It is what can be called great vintage! This 17th edition of the Paprec French Open was definitely the most beautiful one. From beginning to end: from the qualifying matches to the final. A final is not always a good one: the players are tense, scared of doing the wrong thing, the game is more often focused on defense. This time was completely different. By winning this 2017 French Open in their first participation, the Argentinian team Cibao La Pampa obtains the Triple French Crown further to its victories in the Gold and Silver Cup in Deauville. Just exceptional!
The Argentinian businessman Juan Pepa was the happiest man on Earth this Sunday afternoon in Chantilly. Although a usually quiet man, he did not hesitate to cry his joy, along with a few rude words (of joy) that is natural among Argentinians. Once he calmed down, he first paid tribute to his mare, La Boxaderia, crowned best horse in the final: « I am so happy for this mare born in Morocco in the home of Patrick Guerrand-Hermès and this prize honours this breeding that produces so many great polo horses. It is the best thing in this story. All my horses come from Patrick’s breeding. » Patrick Guerrand-Hermès is by the way the founder of the Domaine de Chantilly Polo Club and created this La Palmeraie breeding in Morocco.
Naturally the victory that concluded this amazing season, inspired the winner: «I always dreamt of winning this title, now that it is done, we can come back and lose, it will not be serious. Beyond victory, it’s the way it all happened: overall the tournament took place in great spirit, it was a genuine competition among gentlemen… » Indeed despite the intensity that settled in the first few seconds of the game, overall the match took place with great respect. There was no room for a round of observation, everybody got into the heart of the matter right away. The rhythm was upbeat right until the last bell sound where the two referees sent away to Palenque on a score of 10 everywhere but requested players to return for an additional time period as the title was going to be played on a golden goal… quickly scored by the n°2 from Cibao La Pampa, Carlos Ulloa, sparking the tremendous bliss previously mentioned! The joy was all the more intense since this final was far from being decisive. It was marked namely by strokes of genius from Rufino Bensadon, 15 years old – 5 goals including a staggering one where after having grabbed the ball from an opponent on the attack, he ran the field on a fast half turn from top to bottom leaving everybody behind and just hit the small plastic ball between the poles of the opponents. It was a crucial moment, where he gave the lead to his team In The Wings within just two minutes from the end. Unfortunately Ciabao La Pampa took a penalty on the spot, in front of the goals, within a few seconds from the end, that Manu Elizalde transformed to equalize and bring his team to victory and toward this first Triple French Crownthat shall not be forgotten!
It was a wonderful day for polo, the club welcomed hundreds of people for this classical encounter and three finals won by Maryland (Trophy of the Capitaines des Jeux, of… half-goals), the Académie de Polo (Ladies’ French Open Engels & Völkers) and Jivaro (Castel Trophy). The Paprec French Open marks the end of the international European season… However prolongations will be taking place next week with the Championships and the Coupe de France essentially at the Domaine de Chantilly Polo Club.
Cibao La Pampa progress: 1/1 – 3/4 – 6/7 – 9/9 – 10/10 – 11/10
Cibao La Pampa: Juan Pepa (H2), Carlos Ulloa (H4, 5 goals), Pato Cieza (H4), Manu Elizalde (H6, 6 goals including 3 penalties)
In The Wings: Rufino Bensadon (H3, 4 goals), Juan Zubiaure (H5, 4 goals including 2 penalties), Pancho Bensadon (H8, 2 goals including 1 penalty), Lavinia Fabre (H0)
Paprec French Open: Verdict Soon!
For the past week the Polo Club of the Domaine de Chantilly has been the exciting stage for the matches of the 2017 Paprec French Open. Some of the best world players meet at this crucial event every year to play a tournament that is rhythmed by fiercely intense battles on the large fields of the Ferme d’Apremont. One common goal unites them: raising high the most desired trophy. Following 9 encounters, we now know the four semi- finalists: a team from Argentina (Cibao La Pampa), a Swiss team (Marquard Media) and two French teams (In The Wings and Château d’Aulne).
Friday 15 September
11.00 am IN THE WINGS / MARQUARD MEDIA
1.00 pm CIBAO LA PAMPA / CHATEAU D’AULNE
The last matches of the first French Open tour were played yesterday afternoon with two places at the semi-final at stake. Cibao La Pampa and In The Wings had already won a ticket last week by imposing themselves through all the qualifying matches. This Tuesday was therefore crucial for Marquard Media, Mochi Chic, Sainte-Mesme and Château d’Aulne as each team at this stage could still reach the semifinals.
In the first match, Marquard Media, the Swiss team of Tommy Rinderknecht, vibrantly led by the excellent Argentinian player Martincito Aguerre, never seemed in danger opposite Mochi Chic. They dominated the match from the beginning to the end and won with an honourable score, 8 -5.
The same impression lasted in a match opposing Sainte-Mesme and Château d’Aulne led by two promising French polo players, Robert Strom and Alexis Pouille. The second team succeeded and won the match despite the excellent defense of Sainte-Mesme, and a very good catch up in score, from 7-2 to 8-6 at the end of the match, thanks to the n°1 French player, Brieuc Rigaux.
Two beautiful semi-finals in perspective this Friday at the Domaine de Chantilly Polo Club. The final of this tournament will be played on Sunday, with some nice news: a chance to see the « kid » – Jeta Castagnola, a young 14-year-old player with unbelievable talent, defending the colours of Château d’Aulne. At the same time, women will also get to play their card in the 6th Engel & Völkers French Open – a final to be seen on Sunday morning.
The large audience that is expected on the grounds to live this exciting final can also discover this sport by foot or on a wooden horse. It is also possible to see a show of different horse games in Chantilly; all this for free in a warm and festive atmosphere!
A DAY IN SUSPENS!
On Tuesday 12th September, the final qualifying stages of OPEN DE FRANCE PAPREC ended today with the final selection match for 4 teams. Two games to see including the VALLÉE VILLAGE CUP at 4:30 pm with MOCHI CHIC and MARQUARD MEDIA and the VOLVER CUP at 5:15 pm with CHATEAU D’AULNE and SAINTE-MESME. Two places for the 1/2-finals have in play with a possibility of penalty shoot-outs.
Also on the program in the TROPHÉE CASTEL, the last meeting between MUNGO and FRENCH KISS. Three places for the semi finals are in play for this cup.
On Friday 1st September, the 17th Open de France Paprec will kick off this weekend, with several new teams including young, impressive players from Argentina. Chantilly welcomed Facundo Pieres at 14 years old, with a handicap 4: today he is handicap 10 and one of the best players in the world. This edition will enable to discover future champions of the Pampa facing the French team in a very open tournament.
Two players from Albierto, 5 players from the French team, five young Argentinian phenomenons; 2 Chantilly teams, 1 Argentinian team, 1 Swiss team, and two from Western Paris, including a 100% French team: an exciting diversity for a Paprec French Open that will be extremely competitive.
17 days of competition at the Ferme d’Apremont which will be very promising. The Chantilly public will rediscover with delight the former semi-finalist of the Argentinian Open and ex-handicap 9, Pancho Bensadon. But he will have to share the limelight with another player from Abierto, Tito Guinazu (h7) as well as another handicap 7, Martin Aguerre Jr, who will defend the Open French title with his Swiss teamMarquard Media, finalist of the Golden Cup of Deauville last Sunday. A real challenge with a complete Argentinian team and leader, Cibao La Pampa, who has just won the Silver Cup/ Gold Cup of Deauville and who will attempt to earn the triple French Crown!
Those who have a blue heart will vibrate for Sainte-Mesme, an entirely French team with 3 players from the French team, Brieuc Rigaux, Clément Delfosse & Robert Strom as well as Birger, the father of the latter.
Chantilly will be supporting the teams of the club: Mochi Chic (Alexandre Sztarkman) (with two players from the French team, Florent Garaud and Pierre Henri Ngoumou next to Tito Guinazu) and In The Wings led by André Fabre. It will be particularly exciting to follow Rufino, the son of Pancho Bensadon, 15 years and handicap 3, who gave a fantastic performance in deauville, as well as Juan Zubiaure, 22 years and handicap 5, who is also part of the rising talent from Argentina.
Cibao La Pampa has also engaged for Chantilly two other young stars : Manuel Elizalde, le the brother of Fran, the main architect of the double success of the team in Deauville. Manuel is 23 years old and has a handicap 5; he will play next to another brother of the famous player, Carlos Ulloa (brother of h10 from Alegria, Hilario), who, at 20 years, shows a handicap 4. Thanks to the team Château d’Aulne, we will also discover the most amazing player – Camillo, son of Lolo Castagnola. The sons, Barto (16) and Camillo (14), handicap 6 and 4, will follow the steps of their father. All Pampa is speaking about them. Namely the youngest, « Jeta » (the surname of Camillo), that the audience of this 17th French Open Paprec will be able to discover. 14 years and handicap 4, astounding!
All this gives very complete teams; we will have to wait for the first matches of the weekend to get a glimpse of the potential winners.
The access to the fields and matches are entirely free in Chantilly, during the week and weekend. At the final, there will be a village with stands, animations, and catering for the audience.