Breathtaking! Exceptional! Extraordinary! Not even the most extravagant word could be enough to describe this 20th edition of the French Open. A record number of teams, of nations represented and above all, of exceptional players. A great sporting showcase starting from Friday September 4th, to hit a shimmering climax during the Grand Final on September 20th.
Matches almost every day!
Eight – 8
This is the number of teams registered in this 20th French Open.
Marqués de Riscal (ESP): the defending champion has just taken home the Deauville Gold Cup. The favorite? “I don’t think so”, measures their captain Alejandro Aznar. “This year there are 7 strong teams in front of us. So, we will come to have fun and play beautiful polo. We won in Deauville, but we also lost 3 games “…
Sainte-Mesme (FRA): winner of the French Open in 2009 and in 2018, the Strom family team has just won the Gold Cup of Sotogrande in Spain.
Les Lions Panarea (USA/GBR): Alongside Barto Castagnola (18 years old and already handicap 9 in his country), one of the greatest hopes of Argentine polo, this great team is clearly the favorite! They have just won the Queen’s Cup 10 days ago in Windsor.
Marquard Media (SUI): Double Champion of the French Open in 2015 and 2016 and recent finalist of the Deauville Gold Cup. They have hired the same composition of players for the 5 past years, team complicity is surely a great advantage for them.
Talandracas (FRA): Édouard Carmignac is coming back to Chantilly after his only but victorious participation in 2002. For this Open, the team has just hired the other phenomenal Argentine player, Jeta Castagnola (16 years old and an 8-goaler in Argentina), brother of Barto.
Majoa Paris (FRA): A team that has won the Open two times. For this edition, they’ll be counting on the talent of a semi-finalist of the Argentine Open, the handicap 8 Guillermo Terrera, alongside one of the two French No. 1 players, Pierre-Henri Ngoumou (h6).
Amanara (NED): First participation for the Dutch captain Nicki Sen, who has called upon the former player of Team Chapa Uno (of the Heguy brothers) and a former 9-goaler, Santiago Chavanne.
Le Pommeraye (FRA): Simply the names of Juan-Gris Zavaleta and Tito Ruiz Guiñazu alone will give you an idea of the competitivity of the Smith’s family team!
Nine – 9
This is the number of the nations represented in the 2020 French Open: England, Argentina, the United States, Spain, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy, and of course France. Without forgetting Uruguay – Gaston Lucero will be umpiring 24 matches during the 3 coming weeks, alongside the Argentine Umpire Rafael Silva.
Seven hundred – 700
700 horses will be present in Chantilly during the French Open.
Eleven – 11
This is the number of the great Argentine professional players who will participate in this French Open. They all play or have played the Argentine Open – the international benchmark polo tournament, or have won the Copa Cámara, the antechamber of this mythic Abierto.
Barto Castagnola (h8, Les Lions Panarea) and Camilo ‘Jeta’ Castagnola (h7, Talandracas): the two brothers, aged 16 and 18, already with handicaps 9 and 8 in their country, have just dominated the Queen’s Cup in England. Last year, with team La Natividad, they stunned the Argentine and world polo scene at the Argentine Open.
Guillermo Terrera, (h8, Majoa Paris): semi-finalist of the Argentine Open with La Dolfina Polo Ranch.
Fran Elizalde (h8, Talandracas): semi-finalist of the Argentine Open last year with La Albertina, who will play this year’s Abierto under the French colors of RS- Murus Sanctus.
Santiago Chavanne (h7, Amanara): played the Argentine Open with a handicap of 9 under the colors of El Metejón and Chapa Uno of the Heguy brothers. His brother Jota (h5, Amanara) plays for the Marquard Media team.
Martin Aguerre Jr. (h7, Marquard Media): winner of the Copa Cámara in 2018 and will play in the Argentine Open 2020 (or 2021 depending on the date set).
Juan-Gris Zavaleta and Tito Guiñazu (h7, Le Pommeraye): winners of the Copa Cámara and semi-finalists of the Argentine Open in the colors of La Irenita with Clemente Zavaleta (h7, Sainte Mesme)
Alejandro Muzzio (h8, Marqués de Riscal): Player of the Argentine Open and winner of the Copa Cámara
Santiago Cernadas (h7, Marqués de Riscal): Player of the Copa Cámara and winner of the Copa Municipalidad del Pilar, the preparatory tournament of the Copa Cámara.
Two – 2
Two top French players will also be in the spotlight.
Pierre-Henri Ngoumou (h6, Majoa Paris): A 4-time winner of the French Open who has just won the Deauville Silver Cup.
Robert Strom (h5, Sainte-Mesme): double winner of the French Open, who has just won the Gold Cup of Sotogrande and will play in the next Copa Cámara.
Kick-off on Friday at 13H00 with Le Pommeraye (FRA) against Amanara (NED) and a first clash at 17H30 between the two former winners: Marquard Media (SUI) vs. Marqués de Riscal (ESP), a revenge of the Deauville Gold Cup last Sunday that’s promised to be heated! Then three other games will be played on Sunday, especially with the highly expected appearance of team Les Lions Panarea at 4.30 pm.
7 players of the 2020 French Open have played the 2019 Argentine Open. Among which Jeta Castagnola (top left), Barto Castagnola (right) for La Natividad, Guillermo Terrera (in blue facing Adolfo Cambiaso, for La Dolfina Polo Ranch) and Fran Elizalde (bottom right, for La Albertina). The other 3 El Abierto 2019 players present in Chantilly are Tito Ruiz Guiñazu, Juan-Gris and Clemente Zavaleta for La Irenita