By Bridget McArdle McKinney
THE FINAL TEAMS CONTENDING FOR THE WORLD’S HIGHEST RANKING AND MOST PRESTIGIOUS POLO TOURNAMENT, THE ARGENTINE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP AT PALERMO, ARE DECIDED AND IT’S LA DOLFINA AGAINST ALEGRIA!
Set your calendars and worldclocks now. The Final of the Argentine Open Championships is to be played on 7 December with live streaming provided by Polo.TVhttp://espndeportes.espn.go.com/otros-deportes/polo/ at 1730 GMT.
Whether you are a polo fanatic, dilettante, or novice the importance of this match cannot be overstated. It comprises the third leg of the Argentine Triple Crown, it is the grand prize of World Polo Tour’s Grand Slam play, and it is the King of the Sport in the Sport of Kings played by the kings of the sport. Okay, I’ll lay off, but this year’s Palermo is rather historic and may herald a changing of the guard. It will certainly seal the title of Number One Polo Player in the World. Okay, now I’ll lay off.
In a surprise Zone A Saturday upset Alegría (Polito Pieres, Lucas Monteverde, Hilario Ulloa and Frederick Mannix) beat the reigning six-time champions Ellerstina/Piaget Alegria ((Facundo Pieres, Gonzalito Pieres, Mariano Aguerre and Nicolás Pieres) in a 19 to 15 win. While Ellerstina exhibited some breath-taking and cliff-hanging performances throughout the qualifiers, it was Alegria’s plodding, solid, workhorse effort that got them to the Finals.
In Zone B play yesterday La Dolfina (Adolfo Cambiaso, Pelon Stirling, Pablo MacDonough and Juan Martín Nero) took their match against La Natividad (Sapo Caset, Nachi Heguy, Rodrigo Andrade and Lolo Castagnola) 20 to 13. What is it about La Dolfina? The team seems new again, refreshed, young, eager and able, having taken both the Tortugas Open and Hurlingham Open, the first two legs of the Argentine Triple Crown. But, watch out, Juan Martin Nero took an injury to his right hand in this last match and might not be in the La Dolfina line-up next Saturday and we had unconfirmed reports of Pablo MacDonough of La Dolfina also suffering an injury. I guess we’ll all have to be there in person or streaming on Saturday to see…