May 24, 2013
High handicap season with team changes again
By Eric Weil
Just Argentine Open champions La Dolfina, with the only maximum 40-handicap team of Adolfo Cambiaso, David Stirling, Pablo Mac Donough and Juan Nero, will be unchanged for the coming high handicap ‘Triple Crown‘ season of the six teams directly qualified for the Hurlingham and Argentine Opens. Also noteworthy is that for the first time in years there will be no Chapaleufú team, although there is one in the qualifying tournament, and only one member of the Heguy family, Ignacio (8) is in the top six playing for new team La Natividad.
Last season’s finalists Ellerstina have Mariano Aguerre (9) instead of Ignacio and increase their handicap by one to 38, while at Pilará only Hilario Ulloa (9) stays with Francisco Bensadon (9) and Francisco de Narvaez (8) from Alegría and Sebastián Merlos (9) from Estancia Grande the newcomers. Estancia Grande have not entered a team.
La Aguada are no longer a Novillo Astrada brothers team with Guillermo Caset (9) from Chapa Uno replacing Eduardo (9) who plays in the qualifying tournament with La Aguada-Las Monjitas. Miguel (9), injured last year, is back and the team increases their handicap by one to 36.
Alegría, who had to qualify last year, now have a stronger team, with an increased handicap by two to 34 and they qualified in the top six. Only Canadian Frederick Mannix (8) remains with Agustín (9) and Juan (8) Merlos and Lucas Monteverde (9) coming in.
La Natividad, who did well in the Argentine Tour earlier this year, are the newcomers in the top six with 33 goals, lining up a stronger team with Pablo Pieres (ex-Chapa, 8), Ignacio Heguy (8), Brazilian Rodrigo Ribeiro de Andrade (ex-Chapa,8) and Bartolomé Castagnola (ex-Estancia Grande, 9).
The average handicap of the six is a high 36, while there are eight teams in the qualifying tournament for two places which will be played the same way as the open with two groups of four teams. This is due to start on September 27, celebrating the 90th anniversary of the Argentine Polo Association.
The groups drawn for the ‘Triple Crown‘ tournaments, with group winners playing the final, are as follows:
Tortugas Open — Group A: Ellerstina, Pilará, La Natividad; Group B: La Dolfina, La Aguada, Alegria.
Hurlingham and Argentine Open — Group A: La Dolfina, Pilará, Alegría, lowest handicap qualifier. Group B: Ellerstina, La Aguada, La Natividad, highest handicap qualifier.
SUPER NATIONS CUP.
Argentina will participate in the Super Nations Cup (24 handicap) at the Tianjin Goldin Metropolitan Club (China) from October 1-5 with England, Hong Kong and the United States. Argentina will line up with Santiago Cernadas 6, Marcos Araya 6, Gastón Moore 6 and Raúl Laplacette 6 (24).
At the same time, there will be an under 16 tournament with teams from England, United States, South Africa and Argentina who will line up Lucio Fernández Ocampo, Juan Nagore, Juan Campión and Joaquín Sánchez.