Buenos Aires, Argentina
Overview: “The mecca of polo” and ‘the best polo in the world’ are terms usually used to describe the Argentine capital. This is, in great measure, due to the fact that the city hosts the most important polo championship in the world, but the quantity of high-handicapped players, media repercussion, number of fans that flock to the grounds and the sheer number of tournaments and fields all undoubtedly make Buenos Aires the most important polo destination in the world. The city also hosts the Argentine Republic Cup, a one-of-a-kind tournament that invites teams from 0-40 goals to enter.
Main tournaments: Argentine Open, Hurlingham Open, Tortugas Open, Cámara de Diputados Cup
Quality of play: Excellent
Level and quantity of high-handicapped players: 8 players of 10-goal handicap.
Quality of Fields: Excellent
Media Repercussion: High
Extra attractions: The province of Buenos Aires provides different attractions, depending on location. The city of Buenos Aires is a buzzing metropolis offering countless activities, amoung them, watching a match in the “Cathedral of Polo”. Open green spaces can be found at the numerous clubs dotted around the province, the most outstanding to be found in Pilar, Cañuelas, Open Door or Lobos, which was once chosen by the British Royal Family as a training ground.
Quantity of teams at differing levels: Many levels of play are available. During the high-goal season, the two most important tournaments feature 8 teams up to 40-goals.
Polo History: On September 19, 1872, The Standard newspaper reported that November 3 of that same year would see a polo match in Cañada de Gómez, province of Santa Fe. On January 20, 1875, The Standard reported that three polo matches were played on January 4 at Estancia La Buena Suerte, in Azul, province of Buenos Aires. Buenos Aires Polo Club was the first polo club in Argentina, and the city neighborhood of Caballito, according to official reports, held the first polo matches in the country. Many matches were played throughout Argentina, but their exact dates are unknown. The probability that the first matches took place in Caballito is affirmed by the neighborhood’s proximity to the port of Buenos Aires; it was in this part of the city where the British carried out the sports they imported from their country. The first documented polo match was played on August 30, 1875, on Estancia Negrete, province of Buenos Aires.
St. Tropez, France
Overview: If there were a city that could surpass the glamour of Paris, it would have to be St. Tropez. Situated on the Cote d’Azur, it is an important part of the international polo calendar. St. Tropez, together with París and Deauville, wins the attention of French sport lovers.
Main tournaments: Open du Soleil, Polo Masters, International Polo Cup
Quality of play: Good
Level and quantity of high-handicapped players: Many of the best players of French polo plus other 6-7 goal players. Facundo and Gonzalito Pieres played this year at the brand new 18 Goal Tournament.
Quality of Fields: Good. Getting better.
Media Repercussion: Average-High
Extra Attraction: The season goes from June-September. This location boasts the best beaches and nightclubs in the world, as well as museums like the Zitadelle von St Tropez.
Quantity of teams at differing levels: Between five and ten teams up to 15-goals; this August will see the first 18-goal tournament.
Polo History: In 1998 the Gassin Stud Farm was acquired. The following year the installations were set up along with a clubhouse. In 2001 new stables were built, totaling 100 horseboxes. In 2003 the club became affiliated with The Federation of French Polo. A year later the club started the French Championship, thus organizing six international tournaments that year. In 2008 a total of twelve tournaments are hosted in St Tropez Polo Club. In 2011 fields 3 and 4 are established with the presence of Facundo Pieres. This will be the first year the club hosts an 18-goal tournament.
New York, USA
Overview: It would be strange to think that New York would fall behind in anything happening in the country. Connecticut (Greenwich Polo Club) and The Hamptons (Bridgehampton Polo Club) host attractive polo tournaments that invite high-goal players to take part. Glamour, polo passion and great weather characterize the season in New York, which grows in popularity each year. Unfortunately, this year marked the last polo tournaments ever to be played in Bridgehampton Club, twenty years after they began.
Main tournaments: Hamptons Cup (Bridgehampton Polo Club); Tommy B. Glynn Memorial Tournament and East Coast Open (Greenwich Polo Club)
Quality of play: High
Level and quantity of high-handicapped players: Mariano Aguerre is one of the most outstanding players, alongside Hiloria Ulloa, Cristian ‘Magoo’ Laprida and Nacho Figueras.
Quality of Fields: Good
Media Repercussion: Very Low
Extra Attraction: There are not enough words to describe the most visited city in the world. Just an hour from Greenwich Polo Club and two from Bridgehampton is Manhattan, offering cultural and gastronomical activities of every kind. Brooklyn neighborhoods such as Williamsburg or Fort Greene are also attractive places to explore. With opportunities to visit the statue of liberty, Times Square and Central Park, there is no lack of this to do in New York.
Quantity of teams at differing levels: 4-6 teams take part. Tournaments usually take place at the same time as those in Santa Barbara.
Polo History: Meadowbrook Polo Club is the oldest in the area. While the first polo field was built in 1884, that matches were not played until 1879. The club hosted the US Open for many decades, attracting polo fans from all over the globe. The series of three games that made up the America Cup, played between Argentina and the United States in 1928, attracted over 100.000 viewers.
Bridgehampton Polo Club is celebrating its 18th season. Greenwich Polo Club was founded in 1981 and hosted the highest level of polo in the Northeast of the US.