very good players”, confirmed Argentinean 9-goaler Guillermo Terrera, who was the pillar of this team he had to abandon on Wednesday after a shoulder injury.
Kazak, finalist last year and undefeated this year, gets the green light for the quarters, as do Talandracas, finalist of the Coupe d’Or de Deauville, Los Dragones and Amanara with its 14-year-old phenomenon, Lorenzo Chavanne, a player not to be missed!
After this first outstanding stage, the quarter finals will start on Saturday with knockout games (direct elimination… vae victis) which are expected to be even more intense with teams and horses among the best in Europe. The second quarter-final will be played in tribute to Queen Elizabeth II: Talandracas, the protagonist of this quarter, was the only French team to have won the Queen’s Cup in Windsor, on the Queen’s estate, in 2011.
Then, the semi-finals will be played on Thursday and/or Friday and in the meantime, the Women’s French Open will kick off (Tuesday) with six very good teams with players coming from seven nations including the British women’s handicap 10 Hazel Jackson. Playing for the Trophée Condé, the subsidiary games of Open, will also offer some beautiful sport as the teams playing it, although not qualified, are still very strong ones. In short, great polo every day until the finals on 18 September, not to be missed under any circumstances.
Quarter finals of the French Open Engel & Völkers:
• La Magdeleine (FRA) vs. Amanara (NED), Saturday September 11 at 3 pm.
• Kazak (FRA) vs Talandracas (FRA), Sunday September 11 at 5 pm. (Tribute cup for Queen Elizabeth II of England)
• Brittany Polo Club (FRA) vs. La Berta (GBR), Monday September 12 at 3.30 pm
• Los Dragones (FRA) vs. La Fija Sandbox (ARG), Monday September 12 at 11.30 am
The quarter-final teams:
LA MAGDELEINE 16
Alexandre Garese (Cap 0), Santiago Tahier (1), Tito Ruiz Guinazu (7), Facundo F.Llorente (8)
Nicky Sen (Cap 0), Lorenzo Chavanne (3), Santiago Chavanne (7), Santiago Laborde 6
LOS DRAGONES 16
Sam Sztarkman (2), Jota Chavanne (Cap, 5), Bautista Bayugar (8), Alexandre Sztarkman (1)
TALANDRACAS 16 :
Edouard Carmignac (Cap, 0), Rufino Bensadon (7), Juan-Martin Zubia (8), Hugues Carmignac (1)
LA FIJA SANDBOX 16
Arthur Madrid (Cap, 0), Juan-Manuel Garcia Grossi (4), Simòn Prado (5),
Juan Jaurechte (7)
BRITTANY POLO CLUB 16
Jean-François Decaux (Cap, 1), Benjamin Urquiza (6), Diego Cavanagh (8), Roberto Iturrioz (1)
Sébastien Aguettant (Cap, 0), Segundo Amadori 4, Patrick Paillol 5, Jero Del Carril 7
LA BERTA 16
Juan-Cruz Araya (3), Marcos Araya (6), Min Podesta (7), Bruno Bensoussan (Cap, 0)