Awarding the most prestigious leg of the 2024 Triple Crown, the 130th Argentine Open Polo Championship at Palermo came to a thrilling conclusion in an unforgettable third consecutive rematch between La Natividad (Camilo Castagnola, Facundo Pieres, Bartolome Castagnola Jr., Pablo Mac Donough) and La Dolfina Saudi (Adolfo Cambiaso, David “Pelon” Stirling, Poroto Cambiaso, Juan Martin Nero).
Each earning a championship in this year’s Triple Crown with La Dolfina Saudi claiming the 130th Hurlingham Open, followed by La Natividad winning the 83rd Tortugas Open, the two tournament heavyweights battled for the coveted Argentine Open Polo Championship, with La Dolfina entering Sunday’s final as reigning champions.
Outshooting La Dolfina Saudi from the field, a balanced effort from Camilo Castagnola, Bartolome Castagnola Jr. and Pieres set the tone for the team in green. Responding from the penalty line, Poroto Cambiaso sank two conversions as Adolfo Cambiaso added another from the field, as the father-son duo would ultimately account for all La Dolfina Saudi’s first half offense efforts. Striking with confidence and finding space in in the field, La Natividad’s ability to get multiple players on the scoreboard that included three assists from Camilo Castagnola gave La Natividad a narrow 7-6 advantage at the break.
Continuing to apply offensive pressure to open the second half, contributions from La Natividad’s Camilo Castagnola and Mac Donough were answered by a goal off the mallet of La Dolfina Saudi’s Nero. Entering the seventh trailing by three, La Dolfina Saudi broke through for a three-goal unanswered run that included two goals from Poroto Cambiaso to tie the match. Entering the final chukka of play deadlocked 10-all, La Natividad’s Mac Donough broke the stalemate in open play. Adding an additional two goals from Camilo Castagnola and Piers to combine with an impressive defensive shutdown effort, the powerful response from La Natividad kept a pressing La Dolfina Saudi off the board in the final moments of action to re-claim the Argentine Open Polo Championship 13-10.
For his contributions of both sides of the ball including three goals in the final, Pablo Mac Donough earned Most Valuable Player and his twelfth Open title, while Facundo Pieres earned his celebrated his eleventh trophy. Camilo Castagnola emerged as the top scorer of the tournament, finishing his spectacular season with 38 goals in the Open and an outstanding 94 overall goals in the Triple Crown.
Sweeping the Best Playing Pony categories, Adolfo Cambiaso collected both the Best Playing Pony award for Dolfina Roxy and Best Playing Argentine Pony for Dolfina B06 Cuartetera Clone 06.
Photo Credit: ©Matías Callejo/Prensa AAP