The very first edition of the Ladies Argentine Open Championship is held at the Alfredo Lalor de Pilar headquarters of the Argentine Polo Association from today, Tuesday 21st November until 2nd December. The Women’s Final will take place on 2nd December before the grand final of the men at the Argentine Polo Field in Palermo. 6 women’s teams with up to 30 goals teamhandicap and players from Argentina, Germany, USA, France and England take part. The Board of Directors of the Argentine Polo Association – since May 31st led by Eduardo Novillo Astrada – had launched the new Argentine Open Championship of Women’s Polo as one of the first official acts. Now the first edition of this new tournament will set an exciting milestone in the history of Ladies Polo.
Interview with Eva Brühl, professional polo player from Germany, Team La Dolfina Cría Fax:
The decision to initiate the 1st Campeonato Argentino Abierto de Polo Femenino was made at the end of May 2017. Was that surprising for you?
For me, the decision to launch a Ladies Argentine Open in 2017 was actually very surprising. But since women’s polo has moved into the focus in recent years and is promoted accordingly, this is understandable.
How are the Ladies Argentine Open structured and what are the difficulties in the organisation?
Today, the qualifiers start in the Alfredo Lalor de Pilar headquarters. The final will take place at the Cathedral of Polo in Palermo before the men’s final. The Abierto brings together the best women polo players oft he world in an unlimited form. There is no limit to the handicap – the six women’s teams play team handicaps between 23 and 30 goals. Usually professional players are paid by patrons who play with them in a team. These patrons, however, have no place in the teams at the Argentine Open. So the organisers look for sponsors who have good horses and at least pay the expenses. This is anything but easy.
Who is in your team and how are you preparing?
I play with my old friend Marianella Castagnola, as well as with Emma Tomlinson and Camilla Rossi. So far, I only know Marianella personally. We had only one preparation training together, as Emma, Marianella and I arrived in Argentina only a few days ago. In the preparation we played against an 11-goal men’s team and won with one goal. One notices that with “us old” the change of positions worked super well. Each of us can attack AND play well as back. Apart from that, in the last few days we tried out a lot of horses from friends because the competition is extremely strong. Today is the first qualifier.
The best players in the world compete from 21st November. What are your chances and who are the favorites?
Favorite and strongest team is clearly Ellerstina with Clara Cassino 6, Hazel Jackson 8, Lía Salvo 9 and Sarah Wiseman 7 – Team Handicap 30. These are four great professionals who play a lot of international tournaments and are certainly very strong riders.
What does it mean for you to play in Palermo on the most famous polo field in the world?
Only the final is played in Palermo. The way there is still very far in the next 14 days. For me, this particular tournament is also a great challenge to simply enjoy the tournament consciously – we want to start all 4 with this setting.
Ellerstina: Clara Cassino 6, Hazel Jackson 8, Lía Salvo 9, Sarah Wiseman 7. Total: 30.
La Dolfina Brava: Mía Cambiaso 5, Milagros Fernández Araujo 6, Nina Clarkin 10, Candelaria Fernández 6. Total: 27.
Santa María de Lobos: Dawn Laurel Jones 6, Erica Gandomcar 6, Tiffany Busch 7, Clarissa Echezarreta 6. Total: 25.
La Dolfina Brava II: Mía Novillo Astrada 4, Tamara Fox 7, Mumy Bellande 6, Paola Martínez 8. Total: 25.
La Dolfina Cría Fax: Camila Rossi 5, Marianela Castagnola 8, Emma Tomlinson 5, Eva Brühl 6. Total: 24.
La Varzea Goose Creek: Julia Smith 5, Maureen Brennan 6, Annabel McNaught-Davis 6, Caroline Anier 6. Total: 23.
Tuesday, November 21st, in Pilar:
Ellerstina vs. La Dolfina Brava II
La Dolfina Brava vs. La Dolfina Cría Fax
Santa María de Lobos vs. La Varzea Goose Creek
Friday, November 24th, in Pilar:
Ellerstina vs. La Dolfina Cría Fax
La Dolfina Brava vs. La Varzea Goose Creek
Santa María de Lobos vs. La Dolfina Brava II
Sunday, November 26th, in Pilar:
Ellerstina vs. La Varzea Goose Creek
La Dolfina Brava vs. La Dolfina Brava II
Santa María de Lobos vs. La Dolfina Cría Fax
Tuesday, November 28th, in Pilar:
1st Seeded vs. 4th Seeded (Match A)
2nd Seeded vs. 3rd Seeded (Match B)
Saturday, December 2nd, Palermo’s Field 2: