TALANDRACAS 20 YEARS LATER!
Sunday 18 September 2022
Twenty years after their first and only victory until today, Talandracas wins the 22nd edition of the Engel & Völkers French Open in a magnificent way. A final as great as this magical tournament that offered throughout eighteen days one fabulous game after the other, especially since the quarter finals where no misstep was allowed. This Open ends with the triumph of a mythical team, Talandracas, of a fabulous mare, Peregrino La Banda “Bandita” and of a rising star, Juan-Martin Zubia. It is almost sad to see this extraordinary tournament come to an end
Second victory in the French Open for Édouard Carmignac and his Talandracas team and its magical players that he recruited at the highest level in Argentina.
Juan Martin Zubia dazzled as he was named best man of the match in front of a crowd that was larger than ever.
Before getting into the details of this final, it is important to applaud the work of the club, and in particular its director and polo manager, Philippe Perrier. It is thanks to them that the Open de France Engel & Völkers has now found its place as one of the three biggest tournaments in Europe. Proof of this is the number of teams engaged (16) and the amount of the top 40 players (11) within these formations. All of which were unanimous in their appreciation of the welcome, the quality of the organisation and the grounds.
In front of a record 2,000 spectators, the final taking place on “Honneur 1” offered a great game that Talandracas immediately took control of without really worrying about Los Dragones, who seemed to be a bit stunned by what was at stake. The Chantilly team never had the opportunity to put pressure on the Deauville team, which immediately broke away and had a seven-goal lead at the end of the last chukker. The key to this domination was the incredible understanding between the two young Argentinian players from Talandracas, Rufino Bensadon (handicap 4) and Juan Martin Zubia (handicap 6). With notably an incredible neck shot from more than 80 yards on the right side of the goal, he was unmistakably named most valuable player: “Contrary to appearances, it wasn’t an easy victory,” Zubia stressed. They were a little slow at the beginning, but afterwards it was a hard fight. They were a complicated team that had won all their games in the qualifying phase, which was not the case for us, and we were prepared for a tough final. Our strength was that our team has grown stronger since Deauville as did my understanding with Rufino with each game. In the end, we understood each other perfectly. But Huguito (Hugues Carmignac) and Edouard have also raised their game since the beginning of August and helped us a lot in this victory.” The young Argentinean, who is part of the exceptional rising generation of his country, discovered this Open de France Engel & Völkers for the first time: “It is a great tournament, very competitive. Every game was won by one or two goals… even if it wasn’t the case today, I don’t know what happened, but it’s really a very high-level tournament.”
If Zubia was logically crowned MVP, Hugues Carmignac was named best amateur player of this final: “… out of three amateur players, not so bad”, he commented ironically although he was very happy to have won this title with his father, author of a decisive back allowing Bensadon to score a goal: “It is a very emotional moment. This game should have been more complicated than that because we had four very good players on the other side, I don’t know what happened with them, but from the beginning of the game, our team worked very well. When we arrived in Deauville at the beginning of August, we didn’t know each other that well and by playing together, the team built itself up and arrived particularly well prepared for this final.”
Talandracas’ addition to the French Open’s list of winners is a very nice addition to the history of this increasingly prestigious tournament. Talandracas is indeed the French team with the greatest record: six Gold Cups in Deauville, a Queen’s Cup and now a second Open de France.
England’s Hazel Jackson and Rebecca Walters did not miss their moment by leading their team Rouge Absolu Paris to victory in the 12th French Women’s Open against France’s team DS Automobile 3F. However, the doyenne of world polo, Caroline Anier, gave it her all and fought like hell to hold off the English. Her all-French team had the potential to do well against the British but Hazel Jackson was everywhere, winning 80% of the duels and sending Rebecca Walters, named MVP of this final, to the goal.
The last final of the day, the Castel Trophy, concluded this beautiful day with a victory for the Audaz team in a game just as tight and exciting as those offered to us by this memorable Open de France 2022
Victory for the 100% British Rouge Absolu Paris team led by Handicap 10 Hazel Jackson
Captain Louise Owen, getting some great passes form her professionals Hazel Jackson and Rebecca Walters and winning her first French Women’s Open.
Progression and prizes:
MVP: Juan Martin Zubia (Talandracas)
MVP amateur: Hugues Carmignac (Talandracas)
BPP : Peregrino La Banda “Bandita” by Grappa Granado and Open Bandera, Zavaleta stud and ridden by Rufino Bensadon (Talandracas)
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)
Progression Talandracas: 2-0 / 3-0 / 6-1 / 10-3 / 11-5.
COMING SOON… THE POLO NATIONS CUP
With the French Open Engel & Völkers barely over, the team at Chantilly Polo Club is already looking ahead to the 2023 season. A 23rd French Open, of course, which will certainly be of the same importance as this 22nd edition of this internationally well-established tournament. This success does not however prevent innovation and, in the Olympic spirit of Paris 2024, the French Polo Federation (FFP) and the Chantilly Polo Club have proposed to the International Polo Federation (FIP) the creation of a Polo Nations Cup. Of which we will see next June so stay tuned, a press release with the details of this new competition will be sent to you soon!