Passing on the torch: A glimpse into polo’s prominent families
On Wednesday, March 21, some of polo’s most distinguished families gathered together to speak about the tradition of generational polo at the International Polo Club Palm Beach in Wellington, Florida. Part of the club’s Library Lecture Series, “Passing on the Passion of Polo” created an open forum for players and their children to share the importance of legacies to polo’s future and reflect on how the game has strengthened their relationships. The event in the pavilion featured many speakers including Adolfo and Poroto Cambiaso, Tim and Timmy Dutta, Julio and Hope Arellano, Melissa and Grant Ganzi, Bob and Rob Jornayvaz, and Juan and Juancito Bollini.
As the only mother in attendance, Melissa Ganzi highlighted the polo community as a place where all parents are supportive of one another’s children, referencing their longstanding friendship with the Bollini family. Aside from the sons and daughters of players coming up in the sport, horses also go through generations when passed down to younger family members and friends. A large part of the polo family, horses often play their siblings and offspring on the field, bringing the generational sport full circle. A universal truth expressed by all the families was their experience of a greater polo family which extends beyond the parameters of blood relatives. Julio Arellano expressed the sense of immediate belonging found at any polo club for visiting players and the open invitations extended to visit Cambiaso’s farm in Argentina.
Robert Jornayvaz, previously a show jumper, spoke of how playing polo brought him closer to his father because it allowed them to spend so much time together in a sport they both care about. To Rob Jornayvaz’s comment, Juan Bollini brought up the unique aspect of polo which allows people to play at a highly-competitive level with their children and strengthen their familial bond. An only child, Timmy Dutta expressed how the young players he spent his time with on the field became his brothers and how the support from both his equestrian parents has impacted his polo career.
The game is a family affair and way of life for Adolfo Cambiaso and Julio Arellano, each sharing the passion for polo with their three children. The evening ended with touching, individual tributes to the mothers and wives who have supported the players’ dreams and careers from behind the scenes and made their successes possible. Rob Jornayvaz thanked his mother seated at a table close by for pushing him to grow in other aspects of life besides polo and being constantly supportive. Opening the floor for questions, guests had the rare opportunity to ask the players questions in an intimate environment and got to hear the personal anecdotes of polo’s great talent.