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Argentine Polo is the latest fashion in China

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Argentine Polo is the latest fashion in China

Arguably better known for Eva Peron and the tango, Argentina has been a bastion of polo since the sport was popularized there by British settlers in the 19th century. China’s history with the sport goes back even farther: By some accounts, polo was the bees’ knees as far back as the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907 AD), except only imperial types played it.

Thought to have originated in China and Persia some 2,000 years ago the British are credited with spreading the game worldwide in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The name polo is said to be derived from the Tibetan word ‘pulu’, meaning ‘ball’. The Moguls spread the game from Persia but it was not until the late 19th century that British tea planters discovered the game in India.

The British Army quickly took up the sport which developed as essential training for their cavalry units, and in 1863, the Calcutta Polo Club was founded – it is still the oldest active club in the world today.

Argentina is considered to be the undisputed centre of great polo today – 85% of the highest goal players in the world hail from here. The Argentine Open Championship, also played in Buenos Aires, is considered to be the most exalted tournament on the polo circuit.

Fast forward a millennium or so: The imperials are gone but polo is making a comeback in China, thanks to the country’s new luxury-loving aristocracy.

Last winter, a six-day snow polo tournament was held just outside Beijing, hosted by the Tianjin Goldin Metropolitan Polo Club, which was started by a Hong Kong-listed property developer. There’s even a governing body of sorts, called China Polo Clubs, set up to “develop and manage polo clubs in China.”

This latest Chinese passion had introduced in the Asian giant a new fashion phenomenon: Polo Boots for Chinese Women.

As reported by the Wall Street Journal, while being in Beijing for a high-level trade mission, the secretary of Argentina’s Footwear Industry Chamber Horacio Moschetto told Dow Jones Newswires that Argentine shoe makers had managed to tie up orders from China. And while he wouldn’t say precisely how many shoes were involved, he did let on that a big part of the deal involved polo boots.And while the ranks of China’s new rich are dominated by men, Mr. Moschetto revealed an interesting detail: A lot of the polo boots to be shipped to China from Argentina are for women.

Possibly because the sport has only recently been revived in China, there are no statistics that break down the country’s polo players by gender. But the idea that Chinese women might jump on a horse and join in the fun is not without historical precedent. Among the Tang Dynasty terracotta statues archaeologists have uncovered, several appear to depict female polo players, suggesting that the 21st century isn’t the first time the sport found gender equality.

In Argentina, the huge ranches or estancias, with their thousands of acres, are what make polo a natural sport here.  With plenty of space and grazing, horses are a relatively cheap commodity. Anglo-Argentine settlers brought with them not just the concept of polo, but also their thoroughbred horses, which they crossed with the Argentine cattle horse..the Criollo, to produce the greatest polo ponies in the world.

Polo Tourism is expanding; Argentina is proactive in glamorizing a polo lifestyle with real estate and polo complexes attracting heavy investment. There are countless polo estancias in and around Buenos Aires, with beautiful lodge houses, plenty of history, rustic ambiance, all modern conveniences and wide open spaces as far as the eye can see.   Most estancias offering polo can teach you in English, Spanish, Italian or French and you will find that your coach is likely to be a professional high goal player.

Contact the Gateway to South America team to learn about different Polo lifestyle investment opportunities, lands suitable for Polo related developments like countries, clubs, private neighborhoods and urbanization projects in the most prestigious Polo centers of the world. GTSA also brokers polo property sales and rentals and arranges your polo holidays to make possible a remarkable lifestyle for polo enthusiasts.

The company is a benchmark for foreign investors wishing to invest in Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Chile, providing expert advice on property acquisition and investment tours.

The Gateway Team – When You are Serious About Property

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About Gateway to South America

Gateway to South America was established in 2006 as a single office in Buenos Aires. The company has since expanded into a vibrant regional network, servicing the Southern Cone clients in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay with professional real estate marketing services. If you enjoy reading our news site please share it on your social media below.

Post available in: English


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