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Women’s Polo In Saint-Tropez

Women’s Polo In Saint-Tropez

st tropez polo club

I used to live near Saint-Tropez for five years. Many years have passed but I still remember the chirping of cicadas in the glow of the hot nights and the smell of Mediterranean pines.

Saint-Tropez is a tiny town, 100km west of Nice in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, France. It’s one of the most glamorous seaside resorts in Europe.

It is renowned for its white sandy beaches, crazy summer night parties, luxury yachting breaks, and delicious French cuisine. It was a military stronghold-fishing village until the beginning of the 20th century. Since that time, it has become a resort for the European, Russian, and American jet set and a superb attraction for tourists in search of a little provincial authenticity and an occasional celebrity sighting.

Why visit Saint-Tropez?

To play women’s polo as part of the Polo Masters/Open de Gassin tournament in July 2016.

Where to stay?

There are great value holiday rentals on Booking.com. However, the best we can recommend is to find friends living nearby and stay with them!

Another great tip is to rent a yacht and enjoy the freedom in the bay of Saint-Tropez in the neighborhood of millionaires!

What to see?

Meet American movie stars, Russian magnates, and world-famous fashion designers. Visit beautiful lavender fields—to see their beauty and inhale its overwhelmingly relaxing aroma. Check out the glamorous Cannes and the cosmopolitan town of Nice. Stroll along the streets, the old fishing village, and drink coffee in a bakery.

What to eat?

Try some seafood at any local bar! Enjoy French pastries and desserts. Taste champagne and Provence rose wine in unlimited amounts. Ask the owner of a small local fruit shop to organize a picnic and spend time on the beach watching the yachts and their owners.

Where to buy goods?

A local ‘bijouterie’—a retail treasure for visitors and locals alike, selling clothes, shoes, crafts, food, and tourist souvenirs, Provence lavender and herbs in sealed packets, bright soft towels, and lavender soap.

Women have been playing in mixed Polo in Saint-Tropez since the creation of the Polo Club Saint-Tropez over 18 years ago.

Indeed, the first owner of the club Corinne Schuler is a woman, an active polo player, and patron of the Saint-Tropez Polo Team which is, by reason of her participation, to date, a mixed team. Mixed Pplo has been popular through the years with players and patrons participating, like Nicky Sen and Helen Goddard-Watts. Now, women’s polo has increasingly grown by 100%.

saint tropez women polo

The idea of starting women’s polo at the Polo Club Saint-Tropez came from Jean Yves Delfosse who was inspired by seeing women’s polo tournaments in England, in the early 2000s. The club’s foray into women’s polo began ten years ago, on a modest scale with the awarding of the Marie Figaro Trophy to women playing in mixed tournaments. Responding to the increasing interest from women, the club then introduced several exhibition matches for women players.

This development was followed by the creation of an exclusive women’s tournament, the Pommery Ladies Cup, with the equivalent of 10-12 goals and women’s handicap. It has been the commitment of the club’s sponsors, Pommery Champagne and Julian Joailliers, to women’s polo that has encouraged the club to establish women’s tournaments as a feature of the season in Saint-Tropez. Indeed, this new dimension to the club’s calendar has created considerable interest among sponsors and the media.

Ladies’ teams usually form by themselves through word of mouth. There has always been a strong demand for players for 100% of the women’s tournaments.

This year, women’s polo at the club was played as part of the Polo Masters/Open de Gassin Tournament, with the ladies’ teams competing for the Julian Joailliers Cup. Three teams participated over the weekend:

Domaine de La Rouillere:

Magalie Laget

Caroline Anier

Aurelie Rayssac

Rachael Hugues

Julian Joailliers: 

Valerie Fraychinaud

Manon Garnier

Alexia Pike

Caroline Pike

La Concepcion: 

Inga Stawinska

Kinga Nowakowska

Malena Nigoul

Nanne Kostner

At the end of a close competition and some exciting matches, Domaine de la Rouillere was declared the victor! During the tournaments, both men and women players are entirely autonomous in terms of accommodation and horses. The club’s organization and optimal facilities ensure that once there, everything runs like clockwork. The club arranges specific events, including asados and parties, around the women’s polo calendar and women players always receive beautiful presents from sponsors.

Thanks to the new owner Mr. Alshair Fiyaz, the club is now taking on a new dimension. New infrastructure is on par with this prestigious venue in the Gulf of Saint-Tropez, ready to host medium and high goal teams.

In a domain of over 100 hectares surrounded by forests, the Polo Club Saint-Tropez offers four polo fields in Tifton turf of the best quality, a stick & ball field, a 360-meter training field, a new indoor arena which can be optimized for each season, and 350 boxes designed to provide the optimum ecological environment for horses. Not to mention, the indispensable farriering and veterinary space! Accommodation comprises nine luxury villas for players and their families, designed for every comfort, and 19 apartments equipped for the stable staff.

The new state-of-the-art bespoke-designed clubhouse of 1400m2 will be ready for the 2016 season. A beautiful terrace overlooks the main field so that the Polo matches can be enjoyed in the best conditions. The luxury clubhouse boasts a restaurant, hammam, sauna, and locker rooms for members and players. Polo Club Saint-Tropez has four playing fields and a large stick & ball field which are planted in Tifton: This variety of high-quality, extremely durable, and compact turf is specially designed for high-level polo fields

Built by the leading specialist in the UK Loddon Stables, Stalls & Kennels, 350 new eco-stall stables use compressed bamboo, which is environmentally-friendly, with a special rubber floor. The new structure of the stable roof collects rainwater in a tank of 3,000m3  for recycling—an environmental commitment that respects both people and animals.

The outdoor arena is encircled by a 360-meter training track composed of a mixture of sand, cotton fiber, and liquid latex on which “petiseros” relax polo ponies in groups. This carefully calculated mixture provides a flexible yet firm soil throughout the year, whatever the weather. The indoor arena completes the array of essential services provided to the players and their mounts.

The polo club offers nine luxury villas—new and comfortably furnished, with private parking, a real plus for players who travel with family or for sponsors who wish to benefit from a quality resource, close to the polo fields and to all amenities.

Grouped in a large building designed around a garden, 19 apartments are now available, with 33 rooms all in all. These new apartments, furnished for a high level of comfort, are located near the stables—accommodation for the use of the grooms who will be able to stay on-site during the tournament season.

Sunday Polo 2015

October 2015 announced the end of the season marked by six festive events staged during the finals of the six tournaments. On Sundays, from June to September, the finals and the prize-giving ceremonies for each tournament ended with a bang—a series of festive evenings at the polo club organized by the beach restaurant partners (Stefano Forever, Riva Plage, Plage des Jumeaux, Eden Plage, Nioulargo, and Moorea), selected for their quality and hospitality. These institutions of the peninsula of Saint-Tropez organized fabulous parties to recreate the spirit and magic of a summer’s evening in Pampelonne.

saint tropez polo club

The success, so far, of women’s polo at the club, the interest shown by the media, and the encouragement of the sponsors have given considerable impetus to the club’s initiative to develop the women’s sport at Saint-Tropez. With more and more ladies playing polo and many women players establishing excellent reputations within the sport, an exciting new dimension to the game has opened up. Polo Club Saint-Tropez is committed to participating in this, ensuring women’s polo gains its rightful place alongside the men’s game. Expect to see further developments in the seasons to come.

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