This year marks the historic event of the first Argentine Open Championship of Women’s Polo.
Beginning on Tuesday 21st November, with the final taking place on Saturday 2nd December, this small period of three action-packed matches is displaying the very best that polo has to offer.
There are six teams in the tournament, between 23-30 goals (women’s handicaps), with players from Argentina, Britain, France, Germany and the USA. This strong international line up of female players sees some of the most talented players making history in women’s polo, including a line up of strong and skilled British ladies, such as the likes of Hazel Jackson (8), Nina Clarkin (10), Sarah Wiseman (8) and Tamara Fox (7).
The first match on the 21st embodied the very spirit of the Argentine Open, displaying the very best of International players, playing for the Santa María de Lobos and La Varsea Goose Creek teams. Starting off slow, Santa María gave the lead away to 4-3, but soon caught up, smashing in five consecutive goals and finishing at an 8-4 win.
The second match rumbled with excitement as Nina Clarkin, the only 10 goal player in the tournament and one of the highest handicapped player in the world, proved unstoppable. Clarkin, along with Mía Cambiaso (5), Milagros Fernández Araujo (6) and Candelaria Fernández (6) stormed the field, ending the match at 14-3.
The final of the day saw two of the fiercest teams competing in the Ladies’ Championship: Ellerstina and La Dolfina Brava II. Both teams started off equally strong, going into halftime evenly scored, but the second half saw Ellerstina shine. Our very own Sarah Wiseman kept the defence strong, not letting La Dolfina get near the goal for thirty minutes of the match, allowing Lia Salvo and Hazel Jackson to coordinate a smooth take of five goals. Not to be out-done by Jackson, Tamara got in her last sweep of goals, hitting in another two for La Dolfina Brava. Nevertheless, the shining team of the final match was Ellerstina, who rested the score at 7-4.
The 2017 Argentine Open Championship of Women’s Polo marks an occasion that is a turning point for women in polo, as there has long been recognition that polo is very much a male-dominated sport. That being said, polo is the only sport in the world that has both men and ladies’ teams and only ladies’ teams whilst there not being any male-only tournaments. This allows many females to play competitive polo amongst some of the top players in the world, which, based on the opening of this Women’s Championship, makes for some very exciting matches!
As the Championship continues into early December, updates and live news can be followed at the www.polotimes.co.uk
The six teams are as follows: Ellerstina (30): Clara Cassino (6), Hazel Jackson-Gaona (8), Lía Salvo (9) & Sarah Wiseman (7)
La Dolfina Brava (27): Mía Cambiaso (5), Milagros Fernández Araujo (6), Nina Clarkin (10) & Candelaria Fernández (6)
Santa María de Lobos (25): Dawn Laurel Jones (6), Erica Gandomcar (6), Tiffany Busch (7) & Clarissa Echezarreta (6)
La Dolfina Brava II (25): Mía Novillo Astrada (4), Tamara Fox (7), María Bellande (6) & Paola Martínez (8)
La Dolfina Cría Fax (24): Camila Rossi (5), Marianela Castagnola (8), Emma Tomlinson (5) & Eva Brühl (6)
La Varzea Goose Creek (23): Julia Smith (5), Maureen Brennan (6), Annabel McNaught-Davis (6) & Caroline Annier (6)
The remaining schedule is below:
Friday 24 November: Ellerstina vs La Dolfina Cría Fax (5pm), La Dolfina Brava vs La Varzea Goose Creek (3.30pm), Santa María de Lobos vs La Dolfina Brava II (5pm)
Sunday 26 November: Ellerstina vs La Varzea Goose Creek (10.30am), La Dolfina Brava vs La Dolfina Brava II (10.30am), Santa María de Lobos vs La Dolfina Cría Fax (12.30pm)
Tuesday 28 November: Semi Finals
Saturday 2 December: Finals held at Palermo