• Stan Clavel: Manager Polo de Paris

  • Stan Clavel: Manager Polo de Paris

  • Stan Clavel: Manager Polo de Paris

Stan Clavel: Manager Polo de Paris
Stan Clavel: Manager Polo de ParisStan Clavel: Manager Polo de Paris

Stan Clavel: Manager Polo de Paris

A big season is coming along to the city of lights

March 7, 2017
March 7, 2017
Another great season is coming up in Paris, as Polo de Paris, the oldest polo club in France, located in the Bois de Boulogne, prepares to cater to all levels and host many events, both on and off the field. The parisian season is already a must-go of the international calendar and it´s ready set to kick off on April 22, with the 4-6 goal "Potrillos du Polo” Cup, which precedes the three traditional 10-goal tournaments, including the renowned Open de Paris, which enters its 123rd year.

Polo de Paris manager Stan Clavel, who is involved in many of the tournaments during the French season, spoke to PoloLine about the upcoming season and the highlights of the summer in Paris. 

Why do you think the polo season in Paris is so attractive?

Paris is, for many people, the place to be; the most beautiful capital in the world. Playing polo in Paris, in the historical haven just 10 minutes from the famous Avenue des Champs Elysées, is a privilege for many players.

We know that you oversee every detail of the polo club. What is it you most enjoy about the season?

Polo de Paris welcomes members all year round, but the Club comes alive when the polo season arrives in the summer. Polo ponies and players come back to the barns, and everything that gives this historic place its name. As soon as you enter the doors of the polo club during the weekends of the polo season, you can feel the wonderful atmosphere: The restaurant terrace welcomes our members for lunches in front of polo field, where from you can hear the players and the horses; meet family and friends after their matches and enjoy a glass of champagne - that is the polo lifestyle!

What can you tell us about this upcoming season?

We will organise our traditional polo tournaments (6-8 goal and 8-10 goal), along with the famous Open de Paris, which every player dreams of playing and winning. We will propose a new 4-6 goal tournament in April at the beginning of the season; a weekend polo tournament for our Polo de Paris members, with the main objective of allowing young member to play at Paris, with our faithful teams captains, to gain experience. This tournament will be good preparation for the following 8-10 goals tournaments, too.

What feedback did you receive from players, teams and sponsors?

We work hard to welcome teams and sponsors with professionalism and the same passion for polo. Our Polo de Paris team is completely devoted to the players during the three months of the season. Teams and players seem generally happy to be present at Polo de Paris each year. The best proof is that they come back. The sponsor’s first impression usually is: "What an amazing place you have!” They are very surprised to discover our beautiful, green Parisian place, and they and their guests keep beautiful memories of their presence here.

What is so special about the Open de Paris and its events?

You play one of the oldest tournaments in Paris! This tournament is traditionally chosen to honor deceased polo players that took part in the growth of Polo in Paris, like Sidney Belisha, Pierre-Yves de Charbonniere, Guy Charloux, Jimmy Dodero, Jacques Macaire, Roland Sadoun. The Open de Paris is more than a tournament, it is a beautiful party that our members wouldn’t miss. Each year Polo de Paris Staff organise a beautiful final, with a VIP lunch and a secret theme, a surprise to players, sponsors and spectators. The topic chosen is, for each edition, an invitation to discover a world, a country, an artist, an atmosphere. Last year, spectators and players travelled in time to Tuscan landscapes. It’s the spell of Polo de Paris!

Polo de París not only stands out of its sport, but for the number of glamorous social events. What events do you have planned this season?

Our two mains events are the Open de Paris final lunch and cocktail, and the "Asado” - the festive club dinner where our members meet at the end of first part of the season, just before summer holidays. Lots of other socials events are organised during the weeks of May, June and September, around polo matches, to the great pleasure of the spectators.

Are you going to host some games at Sainte Mesme?

We very much hope to play some of the games at Sainte Mesme, a place 45 minutes from the center of Paris. This is possible thanks to the great work of Strom family and the Sainte Mesme team, who make their own polo fields available during the Paris polo season. Furthermore, with just one polo field in the center of Paris, the polo matches in Sainte Mesme allow us to receive more teams who are interested in our polo tournaments.

What are your thoughts on organising the 123 Open de Paris?

We are anxiously awaiting the Open de Paris tournament to see the finals teams, the fixture, and who will succeed Costa Rica, the young team who won the 122 Open de Paris. For us, even if the Open de Paris represents more preparation, the global organisation is the same for all the tournaments that we have in Paris! Each player who plays in Paris is to be welcomed in the best way, even if they play a junior polo tournament, a Ladies polo tournament, the low goal or an 8-10 goal tournament. That is our philosophy.

What other activities will take place over the season?

The future belongs to the junior and female polo tournaments; both have grown tremendously these last years. It is important for us to highlight them during one or two day competitions during our polo season in Paris. They are happy to play polo in this historical polo field, and we enjoy receiving them as much as our faithful teams. Furthermore, last year we opened our field to a low goal tournament, the second SC Polo Cup edition, which saw SC Polo School and Esprit Polo School students play together. It was a great success! We hope to welcome all these players again in 2017!

Polo in Paris has grown a lot over the past few years. How do you see this growth?

Even though polo has been present in Paris for over 120 years, we can note a great growth in the numbers of polo players these last ten years in France (from 300 to 900 players). Polo de Paris is enjoying it; we received more new foreign polo teams last years than French polo teams. We hope to continue this way, welcoming more teams in Paris.