The Best Polo In The World – Second Weekend

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The second weekend of the best polo in the world, Palermo Open, was as big as the first. Nation favourites La Dolfina and Ellerstina (the two teams that are most often seen in the finals) had their debuts in the tournament on either day.

The atmosphere all around is very chilled and relaxed

Lots of activities around the polo field, following the #MasQuePolo motto, here a little mini field for a polo match on foot with wooden horses

Saturday the 11th featured two matches, the first one was La Dolfina against La Esquina. With a handicap difference of 11 goals, it was no surprise that La Dolfina took the lead and kept it all the way through with an impressive 24 over 6 win.

Two legendary players up against each other, Adolfo Cambiaso in white with his very recognisable helmet of the Argentine flag and Mariano Aguerre reaching for the ball

Start them young, a cute little girl playing with her mallet and ball in the sidelines

Chapa family watching from the sidelines

I went to the team tent after to get a sneak peek, but the players quickly went inside and were not to be seen anymore. I did a quick video with Pablo MacDonough’s lovely wife Mechi Venancio for C8 Polo, make sure to follow C8 Polo on Instagram to see lots of behind the scenes shots (and in case you don’t already follow me, go here)

The second match of the day had the boys in orange from La Aguada Las Monjitas pumped up and on fire, they had a convincing 12 to 7 goal win over La Irenita and seemed happy and relaxed after, as Nacho Novillo Astrada told me in a quick interview (which was on my Instagram stories)

La Aguada Las Monjitas

Hugs and cheering in the team tent

The evening had another show set up with live music and the crowds flocked around the scene. The girl and I were starving, so we quickly made our way to Kansas, an American chain restaurant with American sized portions, just what we needed.

Sunday was time for Ellerstina to finally come on the field and show their power. There had been talk about Facu Pieres not playing the first match due to his bad fall in the Hurlingham Open Final, but he was there on the field with a shiny black helmet with purple details, sending balls soaring across the field to his brothers and cousin. They, of course, won over their opponents and big time, Chapaleufu Cardon is a 30-goal team and Ellerstina racks up 39 handicap points. The final score was 21- 7 in favor of Ellerstina Johor.

I managed to say hi to Nico Pieres (who I know from when he played in Dubai last year when I was in charge of social media and marketing at the AL Habtoor Polo Resort and Club). I asked him what his legendary polo player of a father says to them before a match, and this was his response:

Then it was time to move over field one, the most famous polo field in the world and a place most polo players aspire to be able to play on.

I got myself a little Freddo ice cream on the way, I got the new Gin&Tonic flavour and Dulce de Leche, they do not match at all, but were both quite delicious.

I joined my friend Lesley on the grandstands and after climbing stairs for what felt like eternity, we had some great seats with an amazing view of the field.The boys in pink (Alegria) came on the field and we cheered, Lesley is from Calgary where the team is from (well the patron Fred Mannix is from Calgary), so naturally she is also an Alegria fan.

Fred Mannix on the run and looking back on his opponent with a “catch me if you can” look

Pair up! Mark your man.

Alegria Land Rover played against Cria Yatay Colony. The first 4 chukkers were so open and smooth that they went by in a flash. Alegria had the lead, but by two points keeping everyone on their toes, as we all know that two goals can be scored in a very short amount of time. But they kept the lead and added and extra at the end of the 8th chukker with the final score being 14-11.

Then it was once more time to enjoy bubbly wine, empanadas and fun conversations in the Alegria tent.

The team!

Stay tuned for the next part of Palermo Open

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