Kick-off on 3rd August...
... six teams in the Gold Cup
... an exceptional participants list
... four players of the Argentinean Open
... the French #1
... France vs Argentina on 4th August!
... free access
What an exceptional program! This year, the Lucien Barrière Polo Cup de Deauville has an unprecedented variety of events to offer, all of them taking place around the traditional Gold Cup!
The Gold Cup 2013 will be initiated on 3rd August with preparation matches and will effectively start on 8th August in the form of a championship, with a final that will be disputed between the two best teams of the general ranking. The tournament is of elevated level, as the six teams recruited Argentinean professionals and the best French players.
Murus Sanctus, the British team of Corinne Ricard, has secured the aid of the young Argentinean super talent Facundo Sola (handicap 8*, but working towards a h10), who was recruited in Argentina by the La Aguada team of the Novillo-Astrada brothers, and so who will play in the Argentinean Open in December. André Fabre, who will be very busy on “both sides” of the hippodrome in August, remains loyal to Pancho Bensadon (h8), who sought the company of the French #1, Pierre-Henri Ngoumou. Édouard Carmignac, who will play alongside his son Hugues, has also engaged two Argentinean players that will participate in the next Argentinean Open! Lucas James (La Aguada II) and Pablo Pieres (Alegria … unless he replaces Mariano Aguerre, who suffers from a knee injury, in the officiating Argentinean champion team, thus the world champion team: Ellerstina). These two fantastic players will be the felicity of the audience in Deauville.
The presence of Tito Guinazu (h7), whose talent arranged for an exciting spring season in Chantilly ought to be mentioned, too, as well as the presence of Dario Musso (7 goaler), who already played in the final of the Gold Cup several times, with a victory in 2003. The exceptional get-together promises spectacular matches until the final on 25th August.
The Gold Cup will be intercepted by other sporting events, such as a test-match that will oppose France and Argentina on 4th August, with a tricolor team of an unforeseen high handicap level* (18 goals) in this constellation: the h5 Brieuc Rigaux and Pierre Henri Ngoumou as well as the h4 Patrick Paillol – the French player who has shown the most beautiful progress recently, and the winner of the French Open of 2012: Édouard Pan. This match will be the second preparation test for the upcoming World Championship in 2014, after the "Blues" were defeated by one goal in the French-Brazilian encounter on 14th July in Chantilly. They showed great disposition, though, and there is a feeling of revenge in the air!
Other surprises are in preparation for this month of polo, notably for 15th August. During that second week of August, the Bronze Cup (8 goals*) will begin in parallel to the Gold Cup. To summarize: The heart of French polo will be beating in Deauville for a whole month. That is nothing unusual, as Deauville’s history of international polo dates back to the 1950s.
It has to be emphasized that the access to all these matches is free, except for those on weekends and on 15th August and that the “village” (with animations and snacks for every guest, including parents an children on their way back from the beach) is open to everybody. In short, there is no valid pretext to not (re-)discover polo in Deauville this summer.
*h8 – “handicap 8”. The handicap corresponds to the level of the polo player (and can be anything between -2 and +10). The handicap of a player is based on his aptitude in polo, not on his results in the tournaments. The best French handicap today is h5. Since 1913, only 51 polo players achieved a handicap 10 in Argentina, currently there are six existing h10s.
For the Gold Cup 2013, the teams will have 16 goals, which means that the handicaps of the players of each team add up to 16. An example: Talandracas has two handicap 0 players and two players with handicaps of 8 -10. Body Minute, the winning team of the French Open in 2012, consists of a h0 + h4 + h5 and a h7 (the brilliant Tito Guinazu), adding up to a total of 16. The aim of the handicap-attribution is to make the teams even rivals.