The All Pro Polo League (APPL) landed back in Argentina after a successful US edition in Palm Beach to host its second Golden Age +40 tournament in La Esquina, Pilar, with the Pierrou Gassiebayle Cup, on April 12 and 14.
Four 18-goal teams battled it out for the title, with former high-goal players like Mariano Aguerre, Pancho Bensadon, Lolo Castagnola, and Pite Merlos in competition. This edition also welcomed Claire Payne, the first woman to compete in the APPL.
After winning their respective qualifying matches, La Natividad (L. Castagnola, A. Weis, M. Bochino, J. Guerrero) and Los Machitos Cerro Pampa (M. Aguerre, A. Goti, A. Sporleder, N. Taverna) advanced to the final. It was a tight match from start to finish, and the score was tied by the end of the sixth, taking the game into extra time. In the end, the determination shown by Los Machitos was enough to give them the victory and title.
“I think it is amazing that the APPL organise a tournament for players above the age of forty,” states Mariano Aguerre, former 10-goal player and nine time winner of the Argentine Open Championship. “The age limit could even be put up to forty-five, because there are many forty year old players who are in their peak. But overall I think the concept of the Golden Age is brilliant.”
“The APPL rules are very positive because they create simple polo, with less horses, and they make the game enjoyable,” continues Aguerre. “I think it is a healthier form of polo: cleaner, faster, nicer to watch, fun to play, easier to understand, and you don’t need to wait around while players change horses. I like that it encourages players to be better riders, a fundamental part of being a good player, but something that I think has been lost in polo today. Obviously the rules aren’t perfect, but the fact that they aim to make matches faster and shorter is a huge plus.”
After the finals, players and their families enjoyed a traditional Argentine asado in the clubhouse. Thank you to all those who supported the event, particularly Cerveza Imperial, Escorihuela Gascon, and La Esquina Polo Club.
The All Pro Polo League continues this weekend in Brazil, with a tournament at Helvetia Polo Club, where several high goal players will be in competition. Follow @allpropolo for more information!
Rancho El Tata Haddaway Ettie: C Payne, G Gassiebayle, J Saavedra, F Bensadon
La Mariana: J M Azumendi, M Orozco, P Merlos, F Goti
Los Machitos Cerro Pampa:A Goti, A Sporleder, M Aguerre, N Manifold
La Natividad: A Weis, M Bochino, J Guerrero, L Castagnola
Next stop: Brazil! Stay tuned!