What a season! Frenchwoman Isabelle Larenaudie (0) played her very first season in France this year. She arrived from Singapore at the end of last year and settled down at the Chantilly Polo Club with her five horses.
She organized the 8-goaler team Tedelou around the Argentine Simon Zavaleta (4). And this first French season has just ended in apotheosis with a title of French Champion for her first participation. It was a very pleasant match on an exceptional field despite the rain, which fortunately calmed down two hours before this final.
Her team beat their equally challenging opponent, the Sainte-Mesme, with members Robert Strom (5), Victor Louarn (0), Gonzalo Bernal (3), and Roberto Iturroiz (0), with 8 to 5.
It was in Singapore, where she had been living for 16 years, that Isabelle discovered and learned polo. And her return to France was a total success. After recently winning the Bronze Cup in Deauville, she headed straight for the French Championship.
For this tournament, she joined forces with Sam Sztarkman (1) to put together a very competitive team. They also teamed up with Simon and the French 3-goaler Jules Legoubin (3), whose strong progress this year was noted with his little thoroughbreds that he himself has educated.
He clearly contributed to this victory, with 2 goals against the title holder, Sainte-Mesme, an organization always complicated to beat. “We built this victory at the beginning of the match by scoring the first ones, which gave us a lot of confidence for the rest of the game,” the Frenchman confides.
Meanwhile, the understanding with man of the match Simon was the key to this victory, with Sam always very sure and decisive. “It’s fantastic. I couldn’t have dreamed of anything better for my first French season. With a team like this, it’s absolutely magical. There was a very good atmosphere in this group and that plays a big part in the success,” says the captain of the team. “We have a very positive team spirit, that’s the difference and I enjoyed it.”
Isabelle was awarded as the Best Amateur Player, while teammate Simon was named MVP of the match.