Patrick Maleitzke is the professional polo player who, together with Vanessa Schockemoehle, runs the Muehlen Polo Club and the Schockemohle Polo Stud. PoloLine spoke to Patrick about polo, his club, and much more.
What makes the club so special?
First and foremost, we have top notch facilities that are unique: our 1.5 km covered racetrack is one-of-a-kind, and we also have two uncovered ones, 1km and 2kms long. We also have a horse walker for up to twelve horses in 8 different marches. Our indoor arena is one of the largest in Europe, and of course, when you live in Germany, this is almost compulsory for the winter months. We have an outdoor arena, a full-size polo field and another one that’s apt for training. We also offer different treatments for recovering injured horses and keeping them in shape: water, magnetic and shockwave therapies are available here. Then there’s our breeding program and the stallions on offer.
The second most important thing is how we function: our club is a family and everyone is invited to join it. It is rustic but fun and comfortable. The club is all about having fun and learning to play polo. We have a relaxed atmosphere which makes everyone happy. We are not elitist; we are open and relaxed. We have a more Argentine way of seeing polo, but we work a lot. Everything is clean and well organized, we take care of the horses and even transport them. Everything here is about taking care of the horses and patrons, and showing them that they can feel like they are on holiday. There are many hotels nearby, so people can come and have the full polo experience while enjoying great accommodation.
Tell us about your breeding program. What bloodlines are you breeding with?
We are the only breeding center for Polo Argentino in Europe, with the widest choice of Polo Argentino stallions. We travel to Argentina every year to try and select the best bloodlines out there. We study them and analyze the best options for our Polo Stud, then we chose the best and bring them to Germany.
We work with the best breeders, such as Doña Sofía, Los Pingos del Taita and Don Ercole, and the bloodlines we have now are Ellerstina Picaro, Sportivo, Dolfina Lapa, Dolfina Cuartrtera, Open Chimento, Pucará and La Luna.
This is an ongoing program grows year after year, so you can expect us to expand our Polo Argentino offer, bringing more and more stallions and mares, and getting our own foals production going, which is unique in Europe.
What are the best polo tournaments you have played so far?
I would say that my favorite is definitely the 1st FIP Arena Polo European Championship in Baku, Azerbaijan, not only because we came in second place with the German team – and it was a great pride to represent my country – but also because I was the second top scorer of the whole tournament, with 30 goals. We also won the Qualifiers for the FIP European Championship in Maspe, Germany in 2012. That was definitely a great moment in my polo career.
I also won the German Medium Goal Championship in 2013 with Sven Schneider, Phillip Sommer, Thomas Scheuse/Thomas Grau. That was a fantastic moment.
What polo icons do you look up to?
I am mesmerized every time I see Adolfo Cambiaso play. He is undoubtedly the best player in the world, and it is simply amazing to see how he works the field, anticipates every play, and his abilities as a rider. I also really like Hilario Ulloa, who, in my opinion, is one of the best players out there. I was really pleased when he finally got his much deserved 10-goal handicap.
What are your plans for the future?
We want to show the world the great breeding program we have here. We are working very hard to reaching the highest levels possible, and it is time to step up to the mark and show that Germany also has a premier breeding center.
I would also like to improve the club’s level of polo, and my own level. You can only improve by practicing. So I want to play more and more tournaments every year, especially the more relevant ones, which are the ones where you can really learn and up your game. My absolute dream would be to play the Cámara de Diputados Cup in Palermo, Argentina. It would take a lot of work, but you always have to dream big and aim high.