The audience at Palermo witnessed a head-to-head race, which went right down to the wire: In the final of the Argentine Open, taking place at the “Cathedral of Polo” in Buenos Aires on Saturday, 12th December, the long-standing rivals Ellerstina and La Dolfina encountered each other.
As in the years before, La Dolfina included the four 10-goalers Adolfo Cambiaso, David Stirling, Pablo Mac Donough and Juan Martín Nero. Their opponent Ellerstina Piaget, consisting of the three Pieres brothers Gonzalo Jr. (+10), Facundo (+10) and Nicolás (+9), who played alongside their cousin, new 10-goaler Polito, tried to foil La Dolfina’s victory until the end of the match.
The first chukka ended on a 2-2 draw, but in the second chukka La Dolfina took the lead. A grandios playing Adolfo Cambiaso, determined to win the match, scored one goal after another. The third chukka ended by 7-3 for La Dolfina and at half-time the foursome was in the lead by 8-4. But Ellerstina did not give up and in the second half of the match they gave their all. At the end of the seventh chukka Ellerstina had narrowed the gap to 12-10. The eighth and final chukka left the audience breathless: Ellerstina scored again and thus shrinking La Dolfina’s advantage to 12-11. La Dolfina responded by scoring again, 13-11, but Ellerstina was close on La Dolfina’s heels and scored another goal. This meant 13-12 for La Dolfina and only 1,5 minutes left to play. Ellerstina tried another attack, but the chukka bell ended the historic match. Finally, La Dolfina defeated Ellerstina by 13-12 and thus did not only win the Argentine Open, but also the Argentine Triple Crown!
In 2013 and 2014 La Dolfina also won the so-called Triple Crown. The Argentine Triple Crown is a series of the most important tournaments worldwide and consists of the Tortugas Open, Hurlingham Open and Argentine Open. This year La Dolfina already managed make it to the top of the winners’ podium of the first two tournaments of the Triple Crown, now they have also won the Argentine Open and thus achieved a historic success: For the third time in a row La Dolfina has won all three tournaments of the Argentine Triple Crown. This has never happened before in the history of the sport of polo!
Not even the legendary Coronel Suárez Polo Team has ever accomplished this feat, to win the magical Triple Crown for three consecutive years. The team won the Crown in 1968, 1972, 1974, 1975 and 1977. Two times – in 1994 and in 2010 – team Ellerstina gained the Triple Crown. Single winners are Santa Ana in 1973 and La Aguada in 2003.
About the Argentine Open:
The Argentine Polo Open is the most important polo tournament at club level. Since 1893 it has been held at the “Campo Argentino de Polo of Palermo” in Buenos Aires. The world famous stadium is also called “Cathedral of Polo”. Between 1893 and 1923 the Argentine Open was known as “River Plate Polo Championship”. As well as the other two main polo events, the Tortugas Open and the Hurlingham Open, the handicap of the teams must be between 28 and 40 goals. The tournament is organized by the Asociación Argentina de Polo (AAP) and attracts thousands of spectators eahch year to the stadium in Palermo, Buenos Aires.