Spring 2023

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The latest polo news including a report from Ellerston where the La Dol na Cup was played with the four 10-goalers and some lucky Australians


The larger-than-life England international, Paul Withers is remembered by his great friend, Arthur Douglas Nugent


As the German Polo Association celebrates its 50th anniversary, we look back at 125 years of polo in the country


Chantilly Polo Club, home to the French Open, is about to make its debut as host of the rst Polo Nations Cup to be held in France


The U.S. Polo Assn. brand has been supporting collegiate polo for many years


How the J5 organisation helps polo players and teams to reach new heights


Andrew Barlow discusses the HPA’s plans for player development


The extension of Global Polo Entertainment’s streaming deal with ESPN will broaden the sport’s appeal


FIP Ambassador Vikram Rathore on Achievers Polo Team’s success


Vice president of the AAP, Carlos Behety outlines the association’s vision for developing and promoting the sport at every level


Although he says retirement is still some time away, James Beh looks back on his 30 years in polo and the lessons it has taught him


Adam Snow sheds light on his role as horse master at the XII World Polo Championships and re ects on the teamwork involved


The Pieres breeding line is one of the best in the world. How does Ellerstina continue to produce such high-quality polo ponies?


A round-up of the action including the Westchester Cup, the Gauntlet of Polo, the Ladies US Open, the Dubai Gold Cup Series, the Triple Crown and the FIP World Cup


Palermo has produced many successful father-and-son pairings


Publisher Roderick Vere Nicoll

Executive Editor Peter Howarth

Editor Jemima Wilson

Designer Jason Morris

Chief Copy Editor Holly Quayle

Copy Editor John Naughton

Contributing Photographer Tony Ramirez

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Bob Jornayvaz and Adolfo Cambiaso after winning the C.V. Whitney Cup


There are several themes that run through the spring issue. One is the development of players. Andrew Barlow describes a new initiative from the HPA and Carlos Behety tells us what the AAP is offering to foreign players to expose them to higher-goal polo. On the cover we have Tommy Beresford, who captained the English team for the Westchester Cup. In One to Watch, Tommy outlines what path he has taken to reach 7 goals.

Another topic is ponies. Probably the two top organisations in our world are J5/La Dolfina and Pieres/Ellerstina. Rob Jornayvaz gives us the background on J5 and what his family’s objectives are. Adam Snow sheds light on his role as the horse master for the FIP World Cup, where J5 provided all the ponies for the eight teams. The foundations for the Pieres breeding line was started back in the 1980s and Héctor Martelli describes why it is still one of the best.

Lastly, Adolfo Cambiaso is mentioned throughout the issue. You can read about him in the articles mentioned, and in the Action, where he won the Argentine Open and the CV Whitney. Finally, in Archive you will see Adolfo and his son Poroto have joined some of the other great father-son combinations who have won at Palermo.

There are a number of other interesting articles and I hope you enjoy the spring issue.

Hurlingham is sent to players around the world free of charge. The advertisers pay the bills and I would like to thank them for their support. If you need any of their products or services, reach out to them.



CARLOS MENÉNDEZ BEHETY is the vice president of the AAP. He is a C-suite marketer, innovator, entrepreneur and consultant with vast experience accelerating growth in consumer goods brands. He was named Marketer of the Year for Argentina and Latam in 2019.

Born and raised in Paris, PAOLA DE VIENNE graduated from King’s College London and Sciences Po Paris, and is a member of the NY and Paris Bars. She has practised international law and is now studying acting. She has two daughters, Eleonora (4) and Olympia (2).

Former 10-goal American player ADAM SNOW is involved with coaching, colour commentating for ESPN broadcasts, and enjoys playing a group of homebreds in Aiken, SC. He and his wife, Shelley Onderdonk DVM, are releasing their second book – Winning with Horses – this summer.

JUSTINE JACQUEMOT’S passion for horses and riding led her to discover polo at a young age in Deauville, and she immediately fell in love with the sport. Today, she shares her love of polo working with Deauville and Chantilly Polo Clubs, as well as the French Polo Federation.

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My family has a long history of polo, and my father, who was a 7-goal professional himself, passed his love of the sport on to me. I started riding aged four, stick-andballed at seven, played my rst adult match aged nine and have been focused on polo ever since.

On the Irish side, relating to the Beresford family, both my grandfather and great uncle won the British Gold Cup, in 1966 and 1969. My father won the Queen’s Cup and the British Gold Cup, as well as several Coronation Cups.

On the Chilean side, which is the Donoso family, my grandfather bred horses to play polo in Europe. My uncle, Gabriel Donoso, reached 9-goals and is the best Chilean polo player in history, closely followed by his brother Jose Donoso, who reached 8-goals.

I had the privilege of playing alongside Adolfo Cambiaso. Every polo player dreams about playing just one game with him, so being able to play several seasons with him was an amazing learning opportunity. He gave me great insight into how to focus on every aspect of the game.

Most recently, Sheikha Maitha and Lucas Monteverde have been essential in helping me get to the next level in my career. The consistency of playing high level polo in Dubai and England with the UAE organisation has allowed me to invest in horses and mature as a player.

One of the biggest challenges for a professional player is to consistently play a high level of polo on good horses. It is one of the many reasons Argentine players improve at such a fast rate.

Another challenge is turning polo into a job that’s sustainable in the long term. The expenses professionals incur are extremely high, and it can be very dif cult to make a pro t. When money is made, it has to go straight into buying more horses.

As a non-Argentine at 7-goals, I have been extremely lucky to have had an early introduction into polo. When your family plays, it gives you a head start. Fortunately, when I then started getting opportunities in the high goal, I was able to make the most of them. Once I got myself set up in

England, I started investing more time and money in Argentina. Playing the Camara and the Quali cation tournaments allows you to play a quicker style of polo. You learn a lot, and that carries over into 22-goal polo.

This year’s Westchester Cup was special because I played with three highly experienced players: Max Charlton, James Beim and Mark Tomlinson. They made my transition into the role of England captain comfortable. I enjoyed the responsibility and hope to captain the team in the future.

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‘It sounds like the eighth circle of hell’ was Paul Hobby’s reaction when invited to Lawyers Polo several years ago. ‘Gosh, 10 teams of lawyers on rented horses! That can’t be good, can it?’ Well, 2022 saw the 10th Lawyers Polo tournament being celebrated at its birthplace in Buenos Aires last December, with the opening ceremony at the Teatro Colón (above). The tournament was played at Fred Mannix’s Alegría Polo club, with Hurlingham Polo supplying the shirts. The Kerres Partners team took the trophy home after beating the Al-Maria team. The beauty and the genius of Lawyers Polo is the community, the great “chosen family” Eduardo Bérèterbide has managed to create through his tournament. The friendships between the players are strong and all are excited about the 11th Lawyers Polo, which will take place at the Villa a Sesta Polo Club in Tuscany, Italy, in July 2024. By Paola de Vienne


A new and exciting 23-goal tournament was hosted by Ellerston Onassis Polo Club between 26-30 April, sponsored by David Paradice. Each of the four participating teams included one 10-goaler from the world-famous La Dol na organisation – Adolfo Cambiaso, Adolfo Cambiaso Junior (Poroto), David Stirling and Juan M Nero. The team line ups were revealed as: Ellerston White – David Paradice (1), Matt Grimes (5), James Harper (7) and Adolfo Cambiaso Junior (10); Ellerston Red – Shane Finemore (0), Jack Grimes (4), Gringo Colombres (8), Adolfo Cambiaso (10); White Deer Park – Alex Zak (0), Dirk Gould (5), Ruki Baillieu (7), David Stirling (10); and Larapinta – Michael Irvine (0), John Paul Clarkin (7), Tom Hunt (6), Juan M Nero (10). Ellerston Red beat Ellerston White in the nal game 11 to 7.

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Having ridden since childhood, competed in show jumping and trained racehorses, Laurent de Narbonne started playing polo in 2009

I started to play polo in 2009 but I have been riding since I was six years old and show jumping at a high level for 10 years, alongside the mother of Robert Strom, Alexandra de Balkany. I also trained racehorses before entering medical school.

Polo is special because it involves a team, horses and a lot of adrenaline. Plus, I have to admit, a bit of danger. Quite different from my other discipline, golf.

My most memorable game was last year’s final of the French National Championship in Chantilly, where I won a title at 6-8 goal level with Ulysse Eisenchteter, young 3-goal French professional player Jules Legoubin, and our 6-goal captain Pierre-Henri N’Goumou, the highest-rated French player, who was also tournament MVP.

The best horse I have ever played was Jet, a gelding from Brazil that played up to 16 goals. He was a small horse requiring a 52-inch mallet, but he was super-fast and easy to ride. He liked to play and was always following the ball.

So far I have played at 6-8 goal level, because if you play high goal as a 0-goal handicap player, you do not get to play the ball a lot.

Polo has taken me to the US, Spain, Dubai and, of course, Argentina, as well as France and soon England, where I’ll watch the Queen’s Cup. It has allowed me to meet some fantastic people, with whom I’ve stayed in contact for many years.


The Hurlingham Polo Association has announced a long-term commercial partnership with King of Games International (KOGI) for its international events, England polo teams, and professional umpires. KOGI will manage the appointment of sponsors, media and brand partners and will implement HPA international polo events including hospitality and ticket sales. Utilising the commercial expertise of KOGI to deliver top-quality international xtures will enable the HPA to have a more proactive approach to elding teams internationally, including squad development and building the global pro le of the England teams. The HPA expects this stronger international presence to inspire the next generation of players, while bringing new interest into the sport at every level.


More than 250 distinguished guests gathered at the 34th annual Museum of Polo & Hall of Fame Gala on February 17. The main event was the induction of former 8-goaler Jeff Hall, a 10-time winner of the Silver Cup. Tom Hughes’ grandson, Cole Salgado (left), accepted the posthumous Iglehart Award for his grandfather. Other 2023 honorees were Alexander Haagen III (Iglehart Award), Aiden Roark (Hall of Fame), and under “Horses to Remember”, Hale Bopp, owned by Hall-of-Famer Adam Snow, and None So Pretty, owned by Hall-ofFamer Stephen “Laddie” Sanford.

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Poroto Cambiaso is the youngest player to win the Argentine Open at 17 years old and six days. At 17 years and 11 days old, he became the youngest 10 goaler. Jeta Castagnola was 10 on his 19th birthday, Facundo Pieres was 19 and seven months and Adolfo Cambiaso was 19 and eight months.

American Jared Zenni won Camara de Diputados in 2022. Other non-Argentines to win are Stuart Erskine and Ignatius Du Plessis (South Africa), Nic Roldan (USA), Matt Perry (UK), Jaime Garcia Huidobro (Chile), Julian and Fred Mannix (Canada), Pedro Zacharias and Rodrigo Zacharias (Brazil).

His Majesty The King, Charles III has become The Ranger of Windsor Great Park, 70 years after HRH The Duke of Edinburgh was appointed to the post. The Ranger offers guidance to the Deputy Ranger and his team in the stewardship of one of England’s oldest landed estates and home to Guards Polo Club.

On 6 May there will be a reception at the British Embassy in Buenos Aires to celebrate the coronation of King Charles III and his playing the Prince of Wales Trophy in 1999 at the Hurlingham Club in Argentina. Prince Charles played with Mariano Cabanillas, Horacio and Eduardo Heguy against Pepe Santamarina, Mariano Zimmerman, Pepe and Santiago Araya.

Thomas Hitchcock Jr won the Westchester Cup ve times. James Beim has won it four times.  Both Winston Guest and Mark Tomlinson have won the Cup three times.




AGE: 33

On Monday, 27 February, Polo for Life hosted its eighth annual Polo for a Purpose: Passage to India charity polo match, dinner, and auction at the National Polo Center in Wellington. This year’s event raised a record $1million to bene t local paediatric cancer patients and their families.

HPM: When and how did you start to play polo?

I started playing when I was around 13 or 14 years old in Sotogrande, as my dad had many friends who played polo there. When I tried it, I loved it.

What makes polo special for you?

I see polo as a way of life, more than just a sport. I like being able to share my way of life with my family, wife, kids, the grooms, the horses and my friends.

Who do you respect most in polo?

I respect and admire the horses, as they are everything in this sport. I love them and I think polo is the only place where you find an animal give so much.

What is your most memorable game?

Last November in the World Cup

semi-final and final. Both games were amazing – playing for Spain in a World Cup and having your country following you is very special. The final was incredible to win in overtime, giving the first polo world championship to Spain.

What level of polo do you play?

I play medium and low-goal polo in Spain, as most of the tournaments are 6 to 8 goals. During the summer I play medium goal and high goal, and I’ve been playing abroad in medium and high-goal tournaments, where I play 14 – 16-goal tournaments.

Anything else you would like to cover?

We’ve recently created the Iberian Polo Tour, a set of tournaments to play polo in Sotogrande all year round, especially the months when there’s not much polo.

Above Pelayo receiving the MVP from FIP President Horacio Areco


Professional polo player Adam Snow and his wife, sport horse vet Shelley Onderdonk, have spent a lifetime together nurturing Adam’s astounding career (he is the last American polo player to achieve the perfect 10-goal handicap) and Shelley’s 25 years as an equine veterinarian, helping horses compete at the highest levels in all disciplines, while prioritising long-term health. In their new book Winning with Horses, they share the keys to their success, and the struggles and celebrations that taught them along the way. Available this autumn from quillerpublishing.com.


The 4-6 goal Arena Polo Tour 2023 was launched last December at the Bo Ranch riding school in Fontainebleau. With six teams in each stage, Mungo (Ulysse Eisenchteter, Elouan Badarello and Pierre Henri N’Goumou) won the rst ve. However, the La Baule stage in Brittany saw the club’s home team, led by Jean-François Decaux (above) retain the title.




Mink is a 10-year-old homebred black mare by Los Machitos Diez (Open Especial/Jazz) and out of a TB Mare called Millie. She is one of the rare horses that could play under a 10-goaler or a 0-goal patron. She has immense power with a very soft mouth and an un appable temperament. She is probably the most comfortable horse I have ever ridden, making her incredibly easy to hit the ball off. She has been such a pleasure to make and own over her lifetime. I started breeding seriously in Australia three years ago and Mink now has six llies and two colts on the ground, with more in vitro. I believe she will play a very large part in my breeding programme in Australia, and in the meantime, I will continue to enjoy playing her. She has won multiple pony prizes in Australia’s high-goal tournaments throughout her career.

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hurlinghampolo.com TALK 12 IMAGES OF POLO
Arthur Douglas Nugent pays tribute to his great friend and “larger than life” character, the English polo international Paul Withers

Paul Withers is one to remember for many, particularly in the polo world. He was a great friend, larger than life – perhaps over the top at times – but always with a kindly intention, often to amuse.

Paul, who died suddenly aged 83, was born on a farm in West Harting in West Sussex on which his father Fred had the tenancy. Paul’s mother had left with his brother (with whom Paul was only recently reunited), and he was brought up by his father and educated at Taunton School. During this time, his father, also a polo player, was given the tenancy of Whiphill Farm on the outskirts of Midhurst by Lord Cowdray and was appointed as the Master and Huntsman of the Cowdray Foxhounds.

Paul was introduced to the world of the horse at an early age. Excelling at sport in school, it was no surprise that, encouraged by Lord Cowdray, he took to polo and showed early promise, becoming a loyal and dedicated member of the Cowdray Park Polo Club. As a teenager, he played for Mike Holden White, whose team was named Polo Cottage after his house in Easebourne. Paul then joined the Army as a gunner and was posted to 3rd Royal Horse Artillery. This was an elite regiment with a polo-playing tradition and a commanding of cer, Philip Tower, whose ambition was to win both the Inter-Regimental and the Captains & Subalterns polo tournaments.

One small snag, however, was Gunner Withers was not eligible to play in the latter and a commission seemed beyond him, as he had failed to reach the required standard in mathematics. Yet with one-to-one tuition and some string-pulling, a place at Mons OCTU was his, and as a Second Lieutenant he was most unusually posted back to 3RHA. Both tournaments were duly won.

Postings included a tour in Kenya – more polo – and Aden, where he saw action in the Radfan. The four years in the army proved a hugely signi cant part of his life, and on leaving, Paul became a professional player with the Cowdray Park team, playing also for Windsor Park to win the Gold Cup with Prince Philip, Tyrone and Patrick. He won the Gold Cup twice with Cowdray, with one narrow and sad failure to win in an epic nal (eight chukkas) in 1991. He played for England

Opposite: Paul in his playing days, flanked by the then Prince of Wales and Duke of Edinburgh. Right: With his wife, Sheldon, whom he married in 1972.

Below: Paul at the Dollar Cup, 2015

against Argentina in the Argentine, the team sponsored by Lord Cowdray in the glory days of the Hipwood brothers, when we could eld a competitive team against all-comers in the Coronation Cup.

At this time, he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, which he controlled with an iron discipline. His star move came in 1972 when he married Sheldon Gerry, a member of a distinguished family from the United States whose members included many polo players. Sheldon and Paul travelled the world together, playing in some 35 countries in the process and making many friends in the

world of polo. He and Patrick Beresford, his great friend, proved beyond doubt that polo is the best passport to the world.

Finally at the age of 51, Paul hung up his polo sticks and became a professional umpire both here and in Florida, where he lived at that time. His great contribution to polo was recognised by the HPA with a lifetime achievement award. What a man and what a player; they will never come like that again – full of the experiences of life and charming to all, particularly to women. He will be greatly missed, especially by those who were lucky enough to call him a friend.

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As the German Polo Association celebrates its 50th anniversary, we explore 125 years of polo in Germany

It was the mid-1890s when a group of Hanseatic gentlemen in Hamburg heard about a relatively new sport in England, brought to the UK from India by colonial of cers in 1869. Elegant and fast-paced, it’s a team sport on horseback. “Polo” is what the English call the game, and in 1871 they organised the UK’s rst polo tournament.

In Hamburg, there was great enthusiasm for the new sport. Thus on 3 January 1898, Heinrich Hasperg Jr, Eduard Eggers and

Baron von Heintze-Weissenrode founded the Hamburg Polo Club – the rst polo club in continental Europe, located on the grounds of today’s Derby Park. Their rst public polo tournament was held on March 14, 1899.

In the summer of 1902 – on the site where the newly built clubhouse in the polo colours of red, white and green has just been inaugurated – guests from abroad came to Hamburg Polo Club for the rst time. Teams from Budapest and St Petersburg, an

“Anglo-American team” and a team from Hurlingham in England travelled to the Elbe. In the old guestbook of the HPC you can still nd match results and thank-you notes from players and visitors from England.

At the turn of the century, the enthusiasm for polo spread to other German cities and Heinrich Hasperg Jr began his second career as a promoter, founder and advisor to several polo clubs in Europe. In Germany, he supported the foundation of polo clubs in

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Frankfurt (1902), Hanover (1903), Bremen (1904), as well as Munich and Berlin (1906). In 1927, the Polo Club in Cologne was founded.

During World War I and for many years after, polo was not played in Germany, but the beginning of the 1930s marked a new dawn for the sport. The major German clubs enjoyed remarkably large numbers and maintained a lively playing schedule, even travelling to tournaments in Vienna, Antwerp, Budapest, Vittel, Paris and St Petersburg.

But the economic decline in Germany and the rise to power of the National Socialists completely stopped polo. A nal highlight for German polo before WWII was the participation of the German national polo team in the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. The imposing 112,000sqm Maifeld – the largest polo stadium in the world at the time – was built especially for the Games, and situated in front of the Olympic Stadium with stands for 60,000 spectators.

More spectators cheered the Olympic polo games here in the summer of 1936 than any other sport. The interest in polo exceeded all expectations and proved the most popular sport of these Olympic Games – the rst-ever Olympics to be televised.

The 1936 Olympic nal between threetime Olympic polo champions Great Britain


(1900, 1908 and 1920) and defending champions Argentina took place on Sunday 7 August 1936 and ended with an 11-0 victory for the Argentinians.

After the end of World War II in 1945, more than 10 years passed before polo

slowly regained a foothold in Germany. The British Allies stationed in Germany played a very important role in its development, providing signi cant support for the sport.

The Rhine Army Polo Association (RAPA) was founded in 1950 by British of cers who

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Opposite: The Mexican team at the opening ceremony of the 1936 games. This page, from top: 1982 Team RAPA and Team Deutschland (from left): Mike Vickery, Major Johnny Kaye, Captain JC Cameron-Hayes, Major Shawn Mahony, Major David Woodd, Lt. Col. Peter Harman, Princess Anne, Klaus Winter, Peter Schuster, Albert Darboven and Michael Barthe. Left: the Maifeld Olympic Stadium in Berlin

organised polo tournaments at British Army bases in Lower Saxony and in Berlin. The members of RAPA not only revived the sport as players, but contributed a lot to the training of the players and the organisation of tournaments at German clubs, too.

After the war, polo also became a platform for rebuilding shattered GermanBritish relations. Contemporary witnesses report polo (among other sports) helped to mend the broken relationship between the two nations. Both at polo matches and social events, the numerous balls and dinner parties enabled the British and the Germans to become closer again on a human level.

In addition to Miles Reincke on the German side, English major Hugh Dawnay, who later wrote polo classic Playmaker, went down in the sport’s post-war history as an outstanding player and much-praised coach.

Until the end of the 1990s, the British and the Berlin players competed on the Maifeld every year and regularly participated in the German Low-Goal Championships. RAPA is now the British Forces Germany Polo Club.

From 1960, polo tournaments gradually attracted international participation. Miles Reincke’s commitment to the sport of polo remained tireless. He pursued the ambitious, though unsuccessful, goal of establishing polo as an Olympic discipline at the 1972 Summer Games in Munich, lobbying with the National Olympic Committee (NOK).

In 1989, Germany hosted the FIP World Championship “Mondialito” for the rst time


on the historic Maifeld in Berlin. Swiss-born Reto Gaudenzi – who had already caused a worldwide sensation in 1985 when he turned the frozen lake in St Moritz into a polo eld, thus inventing “Polo on Snow” – brought the World Championship to the German capital. The 2nd Polo World Championship took place from 11-20 August 1989, organised by the St Moritz Polo Club.

Since 2000, the German Polo Association (DPV), founded in 1972, has also been an af liated member of the Hurlingham Polo Association (HPA), the governing body of British polo. But despite its riding tradition, Germany remains a small polo nation in international terms. However, the UK has set a good example for youth development.

In the summer of 2003, under the direction of Dr Inge Schwenger-Holst, Germany started its rst youth polo camp, the Berlin Polo Club; followed in 2004 by its rst German Youth Championship, held in the capital. Since 2006, the FIP Youth Polo Camp in Hamburg, coached by Thomas Winter, has welcomed a growing number of young talents every year.

In September 2023, the FIP European Polo Championship will be held in Germany for the third time at the Polo Club Düsseldorf (following on from 2008 at Gut Aspern and 2016 at the Maifeld in Berlin).

The German Polo Association, under president Oliver PJ Winter, currently has 27 clubs and 400 personal members.

With great enthusiasm the DPV celebrates its 50th birthday and looks forward to a future where it continues to play its role in European polo.

Left: Klaus Winter, Oliver Winter, Albert Darboven, Thomas Winter, Thomas Scholdra and Christopher Winter, Maifeld, 2019. Below: Winner Team USA at the World Championship


Cal Poly Polo Club

Colorado State University

Cornell University

Grossmont College

Michigan State University

Middle Tennessee State University

Montana State

Morehouse College

Oklahoma State University

Oregon State University

Skidmore College

St. Edwards University

Stanford University

Texas A&M University

Texas Christian University

Texas Tech University

Trinity University

University of California Davis

University of California

Santa Barbara

University of Connecticut

University of Idaho

University of Kentucky

University of Massachusetts

University of Michigan

University of North Texas

University of Virginia

USC Aiken

Virginia Tech

University of Wisconsin- Madison

Yale University



Pascal Renauldon reveals that Chantilly Polo Club, the home of the French Open, will this year host the first Polo Nations Cup in France

Created in 1995 by Patrick GuerrandHermès, Chantilly Polo Club is – along with Deauville – the venue of the biggest and most prestigious polo tournaments in France. In the past 20 years, the French Open, established in 2000, has become a major tournament on the international circuit and has welcomed some of the greatest players in the world, including winners of the Argentine Open.

Indeed, the Ferme d’Apremont and its nine elds, well-known for their quality, has also held two European Mixed Championships, the rst European Women’s Championship, several World Championship play-offs and an unforgettable edition of the World Championships in 2004, which attracted more than 20,000 spectators and saw Brazil claim victory.

Chantilly is also where the greatest French players train and keep their horses, and where the French teams prepare for major world events. Each year from April to October, the Polo Club du Domaine de Chantilly organises 48 tournaments, from beginners’ level (-1/+1) to the 16-goal level of the French Open, not to mention the Arena tournaments from November to March. In Chantilly, polo never stops!

On top of this already busy and competitive programme, this year the club is planning a “Nations Cup” tournament – a rst in France – from 8-18 June. This innovative competition is open to teams representing a country, a region or a state of the world. Teams will be selected by their respective federations and may have up to two foreign players per team. The level of play will be 10-12 goals, which will guarantee a high level of entertainment for the public.

It is the prospect of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games that inspired the French Polo Federation (FFP) and the Polo Club du Domaine de Chantilly to create the Polo Nations Cup. Polo has always been part of the Olympic family, and the International Polo Federation (FIP) is a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

In 2024, the Polo Nations Cup will be part of a series of events outside of the of cial Paris Olympic Games programme. This new tournament will perhaps allow a gradual return to a time when polo was

an Olympic discipline and will contribute to the continual expansion of polo in France. For spectators, the Polo Nations Cup is also a unique opportunity to discover polo and experience the most intense and poignant moments of the sport.

‘The Polo Nations Cup is a new event for French polo,’ says Arnaud de Chênevarin, president of the Chantilly Polo Club. ‘One of the ambitions passed on to us by Patrick Guerrand-Hermès is to open up polo to a wider public. We are succeeding with the French Open, which attracts more people every year. But we want to go even further. Sometimes the public has dif culty understanding the name and origin of the teams. With the Polo Nations Cup, where the teams will defend the colours of their nation or region, they will be able to identify with a particular team, so polo becomes a little more comprehensible. That is also why we are expecting an international audience.’

The Cup will also be an opportunity to discover the magni cent architecture of Château de Chantilly and that of the Grandes Écuries – the most beautiful in the world – and its French gardens. Chantilly has been an ambassador of the French art of living since the princes of Condé organised their sumptuous festivities there. And this spirit is still present, even on the polo elds!

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Opposite: The Polo Nations Cup. This page, above : The 1924 British Olympic team (from left): Frederick W Barrett, Dennis Bingham, Fred Guest, Kinnear Wise . Below: A gold medal from the Paris Olympics


The global, sport-inspired lifestyle brand U.S. Polo Assn. provided kits for the Collegiate Polo Teams for the 2023 polo season, marking five years of its Collegiate partnership programme

As the of cial brand of the United States Polo Association (USPA), the U.S. Polo Assn. was named as one of the top ve sports licensors globally in 2022, with worldwide distribution in more than 190 countries. It also continued to support the annual nationwide Collegiate Partnership Program (CPP) for the 2023 Collegiate Polo Season, dressing competitive collegiate polo players for the fth consecutive year.

A total of 29 colleges signed up to participate in this year’s CPP, representing 47 collegiate teams with 28 women’s and 19 men’s teams. Enrolment for the sports enrichment programme was open to all

colleges and universities with a USPAsanctioned polo team.

All participating student athletes were kitted out with complete U.S. Polo Assn. game attire comprising customised performance team jerseys, white performance pants, polo shirts, caps and equipment gear bags. A monetary donation was also given to the teams, which could be used for travel or other expenses.

For the rst time, a USPA Pro item was donated to all student athletes, designed in collaboration with professional polo players.

Sanctioned by the USPA, collegiate polo teams competed in the autumn and

spring, with the of cial season beginning September 2022 and running through to April 2023. This season concluded with the National Intercollegiate Championship (NIC) hosted at the Virginia Polo Center in Charlottesville, VA, from April 10-15, 2023. Ahead of the men’s and women’s nals on 15 April, J Michael Prince, president and CEO of USPA Global Licensing, commented:

‘U.S. Polo Assn. is proud to continue our support of student athletes across the country through our Collegiate Partnership Program, because these athletes are the future of the game. We want to continue growing and building our authentic connection to the sport

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of polo, and the Collegiate Partnership Program, now in its fth year, is one of our most rewarding programs.’

An exciting new addition for student athletes this season was the College Polo Tour, an exchange programme between America and Argentina that supported 21 collegiate polo players from Yale University, Harvard University, Cornell University and Georgetown University, alongside other Argentinean polo players on a 7-day trip to Argentina. This exciting opportunity gave collegiate players the chance to compete in both grass polo and arena polo, have a tour of the renowned Ellerstina Polo Club, and attend one of the heart-stopping Argentine Polo Open semi- nals.


The nal day of competition saw women’s teams Texas A&M University (Cara Kennedy, Josie Dorsey, Olivia Reynolds) face reigning champions University of Virginia (Katie De ne, Elizabeth “Liz” Owens, Alana Benz, Kellie Booth). Hosted by Virginia Polo Inc, the University of Virginia had the home advantage, but Texas A&M University’s ability to remain calm under pressure led them to the podium.

The men’s nal brought the Championship to an explosive close. Defending champions University of Virginia (Vlad Tarashansky, Jim Deal, Parker Pearce, Makhdum “Mak” Mourad Shah) battled 2022 runners-up University of North Texas (UNT) (Vance Miller III, John Dencker, Andrew Scott, Vaughn Miller Jr., Niklaus Felhaber), with UNT coming out on top to claim the Division I Men’s title.

Opposite: 2023 Division I Women’s National Intercollegiate champions. From left: Texas A&M University – coach Mike McCleary, Olivia Reynolds, Cara Kennedy, Josie Dorsey. This page: 2023 Division I Men’s National Intercollegiate champions. University of North Texas – Niklaus Felhaber, Vaughn Miller Jr, coach Vaughn Miller Snr, Vance Miller, Andrew Scott, John Dencker

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Rob Jornayvaz explains how the J5 organisation helps polo teams achieve success at high-goal level, and how it is a proponent of cloning alongside breeding

J5 is our family brand. The name comes from the five members of the Jornayvaz family: Bob, Louisa, Auna, Kaytlyn and Rob. As we began to breed horses in polo over time, our family name became the brand. It is on the name of our horse facilities in Colorado, Texas and Florida.

Since our family has taken part in polo at such a high level it has become somewhat outward facing. After years of building a large stock of quality horses, we have also helped other families and teams enter the high goal. Teams that have played with the J5


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organisation are Scone, Hawaii Polo Life, SD Farms, Dundas and many others.

The philosophy behind the J5 brand is constantly to set the standard for what “the best in the world” means. We started working with Adolfo Cambiaso over a decade ago, and our partnership with him and his family has been instrumental in creating what we all have today.

It is our goal to make a team’s first experience as enjoyable and successful as possible, as it can take many years to build an organisation that can even play at high-goal level, let alone have success. Teams that have entered the high goal with our organisation

behind them have a clear leg-up on other teams starting from scratch. For example, David Paradice won the first year he competed in the US Open, a feat which many teams have tried to achieve for over a decade without success.

We breed in both the US and in Argentina. Our partnership with La Dolfina sees all of the breeding and training done in Argentina. We utilise bloodlines from both organisations and create one large pool of horses. All those horses will be born at the La Dolfina farm in the western Pampas, and then after they are broken, they will learn to play polo at the La Dolfina farm in Cañuelas. When the horses from the pool are fully trained at five years old, we then split them between La Dolfina and J5. We typically fly 10-40 per year to the US from our breeding programme in Argentina. We also leave horses there to play tournaments, including the stellar horses we think are suited to play in the Triple Crown.

In the US, we breed our horses at Owen Rinehart’s Isinya farm in Aiken, South Carolina. Typically, after the Florida season ends in April, we send our stallions and some top mares to his farm to breed. Alongside Beth Skolnik and the team in Aiken, the horses are bred and trained there

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Opposite: J5 ponies at Valiente during the FIP World Cup. Above: Rob and his father Bob Jornayvaz with the Triple Crown of Polo Trophy. Left: From left: Peke Gonzalez, Poroto and Adolfo Cambiaso with David Paradice after winning the US Open in 2021

get ready for game day with




until they are five or six years old. We have been very happy with the horses that have come from that process, and many of them played in the FIP World Championship.

We are very much a proponent of cloning, alongside breeding. There is a popular belief that cloning may limit the overall quality of horses in the future of the sport, and by cloning the best horse, the sport plateaus where it is currently in terms of quality. However, we believe cloning will allow us to reach the world’s next best horse even sooner.

In the past, when the best horse in the world could only produce 2-3 embryos per year, the number of stallions that mare could cross with were limited. Now, because of cloning, the best horse in the world can produce 20-30 embryos a year, allowing for a multitude of new potential combinations of bloodlines each year. Because of that, the sport will have even more top-quality bloodlines available. Even though we are at the early stages, cloning will lift the entire sport. Every corner of the world will have access to these bloodlines within the next decade, which is a net positive for the sport overall.

Cloning has also allowed new bloodlines to appear that never existed in the sport before. In the case of our gelding Wembley,

we cloned him, and now have two playing stallions that have been breeding. This would not have been a possibility before cloning, and we can foresee other top geldings being cloned in the future.

Horse breeding is a mesmerising process. Seeing a foal wobbly walking after being born is truly magical. It is only amplified when you have a relationship to the parents of the foal, and you can see the similarities that they begin to develop over time. It is certainly painful when it doesn’t work out and horses have injuries or sicknesses, but no horse owner is without their fair share of disappointments. The excitement and payoff of breeding outweighs the difficulties for us at J5, and we plan to continue breeding for years to come.

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Right: Rob playing for Valiente in England. Below: From left: Owen Rinehart, Beth Skolnik and Campbell Davis at the Isinya Farm


Andrew Barlow, chair of the HPA’s Development and Coaching Committee, outlines fresh plans to develop the best young players with the new Performance Pathway programme

This year the HPA will be launching a new initiative for the development of young players: the HPA Performance Pathway. Similar to the HPA’s former Fast Track scheme, it aims to bring together the game’s most experienced professionals, who will lend their guidance for all-round polo development on and off the eld, as well as utilising experts for general athletic and organisation skills. The purpose is to identify the best young British players and provide a programme to help them reach their full potential in the professional game and in the future on the international stage.

The HPA has long run programmes to develop young players both in the UK and overseas. For UK players to learn the skills and gain the experience to progress and be successful in a challenging sport requires a structure that combines all-round coaching, mentoring and training.

The HPA has over the years been focused on bringing together all stakeholders in the junior game, working collaboratively under one system. This starts with the Pony Club as the bedrock for all young players starting in the game, continuing from Jorrocks (under 11) through to Gannon (under 21).

The HPA merged its Hipwood (under 14) and Rocksavage (under 18) three- and fourchukka match tournaments into the Pony Club in 2022, combined with facilitating funding through its own nancial support and the generous Park Place grant funding that helped the Championships to return to Cowdray Park.

The HPA and SUPA have also forged a collaborative approach to assist in attracting new players to the sport and providing opportunities for all levels. This approach looks to combine all the resources, knowledge and expertise in a coordinated


Above: SUPA International Test Match, January 2023 – Great Britain Universities vs USA Intercollegiate.

Opposite : the Stagshead Trophy on International Day at Guards Polo Club, July 2022, with Nicholas Colquhoun-Denvers in the middle

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way. Polo is a small community that should work together to make the sport accessible in a clear structure.

There is also a need to develop the best young players for careers in the professional game and for the long-term bene t of UK polo and its international teams.

A sub-group of the Development and Coaching Committee has been formed to run the Performance Pathway, managed by Aurora Eastwood, comprising polo professionals and those with experience in the sport, ranging from current players, to polo schools and mentors.

The programme will be run throughout the year. Depending on the age of players, it will be structured around both group sessions, with a exibility that recognises the players’ different development paths and individual circumstances, and players’ own personal plans. This will apply to the UK and abroad during the winter months. For example, the Pathway will cover, but is not limited to, the following general areas:

Sports psychology

• Setting goals and targets

• Enhancing performance

• Mental health and wellbeing

• Assisting with injury recovery


• Providing emotional support

• Creating a positive environment

• Setting positive examples

• Being patient and understanding


• Horse nutrition and welfare

• Horse tness and preparation

• Injury prevention

• Injury management Mentoring

• Developing life skills in polo

• Building personal relationships in polo

• Understanding core values

• Con ict management

Nutrition and tness

• Overall health

• Strength and conditioning

• Nutrition strategies

• Personal injury management


• Personal tactical and technical skills

• Monitoring performance

• Enhancing performance

• Post-game feedback

Players can apply to be assessed for the Performance Pathway, and either be selected or invited to join. Two age groups will be split between approximately 15-18 years (school age) and 19-21 (post-school or university/ college age). The programme will initially comprise a select squad, increasing over time.

Further details will be announced in due course. Meanwhile, the HPA has an exciting summer planned for Select and England representative matches during the summer season, including a Young England match at the Gloucestershire Festival of Polo at the Beaufort Polo Club on Saturday 10 June, and an England Under 21 international on the Coronation Cup Day at Guards Polo Club on Saturday 29 July.

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Global Polo Entertainment has extended its historic streaming agreement with ESPN until the end of 2024, to broaden access to polo around the world, presented by U.S. Polo Assn.

Up until the Covid-19 pandemic, polo was generally only viewed by those close enough to the sport to be able to go to watch the live games as they unfolded. However, when spectators were unable to attend the games in person, an opportunity arose to show polo games via streaming channels, opening it up to a much wider audience.

Over the past year, polo has gained exposure in millions of households on multi-digital channels, thanks to the entertainment and media subsidiary of USPA Global Licensing Inc. (USPAGL), Global Polo

Entertainment (GPE), and the world’s leading sports entertainment brand, ESPN.

The two organisations signed a landmark deal in 2022, that successfully brought polo to the homes of a much larger global audience than it had ever been exposed to before.

In an exciting development for 2023, Global Polo Entertainment has extended its historic relationship with ESPN for two additional years, beginning on 1 January.

‘The USPA views the ESPN relationship with great optimism for attracting an entirely new generation of young men and women to

the greatest game on four legs,’ said Stewart Armstrong, chairman of the USPA. ‘The talent of the human athletes will only serve to demonstrate the incredible partnership of two superior athletes, human and equine, competing in an all-out battle of the best, all on the U.S. Polo Assn. eld at the new USPA National Polo Center (NPC), Wellington. It’s going to be a phenomenal season.’

After airing several of the top tournaments in the world in 2022 – including the heartstopping XII Federation of International Polo (FIP) World Polo Championship Opening


Ceremony – the partnership is expected to bring even more exposure to the “best kept secret” in sports. The multi-faceted agreement will again show the nals of top US polo events across ESPN platforms, with games to be distributed on ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNEWS, and available on-demand on the ESPN app.

Games aired in 2023 will include the most prestigious tournament in North America – the U.S. Open Polo Championship – as well as the U.S. Open Women’s Polo Championship, the Women’s and Men’s National Intercollegiate Championship (NIC) games, and the oldest rivalry in polo, the Westchester Cup played between the US and England.

In addition to the games, ESPN will again stream multiple 25-minute, made-for-TV shows produced by GPE. The Global Polo Show presented by U.S. Polo Assn serves as a behind-the-scenes look into the lives and careers of polo players and horses around the world and will air on beIN Sports, Horse & Country, Clip My Horse and Times of India.

‘We are honoured to collaborate with ESPN, the world’s most in uential sports platform, on a historic relationship,’ said J Michael Prince, president and CEO of USPAGL, which manages the global, multibillion-dollar U.S. Polo Assn. brand. ‘We have set our goal of bringing the sport of polo to millions of sports fans around the world.’

‘By delivering exciting sport and lifestyle content in innovative ways alongside ESPN, we look forward to jointly broadening access to polo in ways that will grow both our sport and the U.S. Polo Assn. brand fanbase for years to come,’ Prince added. ‘Now fans can watch polo on ESPN platforms, as well as in person at the amazing new NPC facility in Wellington, considered the winter equestrian capital of the world.’

One thing’s for sure, wherever you are, you can keep up-to-date with the best polo action.

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Opposite: Matt Coppola and Adam Snow in the ESPN booth. This page, from top: Peke Gonzalez reaching for Hilario Ulloa; Mackenzie Weisz; Facundo Pieres and Felipe Vercellino – elbow to elbow


FIP Ambassador Vikram Rathore explains how the Achievers Polo Team has created history in Indian polo by winning the Indian Open Championship for the fifth consecutive year

The Indian Open Polo Championship played off 20 goals is the Indian Polo Association’s National Polo Championship and was played in the rst week of March in New Delhi.    This tournament is one of the most prestigious and oldest polo tournaments, and the highest handicap tournament played in Asia. The rst edition was played in 1900; it was suspended during World War II, then, since being reinstated, it has been played every year and has witnessed the best Indian and international polo players striving to win this coveted trophy.

Achievers Polo Team playing as Sahara Warriors won the championship again this March. Sahara India has been associated with polo in India for over a decade, with the intent to promote and popularise this traditional Indian sport, which is so intricately woven within Indian heritage, culture and folklore. This year saw the Jindal Panther team of Naveen Jindal and Suján Indian Tigers led by Jaisal Singh participate beside Sahara Warriors. The tournament was played on a league basis with the top two teams making it to the nal.

Sahara Warriors came out victorious, defeating Jindal Panther in the nals with a score of 11-7. The Indian polo captain Shamsheer Ali was on re as he scored half a dozen goals – three of them in the rst chukka – to bring home the trophy for the fth consecutive year.

Achievers Polo Team is co-owned by Parul Rai from Delhi and myself. We have been elding teams in all tournaments in Delhi, Jaipur, Jodhpur and Mumbai for over 10 years, providing opportunities, exposure and high-quality imported horses and polo



infrastructure to some of the future stars of Indian polo, including HH Maharaja Sawai Padmanabh Singh of Jaipur, Kuldeep Singh Rathore, Siddhant Sharma, Vishwarupe Bajaj, Hurr Ali and Dino Dhankhar, to name a few.

We believe in an inclusive approach for the bene t of the sponsors, players and other stake holders in the larger interest of the sport. We have successfully created a template that includes sponsors spending money and having an opportunity to become associated with the sport by having a team that plays under their name. The sponsors do not own any horses or infrastructure, or hire any Indian or foreign players, as this is all done by us. For many years we have been bringing three to six polo horses over from the UK or Argentina, giving talented Indian players opportunities to play with us, get help with horses and improve, which bene ts the entire polo fraternity.

The Jaipur-based Achievers team set a record of sorts this season by winning 18 of the 24 tournaments played in India over the season, spanning from September to March and played at Delhi, Jaipur, Jodhpur and Mumbai. No other team in Indian polo history has had this success rate for ve years running. The team improved on its own record set last season, also winning the two other

Open tournaments – the Jaipur Open and the Northern India Open.

The only other team that comes close in terms of performance and results in India is the famous Jaipur Tigers team, led by His Late Highness Maharaja Sawai Man Singh of Jaipur in the 1932-33 polo season, which won most of the leading polo tournaments in India and the United Kingdom.

This year the team had Indian polo captain Shamsheer Ali, who was part of the Achievers team in most tournaments. The other main player was South African wizard Chris Mackenzie. Other prominent players included Daniel Otamendi, Siddhant Sharma, Kuldeep Rathore, Dhruvpal Godara, Hurr Ali, Himmat Bedla, Vishwarupe Bajaj and Dino Dhankhar.

The team is based at Mundota Fort and Palace, Jaipur, with its own polo grounds, practice arena, schooling arenas, 80 stables and over two dozen imported polo ponies from Argentina and England. Incidentally, Mundota Fort and Palace, Jaipur, is India’s only luxury heritage polo resort, offering polo training and coaching facilities with in-house professionals throughout the year (mundotapalace.com).

Our mantra for the team’s consecutive success? Team strategy and the chosen players’ hunger to excel, give 100 per cent and win is the secret behind the resounding success of this team.

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Opposite: Chris Mackenzie (in white) defended by Abby Pathak and Guillermo Terrera. Above: Indian Open 2023 winners (L-R): Siddhant Sharma, Chris Mackenzie, Shamsheer Ali, Alejo Aramburu. Right : Vikram Rathore and Parul Rai


hurlinghampolo.com 32 OPINION MELITON CEREZO

Looking ahead

Vice president of the AAP, Carlos Behety, explains how the Association has a clear vision and role to develop polo, including a simple strategy to facilitate more international players competing in high-goal polo


The Argentine Polo Association (AAP) has a clear vision to develop the sport. The strategic plan is quite simple: develop the sport as well as the industry that surrounds it. As in any other sport, the institution that represents the sport has the mission and responsibility to lead development. So, we have created a plan based on five pillars – players, fans, sponsors, safety and fun – and we have a strategy for each of them.

Players To develop the number of players we need, we have to think about it like an acquisition process of a client to a brand or product. What are the barriers of entry? How can we make it more approachable? How can we help people to get to know the sport and try it? It is a matter of awareness and trials. More clubs, more tournaments, more categories, and good segmentation will lead to a greater number of players, and more players means a bigger industry. Segmentation is key. Kids, female, amateur, pro-am, low-, medium-, and high-handicap tournaments in each category will mean greater involvement at each level and segment.

Fans and spectators We have a fascinating but quite unknown sport compared with more mainstream sports. It is hard to enjoy a sport that you don’t relate to, you don’t understand and is not in the media. We know the challenge is to make polo more visible, more approachable and closer to people. We have the best-loved animal in the world, the horse, and everyone relates to horses, yet not so much with polo. We need to rebuild that

connection and reposition polo as an extreme sport played with the most-admired animal on the planet. We also need to help people understand the sport, the rules and improve the spectacle to make it more enjoyable during the live event, as well as generate a marketing strategy to ensure we are constantly reaching new audiences.

Sponsors In this area, the challenge has been twofold: corporate and personal sponsors. Polo is funded as a pro-am sport and is only fully pro in the Triple Crown in Argentina. We visualise the Triple Crown as a global event and in that sense we have been working to leverage the global expansion of the sport.

Right: 1991 Interscholastic Champions (from left): Marcos Di Paola, Delfin Uranga, Javier Novillo Astrada and Carlos Menendez Behety

We more than tripled corporate sponsorship in recent years to fund the growth to ensure we can keep fostering the professionalisation of the teams and to ensure we get adequate global partners and sponsors. I believe we are just starting to tap the full potential, but we are not even close. We need to learn from F1, NBA and FIFA and keep challenging our plans to carry on seeking new breakthroughs in the industry.

Safety This is key in all aspects of polo, so there are plans on all fronts, including rules, new equipment, referees and working conditions, etc. We are pushing strong communication to elevate the level of

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consciousness of players and the industry as a whole to drive the agenda of safety.

Fun Polo is a complex sport and it is key to understand it. The entertainment industry and fun are critical to feed the virtuous cycle outlined above.

It is the role of the relevant associations of each country to develop the plans, the metrics, and staff to execute their aims with excellence. In Argentina we have a leading role in the world, and we have had to step up the teams, mark out a strategic plan and align the stakeholders to ensure all our energy and effort have a common vision.

We lead an industry that employs more than 30,000 people and it is our duty to ensure we generate the conditions to foster the growth of all of them.

As part of this, we have a road map to include more international players in the Triple Crown and to get more players to


seven goals and above. To achieve this, we need to work with other associations, as it is not good to be alone. We want the world to compete, and we want to have more countries and nationalities in high-goal polo to increase the talent pool. It will take time, but it can be done.

The AAP started 100 years ago and had only a few local players, as England dominated the sport. Now in Argentina we have more than 4,000 players, yet only two per cent of them are above seven goals. Exposing high-potential players to higher goal competitions is key, so we will work with the HPA, USPA and many other associations to facilitate the exchange of players, and we will have a menu of tournaments that players from other countries can participate in. The business model of how to professionalise the sport is constantly evolving and we are aware the only way to grow is to develop the sport as a global platform.

At the AAP, we want to share our knowledge of polo with the rest of the world, so we created Polo University to ensure all our cumulative knowledge of the sport becomes available everywhere. Prior to this, most expertise was scattered and spread mainly by word of mouth. Polo University can be a step change in the sharing of best practice and knowledge. We’ll try to accelerate exchanges via Polo University to ensure we produce more high-performance players and 10 goalers.

We can also look at helping to develop high-performance programmes to bring people to Argentina, so they stay and train here and improve. There are also many high-level tournaments in Argentina to take part in, such as the Cámara and the Argentine high-goal season. But that would need to be in collaboration with the HPA or the USPA, or local organisations, so we can be enablers to help promising players from all around the world improve as fast as they can.

hurlinghampolo.com 34 OPINION MELITON CEREZO
Right: Carlos Behety at Palermo in 2022


After playing for 30 years, James Beh describes how polo has helped him and his family do business better, why the sport isn’t attracting more big patrons and why he’s slowing down but not retiring from polo entirely

hurlinghampolo.com IMAGES OF POLO

Istarted doing polo around 30 years ago with two of my children –my daughter Lovy and my eldest son Chevy, who sadly passed away last year. We took up riding lessons together and started playing polo, especially Chevy and I. Polo is special for us, as it strengthens our chemistry as a family. It is no coincidence that my surname, Beh, means “horse” in Chinese. Horsemanship could be in our DNA.

Polo is our family sport and main interest, as we all love playing. We bond over it and also learn each other’s strengths and weaknesses. It keeps us fit and healthy, too, along with yoga, pilates and golf. When I’m home in Malaysia, every Saturday and Sunday I ride 10–12 horses for 15 minutes each. This improves my riding and hitting, and enables me to get to know the horses.

Polo also helps us do business better. For my children, polo is better than a Harvard MBA, as dealing with the polo industry is quite a challenge. Now my children are grown up and we talk about business, we talk about it like a polo game. At the top level of polo, it’s a huge organisation. If I spent the same amount of time on my business as I do playing polo, I think I could double my wealth! In polo we deplete our assets, instead of building them up. But it’s worth it, as polo is such fun. Winning or losing is not the most important part; we try our best to have a good fight, and it means a lot to score a few goals each game.

After playing for 30 years, I’m still learning from polo. My son once said to me, ‘Dad, polo is just a sport, have fun and don’t be so aggressive! You always want to win.’ So perhaps I should learn something from my son, and master how to be a better loser. Every time we lose, we learn something about how to improve ourselves. With any business, I just know how to make it a success. In polo, I sometimes ask myself, ‘Why am I not successful?’

But you can control a lot of factors in business, and there are a lot of things in polo you can’t control. There is no perfection in polo, so I just aim to have fun. When playing with family and friends, we win together and we laugh, and we lose together and we laugh. A successful team is a happy team, with everyone enjoying their polo.

My most special game was playing with my three sons, Chevy, Joevy and Garvy, with my daughter Lovy as a reserve, at the Snow Polo in St Moritz as a 15-goal handicap team. We made history as the first all-family team with all amateur players. My favourite teammates are my sons, as they are reliable and they play with all their might. We have an innate connection on the field.

Joevy and Garvy are currently at five goals each, and at the recent handicap review, they were proposing six goals. At six goals, we are

Opposite, from left: Garvy, James and Joevy Beh.

Above: Joevy playing at Guards in 2022. Left: James leading the play in Sotogrande in 2021

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preparing for them to play in the Open. When I was interviewed 25 years ago, and asked what my dream was in polo, I said it was to see my children play in the Cámara Cup. Now they’ve played in the Cámara, and six goals is the minimum handicap to play in the Argentine Open; we’ll find a way to set up a team so they can play in the Open. Everything is possible.

I’ve played polo at all levels, but I like to play with other amateurs, then I feel like I’m Cambiaso! But even at 28-goal level at top speed, any ball that’s sent to me, I put in the goal. At San Jorge, a 28-goal tournament playing with Adolfo Cambiaso, I played two games in Palermo and scored 10 goals. I learned a lot playing with Cambiaso.

Firstly, he said to me, ‘Don’t call for the ball. Before I touch the ball, I already know where you are, so run discreetly and I’ll send it to you’. It’s another level of polo skill.

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Left: Joevy in Spain. Below: James with Nancy Schlichting at the opening ceremony of the Beh Clubhouse at UVA


Secondly, he said, ‘Be patient. When you’re not patient, you create a foul. When you are patient, the other team will become impatient and cause the fouls’.

I’ve known Cambiaso since he was a child. His half-brother Salvador Socas has been with me for 30 years, so I know the whole family very well. I arrived in England without any horses one season, and Juanma (Juan Martin Nero) told Cambiaso I needed some. I ended up with 17 from him. Because he helped me with horsepower, I said, ‘Why don’t we play a father-and-son team in Spain, and then in Argentina?’ He helped me, and I wanted to help him in return.

I respect everyone in polo, in order to have respect reciprocated. The first lesson I taught my children was love everyone and be generous to everyone and mean no one any harm, whatever you do in life. Many people fall because they are not nice to people.

One of the changes I’ve noticed in polo over the years is the increasing cost – high-goal polo now is all about money. That’s what makes the difference. No money means no good horses. Players’ skills are about the same, but the horses make the difference.

Second is the standard of polo. Horsepower, skill, speed, equipment, facilities… everything has improved. However, despite these improvements, polo has actually become more dangerous, as the game is so fast, the horses are pushed to the absolute limit.

The AAP hosted a meeting attended by FIP president Horacio Areco, and they were concerned about why polo is attracting fewer big patrons. I presented a picture to them of the Palermo Open, on field number one, and I described a piece of meat there surrounded by hyenas and alligators. I then presented another image, and the meat becomes smaller, and with more predators around it. Everyone

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Above: James Beh (left), with Joevy, Poh Lay See, Lovy, Chevy, and Garvy

was laughing, but I explained this is why polo isn’t growing. I gave them the solution – each stakeholder should know everyone’s responsibility. Make sure you don’t frustrate people. Make a verbal contract between patron and player. Patrons must know their commitment to make timely payments and the amounts as agreed. The players must perform dutifully and not create confusion or complication, and play at their best and not betray the patron. Polo clubs should set up the rules, obey them and not take sides.

I have an idea for an online platform, which would involve the AAP, USPA and the HPA, where if you’re travelling, you can find polo anywhere in the world via this group, whether you want to play chukkas or a weekend tournament, hiring horses, etc. I want to create more links and meeting opportunities, so more players can find patrons.

After 30 years in polo, there are two things telling me to slow down. I’m a go-getter in business, and this mindset and ego mean I sometimes argue with the umpire – I don’t want to be in this scenario anymore, I just want to play for enjoyment. That’s why I’m stepping back from competitive polo. I want to build my karma and my legacy. It’s also getting too dangerous. I’ve had a few occasions where young players have come flying towards me at top speed, and thankfully I’m lucky I have good horses so I can hold them to avoid a full collision.

But I’m not giving up polo for good. Next year, my sons are going to play the 22-goal, and if they can’t play for any reason, I’ll reactivate my polo and play for them. I’ll also continue to buy auction horses, and have done some cloning. I’m not so interested in buying ready-made horses, as I like the rewarding element of seeing them progress.

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Below: Garvy in England in 2021


Adam Snow describes his integral role as horse master at the XII FIP World Polo Championships, the first to be held at the National Polo Center in Wellington, Florida

hurlinghampolo.com 42 DAVID LOMINSKA


Berazadi (red helmet) on J5 Matilde, showing why he was MVP and she was BPP of the tournament. Below: Adam Snow with horse lists in hand, making sure Mexico’s string is in order

When I heard the title of the position – horse master – I knew I wouldn’t be able to say no. It’s not that I harboured any illusions of mastery – or that I think it’s even possible – but rather that I could use the experience as another step in the process of learning about these animals and what makes them tick. And what a great group of horses to get to know!

There were 183 names on the first list that dropped into my WhatsApp. Distinguished by grades of A, B and C, these were the J5 polo ponies that would be used to mount the eight teams – Argentina, Australia, Italy, Mexico, Pakistan, Spain, USA, Uruguay – competing for the XII FIP World Polo Championships in Wellington, Florida. My first job was to oversee the distribution of these ponies into eight equal pools for the competing countries to draw from out of a hat. I had two weeks to get to know them, but I wasn’t alone.

I was well aware of the quality of breeding, care and management that constituted Bob Jornayvaz’s J5/Valiente operation. Manager Roberto Zedda, and his assistant Juan Vidal, knew the horses cold. And many of the 30-odd grooms had worked with these ponies previously. When I arrived in Florida, there were 130 horses stabled in the Valiente barn and approximately 50 more living in the surrounding corrals.

In the afternoons, I liked to arrive at the barn during siesta, and walk or bike the aisles with my clipboard, just observing all the horses. I remember one gelding, Swamp, who was as curious and friendly as can be – he thought the clipboard might be for him – and I never passed his stall again without stopping to give him a rub. In the evenings, Roberto drew up lists (of roughly 88 horses) for the following day’s practice.

I think I practised or rode close to 100 ponies. And the more I rode, the more my

favourites began to present themselves. I remember my very first practice chukka on a tall, six-year-old gelding named Java. I started quietly – it was only his second or third chukka of the season – but he did everything, and it all felt smooth, and soon I was just enjoying the polo and trusting that I had a nice horse under me. Later I learned of his parents – Valid Expectations and Julieta. At least in American polo breeding circles, it’s hard to find more decorated parents.

And this quality was no exception. Some were the sons and daughters of Hartman Trophy winners, and many were the offspring of famous mares from around the world – Beckon, Bruma, Cuartetera, Digit, Hannah Montana, Medalla, Lapa, Raptor, Small Person, Sugar and Tula, to name a few. It was certainly a confidence-builder to know the quality of their bloodlines.

On the eve of 24 October, just days before the tournament’s launch, we gathered around a long wooden table by the fireplace on the upstairs porch of the Valiente barn and made our first attempt at eight even horse groupings. Our team consisted of Alex Taylor and Felipe Del Sel from the FIP; Carlucho Arellano and Cristina Fernandez representing the USPA; along with Rob Jornayvaz (whose idea this J5/USPA collaboration had been), Roberto, Juan and

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Spain’s Pelayo



myself. I noticed engraved wooden signs on three sides of the stone chimney – J5, La Dolfina, Valiente – symbolising the association between Adolfo Cambiaso and Bob Jornayvaz’s polo and breeding operations.

For added colour, we used the names of football teams – Manchester City, Liverpool, PSG, Barcelona, Real Madrid, River Plate, Boca Juniors, Nueva Chicago – to head the eight columns of horses that countries would draw from. Once again, Roberto held the pen, and we started at the top – where I was most opinionated about my favourites – and began entering horses one at a time. Nina, Matilde, Premiada, Scuffle, Puntana, Chaqueta, Pigmea and Loteria filled the first row, from left to right. And then we entered what we deemed to be the next best eight horses, returning back from right to left. In this manner, we worked our way down the

list, row by row. It took a couple of hours, but in the end, we had distributed 174 horses into eight groupings of 21 ponies plus six reserves in case of injuries. Rough draft complete, we tucked into Micky’s BBQ, and agreed to finalise the lists in the morning.

Not surprisingly, we had made some mistakes. For example, River Plate had fewer A-ranked horses than any other team, and Real Madrid and Liverpool had too many Cs. Roberto, Juan and I studied the dry-erase boards, and made some “executive decisions”. By making a handful of trades between teams and bumping a couple of the best Bs and Cs up a grade, we created a final draft that showed as much parity as we could imagine. Each team now had 21 horses: 9 As, 11 Bs, and 1 C. We were ready for the draw.

At the technical meeting the following morning, coaches selected folded pieces of

paper from a polo trophy held high by Alex Taylor. Argentina drew Real Madrid, Australia drew River Plate, Pakistan drew Barcelona, etc. Team members then proceeded to the Valiente polo fields, where they rode their 21 ponies for the first time. The following day, teams practised with their horses. And on Saturday, 29 October, tournament play commenced.

The most challenging part of my role was complete, but there were ongoing assignments. For each match, I was responsible for picking a Best Playing Pony, assisted by Maureen Brennan and Francisco Lanusse. When injuries occurred, we chose the best available replacement from the group of reserve Cs, and coaches were notified of the substitution. After each round of matches, any issues were assessed by a veterinarian, and it was her decision

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Left: USA’s Lucas Escobar riding Open Premiada, one of the tournament standouts, in the team practice. Opposite, from top: Pakistan’s Hamza Mawaz and Dolfina Fangio, making one of their many runs; Pelayo Berazadi’s first practice on Dolfina Niña, one of his favourites through the tournament

when a horse had to stop playing. I tried to be transparent, and teams appreciated that we were making the best decisions possible for the horses. After zone play (a total of 12 matches), we redistributed the top 10 ponies from the unsuccessful teams to the four proceeding to the semi-finals. Having watched all these ponies play three matches, it now felt relatively easy to select the top 40. Four new soccer clubs were chosen, we divided them up into four balanced pools and coaches from Argentina, Spain, Uruguay and the United States drew their lots.

Each team now had 31 horses, and the number of chukkas increased from four to five. When teams remained tied after regulation, we had to quickly determine how many horses each team had eligible for sudden death (no horses were allowed to play more than two half chukkas, or a total of seven minutes, during the course of a match). If a team ran out of available mounts, the match would have to be decided by a penalty

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Next page, from top: Lucas Escobar goes under the neck on Dolfina Jordie, the only stallion in the tournament; Uruguayan captain Santi Stirling on the ball with Irenita Lotería


shootout. This required FIP volunteers who timed the spares’ minutes with a stopwatch in the pony lines of each team. Fortunately, there were enough spares available that no matches, including the finals which went two half-chukkas deep into overtime (OT), needed to be decided on penalties.

When Spain’s #3, Pelayo Berazadi, sent a 90-yard bomb through the uprights in the second half-chukka of OT, he brought the tournament to a dramatic close. My host nation, USA, had come within a whisker of winning the title. And they had made us all proud. From the tournament organisers, one could sense a collective sigh of relief

for a job well done. Spain had secured its first-ever FIP World Championship, and the USPA had successfully hosted its first final at the newly acquired National Polo Center (NPC). The tournament’s success had required a close collaboration between the USPA, FIP and the J5/Valiente polo operation.

Reflecting on my role later that evening, while enjoying pizza and beer back at the Valiente barn, I felt privileged to be accepted by the group of grooms, managers and horses. I also felt exhausted, but being “all in” for a few weeks never hurt anyone. The horses will always keep me coming back for more.

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H�ctor Martelli explores why the Pieres breeding line –which produces so many great Polo Argentino ponies every year – is now considered one of the best in the world

hurlinghampolo.com 48 PATRICIO GARRAHAN

The story of the famous Pieres breeding line begins in 1980 in Veinticinco de Mayo, a town that lies to the southwest of Buenos Aires. Here, Gonzalo Pieres partnered with his brother Álvaro and their friend Fernando Monteverde to start breeding polo horses, using ex-playing mares and a thoroughbred stallion.

This partnership continued until 1992, when Kerry Packer, the Australian media tycoon best-known internationally for revolutionising the sport of cricket, but also a keen polo player, bought the 2,500-hectare “La Grappa” farm on the outskirts of Casbas to the west of Buenos Aires. Joining forces with Gonzalo Pieres, Packer founded Ellerstina, a polo team that would go on to dominate Argentinian polo. Although Packer passed away in 2005, the club endures and has recently celebrated its 30th anniversary. And the breeding continues there with the mares that belonged to Gonzalo, also supplemented by those imported from England and Australia. The offspring born at Ellerstina are now the most coveted and highly valued in the world.

Gonzalo’s philosophy of breeding is as simple as it is successful: ‘Breed the best to the best.’ Using different combinations of blood, he produces ponies of excellence, following in the footsteps of Robert Bakewell (1725-1795), the English geneticist and pioneer in animal husbandry. Indeed, although genetics is not an exact science, if two superlative bloods are combined, there is a greater chance that the product will be excellent.

Gonzalo’s reproductive method is still essentially embryo transfer, although some cloning is being practised. The cloning which is taking place involves outstanding mares, such as Guillermina, the daughter of Hall of Fame star, Luna.

The best of Ellerstina’s breeding comes from this great mare. Among her offspring are such notable ponies as Chita, Xelene, Califa, Geisha and Espacial. The line continues as her grandchildren include Z Jones, and there are some notable great-grandchildren too, such as Chequera. They are also cloning Lambada (mother of Cuartetera, Cambiaso’s great mare), who Gonzalo received along with Luna,

from Hector Barrantes, the legendary player, perhaps best-known in England as the stepfather of the Duchess of York.

Gonzalo does not practise very close breeding (ie fathers with daughters), although he does use more distant ones with grandmothers and great-grandmothers. The current annual output is about 170 births per year, the mothers being excellent current players and former players with the same characteristics.

The preferred stallion is Ellerstina Pícaro, son of Pucará and Simpática. Pucará is a Polo Argentino stallion, son of the thoroughbred Séquito and Rubia, Gonzalo Tanoira’s excellent player mare.

Ellerstina Pícaro enjoys an equally impressive lineage on the maternal side. His mother, Simpática, was also an outstanding player who played in all the Open games of the Argentine Triple Crown. All the animals mentioned in these pedigrees are of extreme quality and their mothers are great players.

Injecting thoroughbred blood into the offspring is a principle that Gonzalo Pieres has always followed. Thoroughbreds used over time have been Rainbow Corner, Bagual, Optimun and one that produced some exceptional offspring was Sportivo, who was Pieres’ sire in service for 13 years. Sportivo is the father of Cuartetera

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Opposite: A group of mares at La Grappa. This page, from top: Gonzalo Pieres (left) and Kerry Packer; 1980, top, from left: Héctor Barrantes, Sam and Mark Vestey, Eduardo Moore. Bottom: Tolo Ocampo, Philip Elliot and Gonzalo Pieres

(Sportivo and Lambada); and lately they have imported a clone of thoroughbred Valid Expectations from the US to test it as a stud.

About 60 employees work at La Grappa, helping with the care and supervision of the breeding stage (pregnancy, birth and rearing) and the animals are then weaned so they can be broken in and trained.

Of the 170 annual births, around 160 foals reach the breaking-in stage, with those carrying poise defects unable to be trained for polo.

Pieres practices a breaking-in process that consists first of the horse accepting contact with man, showing him that man is not a predator, but rather a friend of the horse. Once this is achieved, the rest of the learning is much easier. Two “tamers” are employed in the establishment in Casbas and break in approximately 30 horses. There are others who work exclusively for Pieres in a property near the city of Buenos Aires, where they take care of another 30 and the rest are broken in by outsourced professionals. The broken-in animals are almost all females.

Of the 170 foals born, only around 10 or 12 males are broken in.

All the tamed animals are trained for polo, with 16 to 18 pilots, some at La Grappa itself and the rest at Ellerstina Polo Club, in the General Rodríguez area of Buenos Aires.

The 30 best horses are reserved annually for Gonzalito, Facundo and Nicolás to ride. The rest are destined for sale, either locally or abroad.

The results of this hard work are witnessed every year, as Ellerstina ponies pick up awards in Argentina, England and

hurlinghampolo.com 50 PATRICIO GARRAHAN
Top: Ellerstina’s Pícaro. Bottom, from left: Rainbow Corner; La Luna with Gonzalo Pieres

the US. The ponies are not only played by the Ellerstina team, but many are acquired by other players as they are some of the most in-demand horses in the world.

Finally, it would be a mistake not to recognise the role played by the legendary Héctor Barrantes in all this, as he was a key figure in the professional life of Gonzalo Pieres. He was the person who guided Gonzalo in his early days in England and provided many brilliant mares to play in the Argentine Triple Crown, who today are mothers or grandmothers of Ellerstina ponies.

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Below: an Ellerstina pony auction


Florida’s National Polo Center saw England put up a strong ght in a fast-paced nal that resulted in them taking the trophy in the Westchester Cup with a decisive victory over the USA.


This year’s Gauntlet of Polo series saw three winners take victory, with Park Place winning their rst US Open title, despite the rain.



In a historic move, the Polo Championship nal was the featured Sunday match on the U.S. Polo Assn. Field One. Also making history was La Fe, who were the winning team in their debut in the nal.


Spectators were treated to a thrilling match between IFZA Habtoor Polo and UAE Polo, with the teams neck in neck by the second chukka.


The momentous 2022 tournament offered fresh and exciting viewing for match-goers, with only two of the competing top teams qualifying from the previous year.


A thrilling overtime battle had the tournament come to a close with a hard-fought nal where Spain emerged victorious, the rst European team to win the FIP World Polo Championship.

The England team, winners of the Westchester Cup. From left: Max Charlton, Mark Tomlinson, Tommy Beresford and James Beim


Following a closely fought match, England ultimately prevailed in the Westchester Cup with a decisive victory over the USA

The historic Westchester Cup was played at the National Polo Center, Wellington, Florida, on Friday 31 March, seeing Team USA (Matt Coppola, Nicolas “Nico” Escobar, Jeff Hall, Jared Zenni) face a formidable English team (James Beim, Tomas Beresford, Max Charlton, Mark Tomlinson).

Shutting out USA in the fth chukka, while also putting three goals on the scoreboard, England were able to dominate

both the offensive and defensive ends as time wound down. With Team USA unable to mount a successful comeback, England captured the 12-9 victory, triumphantly avenging their 2019 overtime loss. Despite the English triumph, USA still maintains the Westchester Cup record, with 11 total wins compared to England’s nine.

Throughout the Florida winter high-goal season, the US team has been preparing for

the Westchester Cup by competing in the Gauntlet of Polo as La Elina. For England, there was much less time to prepare. Team captain, Tommy Beresford, commented, ‘We had two team practices. Honestly, we were only here for a week, so we didn’t have that much time. Luckily, Mark and James have played a lot together in the past. We all know each other. But to get that rhythm –La Elina’s been playing together all season,

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so they had a huge advantage there. I think we just went out there with a positive mindset, got the best horses we could and made sure we left everything on the eld.’

Using the players’ world’s highest handicaps, meaning that players competed on their highest handicap on record, the two teams were both rated 25 goals. Teams got off to a fairly even start, both capitalising on two scoring opportunities to end the rst chukka tied. USA’s Escobar and England’s Charlton continued this pattern in the second chukka to leave the score at 3-all. Goals from Coppola, Hall and Zenni equalised three goals from Beim and Tomlinson to end the rst half on a level playing eld at 6-all.

England came out all guns blazing at the start of the second half. A Penalty 2 from Beresford and a goal from Charlton outpaced a sole Penalty 1 awarded to USA, putting England in the lead at 8-7. Making the most of their momentum, England’s Charlton, Beim and Beresford added three more combined goals while also keeping USA off the board in the fth chukka. With England now leading 11-7 entering the nal chukka, a late push from Hall and Zenni hoped to inspire a USA comeback, but it was too little too late. A nal English goal from Charlton kept his team ahead 12-9 as time expired, returning the trophy to England.

Speaking of his team’s strategy and success, England’s Beim shared, ‘Myself and Mark have played a lot together and in Cámara [de Diputados] level and high levels of polo, and Tommy is a star; he’s going to be in the [Argentine] Open soon. We understand how to play a high level of polo, which is a little bit quicker and with fewer touches. So, we just came in with that mindset and worked to play fast and hit backhands and Max tted in amazingly at three and crushed the ball.’

For his 3-goal performance and relentless work on both sides of the ball, 26-year-old English captain Tomas Beresford, the team’s youngest member, was awarded Most Valuable Player. Matt Coppola’s rst chukka horse and last chukka spare, MC Adele (River Dance x Riojana), was presented with the Best Playing Pony honours.

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Opposite: Jeff Hall (in blue) positions himself for the ball against James Beim. This page, from top: Max Charlton in perfect form; Mark Tomlinson (in white) ahead of Nico Escobar


This year’s Gauntlet of Polo series produces three winners, with Park Place winning their rst US Open title, reports Alex Webbe

It was an epic end to the rain-delayed 2023 US Open Championship, when Park Place bounced back from a two-goal de cit in the nal chukka of play to capture the team’s rst US Open Championship, outscoring Valiente 4-1 in the nal seven minutes of the game for a 12-11 victory.

A powerful, well-mounted Valiente team took the eld with an impressive 10-1 Gauntlet record that included a win over

Park Place in the C. V. Whitney Cup seminals. A back-and-forth battle on Sunday afternoon was interrupted after three periods of play by heavy rains, causing the game to be suspended with Valiente holding a narrow 6-5 advantage.

Action resumed on Monday afternoon with Park Place being awarded a Penalty 1, knotting the score at 6-6. A goal from the eld by Agustin Nero and a 30-yard

penalty conversion from Gonzalez had Valiente on top, 8-6. Ulloa’s sixth well-played goal of the match closed out the chukka with Valiente defending a 1-goal, 8-7 advantage.

Ru no Merlos scored his rst goal of the game on a breakaway in the opening minute of the fth for a 9-7 Valiente lead. Ulloa and Cambiaso exchanged goals to end the fth with Valiente in front, 10-8.


Park Place was awarded their second Penalty 1 of the day, cutting the Valiente lead back to a single goal, 10-9. Ulloa levelled the score at 10-10 with a nearside cut shot through the posts. The pace continued to quicken as the players scrambled for control of the ball. With 2:29 left in regulation play, Cambiaso scored his fourth goal of the day for an 11-10 advantage, but Ulloa wasn’t through yet. Ulloa’s ninth goal of the day came at the 1:45 mark, 11-11, and the go-ahead goal, 12-11 came from Ulloa with just 38 seconds on the clock.

A nal charge by Valiente came with Cambiaso on the ball racing toward the Park Place goal. In what appeared to be a certain Valiente goal, Ulloa swept across the back end of Cambiaso’s horse just in time to hook his mallet, clear the ball and save the day. Ten goals from Ulloa and a pair of Penalty 1s gave Park Place their rst US Open Championship.

Ulloa was named MVP with his Latia Kavaska earning Best Playing Pony honours.

Scone captures the USPA Gold Cup Florida polo fans got a good look at Adolfo (Poroto) Cambiaso Jr as he led the Scone team from the pivotal Number 3 slot and carried them to wins over Tamera (9-8 in OT),

Opposite: 2023 US Open Championship victors. From left: Juan Britos, Andrey Borodin, Hilario Ulloa and Jason Wates. Right: the C.V. Whitney Cup winners. From left: Bob Jornayvaz, Peke Gonzalez, Luckitas Criado, Adolfo Cambiaso with Whitney and Royal Douglas III

2023 USPA Gold Cup champions Scone –Tomas Panelo, Poroto Cambiaso, Cody Ellis, David Paradice, David “Pelon” Stirling. Presented by USPA chairman Stewart Armstrong

Two Trees Polo (18-4), La Fe (13-9) and Dutta Corp (14-10), before meeting Pilot in the nal.

Cambiaso showed ashes of his father as he deftly carried the ball up and down the eld demonstrating acute hand-eye coordination and experienced horsemanship.

A solid defensive effort by Scone held the tournament’s high scorer, Facundo Pieres, to a season low four goals as Scone held on for the 8-6 win. Pieres ended the tournament as high-scorer with 38 goals.

Tomas Panelo (replacing the injured Pelon Stirling) was named MVP, with Poroto Cambiaso’s Cabe Bailarina earning Best Playing Pony honours.

Valiente edges Pilot in C.V. Whitney Cup nal Twelve teams lined up for the rst 22-goal tournament of the season with pretournament favourites featuring Pilot, Park Place, Scone and Valiente in the USPA’s opening tournament of its Gauntlet of Polo series, the C.V. Whitney Cup.

Unfortunate seeding saw Pilot score an overtime win over Scone in the opening match of the tournament (in what should have been a semi- nal matchup) and go on to add victories over Dazos (10-9) and Shack Attack (12-11) to reach the tournament nal.

Bob Jornayvaz’s Valiente team returned to Florida after a two-year absence and scored wins over La Elina (11-6), Aspen (17-2), and Park Place (12-10) before handing Pilot their rst loss of the season, 10-9, in the nal, in spite of Pieres’ eight goals.

Pieres led the tournament in scoring with an impressive 36 goals. Lucas Criado Jr led the Valiente attack with six goals. Teammate Peke Gonzalez earned MVP honours while his horse Carpacho was named Best Playing Pony. Adolfo Cambiaso commanded the Valiente attack from the back position, relying on Gonzalez and Criado to do most of the offensive damage to Pilot.

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La Fe stormed to victory on their debut in the US Open Women’s Polo Championship nal

A week of high-calibre women’s polo hosted by Port Mayaca Polo Club in Okeechobee, Florida, culminated in the illustrious US Open Women’s Polo Championship presented by Eastern Hay.

For the rst time the nal, which took place on 19 March, was held as the featured Sunday match on the legendary US Polo Assn. Field One at the National Polo Center. Despite looming rain in the forecast, the most prestigious women’s cup in American polo pitted competition newcomer La Fe (Winifred Branscum,

Pamela Flanagan, Hope Arellano and Hazel Jackson) against Dundas (Ana de la Fuente, Erica Gandomcar-Sachs, Mia Cambiaso and Nina Clarkin) with $40,000 in prize money on the line.

Relying on non-stop offensive repower, especially from 8-goal American Hope Arellano, La Fe launched an impressive effort that ended in a dominant 12-6 rst-time victory. Previously, on Saturday 18 March, the third-place play-off saw San Saba defeat El Cid Fitness 8-3 to claim the bronze position.

In their journey to the nal, Dundas faced an early setback when team owner Sarah Siegel-Magness suffered an injury in the rst game. Valentina Tarazona lled in during the initial game and Ana de la Fuente took over for the rest of the competition.

Discussing La Fe’s team strategy for the nal, English rider, Hazel Jackson commented, ‘The main thing for us was “initiate”. Initiate the defence rst, and then attack. Our plan was supposed to be much more disciplined with the man, and then we go on attack.’

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‘They’re all extremely well-mounted,’ Arellano noted. ‘So playing against them, we knew we were going to have to get them early to cut the horse factor as much as we could.’ Pamela Flanagan added, ‘In my opinion, they’re one of the most talented teams in the tournament. Mia and Nina are a force to be reckoned with.’

Quick eld goals from La Fe’s Arellano and Jackson saw them take an early 2-1 advantage. Cambiaso responded to nd the goal once from the eld then capitalised from the penalty line twice in the second. Only one response from Arellano shifted Dundas into the lead 4-3 heading into the third chukka.

Regrouping, La Fe’s Arellano and Jackson hammered in six goals between the third and fourth chukkas – shutting Dundas out completely. La Fe now rmly in the lead 9-4 heading into the fth chukka, Dundas attempted to ignite a comeback late in the game, but two goals from Cambiaso were met by goals from Jackson, Arellano and Flanagan in the fth and sixth. As time ebbed away, La Fe’s unwavering efforts were rewarded with a commanding 12-6 win and rst US Open Women’s Polo Championship title.

Along with the championship, La Fe earned $30,000 in prize money, while Dundas received $10,000, donated by title sponsor Eastern Hay with the support of the USPA Prize Money Matching Programme. In the spirit of philanthropy and in partnership with USPA Global Licensing, both nalists also received a $2,500 cheque to donate to a polo charity of their choice. La Fe chose to support Replay Polo, while Dundas contributed to Work To Ride.

For 17-year-old Intercollegiate/ Interscholastic competitor, Winnie Branscum, the trophy marked a successful career debut on the high-goal Florida scene. ‘This is my rst time on this level, and I’ve been using it to launch myself into the world down here in Wellington [Florida]. It means a lot, not just to win this tournament, but it means a lot of opportunity for me. I’m proud of what I did with my team, and I’m excited for what’s to come because of it.’

For her impressive six-goal performance in the nal, Hope Arellano was named Most

Valuable Player. After the tournament she was raised to 9 goals and will be the 10 in December – making here the rst American 10 goaler. Arellano’s second chukka spare and sixth chukka horse, 9-year-old Macumba, was awarded Best Playing Pony.

Speaking about what a momentous accomplishment for women’s polo it was to have the US Open Women’s Final as the

featured Sunday match on US Polo Assn. Field One, Pamela Flanagan beamed, ‘This is huge for the women, and I hope it stays like this for years to come. It’s an uphill battle, but we’re here, we made it. It means a lot for me, not just to play here and win here, [but also] for all of women’s polo. It shows how it’s growing and how people are taking it seriously, and I’m proud to be a part of that.’

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Above: The victorious La Fe team (l-to-r): Hazel Jackson, Hope Arellano, Pamela Flanagan and Winifred Branscum. Left: La Fe’s Hope Arellano and Dundas’ Mia Cambiaso give no quarter. Opposite: La Fe’s Winifred Branscum has her eyes on the ball


Despite a close nal game against IFZA Habtoor Polo, UAE Polo claimed the ultimate win to take the prestigious Dubai Gold Cup, reports Bushra Malik

The high-goal polo season in the UAE began with the Silver Cup tournament, followed by the Gold Cup at 20-goal handicap for the rst time in its history. Both tournaments showcased the best polo teams of the season in a thrilling competition for the highly sought-after Dubai Polo Gold Cup (DPGC) Series trophy.

The series is recognised and certi ed by the World Polo Tour (WPT) and played under the WPT Championship Cup category, which is one of the highest competitions in terms of points. The Gold Cup is the only tournament in the UAE to be played in this category, and ranks alongside world-class tournaments held in Argentina, Spain, UK and America. The DPGC Series is one of the most important annual tournaments in the region attracting, as it does, VIPs, local and international media and many celebrities.

The nal of the IFZA Silver Cup saw AM Polo take on UAE Polo on 4 February 2023 at Al Habtoor Polo Club. AM Polo took an early lead and retained it until the end of the second chukka, with the score 5-3. In the third chukka, Lucas Monteverde Jr. scored the rst goal for UAE Polo and in the fourth, UAE Polo got on top with four unanswered goals and found themselves with an 8-7 advantage. It all came down to the nal chukka where both teams scored one goal each, with AM Polo levelling up the game with a 30-yard penalty. Tables turned in the last 20 seconds of the match as UAE Polo scored another goal and emerged as the winners of IFZA Silver Cup 2023.

The nal of the IFZA Gold Cup was played on 4 March 2023 on the grounds of Al Habtoor Polo Club. This nal match of the Dubai Open 2023 was eagerly awaited, as it featured two of the strongest line-ups in the IFZA Gold Cup 2023 tournament – the UAE Polo and IFZA Habtoor Polo teams.

hurlinghampolo.com ACTION 60 KHALIL AHLI; TONY BELOT
Above: Mohammed Al Habtoor on the near side in the final of the IFZA Gold Cup 2023. Opposite: The UAE organisation –one of the best in the world DUBAI POLO GOLD CUP SERIES, AL HABTOOR POLO CLUB, UAE, 21 JANUARY – 4 MARCH 2023

Ahead of the tournament, the CEO & vice chairman of Al Habtoor Group, Mohammed Al Habtoor said, ‘We look forward to welcoming the players, their families, and the fans to enjoy this thrilling display of athleticism, and experience our commitment to advancing the sport of kings that has made us a source of pride for the United Arab Emirates.’

The nal match began, and Tommy Beresford nicked the rst goal for UAE Polo. Shortly after, Juan Jauretche and Bautista Bayugar both scored for IFZA Habtoor Polo. The second chukka opened with two back-to-back goals from Bayugar and two from Tommy Beresford, and ended with the teams tied at four goals all. The next two chukkas saw a quick exchange of goals, but UAE gradually secured their advantage and took the lead with one goal at the end of the penultimate chukka.

With seven minutes remaining in the match, UAE Polo had their work cut out, but

Lucas Monteverde Jr. and Tommy Beresford managed to create a three-goal cushion in the middle of the chukka. Bayugar managed to close the de cit with a goal for IFZA Habtoor Polo, but in the end, it was Lucas Monteverde Jr. who scored the nal goal, securing a decisive 10-7 win for UAE Polo

and making them the two-time champions of the IFZA Gold Cup 2023.

Tommy Beresford was awarded Most Valuable Player; Nova, ridden by Lucas Monteverde Jr., received the award for Best Playing Pony; and Open Pollera won Best Playing Pony of Argentine Polo Breeding.



Hector Martelli reports on the key matches of Triple Crown 2022, culminating with La Dol na defeating La Natividad by four goals to claim the Argentine Open title

The Argentine Triple Crown is always played during spring in the southern hemisphere and is composed of the three highest-rated tournaments worldwide.

Perhaps the most notable aspect of the 2022 Triple Crown was that only two teams remained unchanged from 2021. These were La Natividad – the winners of the Argentine Open in 2021 – and Ellerstina. The other six top teams all featured changes.

La Dol na had Francisco Elizalde and Diego Cavanagh stepping out, and

Cambiaso Jr joining Aldofo Cambiaso and David Stirling with Juan Martín Nero making a comeback. Pablo Mac Donough, who left RS Murus Sanctus, formed his own team, La Irenita. Guillermo Caset and Facundo Sola, the two remaining members of Corinne Ricard’s French organisation, joined forces with La Ensenada, alongside Alfredo Bigatti and Jerónimo del Carril.

The rst part of the Triple Crown is the Tortugas Open, played on a knockout basis with eight teams taking part. The Tortugas

Open featured two particularly remarkable matches won by the smallest of margins; in one semi nal, La Natividad beat La Dol na 10-9 and they then claimed a 14-13 win in the nal over Ellerstina.

The second part of the Triple Crown, the Hurlingham Open, also featured eight teams, although with a different xture arrangement. Two unexpected results emerged in the opening rounds –La Ensenada’s 13-11 win over Ellerstina and the last league decider between La Irenita


and La Natividad, seeing La Natividad victorious and into the nal.

The derby between La Dol na and Ellerstina proved a surprise, with the former winning by eight goals. It all meant that the nal was contested between La Dol na and La Irenita, with Cambiaso’s lineup making a strong early impression. La Irenita managed to close the gap to one goal by half time, but La Dol na re-took the lead in the remaining chukkas. La Irenita bounced back in the nal chukka but La Dol na ran out 13-12 winners.

The Argentine Open provided the nal leg of the Triple Crown, with the usual 10 teams – two more coming from Quali cation. However, these two teams

weren’t up to the task, as La Ensenada and La Natividad had both been a few years previously.

La Natividad, the reigning champions, were the top-seeded team within League A, followed by La Irenita, who had great chances to win. Indeed, they were so competitive, the clash between the two of them ended up with the Castagnola’s La Natividad victorious by just one goal.

La Dol na and Ellerstina were placed in League B. Perhaps the big surprise of the Open was the win of the unfancied La Dol na II, over the Pieres, who were easily beaten by La Dol na, as well.

The nal was not quite up to the usual standard, partly because the ground was

not in good condition. Nevertheless, La Dol na played fast-paced, open polo, and had no trouble defeating La Natividad by four goals to claim the trophy.

The Argentine Triple Crown demonstrates that Argentine polo is growing in a variety of exciting ways. Most signi cantly, there appears to be a vibrant new generation of talented players emerging – many of them still teenagers – such as the Castagnola brothers, Cambiaso Jr., Ru no Bensadon, Lucas Monteverde Jr., Tomás Panelo, Juan M Zubía, and Cruz Heguy. And despite their youth, they have already played the Triple Crown as well as other high-goal tournaments.

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Opposite: Adolfo followed by Poroto Cambiaso in the final of the Open as Polito Pieres looks on. This page, from left: Juan Martin Nero, Poroto Cambiaso, David Stirling and Adolfo Cambiaso lift the cup in Palermo


Spain emerged victorious from a thrilling overtime battle in the nal of the 2022 XII FIP World Polo Championship, reports Alex Webbe

For the rst time, the National Polo Center in Wellington, Florida, hosted the XII FIP World Polo Championship (29 October6 November 2022) and it proved a huge success. The competition welcomed eight teams from across the world – Argentina, Australia, Italy, Mexico, Pakistan, Spain, Uruguay, and the home team, the USA –to compete for international polo glory.

The USA team (Lucas and Nico Escobar, Agustin Arellano and Justin Klentner) made a blistering start, recording a comfortable 9-4 win over Australia, while Spain (Nicolas Alvarez, Luis Domecq, Pelayo Berazadi and Nicolas Ruiz Guinazu) edged Pakistan, 9-7.5 in the opening round of play.

In the second round action, Spain exed their muscles, routing Mexico 11-4.5, a solid

effort that would give them a 2-0 record and secure them a spot in the tournament semi- nals. A talented USA quartet, however, struggled with Italy before suffering a 6-4 loss that put the pressure on the host team at 1-1.

‘I really think that loss was the best thing that could have happened to us,’ said USA team coach and former 9-goaler Julio

hurlinghampolo.com ACTION 64 DAVID LOMINSKA

Arellano. ‘We didn’t play well and the loss put us in a position where we had to win our next game to stay alive.’

Spain knew they had already made the semi- nals, despite a 6-3.5 loss to Argentina in their third match.

‘We knew that we had to beat Pakistan and Mexico,’ said Spain’s coach, Benjamin Araya, the former Argentine 10-goaler. ‘The loss to Argentina actually gave us strength. After losing to them by only a couple of goals, I knew that we had a good chance in the semi- nals. Playing Uruguay or the USA made no difference. The players and the horses were ready.’

The USA notched their second win of the competition by sneaking past pre-tournament favourites, Uruguay, 7.5-7. The victory sent the USA into the seminals against Argentina, while Spain would be battling Uruguay in the other semi.

There was no shortage of drama in the semi- nals, with Spain downing Uruguay, and Team USA replacing Klentner with 19-year-old Hope Arellano – the rst woman ever to play in the nal of the World Championship – to upset previously undefeated Argentina, 9-8 in overtime.

In the nal, Spain took little time to make their mark, with USA fouling a charging Berazadi in the goalmouth for a Penalty 1 and a 1-0 lead for Spain. Four minutes later, Nicolas Ruiz Guinazu scored on a pass from Berazadi, and Spain led, 2-0. Hope Arellano closed out the scoring in the opening chukka with a goal from the eld to trail Spain 2-1.

The second period belonged to Team USA with Nico Escobar scoring on a penalty shot at the 7:00 mark to level the score at 2-2. Minutes later, Nico Escobar took the ball from the throw-in and raced down the eld to give Team USA their rst lead of the game, 3-2. Berazadi responded with a 50-yard neck shot for a goal, levelling the score at 3-3. Team USA rallied to score consecutive goals from Agustin Arellano and Nico Escobar (one from the eld and one on a penalty conversion). After two periods of play, Team USA held what seemed a comfortable 6-3 advantage.

A recharged Spanish team took the eld in the third with Berazadi and Guinazu


scoring from the eld to cut the USA lead to a single goal, 6-5. A penalty conversion from Berazadi knotted the score at 6-6 and a goal from the eld from Guinazu had Spain leading 7-6.

‘Our main strength was teamwork,’ said Spain’s coach, Araya. Along with, ‘A good relationship among the players and a determination to achieve.’

Nico Escobar exploded with three goals that had Team USA in front again at 9-7. With seconds left on the clock in the fourth, Berazadi stole the ball and scored as the horn sounded. Team USA had a 9-8 lead, but Spain still had a response.

Hope Arellano scored the opening goal of the fth chukka for a 10-8 USA lead, but Spain clawed its way back with a penalty

conversion from Berazadi, 10-9 and an equalising goal from the eld from Domecq, forced a sudden-death overtime chukka. Play was measured but intense with both teams struggling for control of the ball. Midway through the period, a USA foul proved costly as Berazadi converted a penalty shot for the winning goal, 11-10, at the 3:25 mark!

The non-stop action kept the crowd of over 3,000 on their feet for the remainder of play, as Spain became the rst European team to capture the FIP World Polo Championship Cup.

Berazadi led the Spanish team with ve goals and earned MVP honours; J5 Matilde – played in the third and fth chukkas by Berazadi – was named Best Playing Pony.

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Opposite: Spain celebrates winning the FIP World Polo Championship Cup on 6 November 2022. This page: 19-year-old Hope Arellano playing in the FIP World Polo Championship


Fathers and sons have a unique connection, and it is mesmerising to see their neartelepathic instinct on the polo field.

While Adolfo Cambiaso and his 17-year-old son, Poroto (Adolfo Cambiaso Jr) were the first father-son combination to play in the Triple Crown this century – winning the Argentine Open with La Dolfina in 2022 – polo has also seen other notable father-and-son successes in the past.

Another legendary polo family, the Harriotts, made their mark on the sport with Juan Carlos Harriott and his son Juancarlitos playing in Palermo together, winning the Argentine Open seven times between 1957 and 1964.

A particularly special year for fatherson duos at Palermo was 1958, with the Harriotts winning the Open title alongside another father-and-son pair, Antonio and Horacio Heguy, as part of the famed Colonel Suárez-Los Indios team.

Later, Horacio played alongside his twin sons Horacito and Gonzalo for Chapaleufú in 1983. In 1984, in the Tortugas Open, his son Marcos also joined the team. In 1985, the line-up of Chapaleufú II included Alberto Pedro and both of his eldest sons, Eduardo and Alberto.

Also in 1983, Colonel Suárez won Palermo with Horacio and 17-year-old Benjamin Araya playing together in the team. At the time, Benjamin was the youngest Argentine Open Champion in history, with his record only recently taken by Poroto Cambiaso in 2022.

The last father-son duo to play in Palermo before the Cambiasos was that of Gonzalo and Gonzalito Pieres in 1999. Still playing today, Gonzalito was just 16 years old when he made his debut in the Open in 1999, playing alongside his father, a pioneer in polo and founder of La Espadaña and Ellerstina.

With a wealth of super-talented young players emerging at the top level of the sport armed with skills, natural ability and horsepower inherited from past generations – as well as the fearlessness and exuberance of youth – we are sure to observe the magic of many more father-and-son pairings in polo in the future.

hurlinghampolo.com ARCHIVE 66 PEPE SANTAMARINA
Jemima Wilson looks back at notable father-son duos in the history of polo
Palermo, 1958: On the left, standing, Antonio Heguy with his son, Horacio. On the right, standing, Juan Carlos Harriott with his son Juancarlitos
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