Les Lions devoured the 20th French Open!
We were expecting a lot from Les Lions Panarea… and they didn’t let us down. In front of the many spectators, the team of the traditional British team, led by the American captain, Dillon Bacon, triumphed in the 20th edition of the French Open – a victory that will be forever staying as a grand cru, THE grand cru of this French tournament.
All the ingredients were reunited for this outcome: 8 high-level teams, 11 Argentine professional players who will soon be confronting the biggest international tournament, the Argentine Open, and two enormous stars. The Castagnola brothers Barto and Camilo stunned the public of Apremont during the past 3 weeks. As things were done in a proper way, they met with/against each other face to face for this Final.
During the first week, we had a preview of this confrontation which was, as a matter of fact, the most beautiful polo game that was every played in Chantilly – won by Les Lions Panarea with a tiny difference of one goal. This time, things seemed to be easier for the British team: “You might think so by only looking at the score (10-6), but not on the ground” said Dillon Bacon the American Captain,“The first match gave us an idea of how they play and how they were organized. Talandracas is a big team, and today I played more in defense, in order for us to have 3 players for the attack. On the outside, it might seem to be easier comparing to the last time, but it was a very tiring game for us.” It’s the second time that the American came to Chantilly: “I already came here to play 7 years ago upon Patrick Guerrand-Hermès’ invitation and the qualities of the Club are truly amazing. That’s why we came back this year with this big organization and I sure hope to come back again next year.”
This could be really good news for this competition, attracting all the attention to the quality of its organization and the grounds… without forgetting the green-keepers in the spotlight during the award ceremony on the podium, applauded by the players. A formidable recognition!
Coming back to the Castagnola brothers, the older brother won the MVP and his horse Frederico, a small black stallion, received the title of the best playing pony for the Final. Barto and Jeta showed the French Polo that they are, for sure, the greatest players of this new Argentine generation, with unbelievable talent and incredible horsemanship. Still teenagers today (17 and 19 years of age), in a few years, they will soon be amongst the legendary players, worthy being the successors of their father, Lolo, and especially their uncle, Adolfo Cambiaso. How lucky we are to have the opportunity watching them play here in person!
Les Lions Panarea : Aristide FAGGIONATO (ITA, h1), Dilon BACON (USA, h2), Barto CASTAGNOLA (ARG, h8), Tommy BERESFORD (IRL, h6)
Talandracas : Nick ROGERSON (GBR, h1), Jeta Castagnola (ARG, h7), Fran Elizalde (ARG, h8), Édouard CARMIGNAC (FRA, h0)
Progression Les Lions Panarea : 3/2 – 5/2 – 7/4 – 9/6 – 10/6
MVP : Barto Castagnola (Les Lions Panarea)
BPP : Frederico joué par Barto Castagnola
The Women’s French Open: tough win for Maison Décalé
In the Women’s French Open, the Venot sisters and Caroline Anier were surely not expecting such a formidable resistance by DS Automobile DS Store St Maximin. After their heavy defeat during the qualification phase, Lia Savo organized a new strategy which is more defensive, allowing their team to lead during two chukkers, before losing at the end of the match, essentially because of the fouls whistled by the umpire against them.
A tiny difference of a goal and a half in conclusion. A small consolation prize for Lia Salvo, she could be the best scorer of this 9th edition of the Women’s French Open, firing 12 goals in 4 matches.
Progression Maison Décalé : 1/1 ½ – 2/2 ½ – 4/3 ½ – 6/4 ½
MVP : Elena Venot (Maison Décalé)
BPP : Bacana jouée par Lia Salvo