Sunday, December 27, 2015

Polo Argentino

Soccer is king here in Argentina. There is no doubt about that.

Rubgy, (women) field hockey and tennis contend for the next most popular sport.

And then there is polo. It is the sport of the very rich. Argentines seem to be masters at it. Many sjeiks will recruit Argentinean polo trainers, or scoop up Argentine trained horses.

wikipedia: ‘From then on, the game spread powerfully across the country and Argentina is credited globally as the mecca of polo, mainly because Argentina is notably the country with the largest number ever of 10 handicap players in the world.’

I ended up meeting a Argentine polo teacher during this visit, who summarized the game for me. A typical polo game consists of:
  • Two teams of 4 players.
  • Goals a 7 meters apart (I believe) and when you score, you get a single point.
  • There are about 7 periods of each 7 minutes (chukkas or chukkers)
  • Riders change horses each period. Thus each player typically shows up with 7 horses. No wonder this is an expensive game.
  • The game is physially exhausting to both horse and rider.
  • Great polo players should not own the horse, as they will not ride their own horses as hard.
  • Breeding great polo horses is big business. Cloning is big these days.
In about 10 classes the polo teacher can get you started with polo (If money were no issue). Most of it will be training on becoming one with the horse.

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