ANOTHER BIG YEAR FOR PARIS Polo de Paris presents 8 tournaments between April and October
by Andres Ugarte Larrain
Another great season is on the horizon in Paris, as Polo de Paris prepares to cater to all levels and host many events, both on and off the field. The season is set to kick off on April 30, with the traditional an 8-10 goal “Tournoi de Printemps.”
“Players will have the chance of playing on our unique and historic field throughout the season,” states the club. “A new practice ground will be available near the club in La Plaine de Bagatelle, thanks to its rental by the City of Paris. Polo de Paris will once again be accompanied by Maserati.”
Founded in 1892, Polo de Paris was the initiative of twenty polo-passionate friends. It is now the oldest polo club in France. Located in the spectacular Bois de Boulogne, in the heart of Paris, the club is one-of-a-kind. As well as polo, the club is used for equestrian disciplines, fencing, golf, tenis, and swimming. Polo de Paris is a magical place that has conserved its charm over the ages.
“Polo de Paris is a private club whose members enjoy meeting up during the year to partake in all the available activities,” explains the club. “Every year, we see how our members anxiously await the start of the polo season, which corresponds with the beginning of spring in France. Over the past few years we have seen a growing interest in our tournaments from foreign teams, and our loyal French patrons always return to Bagatelle also.”
But 2016 is not all about sports at Polo de Paris; social events play a fundamental role in the club’s day to day life; many are scheduled over the next few months – and no members would dare to miss a single one. The final of the Open de Paris (last weekend of June) is the highlight of the sporting and social calendar, with fantastic decorations heightening the club’s festive atmosphere. Who could forget the fabulous party which marked the clubs centenary in 1992, and the Perfect Match in 2009, an exhibition game featuring the best players in the world.
“Polo de Paris will host three 8-10 goal tournaments in May and June, as well as the prestigious 122 Open de París, and two 6-8 goal tournaments in September with a stage of the French Polo Championship and its final on the first weekend of October. Polo de París also hosts an annual female polo tournament, where four 4-8 goal teams participate; this year marks its 18 edition. There is also a kids tournament: the “Open des Jeunes et des Espoirs”, which now enters its 21 year. Many French polo stars, such as Pierre-Henri N’Goumou, Patrick Primael Paillol, Robert Strom and Polo de Paris captain Stanislas Clavel won this tournament at the beginning of their polo career. Finally, the club will host the second edition of the SC POLO CUP, in collaboration with polo school ESPRIT POLO.”
2016 SEASON FIXTURES:
* April 30 – May 15: Tournoi de Printemps (8-10 goals).
* May 21 – June 5: Tournoi de la Ville de Paris (8-10 goals).
* June 11 – June 26: 122 Open de Paris Maserati (8-10 goals).
* June 16 – 22 June: 18 Open des Dames (Ladies tournament).
* June 22: Open des Jeunes et des Espoirs (Kids tournament).
* July 3: SC POLO CUP, in collaboration with ESPRIT POLO.
* September 3 – September 18: Tournoi d’Automne (6-8 goals).
* September 24 – October 2: French Polo Championship (6-8 goles).
What were the highlights of your 2015 season?
The best moment of was the final of the Open de Paris. It was a spectacular party thanks to our sponsor Maserati and the talent of our interior design team – they gave us a glimpse of artist Toulouse Lautrec’s world. Laurent Dassault’s Red Falcon polo team won the tournament for the first time. We also have fond memories of the games which honoured great players who did a lot for Polo de París, such as Jacques Macaire, Pierre-Yves de Charbonniere, Roland Sadoun, Jimmy Dodero, Sydney Belisha, Claude Terrail, to name a few.
Why do patrons and players continue to choose Polo de Paris year after year?
For many reasons: the club is a few minutes from the city center, in one of the most beautiful cities in the world; the club’s gardens are magical; the exclusive restaurant is ideal for dining with friends; the atmosphere and the history of the club; and the majestic Open de Paris trophy, which boasts names such as Gracida, Heguy, Macaire, Merlos, Zavaleta, Nero, Mac Donough, Wellington, Braun…
Have you confirmation of patrons, teams, and players due to take part in the season?
Some teams have already confirmed their attendance for different tournaments, and many more are showing interest in taking part. We trust that this season will be as competitive as ever. We can’t wait to get started!