Claudia Pistarini, founder of POLOGLAM, and Mr. Alex Haagen, owner of Empire Polo Club in California, created a one-of-a kind event and first ever International Ladies polo match at the prestigious Palermo polo field in the center of Buenos Aires on April 30, 2012. The San Jorge Polo Club and President Jorge Apa hosted the polo team of Sunny Hale, Kristy Outhier, Kate Weber and Malia McCoy for the week prior to the test match.
The ladies tried horses all week at the 9 field club which is one of the oldest military polo clubs and is adjacent to the Hurlingham Polo Club about 40 minutes from Buenos Aires. After each game, the San Jorge hosted a traditional tea for the ladies in their 50’s built formal clubhouse. Horses are as always an issue and a few phone calls to friends including Santiago Trotz – the ladies were ready for their special day.
Before the final match , Miss Pistarini toured them around the beautiful city of Buenos Aires including lunch in the Soho district, shopping in Recoleta area where they stayed, a night at a “Bomba”, a drums only festival, and tango lessons. Mike Outhier, husband of Kristy and world class bronc rider, was by far the star the night.
A day at Pilar area was a special treat. Julio Zavaleta was the tour guide at Ellerstina – by chance running into him at the Chapa Bar. A few stops at the local tack shops and mallet factories were a must. The ladies and the entourage also saw a match between Brazil and Argentina at Palermo with 2 of the Pieres 10 goalers on the team. Luis Lalor, president of the Argentine Polo Association, was the host at a cocktail party at the Palermo facility and the Cesar Palace Hotel for the ladies and the visiting Brazilian team.
With a rain delay of one day – the ladies were ready to play. Photographers were ready to take many pictures of the ladies since this was an inaugural event even though the 20,000 capacity stadium was far from full. The ladies had their horses in order and coach Susan Stovall gave them a pep talk. The Empire Polo-USA team was rated at 21 goals (a system that Argentina has organized for ladies completion) and the Team Argentina was rated at 18. The players for the home team were Maria Bellende (2), Annabelle Winterhalder (1), Guadalupe Strade, (A) and Emilia Malviccion (A). The Argentine team had a few fouls at the beginning of the match and enabled the Empire Polo-USA team to even the match at halftime 6 to 6. Hale making the fouls shots for the USA team including a penalty 4 soaring through the uprights. Halftime was only 5 mintues , part of the Argentine rules, which kept the Empire ladies looking for their grooms and horses as some of the ponies had only been stick and balled. Outhier kept Bellande, their best player, under control giving both McCoy and Weber a chance to each make a goal. Sunny Hale came through with a couple from the field ending the game 11-7.
The PoloGlam trophy – especially designed by Miss Pistarini – was a sterling silver cup including real stones of diamonds and emeralds. The trophy will be played for world-wide under the guidance of Pistarini and Sunny Hale, founder of the Womens Championship Tournament (WCT) series. As tradition at Palermo, both teams were presented to the spectators by the Chairman of the San Jorge Polo Club, Sr. Jorge Apa and given trophies by PoloGlam and Claudia Pistarini. Miss Hale had the opportunity to thank the hosts in Spanish which certainly was enjoyed and appreciated by all.
Plans are for the next tournament to be at the San Jorge Polo Club the last week of August 2012– first at the San Jorge Polo Club with the finals again at Palermo. Claudia Pistarini has opened many venues for women’s polo in Argentina and plans for many events both at home and world-wide. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com for Empire Polo Club for their events throughout the season.