It seems incredible, but 20 years have passed since the day we woke up to the terrible news – a fatal crash that took the life of one of the greatest polo players of all time: Gonzalo Antonio Heguy.
Gonzalo had polo in his blood and he left a mark in the sport. He hailed from the Heguy family, one of the most legendary polo dynasties in the world – a large family that gave us no less than three consecutive generations of Argentine Open winners at Palermo.
Born on April 30, 1964, along with his twin brother Horacito, Gonzalo was the eldest son of Norita Amadeo y Videla and Horacio Antonio Heguy, one of the members of the incomparable Coronel Suarez team, an unforgettable lineup that included his brother Alberto Pedro alongside the two Harriott brothers, Juan Carlitos and Alfredo.
Gonzalo always played at 2, and he developed all his polo career alongside Horacito. They both competed in the traditional kids competitions, including the Santa Paula Cup and the Potrillos Cup, among others, while having the privilege of watch those splendid battles between Coronel Suarez and Santa Ana.
In 1983, at 19-years-old, the twins made their debut in Palermo alongside their father, Horacio, and their uncle, Alberto Pedro. A new team and a new name, one that would leave a leave a legacy: Indios Chapaleufú. The team shirt was white with matching red slash and star; the shirt would maintain the colours over the years, changing only in the peak of their popularity when they received sponsorship from a tobacco company. In the following year, Alberto Pedro left and a third brother, Marcos, stepped in. That year, 1984, they reached their first final at Palermo, and while they gave a remarkable performance, they couldn’t beat a powerful La Espadaña.
From that moment, polo set their eyes on Indios Chapaleufu and the young Heguy boys, who started to make history a couple of years later. In 1986, Gonzalo, Horacito and Marcos, together with Alex Garrahan, took on La Espadaña once again, but this time, they did it – they won the most prestigious trophy in polo after a breathtaking 13-12 win, in a memorable final in the Cathedral. It was Marcos score the winning goal: riding one of the most famous mares polo has ever seen, Marsellesa, he picked the ball in the last minute of play, ran quickly down the field, and scored one of the most impressive goals in polo history.
Glory days lay ahead for Indios Chapaleufú – the lineup changed to include the four brothers when the youngest, Bautista, joined in 1990. The four Heguys, who had – and still have – thousand of fans, won Palermo for three consecutive years – 1991, 1992 and 1993. By the end of 1990, following Bautista’s handicap raise to 10, Indios Chapaleufu earned 40-goal status. To this day, they still remain the only team comprised of four brothers to have reached the perfect 40-goal handicap.
Gonzalo would win his fifth and last Open in 1995 in a very special year for them, when Horacito lost sight in his right eye after an accident while playing in England.
Gonzalo was a gifted, talented, and temperamental player – the heart and soul of Indios Chapaleufú, and a very loved man within the polo community. Those who knew him well say he was the funniest of the brothers, a kind man with a gentle heart.
Those who had the delight of seeing him play, either in the derby against La Espadaña, or later against his cousins of Indios Chapaleufu II, remember him wearing his white helmet with the red ribbon on the helmet visor, flying down Palermo’s number one ground, riding one of his most iconic mares, the beautiful Silverada.
On the morning of April 6, 2000, Gonzalo Heguy had just arrived from Palm Beach, where he played with Bob Daniels’ Pony Express. He was driving his truck back home, to Estancia La Primavera in La Pampa, in the small village of Intendente Alvear, his place in the world and where he bred his horses. The news back then said that the vehicle lost control on the Ruta Provincial 2 on the way to La Pampa, and Gonzalo was ejected from the vehicle. He died instantly from a brutal blow to the head.
Gonzalo Heguy was only 35-years-old. He left his wife, María Jesús Resta, and their little daughter, Jesucita, behind. All of Intendente Alvear mourned him, and so did the entire polo community. But while he may be gone, he will never be forgotten. He remains in the hearts of all who knew him.
As a tribute to this fantastic polo player, the Argentine Polo Association established the Gonzalo Heguy MVP Award, which is presented to the best player of the Argentine Open final every year. He is remembered in Intendente Alvear, as well, through one of the most traditional tournaments of the Autumn Season in Argentina, the Horacio and Gonzalo Heguy Cup.
PoloLine pay tribute to one of the most remarkable players of polo history, and send their love and affection to the entire Heguy family.