The Argentine Triple Crown, the most coveted polo trophy in the world, is set to start on Tuesday, October 5, with the first leg: the Tortugas Open.
The tournament sees eight teams, up to 39 goals, compete. It will be played on single elimination. The first games will be the quarter finals, held at the Argentine Association of Polo, in Pilar, while the semifinals and finals are due at Tortugas Country Club.
The 2021 edition of the Argentine Triple Crown is set to be one of the most competitive series in recent years, with several important changes within the teams lineups. The most significative relates to the absence of a 40-goal team – 10-goalers Pablo MacDonough and Juan Martín Nero left La Dolfina late at the end of the 2020 season to join RS Murus Sanctus, alongside Facundo Sola and Guillermo Caset. MacDonough and Nero’s presence now mean that RS Murus Sanctus is rated at 39-goals. However, the top seeded team will be Ellerstina, also rated at 39, but who have maintained the same lineup – the three Pieres brothers (Facundo, Gonzalo Jr. and Nicolás), playing alongside Hilario Ulloa. In terms of the Cañuelas based team, La Dolfina, Diego Cavanagh and Francisco Elizalde have joined forces with Adolfo Cambiaso and Pelón Stirling.
La Ensenada is also a team to follow closely this season. This young foursome, composed of Juan Britos, Alfredo Bigatti, Juan Martín Zubía and Jerónimo del Carril, just won the Jockey Club Open Thai Polo Cup (with Barto Castagnola subbing in for Jero). They proved that they are serious contenders. Fred Mannix and his Alegria team are set to make a comeback to the Argentine high polo, while La Natividad, with Castagnola brothers Barto and Jeta, mixed with the experience of Polito Pieres and Nachi du Plessis, willbe looking to win at least one of the tournaments.
La Irenita will also be rejoining the Triple Crown. Santiago Loza remains from last year’s lineup, and this season he is joined by Isidro Strada (one of the biggest stars of the English season), Segundo Bocchino (who gave an outstanding performance in his first ever Triple Crown, in 2020, playing for La Ensenada La Aguada) and the experience of Cubi Toccalino. There will also be a new La Dolfina Brava, with Rodrigo Ribeiro de Andrade, Alejo Taranco and Guillermo Terrera. The three of them will provide all their experience to the rising star, 16-year-old Poroto Cambiaso, who will have the challenging opportunity of facing his father on the field on the second day of the Tortugas Open.
Tjis year will also be particular as there won’t be a final derby between La Dolfina and. Ellerstina in the Argentine Open, as both teams will be competing in the same league.
The time has come! Get ready to enjoy the biggest polo event in the world! The much anticipated Argentine Triple Crown kicks off today and runs through to Saturday, December 11, concluding with the final of the Argentine Open at Palermo.
Tortugas Open – Day 1 – quarter finals – Tuesday, October 5:
- 1,30pm: Ellerstina vs. Alegria
Ellerstina: Facundo Pieres 10, Hilario Ulloa 10, Gonzalo Pieres Jr. 9, Nicolás Pieres 10. Total: 39.
Alegría: Agustín Merlos 7, Pedro Zacharías 7, Tomás García del Río 7, Fred Mannix 7. Total: 28.
Umpires: Federico Martelli & Gastón Lucero.
Third man: Rafael Silva.
- 4,30pm: La Ensenada vs. La Natividad
La Natividad: Camilo Castagnola 9, Pablo Pieres 9, Bartolomé Castagnola Jr. 9, Nachi du Plessis 9. Total: 36.
La Ensenada: Juan Britos 9, Alfredo Bigatti 8, Juan Martín Zubía 8, Jerónimo del Carril 8. Total: 33.
Umpires: Guillermo Villanueva & Gonzalo López Vargas.
Third Man: Esteban Ferrari.
The Tortugas Open final is due on Saturday, October 16.