The second edition of Polo Challenge will come to an end with the finals of the Caribbean Open on Friday at Casa De Campo. Cubi Toccalino is one of the players who returned to the Dominican for a second year. The Argentine has stood out in seasons around the world over the past few years, and his time in the Dominican was no different. This 2017 promises to be special for Toccalino, as he is set to play the Queen’s Cup and the Gold Cup with Monterosso, alongside Alessandro Bazzoni, Santiago Toccalino and Matt Perry. He will also play an important role in the Argentina Qualification tournament, where he will play alongside brother Santiago, Facu Sola and Alfredo Cappella.
“Once the Polo Challenge finishes I will travel to Argentina and spend two or three weeks there,” says Toccalino. “I am set to play the La Cañada Open. I’ll play a bit, try some horses, and then head off to England.”
On his team for the Qualification tournament: “I have never played with Facu Sola or with Alfredo Cappella, but I imagine it to be a lot of fun. We get on well , so that’s a good start. My only worry is Cappella hitting me with the ball! We are excited to start the season. Our aim is to qualify and become one of the top six teams.”
On the 2017 Polo Challenge RD: “The Polo Challenge is a great season. I was invited to come over and I didn’t doubt it for a second. The season here offers competitive polo in a beautiful place, and that is great for the family. This season has been really good. The fields are in great condition and the polo is competitive. My family spent two and a half months here with me, before returning for the start of the school term. There is so much to do here: beaches, concerts, sports. We all love coming.”
On the level of polo in the Dominican: “We have 22-goal polo, and now 26-goal, which was only played in the US before. It is always great to be part of a season like this. It is fun and it helps you stay in shape – that is the best thing about the Polo Challenge.”
On his new challenge in England with Monterosso: “We are going to play the Queen’s Cup and the Gold Cup with Monterosso. We are excited and have good expectations. We are a new team and I am going to play alongside Alessandro Bazzoni, Matt Perry and my brother Santiago. This will be Alessandro’s first time in England. It is great that Santiago and I can play together again; we know each other and that is always positive in a new team. And Matt is a great player. We are hoping to be very competitive.”
On his change of organisation: “My seasons with HB were always amazing and I was very happy there. I am glad to have the chance to continue playing with Alessandro, as I have been here in the Dominican.”
On having his handicap lowered in Argentina (9 to 8): “I took it well. Unfortunately, we had a bad match in Palermo. But having your handicap lowered is also a reflection of a not so successful season; it’s logical.”
On the Union del Polo: “The most important thing I have noticed in the “Unión del Polo” is the way it brings players together; everyone is working to improve polo as a whole. Secondly, the group that has come together is second to none; I think they are the best of the best. Eduardo Novillo Astrada is very serious, hard working, and professional. I think he would be a great President.
On maintaining a high handicap: “First of all, it is amazing to have reached a level where I can compete in the Triple Crown. I am happiest about having built an organisation, which is not the biggest, but which I consider to be good.”