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Polo Nations Cup, Year 2

© Justine Jacquemot

After a successful first edition in which the French PACA region beat South Korea, the Polo Club du Domaine de Chantilly announces a second Polo Nations Cup that will be even more competitive and international, with ten teams representing six nations.

In the world of equestrian sport, especially for the Olympic disciplines (show jumping, dressage and eventing), the Nations Cup is the flagship team event of a season and a federation. The Nations Cup is the only team class in the individual disciplines, alongside the team European and World Championships and of course the Olympic Games.

This high-profile concept had never existed in polo before, even though it is a team sport par excellence! The prospect of the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris inspired the French Polo Federation (FFP) and the Polo Club du Domaine de Chantilly to create the Polo Nations Cup in 2023, a 12-goal tournament that opposes teams representing a nation, region or state.

Polo has always been part of the Olympic family and the FIP is a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). It has been an official discipline of the Olympic Games five times. First played at the 1900 Summer Games in Paris, it was dropped from the programme after the 1936 Summer Games in Berlin. An Anglo-American mixed team won the first gold medal in 1900, followed by Great Britain twice (1908 and 1920) and then Argentina (1924 and 1936).

Perhaps the Polo Nations Cup will allow us to gradually return to the glory days of polo at the Olympic Games, but above all it will attract the general public to the sidelines and continue the development of polo in France!

The 2024 edition of the Polo Nations Cup will take place from 13 to 23 June and will be contested by ten teams: Belgium, Pakistan, Italy, the German regions of Hamburg and Lower Saxony, the American states of Illinois and California and the French regions of PACA, Auvergne Rhône Alpes, Île-de-France and Occitanie. The basic rule is that the captain of each team must be a native of the nation or region under which they have registered. Some teams recruit mainly Argentinian reinforcements. For example, Tito Ruiz Guiñazu, one of the best players in the world, was a finalist wearing the Korean colours last year. This year, the „mercenary“ was recruited by Haider Nassem‘s Pakistan team. In the first edition, victory went to an all-French team, PACA, who will be back to defend their title this year. Another 100 per cent national team, the Hanseatic city of Hamburg, includes Heinrich Dumrath as well as the two Craseman brothers and their father Daniel.

The Polo Nations Cup is the highlight of the first half of the season in continental Europe. The French international season promises to be particularly rich this year with the Paris Games Polo Challenge 2024, a match between France and the USA in homage to the opening match of the 1924 Olympic tournament in Paris (on 7 August, see save-the-date below), and the eagerly awaited Open de France in September, the most competitive European tournament with twelve teams already entered. All this on the largest polo ground in France, if not in Europe (9 grass fields and the headquarters of the French Polo Federation), where access to all games is free.

Final of the Polo Nations Cup 2023: the PACA region won this first edition © Justine Jacquemot
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