See you in Deauville!

See you in Deauville!
from 11th to 30th August 2020

Talandracas, winner of the 2019 Gold Cup

In France too, team sport takes back its rights! And sport events are a new open to the public for events with fewer than 5,000 people. Among these events, there is one that you can’t miss, which belongs to the heritage of sport: the Barrière Deauville Polo Cup and its famous Gold Cup which was created by François André – founder of the Barrière Group – in 1950.

Polo is the oldest team sport played as far back as 600 BC and the Deauville tournament is one of the most emblematic tournaments of the international season. Thus, the Gold Cup is the only tournament in France and one of the fews in Europe to boast a “hall of fame” that includes the names of all the greatest players of the last six decades.

From Alberto Gracida to the Pieres cousins, Gonzalo Pieres (the father with his brother Alfonso for the legendary Australian team Ellerstone), the famous Heguy brothers, Adolfo Cambiaso, have all carved their names on this mythical Gold Cup. Just last year, Édouard Carmignac’s team, Talandracas won their sixth titles with two Argentine Open players, Fran Elizalde and Alejandro Muzio. Talandracas won this prestigious event with great players such as Juan-Martin Nero (currently the best back in the world and ten titles in the Argentine Open), Milo Fernandez (four titles), Nico and Polito Pieres (serial-finalists in Palermo). This year Talandracas will be back with the same players as last year for a seventh title and will try to equal the tournament record achieved in the 80’s by Alexander Ebeid’s The Falcon with players like the late Gonzalo Heguy and Carlos Gracida or Alfredo Harriott.

This Gold Cup 2020 (15th to 30th August) will of course be the highlight of the season in Deauville. It will be preceded by the Silver Cup (11th to 16th August), the two tournaments constituting the first two lifts of the French Grand Slam, ending with the Chantilly French Open, from 5th to 20th September. To date, only one team has achieved this hat-trick: Cibao La Pampa led by Argentina’s Juan Pepa in 2017.

Since 2015, women’s polo has been the main focus at the International Polo Club of Deauville. Once again, the female players will kick off this year with the Ladies Cup, its finals will be played on Saturday 15th August, a few hours after the first parade of teams in the streets of Deauville. A second parade will take place on August 29th, the day of the Bronze Cup final which will start on the 17th.

Beyond the sport, Polo in Deauville will bring you a really special atmosphere and experience. Here, the public and players meet after the prize-giving ceremony in a large, cozy and friendly space, where they can meet at the bar to “redo the game”! Selfies and good mood are de rigueur. Sometimes polo goes out of the Deauville to La Touques racecourse and returns to the Deauville beach at low tide: an opportunity for the holidaymakers to discover this sport so noble in spirit, but finally so accessible. These formidable little warrior horses with a golden character are actually very approachable. In the morning, we can also see them in lots, walked by their petiseros (their Argentinean grooms), for their condition’s work, with the hooves trampling the waves.

In a nutshell, it will be a total celebration of the world’s oldest team sport in one of its most emblematic venues; the kind of sporting and glamorous event that shouldn’t be missed for anything in the world, as the British daily The Telegraph* points out!

* Twelve stylish events that should be on every socialite’s bucket list
(…) « 2. Barrière Deauville Polo Cup
The elegant Normandy resort of Deauville was loved by the Edwardian English and is full of well-heeled Parisians, with a mini-season of its own. Polo ponies clatter through the streets of gabled, half-timbered villas en route to Deauville International Polo Club. There are plenty of free events during the Polo Cup which this year runs from August 1-27 and finals tickets will be available from July ». The Telegraph (6 juin 2017)

Deauville : Horses and glamour

Deauville, land of horses is the cradle of all equestrian disciplines… It is in this pretty seaside town that Robert de Rothschild, Captain Joubert and the Duke of Guiche founded the Deauville Polo Club in 1907. But the history of polo in the French horse capital started long before that… The first polo match on the Normandy soil was played in 1880, just a few years after the introduction of this sport, which came from India, brought by the English to Europe. Later, in the 1950s, Argentinean players travelled to Europe to escape the winter and reunite with their friends with whom they shared the pleasure of playing polo. Deauville was one of the three major European destinations. Crossing of the Atlantic from the southern hemisphere was done by ship with cows (for milk on board and meat on arrival) and horses on board, taking up to three weeks. Before leaving again, the Argentinians sold their horses to finance their return by ocean liner. Once back home, they resumed their work in agricultural or industrial activities and started polo again with new horses.

Then, in the 60’s, horses were allowed to fly… From that time on, the second generation of Argentinean players began to be reimbursed for transport costs, then, in the 80’s, those of the third generation became professionals.

Cibao La Pampa winner in 1951 with Porfirio Rubirosa

The Gold Cup, the famous international polo tournament created by François André, has welcomed the greatest players of the last six decades. It is now one of the four biggest tournaments in the world outside Argentina! Born in 1950, in those early years of resort emigration, it has followed the evolution of professionalization. The second edition was won by the legendary Cibao La Pampa team, led by the famous playboy Porfirio Rubirosa, a Dominican diplomat whose antics have long made headlines. Juan Pepa, who won the Silver and Gold Cups in 2017, paid tribute to him by taking over his team’s name.

The escapades have subsided over the years. Gone are the days when an Australian media mogul, Kerry Packer, arrived with his personal Boeing, moved an entire floor of the Normandy Hotel and occupied it with his own furniture and staff. He was the one who launched the Pieres family by playing with Gonzalo the father (allowing him to develop his stud farm in Ellerstina, Argentina), and in 1994, with a kid who even didn’t have a driver’s license… a certain Adolfo Cambiaso. It will be necessary to wait until 2009 to see the crack again in Deauville, on the occasion of the first match in France opposing two teams of 40 goals: the revenge of the 2008 final of the Argentine Open between Ellerstina (with Gonzalo’s son) and La Dolfina. One of the greatest moments of these 113 years of Polo in Deauville.

Over the years, the competitions have evolved. In addition to the Gold Cup, the following are now played: the Silver Cup, the Bronze Cup, the Ladies Polo Cup, a Kids Polo Cup and Beach Polo. In short, from polo to everyday life and after (or before) the matches, there is plenty to keep busy between shopping in the streets of Deauville, the small fishermen’s restaurants of Trouville, the discovery of the Pays d’Auge and its stud farms – often small castles or manors belonging to the architectural heritage, the artists’ village of Beaumont-en-Auge or the antique dealers’ village of Beuvron-en-Auge with their famous half-timbered houses. Not forgetting the nightlife where, after a visit to the Casino, you can meet the polo players at the famous Brok Café (which broadcasts matches of the Argentine Open in a Latino atmosphere and where you can drink the best Mojitos in the world signed Evrard de Spa, a polo player, of course) and Club 13, the indispensable nightclub of this city of horses.

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