|Sun 17th Oct 2021|
Ellerstina Take Tortugas Hat-Trick
Defending champions secure 11-9 win over La Dolfina Saudi
Saturday 16 October, saw La Dolfina and Ellerstina meet in The Tortugas Open Final for the eleventh consecutive year, with Ellerstina aiming to defend their title. Ellerstina had to replace an injured Hilario Ulloa with Matías Torres Zavaleta and La Dolfina seemed to take advantage of this early on and by the third chukka were leading 5-3; however, Ellerstina turned the tables with a 5-0 goal run – led by top scorer of the day and the tournament, Facundo Pieres, with 29 goals in three matches. This out-performance by Ellerstina in the fourth and fifth chukkas proved crucial and as the sixth chukka ended the scores rested on 10-7 in favour of the double title holders – could they make it a hat-trick?
Yet, La Dolfina are not a team to take a three goal deficit as the be all and end all and they fought back with alacrity in the seventh chukka, scoring back to back goals to bring the scores within just one goal, 10-9. Whispers of a tie pushing the match into over-time whipped around, but great teamwork between Zavaleta and Gonzalito Pieres saw another goal for Ellerstina and with it The Tortugas Open title for their third year in a row, as well as their thirteenth overall win in the opening tournament of The Argentine Triple Crown. This victory also means that the Pieres brothers have secured their tenth Tortugas title, Nico Pieres his fifth and for Zavaleta his first Triple Crown title; this means that Facundo and Gonzalito are only one title behind the top winners of The Tortugas Open to date – Pablo Mac Donough and Alberto Heguy, who hold 11 apiece.
Zavaleta was chosen as the Most Valuable Player, Gete Origami, played by Adolofo Cambiaso and owned by Nicky Sen, was the Best Playing Pony and the Best Polo Argentino Bred was Irentia Harinosa, played by Pelón Stirling and owned by Valiente Polo.
The Tortugas Open Final Teams:
Ellerstina (37): Facundo Pieres (10), Matías Torres Zavaleta (8), Gonzalito Pieres (9) & Nicolás Pieres (10)
La Dolfina Saudi (38): Adolfo Cambiaso (10), Francisco Elizalde (9), David ‘Pelón’ Stirling (10) & Diego Cavanagh (9)
Photograph: Ellerstina celebrate their victory alongside injured teammate, Hilario Ulloa. By Prensa AAP/Matias Callejo
Sat 16th Oct 2021
Tortugas Open Final Set
Ellerstina face La Dolfina today
Over the weekend, four teams went head-to-head to fight for their place in the 81st Tortugas Open.
On Saturday 9 October, defending champions, Ellerstina, secured their 15th consecutive Tortugas Open Final following their 12-8 victory against Jockey Club Open winners, La Ensenada.
The following day, Sunday 10 October, the Semi Final between La Dolfina Saudi and RS Murus Sanctus saw Pablo Mac Donough and Juan Martín Nero face their previous team mates of 10 years, Adolfo Cambiaso and David ‘Pelón’ Stirling, for the first time; and as expected it was a thrilling Semi Final to watch with only a narrow 11-10 score gifting La Dolfina Saudi their spot in the Final.
These results mean that for the 11th consecutive year, The Tortugas Open Final on Saturday 16 October will be played between Ellerstina and La Dolfina Saudi, will the defending champions retain their title? To find out, subscribe to AAP Live
using the discount code POLOTIMES10 and receive 10% off your subscription.
Tortugas Open Semi Final Teams:
RS Murus Sanctus (39): Facundo Sola (9), Guillermo Caset (10), Pablo Mac Donough (10) & Juan Martín Nero (10)
La Dolfina Saudi (38): Adolfo Cambiaso (10), David Stirling (10), Francisco Elizalde (9) & Diego Cavanagh (9)
Ellerstina (39): Facundo Pieres (10), Hilario Ulloa (10), Gonzalo Pieres (9) & Nicolás Pieres (10)
La Ensenada (33): Juan Britos (9), Alfredo Bigatti (8), Juan Martín. Zubía (8) & Jerónimo del Carril (8)
Photograph: La Dolfina Saudi narrowly defeated RS Murus Sanctus for their spot in the Final. By Matias Callejo
Fri 15th Oct 2021
USA Retain Townsend Cup
England put on strong show
Following on from their win earlier in the weekend in The Churchill-Roosevelt Cup at New Bridge Polo & Country Club in Aiken, South Carolina, the USA’s dominance over England continued in The Townsend Cup on Sunday 10 October, adding their country’s name to the title for the eighth year.
The pressure was on for the home team, as defending champions and with seven wins under their belt to England’s one, there was a lot resting on the outcome of the international match. USA Team Captain Pelon Escapite opened the scoring, with England’s Ormerod brothers swiftly replying with goals of their own, they continued to work in tandem throughout the match, however by half-time USA had gained a two goal advantage, 10-8.
For the second half, USA team coach, Tiger Kneece, implemented a new strategy to alter the pace of play, but England were unwilling to backdown and continued to battle on and by the start of the final chukka, the home team led by just one goal. However, time was not on the visitors’ side and USA ran out the winners, 18-15, to chants of “U-S-A”. Geronimo Obregon commented post-match, “Man, they’re rough! England is always rough. My experience playing against them is always intense. It’s tough to go around them and you’ve got to go through them, it’s hard. They’re competitive.”
Pelon Escapite was named Most Valuable Player, scoring a total of eight goals and Best Playing Pony was awarded to Samurai, a 13-year-old Mexican Thoroughbred played by Eden Ormerod and owned by Liv Berube.
A full report will follow in the November issue of Polo Times.
The Townsend Cup Teams:
USA (17): Pelon Escapite (8), Geronimo Obregon (7) & Winston Painter (2)
England (17): Julian Daniels (6), Eden Ormond (6) & Robin Ormond (5)
Photograph: The USA defeated England 18-15 to retain the title. By Larry Johnson