Argentinian Polo: 119 years of history…
During the last weeks, all media polo was focused in one theme: the 119° Argentine Open Polo Championship (Campeonato Argentino Abierto). And it is no surprise considering it is one of the most important national and international polo tournaments. But, what is the Argentine Open? When did it began?
The Argentine Open Polo Championship (Campeonato Argentino Abierto) is the most famous and significant interclub tournament in the world and takes place once in a year. It was inaugurated in 1893 by The River Plate Polo Association. This explains why, at the beginning, its name was River Plate Polo Championship. By that time, passion for polo was mainly concentrated in Buenos Aires and the south of Santa Fe. Due to the long distances that players had to travel, and as a way of mitigating the high costs produced by all this movilization, the first tournament was played in two parts: the first took place in Buenos Aires´s Hurlingham Club and the second in Cañada de Gómez –Santa Fe-. Although both tournaments were of equal importance, teams were obliged to win both of them to obtain the trophy. The first one that won this championship was Hurlingham Club.
By 1921, and just for one year, the authority in charge of the tournament was the Argentina Polo Federation. Nevertheless, by 1923 appeared the Argentina Polo Association, which is in charge still nowadays. Since then, two significant changes occurred: the tournament’s name changed to Argentine Open Polo Championship (Campeonato Argentino Abierto) and it began to be played in the Argentina Polo Field, in Palermo, Buenos Aires.
It is important to remark that Argentine Open Polo Championship (Campeonato Argentino Abierto) together with Open Hurlingham and Open Tortugas –the tree most important in the world- form a well known tournament known as Triple Corona. It was initiated by 1971 when Los Indios and Tortugas Country Club organized a common competence as a consequence of the usual interruptions caused by rain in their own fields. To be crowned as the champion of this tournament, a team must win the three of them. The only teams that achieved this are: Coronel Suárez (1972, 1974, 1975 y 1977), Santa Ana (1973), Ellerstina (1994 y 2010) y La Aguada (2003).
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