She plays in low, medium, and high-goal tournaments in both mixed and women’s tournaments. She also travels all around the country. This is what Hope Arellano’s life looks like as one of the most active players in American polo. On Sunday, January 31, she had a great performance substituting for Tamera’s Alejandro Poma in the Ylvisaker Cup and helping them to claim a 11-10 victory over Aspen at the International Polo Club Palm Beach (Wellington, Florida). Even though she plays mixed polo for most of the year, Arellano has a hard time picking one type of polo. “For me, both mixed and women’s polo are very different and I’m fortunate enough to be able to play both,” Arellano said. “I love them both for different reasons, but if I had to choose one I like mixed polo the best.”
One of her Tamera teammates was Diego Cavanagh, one of the best players in the world holding a 9-goal handicap. “Mixed and women’s polo are very different. My style of polo is a bit more hit and run and I think that’s a bit more how mixed polo is played. Women’s polo is a bit more focused on reaction and you have to short play and think.”
Hope Arellano competing with Tamera in the 2021 Ylvisaker Cup.
When asked if she would rather win the Women’s Argentine Polo Open or a 22-goal tournament in the United States, Arellano couldn’t decide. “I don’t know, both of them would be amazing! It’d be incredible to win either,” she said.
Hope Arellano’s goal is to continue improving, and that is what she is always working towards. “I want to try to improve everything I do. Every day I feel like there’s something new to improve upon so I work hard. I have so much to learn still and improve on my string as well, consistently getting better horses.”
Hope Arellano playing for Dundas in the U.S. Women’s Open Polo Championship®.
Regarding American polo, Arellano feels quite optimistic about the current situation. “I think we’re really lucky to have such incredible polo here in the U.S.,” Arellano said. “There’s so much polo here you get the opportunity to play it so often, we’re so lucky to have that. Due to COVID-19 I think we’re even luckier to be able to do what we love.”
Although Tamera lost in the Ylvisaker Cup Semifinal, Arellano is looking forward to her upcoming tournaments. “I will be playing in the 22-goal World Polo League (WPL) and then I’ll be playing the 18-goal Butler Handicap® at Port Mayaca Polo Club (Okeechobee, Florida) so I’m very excited.”
*Hope Arellano is an Active Team USPA Member. Team USPA is a USPA program designed to enhance and grow the sport of polo in the United States by identifying young, talented American players and providing mentored training and playing opportunities leading to a pool of higher rated amateur and pro players and the resultant giveback to the sport of polo.
All photos courtesy of ©David Lominska.