About a fifty-minute drive away from Paris, there’s a motorway exit that you absolutely need to profit from during the beautiful days of September, as it will lead you towards a match in one of the most beautiful European polo clubs in Apremont, close to Chantilly. There’s free access for everyone, permitting the visitors to assist at one of the most breathtaking French tournaments: the French Open.
Or rather “both French Opens”, as there is the ladies’ version since the first edition of the Chopard Open last year, reserved solely for female players. The ladies’ polo is softer in movement and more elegant, yet not less competitive: eight teams are participating this year, among them the best French player (Caroline Anier), the best female polo player from Germany (Eva Brühl) and also the best Argentinean (Lía Salvo).
The French Opens form the ideal occasion to discover high-level polo in a magnificent environment (the green grounds of the Apremont estate, close to Chantilly, less than a one-hour drive from Paris) and free access to the matches (no matter whether on working days or weekends when there’s the possibility of picnics by the playing field as well as a commentator making the match understandable even to a layperson). Nevertheless, one should not hesitate to experience one of the matches on working days, as they are more intimate and very relaxing to watch, with a very laid-back atmosphere and a very green, sometimes bewildering environment: an Argentinean colony!
The men’s Open will be top-class this year, with two formerly victorious teams taking part, three foreign teams, one of which is from Belgium and entirely new – and last but not least, one French team: a national composition of four professional players who are in preparation for the next World Championship.
The enumeration of talents that will be present at the men’s French Open would make a long list, including names such as Brieuc Rigaux and Pierre Henri Ngoumou (the French n°1s) and the handicap 7 players Dario Musso and Juan Ambroggio.
In short, the players’ quality ensures a great sporting event from 6th until 21st September (program on www.poloclubchantilly.com), whether it’s on working days with a rather intimate atmosphere, or on weekends with more animation. The ladies’ Chopard Open starts on 10th September with two groups, one playing in Murus Sanctus close to Saint-Arnoult en Yvelines, and the other in Chantilly-Apremont. The finals will both take place in Apremont, on 21st September.
French Opens 2013:
- 6 men’s teams, 24 players, and 7 ladies’ teams, 32 players
- 430 horses altogether
- 16 days of tournament
- 3 foreign men’s teams and 4 foreign ladies’ teams
- 12 represented nations
- 4 commented matches on weekends
- 3 other tournaments at the same time with close to 700 horses altogether in Chantilly-Apremont