bobjornayvaz-15-2016-3-171GBy Juan Cruz Díaz de Céspedes

On his beginnings in polo: “I started a long time ago in college. I used to go to the Austin Polo Club and ride horses and I would earn money riding other people’s horses. I started grooming and then the University of Texas started a team; I played with them for several years. I stopped to build my business and have my family. I then came back to polo 10 years ago or so.”

On the partnership with Adolfo Cambiaso: “Well, through the horses, mainly through Adolfito and Robertito, we have so many players from Argentina and now our partnership with Adolfito with the horses has worked really, really well. In fact, every horses I played the other day is a horse I bred, so that part is very rewarding. We breed horses both here in America and down in Argentina; the breeding is so much fun, it’s hard to describe.”

On Adolfo Cambiaso: “I guess I’ll use the word magic. He is a gentleman, he is skilled, he is thoughtful, he is always teaching you on the field. Sometimes he is yelling at you, but he is teaching you. He is very patient. There’s no one like him on the field. I’ve watched him in the high-goal and I’ve played with him now for many years. There is just no one like him, he is one of a kind.”

On having horses in Argentine Polo: “I’m very proud. I have 5 horses in the final this year that Adolfo played. Between having horses that are actually good enough, the fact that he plays them is quite an honour. I’m honoured to be part of that organisation and help them. Juanma, Pelon and Pablo are three really good friends, three gentlemen, so that team is remarkable.”

On the Dubai-Valiente organisation: “We have two teams, and one happened to be called Dubai. And we look at it as a really big organisation that Adolfo controls. We pull all the horses, the players, the grooms, and we let Adolfito decide how he is going to manage everything. He does a miraculous job with Robertito and Facha. I’m so glad they won the other day; it’s so much fun to be on the sideline, you feel that you have two teams playing and one you are cheering for. I hope one of us gets to win the US Open.”

On playing in the UK Season: “We are really focused on the Gold Cup. We have a very good Gold Cup team that I can’t wait to play on; I get to play with Adolfo. And now I have the chance to go to England and play with Adolfo and Juanma. It’s a dream come true. I’m like a kid on Christmas Day.”

On Polo in Palm Beach: “There are so many fields here that we have options. Polo is going to stay in Palm Beach for many, many years. I don’t think it really matters who buys IPC. We’ll do something else. We are all very smart people, we are all very intelligent, we all want to play polo – the patrons will figure it out. Whatever happens to the USPA it really doesn’t matter; it’s the patrons who pay for everything anyway. We have enough fields between ourselves to figure it out. So, lots of smart people will figure out the solution.”

On changes needed in polo: “I’ve got to give Facundo a lot of credit for sitting down with Adolfo and talking about how to make polo bigger and better. I think it’s really up to the team owners and the players. The Association in Argentina have done a great job in building more fields in Pilar and that’s a great thing. And here in America we need to do something similar for low and medium goal in order to bring up the level. Building a facility where we can have something similar to what they have in Argentina. As to the high-goal, I think the Association hurt more than they help because they don’t understand. It’s really difficult to say because I’m in one of the Associations, but I think the teams and the players we need to be more active, we need to be more in control and I think we’ll make it a bigger and better sport if we look at it like that.”

On the possibility of buying IPC: “I was part of a group of high-goal sponsors and neighbours that was willing to buy the club, run it, and organise it for the benefit of polo. A very sophisticated group of polo players and businessmen who are used to running things for a living. We are willing to be helpful in any way we can because we all believe in polo and it shows every day. You come to a practice like this and you can see that our commitment to polo is very obvious. You can see our names on the museum, you can see our names on the donations, you can see our names everywhere. The team sponsors are really the ones that we believe have a lot to do in building polo.”


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