Last week, a new champion claimed the illustrious Copa Cámara de Diputados title, the most important tournament of the Argentine high-goal season outside of the Triple Crown. The talented team included American 6-goaler Jared Zenni*. Playing for Nuestra Tierra, he and his team defeated El Overo Z7 UAE 12-11 in an intense showdown that required stamina, endurance and teamwork. It was a fiercely fought contest, where both teams capitalized on available opportunities. In the end, Nuestra Tierra formed an impenetrable defensive front during the last moments to escape with the coveted trophy. “This is one of my greatest achievements,” Zenni told CLICKPOLO minutes after the end of the match.
“It was a tough game, it felt like we were playing for four hours in my head. El Overo is an amazing team [and] a really great organization. It was a really good victory,” Zenni continued.
The Copa Cámara de Diputados was very competitive this year, as it featured 16 talented teams between 24 and 30 goals. Both El Overo Z7 UAE and Nuestra Tierra were undefeated entering the final. UAE led 4-1 by the end of the second chukker, but Nuestra Tierra tied the game 7-all at halftime and took hold of an 11-8 lead entering the final chukker. UAE fought back to tie the game 11-all, but when it looked overtime would decide the victor, a single goal determined the final 12-11 win for Nuestra Tierra.
Capturing the Copa Cámara de Diputados is Zenni’s most prestigious win alongside his 2018 U.S. Open Championship victory with Daily Racing Form. ©Guadalupe Aizaga
Detailing his mental preparation for the title match, Zenni detailed, “Going into the game, you know the finals are going to be long, you have to be ready mentally for that, to know that it is going to be a seven chukker game and that if you get a couple goals [ahead] in some part of the game, they are going to eventually come back. You have to stay calm, keep playing your system and let it do your work, and hopefully, at the end of the game, you are up.”
For Zenni, this is the most important title of his career alongside his 2018 U.S. Open Polo Championship victory. A memorable final, Daily Racing Form defeated Valiente’s star-studded lineup that included Adolfo Cambiaso and Facundo Pieres in a narrow 10-9 finish, and Zenni won the MVP award.
Commenting on both of his prestigious wins, Zenni shared, “Being an American player, it was always a dream for me to win the U.S. Open, something I wanted since I was a kid. But when I started coming to Argentina, I realized how difficult the [Copa Cámara de Diputados] was.” Recognizing the weight of this achievement, he continued, “Obviously, these moments don’t happen very often, so you have to try and enjoy them as much as you can. When I was younger, I had a few really good wins and it felt easy. Then, after some years, you realize it’s not so easy, it’s a lot of hard work”.
Following a successful high-goal season in Argentina, Zenni will return to the United States to compete in Wellington, Florida. ©Guadalupe Aizaga
Nuestra Tierra’s win qualified them for a playoff match against La Hache Perpool to decide the final contender of the 2023 Argentine Triple Crown. A nail-biter until the very end, La Hache Perpool edged Nuestra Tierra 14-13, ending Zenni’s season in Argentina.
A great accomplishment nonetheless, Zenni will now return to the United States to play in the winter high-goal season in Wellington, Florida.
*Jared Zenni is Team USPA alumnus. Team USPA is a USPA program designed to enhance and grow the sport of polo in the United States by identifying young, talented American players and providing mentored training and playing opportunities leading to a pool of higher rated amateur and pro players and the resultant giveback to the sport of polo.