The official announcement of the split of La Dolfina’s historical foursome came to a shock within the entire polo community on Christmas Eve. The Fab Four – Adolfo Cambiaso, David Stirling, Pablo MacDonough and Juan Martín Nero were no longer to play together after ten glorious years, that included no less than 9 titles at Palermo, among another significant achievements.
However, and despite the announcement still came as a shock, the decision was not a surprise at all; in fact, it was the talk of the town thoroghout the whole year. What indeed came as a real shock was MacDonough’s and Nero’s next destination – they will both play with RS Murus Sanctus in 2021. On the other side, a man from Corinne Ricard’s French organisation and one of the best players of the last season in Argentina, will be landing within La Dolfina – Francisco Elizalde. So, the question was who will be the fourth man. And Diego Cavanagh emerged as one of the strongest contenders to fill the remaining spot.
Finally, on December 29, the mystery was unveiled – Diego Cavanagh was confirmed to be that fourth man. A skillful 9-goaler who shone with La Dolfina Polo Ranch in the last years, the player who almost put his team in the final of the last Argentine Open. Diego has been an essential part of the Cañuelas-based organisation and a crucial piece of the foundation of the second La Dolfina lineup, that made their debut at Palermo, in 2017.
“I am very happy. On one side, it is a bit sad to leave my old team, because we are great friends and we had a really good time. But I couldn’t refuse to play with La Dolfina, it is an opportunity I couldn’t miss”, Diego Cavanagh told to PoloLine. And he adds: “To be able to play with Pelón and Adolfito, two players I admire so much, is a dream come true to me”.
The relationship between Cambiaso and Cavanagh is not that new. In addition to being a part of the Cañuelas-based organisation with La Dolfina Polo Ranch, that even allowed him to ride some of Adolfo Cambiaso’s historical horses, such as Carla, Diego Cavanagh played with Cambiaso on several occassions. Their most recent experience together was in England, in 2020, with Next Generation, a lineup that missed Pelón Stirling due to an injury right before the semifinals of the Gold Cup for the British Open. So, Diegote was the chosen one to fill the gap left by the Uruguay-born player, alongside Poroto and French patron, Jean-Francois Decaux. And they did quite good indeed, because they claimed the British Open for a second time, after the one back in 2014 with Dubai, which was also the first international title of the Cambiaso-Cavanagh duo.
But before, the Cavanagh-Cambiaso partnership had already claimed the American Triple Crown – CV Whitney Cup, USPA Gold Cup and US Open, while playing with Valiente and in 2019 they won the San Jorge Open, in Argentina, with Poroto Cambiaso. Most recently, in 2020, they won two of the tournaments of the World Polo League, as well.
“It was easy for me to play with Diego from the very beginning”, Adolfo Cambiaso told to PoloLine, after winning the British Open, back in July. “He gives me a lot of confidence; Diego makes me a better player, I understand him just by looking at him, something that happened to me with just a handful of players. When Pelón was injured, Diego was the only one who came to my mind to replace him, not only because we’ve already played together, but he also played with Poroto in the United States and in the San Jorge Open. I always believed in him”.
“He played with my horses, and he did very well. He knows how to play finals because he is used to do it, he demonstrated he can do it. He deserves this, he worked really hard in order to achieve this”, said Pelón about his brand new team mate, back in July, in England, after the success in the British Open.
Therefore, the 2021 version of La Dolfina will play the Triple Crown in Argentina rated at 38 goals, in a new challenge for the Cañuelas boys. And there’s no doubts they will provide plenty to talk about. Diego Cavanagh is confident enough in order to do his best to the team. “I am ready to face this challenge; I am much more experienced now, but you can always improve your playing, your organisation. But my goal is to contribute as much as I can with the team, and take good advantage of this opportunity that was given to me”, he concludes.