It was not the calmest end of September in Monaco, as the aristocratic spirit was in the air and it seemed that everyone was ready to plunge into this atmospheric event known as the MonteCarlo Polo Cup. The championship, which started 5 years ago for the support of the MonteCarlo Polo Club and Prince Albert II, is now bigger and even more spectacular. It is the “wow factor” that draws the audience. Everybody wants to see not only a ‘show’ in the guise of an independent polo game, but also a combination of exciting events that are inseparably linked to the tournament, held from 28 September to 1 October in Monaco and nearby areas, at the domain Vire-Vent, which is in Peille. We saw everything: the period parade of the “modern knights” of polo, the catwalk of the “ladies in hats”, the gala evening and even the awards ceremony for the winners, but, it’s not a secret that at the epicentre of the event remained the polo championship. Before we share with you the final results of the tournament, we invite you to delve into a historical retrospective of this sport.
If your first associations with equestrian polo are the UK and the exceptionally best traditions of the aristocracy of “Foggy Albion”, then you are slightly wrong. The origins of this sport go back to ancient history and Mesopotamia. At that time, the warriors founded a kind of “training” before the battles, chasing the heads of beasts, and even human heads, with special batons. Time passed and equestrian traditions became more civilized. So, in the 6th century BC, the Persians created the rules for playing “chougan” (analogue to modern polo), they started using balls and clubs, and began calling this sport truly aristocratic. Today, in one of the provinces of Iran, Isfahan, you can see the Nagshe-Jahan square for playing polo, where even the polo gates have remained. Later, this game began to spread virally all around the world, from Europe to the remote colonies. Consequently, the British brought polo to India, establishing the first poloclub in Calcutta in 1859. To Britain, this sport arrived in 1869. Later, the game conquered the USA and Argentina, where the best polo horses have been bred, for instance more than 90% of the total number of horses in the world come from Argentina.
And we return back to the Monte Carlo Polo Cup tournament and, of course, to its final, which took place on Sunday, 1 October. And how can you do without the usual traditions of this high society event? There were ladies in hats, unusual breeds of dogs, accompanying gentlemen and a DJ, entertaining the audience in the somewhat weather, introducing a novelty of the event.
Pablo Jauretche – player of the Monte-Carlo Polo Team shared with HelloMonaco the tensest moments of the game and some interesting facts about the game of polo:
“Our team Eco Estrela won, but in a very tough game. Some of the players were hurt as the game was pretty tense. But it’s nothing for us, as professional players we are used to this. Four teams from Monaco, Italy, and France took part in the competition, and all of them performed really well. Personally for me, the Monte Carlo Polo Cup was something that I enjoyed very much, as the atmosphere here is always amazing. For me it’s not only about the polo game itself, it’s a complex mix of many different events that were created here by the organisers. For me the key point of the Polo Championship was the parade at the Casino Square; I was very excited as it was just great!”
Francesco Mitrano, president of the MonteCarlo Polo Club and the team member of the Eco Estrela, told us what made this edition of Monte Carlo Polo Cup special and let us find out more about the character of the polo horses:
“A very important thing to say that this is the 5th year that Monaco Polo Cup has existed. When we first started in 2013 for us it was more of an adventure and a dream to create this event. Already today we can really say that this is not an idea anymore, it is a fact. We are here after 5 years and every year we are growing more and more, and becoming more and more successful. We can see this tendency of growing enthusiasm among our public and of course we are moving towards becoming an international event. My team, Eco Estrela, includes players from all around the world: Argentina, Spain, Poland. There is already an obvious international interest in this event, which is the most important thing for us. For my team the game was tough and our competitors from Milano Polo Club were really strong. I think, for this sport you need to be very athletic and brave.
I must say, in this game, the horse is also very important, and a good horse accounts for 60-70% of the success. My favourite one is Mara, she is very special not only because of her character, but also her colour, white mane and blue eyes. Just incredible! Argentinian horses are just different from standard ones, they are very fast, adroit and calm at the same time. You see that in the polo game you have a lot of equipment, sticks, balls and other players riding horses, anyway, even this fact doesn’t stress out an Argentinian horse. What is also special is that the horses know exactly what to do and how to coordinate with the rider, they feel this sort of excitement when following the ball!”
Finally, summarising the results of the championship it is important to announce the winners: CP Capital took 3rd place, the Italian team, under the sponsorship of GF Group Financier de Gestion, won the 2nd prize, and Francesco Mitrano’s team, Eco Estrela, took first place. So, we will be looking forward to the 6th Monte Carlo Polo Cup, but in 2018!