OPEN DE FRANCE: La Magdeleine and Polo Park Zürich reach their dream!

Open de France Engel & Völkers

A day of finals at the Polo Club du Domaine de Chantilly is a day of celebration with a touch of nostalgia: once the winners are known, three weeks of beautiful polo, conviviality and interactions come to an end. The Argentinean professionals will take the plane back home to prepare and start the „alta temporada“, the great season, the 700 horses will gradually leave the club, the lights will go out… If, in the women‘s category, Polo Park Zürich was an expected winner, in the Open de France Engel & Völkers, the result was a little more surprising.

It was not so much the name of the winner, La Magdeleine, that was a surprise, but the way in which this beautiful team, led by a luminous Facundo Llorente, logically nominated most valuable player of the game, dominated this final from start to finish. On paper, the two teams started as equals: Kazak had won all their games and La Magdeleine had only lost one… to Kazak. But today, things went very fast: 4 – 1 in the first chukker, 11-3 in the fourth before La Magdeleine lifted their foot off the gas (12 – 5 at the final bell).

The key to this domination was clearly the horses ridden by Facundo Llorente, a loan from one of the world’s best players, Pablo Mc Donough (h10). The spectacular accelerations of these Formula 1 ponies for sure made the difference today. It was one of these mares, La Irenita Loli, who was crowned best playing pony of the tournament and of the final. After their first and only defeat in the qualifying phase of the tournament, La Magdeleine put things right: „It‘s true that we were a bit worried because we had lost that first game against today’s opponents,“ confirms Facundo Llorente. „Their team plays hard. But today I brought out my best mares and we clearly played our best game of the season, we quickly understood that this was our day.” This is the fourth time in his career that Facundo Llorente has lifted the Open de France Engel & Völkers Cup but he will hardly have time to celebrate this triumph as he is leaving for Buenos Aires: „Now we have to get ready and try to qualify for the Argentine Open with La Irenita.” It is the stud of La Irinita that entrusted him with these wonderful horses that delighted the dense audience that came to enjoy this sporting show under a beautiful blue sky.

French Women‘s Open: Polo Park Zürich, as expected

There was no chance of a surprise in the Women‘s Open, as Polo Park Zurich dominated the tournament from start to finish, and it was with a high score (11-3) that the French Venot sisters lifted the trophy for the second year running: „We were under a bit of pressure, but we had already played them in the qualifying round. At the beginning of the tournament, we had a bit of trouble because we hadn‘t played together for a long time, but we soon found each other again,“ says Elena, the eldest. Because the „secret weapon“ of the Venot sisters… is being sisters! “We know each other by heart and we know before anyone else what the other will do… or not do.” Elena Venot, who is France’s best female player, also has plans for Argentina as she has been invited to take part in the Abierto Feminino, the most competitive competition in the world: „It was Luisa Del Carril who asked me to join her in a new team, La Ensenada. It‘s an incredible opportunity. I‘m going to leave at the beginning of November to organize my horses and prepare myself to put all the chances on our side“. But the dream of the Frenchwoman, who is expected to move up to handicap 7 next season, goes even further: „The idea is that we can participate together with my sisters in this Argentine Open. I don‘t know if it will happen, but it is a goal we are working on.”

Polo is a story of dreams. That of two captains, Morgan Van Overbroek and Alexandre Garese, who saw their efforts rewarded today with this first title in the Open de France Engel & Völkers; that of the Venot sisters who are dreaming of Palermo; that of the defeated teams who are already thinking about the organization that needs to be put in place to win this beautiful trophy in 2022; and that of the great players and speedy horses who have offered the world of polo and the public pure magic during these three weeks. Now it‘s time for the French Championships, which will start next week on these same grounds of the Polo Club de Chantilly, which is also the federal polo center. A great way to enjoy the thrilling French polo season just a little longer.

© Justine Jacquemot

Teams and progressions


Alexandre GARESE 0
Lucas NOTTIN 2
Facundo F.LLORENTE 7 (6 goals)
Tito RUIZ GUIÑAZU 7  (6 goals)

Patrick PAILLOL 5
Jero DEL CARRIL 7 (4 goals)
Santiago IRASTORZA 4 (1 goal)

Progression La Magdeleine:  4-1 / 6-1 / 7-2/ 11-3 et 12-5


Pearl VENOT 4
Lucie VENOT 4
Elena VENOT 6

Romane JAMET 3
Ambre PLOIX 3
Sandrine DUBOIS 3
Anna- Maria CZEKAV 4

Progression Polo Park Zürich : 3-0 / 6-0 / 9-1/ 11-3


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