The Open de France’s finals were full of promises regarding the level of the semifinals, and even the all tournament. But sometimes, these promises can’t be kept: the challenge of a final can create a game tight and boring. It wasn’t the case, far from that, for this 2015 edition.
After a difficult week during which the games must have been played between the drops of rain, it’s under a brilliant sun that the mixed and feminine finals of the Open the France were played. Is it this argument that inspired the female and male players? In any case, it had inspired the public, large this year, and which occupied mainly the two lengths of this large 270 meters field. VIP lunch on one side (Argentine menu and wines of course), fancy picnic on the other side, all in a friendly atmosphere sorely mastered by the Polo Club of the Domaine of Chantilly.
The “ladies” final of the Open was the first good surprise of the afternoon. The game opposed the Franco-British Lowell team to the German Tom Tailor formation, defending champion. The score of the game that had pitted the two team during the pool match (7-3 for Lowell) could suggest that this final game would simply be a formality for the team gathered around one of the best female player in the world, the French Caroline Anier. But in this sport, nothing is written in advance and the Tom Tailor’s ladies were the one who took the lead under the leadership of the undertaking British Lucy Taylor, the well-named (for Tom Tailor). Behind most of the actions of her team, the solid British player helped to contain Caroline Anier and her team, leading the score until the last period (7-6). But the latest responded, allowing the French captain Françoise Spek’s team to win its first title, for its first participation (8-7).
The “men” finale was just as intense. The German Uwe Schröder’s Tom Tailor masculine formation and lead by the Argentine-South-african duo Gaston Maiquez/Chris McKenzie had to heart to avenge the girls (at the least Uwe Schröder’s daughters, Tahnee and Naomi). The game was as just uncertain and the score gap was never higher than one goal: 5-5 at halftime and 9-9 at the end of the regulation time. The 15th Open de France victory would then be decided in play off. And it was the exceptional Argentine Martin Aguerre Jr who gave the final blow to Tom Tailor with a huge “golaso” at about 50 meters on the right of the post. A spectacular movement to conclude this game that was no less so. Unfortunate during the Golden Cup final of Deauville, Martin Aguerre, well supported by Jota Chavanne, often decisive, and Facundo Llorente, offensive back, offered a great revenge to their captain Tommy Rinderknecht and thus Marquard Media won its first Open de France. A victory that is a little the one of the club as the Swiss is based at the Polo of Chantilly, among which he is one of the mainstay. Martin Aguerre was the man of the day as he enjoy a double win, the Open de France and the nomination of the best horse of the final, which went to Machitos Garganta, a mare bred by his uncle Mariano, former handicap 10 and seven-time winner of the Open of Argentine, in short, a huge player in this sport.
The party wasn’t yet over as this final was followed by the one of the Coupe Castel (8 goals) won (6 ½ to 6) by a 100% French team, with around the captain Lavinia Fabre, another female player, great hope for the French polo, Elena Venot and the safe values of the French polo, handicap 5 Brieuc Rigaux (whose Argentine mare Chamarrita has been named best poney of the final), and the solid handicap 3 Thierry Vétois.
If these weeks dedicated to the Open are by far the highlight of the Polo Club of Chantilly, the tournaments continue until mid-October with, starting next weekend, the pool match of the French Cup and Championship and which finals will be played on Oct. 4th at the Polo de Paris: such a good level of polo while waiting for the too long winter break.
Progression Marquard Media progression: 0/2 – 3/4 – 5/5 – 8/7 – 9/9 – 10/9
Marquard Media (SUI) : Tommy Rinderknecht (h0) ; Jota Chavanne (h5), Martin Aguerre (h6, 7 goals including 4 penalties) et Facundo Llorente (h5, 3 goals)
Tom Tailor (ALL) : Uwe Schröder (h0), Chris McKenzie (h6, 4 goals), Gaston Maiquez (h6 including 3 penalties) et Felipe M. Ferrario (h4)