Polo returns to Monaco

This past weekend, polo successfully returned to Monaco with the third edition of the Monte-Carlo Polo Cup. Four international teams with a handicap of up to 10 goals competed against each other in exciting polo matches. The tournament was held once again under the high-patronage of Prince Albert of Monaco and took place at a luxurious private domain’s field up in the beautiful hills of Monaco, the “Domaine de Vire-Vent”. The new location provided a playing field with improved quality by comparison to the playing field used in the past two years.

In the final, team De Grisogono Geneve, including Niclas Johansson (+1), Georges Sinclair (0), Segundo Condesse Stanga (+4) and Jamie Le Hardy (+5), defeated team VanDutch, formed by Francesco Mitrano (+1), Ivan Weiss (+1), Juan Nagore (+3) and Felipe Kelly (+5), by 7-3 and won the “de Grisogono Trophy”.

Team De Grisogono Geneve dominated the match from the beginning and in the second chukka led by 5-2. Right from the start, Jamie Le Hardy from England, who has played in over 30 countries and in the past has captained England and won the British Gold Cup, pressed forward and played an impressive match. He was well supported by Segundo Condesse Stanga and the whole team rode on extremely good horses, which made them fastest team of the tournament.

Team VanDutch included Francesco Mitrano, organiser of the tournament and founder of the Monte-Carlo Polo Club, as well as 20-year-old Juan Nagore from Buenos Aires, who played in Europe for the first time. On Saturday, the Argentinian player was hurt by a hard blow in the stomach, but was could support his team in the final from the second chukka until the end of the match.

In the match for third place, team Suisse Bank Group won against team Cipriani Monte Carlo by 5-3. The winning team consisted of Renato Bolongaro (0), Fabio Acampora (+1) and Paolo Santambrogio (+3) from Milan, being supported by the young Argentinian professional from Cordoba Fernando Rivera (+4). Paolo Santambrogio works as federal instructor as well as a polo manager of the Milano Polo Club. Team Cipriani Monte Carlo included the only female player of the tournament, Chantal d’Acquarone from Valcastello Polo Club in Cortina, who put up a good fight in the polo matches.

The tournament started on Thursday with a VIP Cocktail on the terrace of the Salle Empire at Hotel de Paris, facing the “Parade of the Knights” on the Casino Square, followed by a lunch at the Salle Empire. Many spectators came to see the parade of the players and their horses on the Casino Square. On Sunday a Ladies Hat Contest, jury chaired by the Monegasque Chamber of Fashion, was held, entertaining the visitors of the event. The tournament ended by a Gala Evening around the lagoon of the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel, including an auction in favour of the “Princess Charlène of Monaco Foundation”.

In 2013, Italian businessman and Monegasque resident Francesco Mitrano had founded the Monte-Carlo Polo Club and thus brought polo to Monaco. This year he organised the third edition of the tournament. Francesco Mitrano: “The tournament was a huge success and the new location was fantastic for both players and spectators. Polo has started to establish itself in Monaco and will continue to grow in the coming years!”

#1 De Grisogono Geneve (+10)

Niclas Johansson (+1)
Georges Sinclair (0)
Segundo Condesse Stanga (+4)
Jamie Le Hardy (+5)

#2 VanDutch (+10)
Francesco Mitrano (+1)
Ivan Weiss (+1)
Juan Nagore (+3)
Felipe Kelly (+5)

#3 Suisse Bank Group (+8)
Renato Bolongaro (0)
Fabio Acampora (+1)
Paolo Santambrogio (+3)
Fernando Rivera (+4)

#4 Cipriani Monte Carlo (+8)
Giovanni Pezzimenti (0)
Chantal d’Acquarone (+1)
Pablo Guinazu (+5)
Marcelo Pizzorno “Puma” (+2)