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Rough Diamonds: La Dolfina’s Ladies Diamond Cup

Rough Diamonds: La Dolfina’s Ladies Diamond Cup

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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.

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Step by step—sometimes a short stride, others a long leap—and 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 November 9 to 23 at Cambiaso’s fortress 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 lady players in South America were present. One of its organizers, Patricia Pazarasa said, “Playing a high handicap tournament at La Dolfina is the utmost in all aspects. There are other important championships, but doing this opens the door of this club to ladies’ polo. It is an amazing opportunity.”

The first two days that polo was played expected many people attending the event, attracted by an official Ladies’ Polo tournament at La Dolfina for the first time. Unfortunately for the organization and the players, the finals were postponed. The initial date arranged was on the 13th, but the rain inevitably pushed the date forward and the finals took place on the 23rd.

On the day, the games lasted all day. Matches started at 10 am and finished at 10 pm when there was hardly any daylight left. Luckily for all parties involved, everything turned out perfectly. There was a large event organized 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 players. The first Diamond Championship had the honor of being compared to not only men’s championships in Argentina, but also to the ones 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—there’s also the Ladies League 8, a group of eight 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, 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) allowed them a quick advantage to control, closing, and winning the match 7-4 half time. The subsidiary team La Herradura beat Lala White 8 1/2 to 5.

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At dusk, music filled the air at La Dolfina as a spectacular award ceremony for all the players took place. There were sushi, beer, and the typical Argentinian choripan (chorizo and bread). Players were holding their trophies up in the air. Participating 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 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’s protagonists. Despite all that, girls responded in and out of the playing field. They showed their commitment to the development of the activity beyond their personal interests.

Meet the voice of Cañuelas, Clara Cassino, who 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 organization 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 lady players who are registering to play in tournaments. Besides, lady 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,” she says. 

The “owner of the house” Mia Cambiaso played with the club team and 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!”

Annita Van Der Hoeven, on the other hand, was a finalist of the open with Nipas. A Dutch player, she 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 a 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,” she muses.

Concerning the sponsors of ladies polo, she further shares, “When you invest in children’s polo and horses, everything can get better. If you don’t, then the interest will not grow. We would like to have this tournament at La Dolfina every year, so the interest in this sport can increase and we can have higher handicaps. The quality of the game is unbelievable. Sponsors love taking part in this activity equally for men and women.”

Maria Chavanne, one of the organizers, talks about the event as well saying, “I organize men’s polo here at La Dolfina. As Mia started playing tournaments for children, Adolfito told me that we should get ladies’ polo started in this club, and we have not achieved that yet. Whenever I organize ladies’ tournaments, it is extremely important to give presents to the lady players, especially in pink, as this color is perfectly suited to their gender. Therefore, it helps sponsors in advance, who wish to support and complement the players by giving items such as pink bags, t-shirts, blankets, and more. The sport side of the activity is as important as the other side. Cambiaso is always open to organizing anything related to polo. It is fantastic that the 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 has focused on ladies’ polo. We hope to organize the tournament again.”

Organizer Patricia Panzarasa adds, “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 lady players come to this country. It has now become more globalized ladies’ polo. Before, there were ‘players who played here and players who played there.’ Now we are all organized and played on the same wavelength.” 

Find the participants of the La Dolfina Ladies Diamond Cup below.

Douglas: 

Paola Martínez (7)

Clara Cassino (5)

Jeanine Hugo (3)

Nicky Sen (1)

Total: 16

La Herradura: 

Annabbel McNaught Davis (6)

Sol López Llames (4)

Dolores Bunge (4)

Cecilia Rosas (2)

Total: 16

Nipas: 

Mummy Bellande (7)

María Giménez (6)

Carolina Arteta (2) 

Annita Van Der Hoeven (0)

Total: 15

Lala White Propiedades: 

Ina Lalor (6)

Camila Rossi (5)

Alexia Laprida (3)

Verónica Posse (1)

Total: 15

 

Find the participants of Liga 8 Femenina below. 

La Mora Mapa Wines: 

Isabel Pochelu (3)

Verónica Urtubey (0)

Ginevra D’Orazio (2) 

Martina Gadea (2)

Total: 7

La Dolfina: 

Mía Cambiaso (1)

Catalina Ayerza (1)

Milagros Fernández Araujo (3)

Candela Fernández Araujo (3)

Total: 8

La Sofía: 

Verónica Guerrero (3)

Marianne Kostner (1)

Silke Oeschler (1) 

Laura Moyano (1)

Total: 6

Mayling: 

María Teresa Dodero (2)

Carolina Dodero (2)

Sophie Taylor (4) 

Valentina Agote (0)

Total: 8

Wilah: 

Guillermina Suffern (0)

Mercedes Prario (2)

Lorena Ojeda (1) 

Emmanuele Ougier (2)

Total: 5

La Rusa: 

Candelaria Fernández Llorente (3)

Lucía Podesta (2)

Camila Aprile (1) 

Natasha Golub  (0) 

Total: 7

Las Indias

María Celeste Giménez (3)

Candelaria Peñaloza (1)

Iara Reynoso (2) 

Candela Mercuri (0)

Total: 6

LOVEPolo: 

María Chavanne (3)

Alice Gips (3)

Juana Zucchi (1) 

Araceli Teves (0)

Total: 7

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