The Ladies Diamond Cup: Media Sponsor –POLO LADY Magazine.
The Ladies Diamond Cup was played for the first time in November 2015. This was the debut of the official tournament for ‘ladies only’ at La Dolfina. Undoubtedly, this is a pioneering step forward for this activity.
Step by step, sometimes a short stride, others a long leap, ladies polo has been growing in recent years worldwide. However, the progress made during November, especially in Argentina, will be remembered when considering the final numbers of women playing polo.
The tournament for ‘ladies only’ was played for the first time ever between 9th and 23rd November at Cambiaso’s fortress, no less, La Dolfina, the headquarters of the best polo team of the 21st century. There, at Cañuelas, doors were open to the competition that no one wanted to miss: there were four formations of 16 goals. Nearly all ladies players in South America were present. One of its organisers, Patricia Pazarasa said: “Playing a high handicap tournament and playing it at La Dolfina is the upmost in all aspects; there are other important championships but by doing this is opening the door of this Club to ladies polo is an amazing opportunity”.
The first two days polo was played and as expected many people attended the event attracted by an official ladies polo tournament at La Dolfina for the first time. Unfortunately for the organisation and the players, the finals were postponed. The initial date arranged was the 13th but the rain inevitably pushed the date forward and the final took place on 23rd.
On this day, the games literally lasted all day. Matches started at 10 o’clock in the morning and finished at 10 o’clock in the evening when there was hardly any daylight left. However, luckily for all parties involved, everything turned out perfectly. There was a large event organised in the amazing fields of Cambiaso’s Club including stands for sponsors, big tables with sushi, fine products from the brands supporting the tournament, a DJ, and hundreds of polo presents and prizes for the player. The first Diamond Championship had the honour of being compared to not only men’s championships in Argentina but also to one’s played worldwide.
“It is the highest handicap ladies polo tournament played here in Argentina. There are excellent players, old legends and recent players growing professionally. I am extremely happy that so many of them attended and have been strongly supported”, Pato Pazarasa commented days before the tournament, at the opulent cocktail party which took place in La Dolfina at the clothes shop located in Avenida Figueroa Alcorta. Many players and guests attended eager to see what the event was about.
The day was so long because not only the finals for the main tournament were played but also the Ladies League 8, a group of 8 quartets played classifying and final matches. After these matches the Champions were announced.
The ladies with the lowest score, La Mora Mapa Wines (Isabel Pochelu, Verónica Urtubey, the Italian player, Ginevra D’Orazio and Martina Gadeo) won the final match 3-2 against Mayline and celebrated the Open Title. The second championship was won by Love Polo (with María Chavanne in the team). They beat Las Indias 4-2.
Douglas and Nipas Polo Team who won the first two days were the protagonists of the Ladies Diamond big final. A furious attack of Douglas (Clara Cassino was unbeatable and was supported by Paola Martinez, Jeanine Hugo and Nicky Sen) which allowed them a quick advantage to control closing the match and win the match 7-4 half time. The subsidiary team, La Herradura beat Lala White 8 1/2 to 5.
At dusk music filled the air at La Dolfina as a spectacular award ceremony for all the players took place. There was sushi, beer, and the typical Argentinian “choripan” (chorizo and bread). Players were holding their trophies up in the air. Participant sponsors donated bags, bottles, blankets, riding whips and other presents. There was also a raffle with trips around Argentina as prizes. The ceremony was closed with the award to the champion Douglas. Obviously, the always active Paola Martínez, responsible for the last day training, was in charge of spilling the champagne over her colleagues and people present at the event. Paola was chosen as the Most Valuable Player at the final and her mare Rayita was rewarded as the best horse.
Night was approaching in the sky at Cañuelas and music played on. This was a key day for Ladies Polo in 2015 in Argentina. This was not an ordinary Monday in the calendar but the same Monday when Argentina 2015 Open took off at La Dolfina with some of the day protagonists. Despite all that, girls responded in and out of the playing field. They showed their commitment with the development of the activity beyond their personal interests.
The voice of Cañuelas: Proclamations from the heroes of Diamond –Clara Casino
She scored four goals when she was just 19. She is the forward player of Douglas team – the winning formation. She played an amazing match at the final, getting on well with the adult players as if they were a group of friends.
“The organisation was incredible. These ladies tournaments are always well organized. It was a pity it rained so much. These things happen and cannot be prevented. I am very proud of playing with players from different parts of the world. Ladies polo is steadily growing every year and there are more ladies players who are registering to play in tournaments. Besides, Ladies players are younger and play much better. This is fantastic. This sport is getting more competitive and we have to train horses well. My future? I hope I can give the best of myself”.
The Future-Mia Cambiaso
The “owner of the house” played with the Club team and she showed that genes always play an important part.
“It was very good fun. I felt so good on the field and I got on very well with the other players. My dad supports me so much but I play because I enjoy it. I don’t know if I’m going to become a professional polo player in the future! She laughs. Ladies polo is growing a lot.”
The Experience-Annita Van Der Hoeven
She was a finalist of the open with Nipas. Annita, the Dutch player, participates in all the ladies polo prospective tournaments with enthusiasm and a good attitude.
“I was organizing the tournament with María Chavanne and I loved it! It was fantastic to play at La Dolfina. Adolfo Cambiaso is striving to give higher quality to ladies polo. I have been playing for six years. Together with my son, we have good horses and that increases the quality of the game. Many girls are getting better and I think in ten years’ time the level is going to be very high. I live in England and the quality of the game in this country is also extremely high among ladies.”
Concerning the sponsors of ladies polo, she says “When you invest in children’s polo and horses everything can get better. If you don’t invest in the game and children’s polo then the interest will not grow. We would like to have this tournament at La Dolfina every year, so the interest for this sport can increase and we can have higher handicap. The quality of the game is unbelievable. Sponsors love taking part in this activity equally for men or women.”
“I organize men’s polo here at La Dolfina. As Mia started playing tournaments for children, “Adolfito” said to me we should get ladies polo started in this Club, and we have not achieved that yet. Whenever I organized ladies tournaments it was extremely important to give presents to the ladies players, especially in pink as this colour is perfectly suited to their gender. Therefore it helps sponsors in advance, who wish to support and compliment the players by giving items such as pink bags, t-shirts, blankets etc. The sport side of the activity is as important as the other side. So we stress that. Cambiaso is always open to organising anything related to polo. It is fantastic that a club is located there. He has promoted the south area of Buenos Aires, where La Dolfina is situated, supporting men for many years and since 2015 he has focused on ladies polo. We hope to organise the tournament again.”
“María Chavanne works at La Dolfina and has been a great tournament organizer since ladies polo tournaments started. It was time to have a tournament here. Ladies polo has grown tremendously, especially this last year, since handicaps were validated outside Argentina, in England and The United States. A lot of English ladies players come to this country. It is has now become more globalised ladies polo. Before there were ‘the players who played here and the players who played there’. Now we are all organised and play on the same wavelength.”
Video Clip de La Dolfina Polo Club, Cañuelas, Provincia de Buenos Aires, Argentina. The Polo Society. Art Department: Carolina Vidal Hahn. Producido por Raymond.
La Dolfina Ladies Diamond Cup:
Douglas: Paola Martínez (7), Clara Cassino (5), Jeanine Hugo (3) y Nicky Sen (1). Total: 16
La Herradura: Annabbel Mc Naught Davis (6), Sol López Llames (4), Dolores Bunge (4) y Cecilia Rosas (2). Total: 16
Nipas: Mummy Bellande (7), María Giménez (6), Carolina Arteta (2) y Annita Van Der Hoeven (0). Total: 15
Lala White Propiedades: Ina Lalor (6), Camila Rossi (5), Alexia Laprida (3) y Verónica Posse (1). Total: 15
Liga 8 Femenina
La Mora Mapa Wines: Isabel Pochelu (3), Verónica Urtubey (0), Ginevra D’Orazio (2) y Martina Gadea (2). Total: 7
La Dolfina: Mía Cambiaso (1), Catalina Ayerza (1), Milagros Fernández Araujo (3) y Candela Fernández Araujo (3). Total: 8
La Sofía: Verónica Guerrero (3), Marianne Kostner (1), Silke Oeschler (1) y Laura Moyano (1). Total: 6
Mayling: María Teresa Dodero (2), Carolina Dodero (2), Sophie Taylor (4) y Valentina Agote (0). Total: 8
Wilah: Guillermina Suffern (0), Mercedes Prario (2), Lorena Ojeda (1) y Emmanuele Ougier (2). Total: 5
La Rusa: Candelaria Fernández Llorente (3), Lucía Podesta (2), Camila Aprile (1) y Natasha Golub (0). Total: 7
Las Indias: María Celeste Giménez (3), Candelaria Peñaloza (1), Iara Reynoso (2) y Candela Mercuri (0). Total: 6
LOVEPOLO: María Chavanne (3), Alice Gips (3), Juana Zucchi (1) y Araceli Teves (0). Total: 7