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120th Argentine Open

2013 Argentine Open Championship La Dolfina Photography Alex Pacheco


Argentine Open Triple Crown Champions

Story By Alex Webbe    Photography by Alex Pacheco

The luxury of having the finals of the 2013 Argentine Open final streamed live on the

internet attracted viewing players from around the polo world as La Dolfina (Adolfo

Cambiaso, Pelon Stirling, Pablo MacDonough and Sebastian Merlos) defeated a

resilient but outgunned Alegria (Polito Pieres, Hilario Ulloa, Lucas Monteverde and Fred

Mannix) challenge, 16-11.

La Dolfina got on the scoreboard first with Adolfo Cambiaso scoring on a 30-yard

penalty shot just 1:19 into the game. Polito Pieres responded for Alegria at 2:45,

converting a 60-yard Safety, 1-1. Cambiaso scored the final goal of the chukker on

another 30-yard penalty shot as La Dolfina rode off the field with a 2-1 advantage.

Cambiaso extended the La Dolfina lead with a pair of goals in the opening minute-and-
a-half of the second period. Another penalty goal was followed by a goal from the field

from the 10-goaler, and Alegria found themselves trailing, 4-1. With less than three

minutes left in the chukker Pablo MacDonough scored his first goal of the game for a

comfortable 5-1 La Dolfina lead. Pieres turned it on in the final minutes of the chukker,

scoring twice from the field in a 30 second span. After two periods of play, La Dolfina

sat on top of a 5-3 lead.

A determined Alegria quartet took the field in third chukker action and scored three

consecutive goals to tie and then take the lead, 6-5. Pieres scored on a 40-yard penalty

shot to open the chukker (:21), 5-4, and added two more from the field for the 6-5 edge.

MacDonough scored the final goal of the period for La Dolfina to end the chukker in a 6-6 deadlock.

The two teams traded goals in the fourth with Cambiaso scoring the first goal of the

chukker at the 3:15 mark for a 7-6 lead. Pieres answered back with a goal just two

minutes later, 7-7. Pelon Stirling put La Dolfina back on top just a minute later, 8-7, with

Pieres evening it out at 8-8 to end the first half.

Hilario Ulloa’s first goal of the day gave the lead back to Alegria, 9-8, but fouls soon

got them in trouble (Alegria committed five fouls in the chukker to one for La Dolfina).

Cambiaso missed three penalty shots but made good on a pair of 30-yarders for a 10-9

La Dolfina lead.

Both defenses tightened up in the sixth as hard riding carried the ball up and down the

field before Macdonough scored in the final seconds of the chukker, extending the La

Dolfina lead to two goals, 11-9.

Cambiaso and Pieres exchanged penalty goals in the seventh, 12-10, with Stirling’s

second goal of the afternoon putting La Dolfina in the lead by three goals, 13-10.

La Dolfina continued to press the attack as Alegria fought to stay in the game.

Consecutive goals from MacDonough and Cambiaso (penalty goal) gave La Dolfina a

five goal lead, 15-10. Four minutes into the chukker, Ulloa added a goal for Alegria, 15-

11, but time was running out. Cambiaso scored the final goal of the game at 5:02, and

two minutes later the stadium erupted in cheers for La Dolfina. With the win La Dolfina

became only the fifth team in history to win Argentina’s Triple Crown of polo, having

won the Tortugas Open and the Hurlingham Open earlier in the season.

Cambiaso registered a game high ten goals (seven on penalty conversions).

MacDonough scored four times and Stirling added a pair for the win. Pieres scored

eight of his nine goals in the first half of play, and was named MVP for his efforts.

Ulloa accounted for both of Alegria’s remaining goals scored. Cambiaso’s Chocolate

received Best Playing Pony honors.


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