By Andrés Ugarte Larraín

The second season of the Polo Challenge is underway, and one of those who decided to come back after a successful 2016 season, is french patron Ludo Pailloncy, who reached the semis of the 22-goal Copa de Oro and shared team with Nacho Novillo Astrada, Lalo James and Gonzalo Deltour. “I came last year for the first time, invited by Alfredo Vargas, to play medium-goal tournaments. This year I have the opportunity to play high goal so it was a nice step ahead. The whole organization makes a big effort so everyone has a good time, fields and infrastructure are getting better and better. It´s a real pleasure to play in Dominicana in a so competitive season.”

On his experience playing high and medium goal: “I played high goal for the first time in Deauville in 2001 with my brother (Sebastien Pailloncy), and then we started looking for a more complete and high level season so we decided to go to UK. We went in 2008 to Cirencester before playing the Coupe D´Or in Deauville. Afterwards in 2011/12 we participated in the English high goal season to achieve more level and to maintain the same team all year round.”

On playing in Dominicana while his brother is playing in Argentina: “I find it really nice. This is the first ever time that we play in two different places simultaneously. In both places we wear the HB polo jersey so that is a plus, another part of the growth and development of the team.”

On his plans after the Polo Challenge: “After Dominicana we will head to UK, as the season starts by the end of April. We decided to slow down this year, to play high goal as two amateurs is a big effort, so we are going to play together the 15 and 18- goals tournaments, and then we´ll see. We will play the 15-goal Cups alongside Max Charlton and Pedro Harrison, for the 18-goals Michel Del Carril will replace Harrison. We have no plans yet after England. We´ll be there till the end of July, and open to other options for August and September.”

On the situation in England: “They all have to work in the same direction. At the end of the day what we all want is to have a good time: without the grooms you can´t play, you can´t make it on time for all the tournaments, you can´t play with the pros you hired. Luckily it seems the problem is fixed now, so we´ll see what happens. The English people are particular, it´s like they are trying to protect something we don´t understand. If you chooses to play in England is because of the prestige and the competition, not because of the weather or food! Therefore if it gets too much complicated we just head to another place where we can have a good time, we are here to enjoy and have fun. Is the base of the sport. Polo is a very competitive hobby, we fight on the field� but is still a hobby. It makes no sense to play where you are not comfortable.”

On the possibility of playing together with Sebastien and also separated: “Is something we started to discuss last year, it would be nice to play together but also separately, as we are making in this moment. That way you can have a balance, to play together is a real pleasure, it´s very special to share the games with your family. But there is a time during the season that you want to make something different, to have the freedom to choose another place, just like now that Sebas is enjoying Argentina, I´m very happy for him while I´m also happy to be here in Dominicana. Everything is necessary to keep the balance and the good mood in the family.”

On his future in the Polo Challenge RD: “I would love to come back again next year, I really enjoy it here. I owe to this season a lot and I’m very thankful with Lechuza that gave me this opportunity, I really mean it. So the whole picture has to do with this decision and with my willing to return.”

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