Mungo vs. Los Dragones… this was the unprecedented game of the 2021 Coupe d’Or Marta and Lucien Barrière final. Two well-balanced teams, no big handicaps, but players of the same level with two very efficient captains on the field, delivered a well-balanced game to the great delight of the public who had filled the venerable stands of the Deauville International Polo Club.

A beautiful polo battle from which Los Dragones emerged victorious at the end of a game that was settled in the final period under the watchful eye of an Olympic champion of show jumping, Frenchman Pierre Durand, whose legendary Jappeloup was no bigger than a polo pony!

The first four periods were particularly tense, punctuated by faults and falls, and none of the two finalists ever had a clear lead, one goal always followed by another: „This is often the case in finals. A final is a war, especially as we were up against a very good team, Mungo, who hadn’t lost a single one of their qualifying games except one“, recalls the young captain of Los Dragones, 19-year-old Frenchman Sam Sztarkman, who proved to be a particularly brilliant attack player throughout this Coupe d’Or Marta and Lucien Barrière. This was his third participation: „We lost in the final in 2018 but this time we finally won it, it‘s just incredible. We are a team of four friends, we know each other perfectly and there is a good vibe between us. That‘s why we won.”

The result was decided in the fifth period with, at last, some great field goals, including two spectacular backs from Martin Joaquin (MVP of the final) and Nicolas Maderna (top scorer of the final with 4 goals): „We went out on the field more focused than ever, with a lot of drive and that worked in our favor.“ Sam Sztarkman, the best amateur player of this final, shed tears of joy as the bell rang the end of the game and proved that he certainly is one of the great hopes of French polo. It is with a surge of confidence that he will tackle another coveted title next weekend: the Open de France Engel & Völkers in Chantilly (3 to 19 September). „We will start the tournament gently, we first want to enjoy our victory in this Coupe d’Or, but of course we will do all we can to also show up strongly in the Open.“

Once again, this Coupe d’Or Marta and Lucien Barrière has lived up to its promise with six fine teams who have fought some great battles over the last three weeks. Six teams that will meet four new ones in Chantilly with a possible double for Los Dragones. It is in France that the international season of European high goal polo will be coming to an end. Deauville was the penultimate act of this apotheosis and a great joy for the fans of this sport.

 

LES ÉQUIPES ET PROGRESSION

LOS DRAGONES 16 : Sam SZTARKMAN  1, Martin JOAQUIN  5 (2 goals),  Jota CHAVANNE 5 (3 goals), Nicolas CORTI MADERNA 5 (4 goals dont 3 pénalités) 

MUNGO 16 : Patrick EISENCHTETER 1, Simon ZAVALETA 4 (3 goals de pénalité), Pierre-Henri N’GOUMOU 6,  Juan José STORNI 5 (3 goals) rogression Los Dragones : 0-1 / 3-3 / 4-5/ 6-6 / 9-6 
Meilleur cheval de la finale de la Coupe d’or : Rayo Solterona, jouée par Simon Zavaleta
Meilleur cheval argentin de la finale : Embrujo Tarantella, jouée par Simon Zavaleta
Meilleur  joueur de la finale : Martin Joaquin 
Meilleur  joueur amateur du tournoi et de la finale :  Sam Stzarkman

Photos: © R&B Presse – Pascal Renauldon