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2023 Finals OPEN DE FRANCE: A Polo Highlight

First victory in the Open de France for the Kazak team © Adèle Renauldon - R&B Presse

Eighteen teams at the start, eight in the women‘s category, and two (times two) at the finish line. After a flamboyant qualifying phase (50 games) that gave rise to some sublime battles over three weeks, four fine teams faced each other on Sunday afternoon at the Ferme d‘Apremont, home of the Chantilly Polo Club, in front of… a lot of people! The French Open was a resounding success, with TTR Sotheby in the women‘s category and Kazak in the men‘s category coming out on top after a game of insane intensity that went into extra time. Two finals that will be remembered for a long time writing a new chapter in the history of the Open de France.

First title for Kazak

Kazak has been competing for four years now and this magnificent team won its first title, one of the most coveted on the international circuit, in Apremont on Sunday. An incredibly intense game and polo of the highest quality, thanks to some horses worthy of Palermo. From one end of the game to the other, the teams gave blow for blow, none of them managing to get the upper hand. And as is often the case in such evenly matches, it was in extra time that the 23rd Open de France was decided. After a decisive pass from Nico Pieres, Antonio Heguy scored the golden goal in front of his father, polo legend Pepe Heguy. For Nico Pieres, it was his first participation in the Open de France and his first victory: „I‘m happy, obviously, but I‘m especially happy for this fine Kazak team, who gave themselves the means to win this title by investing in the right horses. It was a very complicated game to win and I knew it was going to be tough because I have watched Amanara‘s games. I knew the score was going to be very close. In the extra chukker, I had to be patient and not rush things and that worked. It is the first time I have played polo at this level, and the first time I have played a tournament with eighteen teams, and I was surprised by the level of polo that was played here. It is a good preparation for the Argentinian Triple Crown, which I will be flying to tomorrow, but for the moment I don‘t want to think about that because tonight we are going to celebrate this French victory as we should.”

Women‘s Open: second appearance and second victory for world No. 1 Nina Clarkin

With three of the four best female players in the world, all of whom have won the Argentine Open, the pinnacle of the sport for both men and women, the Women’s Open de France reached an exceptional level for its 12th edition. In the end, it was the two English female 10-goalers who came face to face, just as they did in Palermo (the Argentine championship stadium) last year and in Chantilly in 2018! It took a while for the game to get going and it really took off in the third chukker. The promise of an intense battle between the two Englishwomen was fulfilled, but in the end, it was Nina Clarkin‘s experience that sealed the deal: „It was a great tournament this year with some very good teams. Some of the games were very tough, like this final, but it is a fantastic tournament with a great organization,“ said the world‘s best female player. “We were lucky enough to be able to bring our own horses here. It was a really great week, especially as it ended with a win. A game against Hazel is always difficult, she is a great player and very combative. We really had to fight. They got the better of us at the start of the game, but we recovered at the end of the second half to hold on. Little Margaux (Guillemin) has really helped us and she is a great surprise. We needed a fourth player with a handicap of 0 and the organizers suggested us this young Frenchwoman who has a lot of talent and whom we didn‘t know at all: but I don‘t think she‘ll remain unknown for long.” Like the men, Nina will now turn her attention to Argentina, where she will be defending her title with La Dolfina alongside Mia Cambiaso: „I always enjoy playing over there with this team, especially as I have some top quality horses over there. The Argentine Open is now my goal for the end of the season.”

TTR Sotheby's winner of the 12th Women’s Open de France © Adèle Renauldon - R&B Presse

Trophée Castel: battle of the juniors and victory for Mustang Polo Team

This festive day ended with a nice bonus: the final of the Trophée Castel, which pitted two French teams against each other, and in particular two juniors with great hopes for the future of French polo. The battle between two childhood friends, Elouan Badarello and Ulysse Eisenchteter, as well as his sister Noémie, was won by the former, who scored two magnificent and important goals, as Mustang Polo Team took the last victory of these magnificent three weeks by the narrowest of margins.

Most of these champions will be back on the road tomorrow, or rather on the plane to Argentina, where the Triple Crown tournaments await them, the peak of the international season ending in apotheosis with the Argentine Opens, reserved for the ten best teams in the world, and therefore the forty best players in the world: fourteen of them were in Chantilly, which puts the Open de France on the world map of top-level polo. We are a little sad to see these players, horses and petiseros who have brought so much joy to the Chantilly Polo Club leave, letting the club gradually return to its winter structure. But only gradually as next week the French Championships are starting, marking the end of the green season.


Photos by Adèle Renauldon – R&B Presse


23rd Open de France

Kazak: Sébastien Aguettant (FRA 0), Beltran Laulhe (ARG 3, 2 goals), Antonio Heguy (ARG 5, 1 goal) et Nico Pieres (ARG 8, 8 goals)

Amanara (17): Nicky Sen (HOL 0), Lorenzo Chavanne (ARG 4, 2 goals), Santiago Chavanne (ARG 7, 3 goals), Benjamin Panelo (ARG 6, 4 goals).

Progression Kazak: 3-2 / 4-5 / 6-5 / 8-7 / 9-9 / 10-9 (OT)

MVP: Beltran Laulhe (ARG 3)

Best amateur player of the final by Soriano Motori: Sébastien Aguettant (Kazak)

BPP: V8 Back Home, owned by Nicky Sen and played by Lorenzo Chavanne (Amanara)

Best Argentinian studbook horse in the final (AACCP BPP) : Open Exquisita, jouée par Nicolas Pieres (Kazak).


12th Women’s Open de France

TTR Sotheby’s: Margaux Guillemin (FRA 0), Laura Farell (GBR 1, 1 goal), Lucy Coddington (GBR 5, 4 goals dont 3 pénalités) et Nina Clarkin (GBR 10, 2 goals dont 1 pénalité)

La Mariposa Polo Team: Annalise Phillips (USA 1), Nina Fruehaufn (ALL 0), Rebecca Walters (GBR 5, 3 goals) et Hazel Jackson (GBR 10, 2 goals dont 1 pénalité)

Progression TTR Sotheby’s: 0-1 / 3-3 / 4-3 / 6-5.

MVP: Nina Clarkin (TTR Sotheby’s)

Rookie of the tournament: Margaux Guillemin (14 years old – TTR Sotheby’s)

BPP by Majoa: Lovelocks Florin, Nina Clarkin (TTR Sotheby’s)


Trophée Castel 2023

Mustang Polo Team: Françoise Okala (FRA 0), Elouan Badarello (FRA 0, 2 goals), Nicolas Lopez Fuentes (ARG 3, 3 goals) et Tete Fanelli (ARG 5,3 goals)

Mungo: Ulysse Eisenchteter (FRA 0, 1 goal), Noémie Eisenchteter (FRA -1, 2 goals), Jules Legoubin (FRA 3, 1 goal) et Pierre Henri N’Goumou (FRA 6, 3 goals)

Progression Mustang Polo Team: 1-1 / 3-2 / 6-5 / 8/7

MVP: Elouan Badarello (Mustang)

BPP: Absolute Revoltosa owned and ridden by Pierre Henri Ngoumou (Mungo)

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