Why is Argentina considered the Polo Capital of the world?
Well, there are over 3,000 registered polo players in Argentina, more than ten times more than US and UK for a start.
There are many thousands of grooms who specifically care for horses. Polo, or “The Sport of Kings,” as it is often referred to is frequently thought of as something that extremely wealthy people do for fun. And it is.
However, Argentina is more affordable than most countries and there it is played at a higher standard than anywhere else. Argentina’s has the worlds best polo teams has not lost against another country since 1932!
Argentina offers an ideal setting for polo in many ways. Firstly, the flat surfaces of the grasslands, or pampa, or flatland, were ideal for the British settlers who brought polo to Argentina. Secondly, the pampa is also perfect for breeding and training horses.
Argentina is known as the “Mecca of polo” because it has the largest number of 10-handicap players (the highest caliber of polo player). 1o of the top 12 players in the world are Argentine.
It is fair to say that polo is an elite sport, with a sizable wealth necessary to sustain a polo player’s lifestyle and numerous horses. However, that’s not to say that it is easy. Polo is extremely difficult, as you need to control the horse while at the same time hitting the polo ball, all at intense speed and with incredible precision. But, there are ways to get some polo practice without being rich.
In Buenos Aires province, there are many estancias, or ranches, catering to people who want to learn to play polo or simply have a fun day out and get a bit of practice. Many have professional polo players who live on the ranch and train novices who come to participate in polo days—a great way to experience the life of a polo player for an afternoon.
Foreigners can play in Argentina at any level and simply fly in for the experience, with their entire trip and horse-needs catered to. There are ten men with an Argentine handicap of 10 goals in Polo. ( handicaps begin at minus two for beginners to an elite handicap of 10).
Plus the greatest player the world has ever seen, Adolfo Cambiaso has based his entire operation in Cañuelas, forty-five minutes from downtown Buenos Aires. You can join them.
Or if you prefer to be closer to Pilar then there is a Polo Academy open to the public.
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