Polo, a sport of English heritage
Polo came to Argentina along with the English immigrants who arrived in our lands in the mid-19th century.
Polo is a sport with a great presence in Argentina, but much more unknown in other countries of the world and the region. It requires, first of all, skill in riding and handling the cue – the instrument with which it is played – and, in turn, concentration on the ball and on the location of each partner. We show you what you need to know about this discipline to sit in the seats of a stadium and applaud to the beat of the goals scored.
English heritage and the path to the top
Polo arrived in Argentina together with the English immigrants who arrived in our lands in the mid-nineteenth century and, surprisingly, found themselves with horses and men provided with the necessary virtues to play it. One of the most important clubs in the early days of national polo was the Hurlingham Club, founded in 1888 by the English Fortune, Ravenscroft and the Scots Campbell and Robson, and which later became the first winner of the Palermo Open Argentine Championship, the most globally prestigious. Currently, of the best eight players in the world, seven are Argentine.
When should you attend a polo match in Buenos Aires?
The Triple Crown, Argentina's elite polo season, begins in September and ends at the end of the year. It is made up of the three most internationally recognized tournaments: first the Tortugas Open is played, then the Hurlingham Open and, according to the idea that the best is always reserved for last, the Argentine Open Championship in Palermo closes the year. , whose main court is known as the Cathedral, by virtue of its history and uniqueness. In the three tournaments it is possible to find tickets with accessible prices as well as boxes with views and luxury services.
Passion and self-love as distinctive elements
The sport of luxury and large investments finds, only in Argentina, an element that reverses the paradigm: passion. The players do not participate in the albiceleste season to save themselves financially. On the contrary, it is the desire to participate in a big event that makes thirty-two professionals decide to compete every year for four months for the love of the jersey.
When the show exceeds the playing field
The admiration that polo arouses in Buenos Aires makes different icons of global culture come year after year to field number 1 in Palermo. Take for example Sebastian Vettel, five-time Formula 1 world champion; or why not Will Smith, Robert Duvall and Tommy Lee Jones—a polo fan since his days of yore. Also, local actors, models and athletes often say present on a daily basis.
Once the most exciting game of the day is over, it's time to enjoy the after polo: giant market brands set up their stands and offer, on the one hand, coffee with cookies for the grown-ups and, on the other, drinks and snacks for the young (and for the not so young, too). In this way, a typical day of competition concludes in a moment of relaxation in which the opportunity to have enjoyed the best polo in the world is celebrated.
7 tips to understand it
What do you need to know to understand this sport? Review with us its fundamental points.
- In a polo match, four players per team enter the playing field.
- In the Triple Crown, eight periods of seven minutes (called chukkers) are played.
- The teams switch sides every time a goal is scored.
- If the ball escapes from the side, it is the referee who carries out the throw-in and, if the match ends tied, they will go to extra time in order to always define a winner.
- Each quartet has a handicap, that is, a numerical rating for their level of play. La Dolfina has a 40-goal handicap, the maximum possible.
- The cue can only be taken with the right hand. Mariano Aguerre, former champion player from Palermo, is left-handed but had to learn to play with his unskillful hand.
- Finally, it is essential to understand that athletes are essential, but that the difference is made by horses.