The American contingency in Argentina continues to take advantage of the busy season before returning to the United States for the winter. Julia Smith played alongside Naomi Schroeder, Camila Rossi and Inés Lalor in the 16- to 18-goal upper handicap division of the Copa Myriam Heguy organized by the Argentine Polo Association. The women’s polo in Argentina mirrors all polo in the country, fast-paced, open and competitive. Transitioning between mixed polo and women’s polo can be challenging, but Smith has adapted with ease. Coming from an arena and women’s polo background, playing mixed practices pushed Smith to add depth to her playing strategy and she has plans to compete on the international women’s circuit in 2019.
Geronimo Obregon was sidelined with a collar bone separation, but Remy du Celliee Muller has stepped up alongside teammate Jesse Bray to compete in the Sojo, an 18-goal tournament that divides into a handicap division and open division. After winning their first game by only one goal, the Don Urbano team advanced in the handicap division. Nacho Pieres and Alfonso Pieres Jr. rounded out the team. The format divides the 35 teams into nine zones with two guaranteed games before advancing into a single elimination format.
In addition to the Sojo, Muller played his first game of the Estímulo with Javier Canton, Miguel Olivera and Mariano Alcantara. This 12-goal tournament features 35 teams divided into 10 zones with a similar format of teams being separated into a handicap or open division following the first match.
Bray joined forces with his longtime mentor Santiago Trotz in the Technopolo 12-goal tournament. They currently stand at 2-1, with their position in the final dependent upon the results of a game to be played on Wednesday.
From practices and tournament games to trying horses and watching the Argentine Open, the experience has been immersive and rewarding. The sheer number of teams and competition are unable to be replicated stateside, giving these players a unique opportunity to grow as competitors.
Other Team USPA members competing in Argentina are favorites Matias Gonzalez and Felipe Viana.
All photos ©Cami Rossi