The 2022 polo season in Argentina kicked off on Sunday September 4, with the final of the 54th. San Jorge Open Duke of Edinburgh Trophy, that saw Ellerstina Pilot and Martindale playing on Palermo ground 2, on a wonderful sunny afternnon, in front of full packed grandsstands. It was also Nicolás Pieres’ comeback to high goal in Argentina, following the serious injury he suffered while playing the Hurlingham Open last year.
The trophy is named after His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, who presented it to the Club Hípico y Militar San Jorge in 1966. The Duke of Edinburgh was a regular visitor to Argentina to play polo, a passion he inherited from his uncle and mentor, Lord Louis Mountbatten. Precisely, in 1966, the Duke of Edinburgh, who won the British Open twice and was rated at 5 goals, played the final of the Hurlingham Open with Horacio and Alberto Pedro Heguy, and Daniel González.
Ellerstina Pilot, a runner up in 2019, claimed their rematch, and defeated Martindale 8-6. Despite Martindale’s efforts, led by their top scorer, Tomás García del Río, Ellerstina Pilot managed to dominate the match and the scoreboard, under the command of Gonzalito and Facundo Pieres, who combined the eight goals of the team, that saw American patron, Curtis Pilot, playing on Argentine grounds for the second time.
The next big tournament of the 2022 Argentine season is the much anticipated Jockey Club Open Thai Polo Cup, which is due to start on September 11, and preceeds the most coveted trophy in the world, the Triple Crown.
SAN JORGE OPEN DUKE OF EDINBURGH TROPHY – FINAL – SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 4
ELLERSTINA PILOT 8-6 MARTINDALE
Ellerstina Pilot: Curtis Pilot 0, Facundo Pieres 10 (4 goals), Gonzalo Pieres Jr 9 (4). Nicolás Pieres 10. Total: 28.
Martindale RUS: Mackenzie Weisz 6, Matías Benoit 6 (1 goal), Tomás García del Río 7 (5, one penalty), Rodrigo Rueda (h) 6. Total: 25.
Score Ellerstina Pilot: 2-0, 3-1, 4-2, 4-3, 7-4, 8-6.
Umpires: Hernán Tasso & Martín Goti. Third man: Juan José Díaz Alberdi.
MVP: Facundo Pieres
Best Polo Argentino Bred, Presented by the Argentine Polo Pony Breeders Assn.: Open Sexy, ridden by Nicolás Pieres.
Photo by Christian Grosso / Prensa AAP.