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Argentine Season 2017

AAP announce the handicaps for 2018; Polito Pieres & Sapo Caset regain 10 goal status

December 13, 2017
December 13, 2017
On Tuesday, the Argentine Association of Polo announced the handicap changes for 2018, for both men and women. The AAP committee used the following guidelines in their decision making process:

1) Suggestions from the Handicap Subcommittee
2) The raking in the Triple Crown
3) The results of vote from players who take part in the Triple Crown
4) Suggestions from affiliated clubs

The most notable changes were made for Sapo Caset and Polito Pieres, who both returned to 10 goals. This means that there are currently ten 10 goal players in the world. Polito shared: "It feels great going back up to 10 goals. I took last year’s descent well, I was playing at a low level, so I took it as a challenge to get better, to train more and to improve as a whole. Luckily I was able to go back up, and I am very grateful to all my team of grooms, to Patán [Nigoul], who started working this year, and I am very grateful to Ellerstina for their trust and for the horses. Without that, I would not have gone back up to ten."

Sapo Caset stated: "I am happy to be 10 goals again. I think it is a nice recognition for my organisation and for everyone who works with me every day, my family and my wife who supports me. I want to thank my teammates, Lucas Monteverde, who has always been a big part of this team, to Corcho and the whole Alegria organisation. I want to thank everyone for supporting me this season and for helping me reach 10 goals again. My teammates too, for giving me a space in the team, and letting me play where I feel comfortable. Going down last year made gave me motivation to go back up this year. But the objective has always been more as a team than as an individual. I would swap the 10 goals for a place in the Argentine Open final."

These handicap changes mean that in 2018 we could see 80 goal matches, like those we saw in 2009 between La Dolfina and Ellerstina. That year, we saw the 'perfect match' in Hurlingham and in Palermo. 

Polito Pieres was one of the most outstanding players of the Triple Crown and he deserves his 10 goals, but it is worth highlighting how difficult it is to put together another 40 goal team to take on La Dolfina. The last time Ellerstina won the Argentine Open was in 2012. No one doubts the ability of the four Ellerstina players, but La Dolfina, also rated at 40 goals, have now won the Open five years in a row. They have become so dominant that they have broken almost every record in the book. It is difficult to imagine that another team can have the same handicap, but no one can deny that Ellerstina were very close to clinching the title this year. 

Other notable handicap rises:
-8 to 9: Fred Mannix, Nacho Novillo Astrada and Facu Sola.
-7 to 8: Alfredo Bigatti, Diego Cavanagh, Jejo Taranco and Lerín Zubiaurre.
-6 to 7: Jacinto Crotto, Jero del Carril, Pedro Falabella (h), Facu Fernández Llorente, Tomasito Fernández Llorente and Juan Martín Zubía.

Former 10 goal players Lolo Castagnola and Ruso Heguy will now play with a lower handicap (8 to 7), as will Pancho Bensadón, Paco de Narváez, Marcos Di Paola, Marcos Heguy and Pite Merlos, who also went from 8 to 7. 

There are also other rises worth noting. Charlie Hanbury and Julian Mannix both went from 5 to 6. This means that the Brit and the Canadian will have a chance of playing for a place in the 2018 Triple Crown. It is yet to be seen what decisions they will take, but they are in a great position.

View the complete handicap list here.

The new handicaps will come into effect as of January 1, 2018.

WOMEN’S HANDICAP

Changes in women’s handicaps were also announced, after what has been a historic 2017, which saw the first ever Women’s Open Championship played at Palermo, claimed by La Dolfina Brava. Three La Dolfina Brava players went up: Candelaria Fernández Araujo (6 to 8), Milagros Fernández Araujo (6 to 7) and Mía Cambiaso (5 to 6). English player Hazel Jackson, one of the best in the world, went from 8 to 9, and her Ellerstina teammate Clara Cassino went from 6 to 7.

A total of 62 modifications have been made (58 players went up and 4 went down). It is worth noting that the women’s handicap was implemented in March 2010. Also, 19 players received a handicap for the first time.

View the complete women’s handicap list here.