In Argentina, the game is so popular that it’s attracting young people from all walks of life: there is a real passion for horses in South America and a huge market for polo – the players are like celebrities there. Argentina is the best place to play the sport and always will be; the only thing it doesn’t have is those royal players who bring so much attention to the game in England. Still, there is a devotion to it, and even the landscape feels suited to the sport. It makes Europe feel very small, and very old, by comparison.
Those of us in the polo set mostly split our time between Europe and the Americas, which means it doesn’t really matter where you come from originally. I live in Zanzibar now, in a house on the beach, but I see my friends constantly because we’re one big global family. We all have the same itinerary, so if we’re in Windsor we say goodbye happily because we know the next stop is Chantilly, Jaipur or the Hamptons, and that’s only a few weeks away.
Nachos Figueras has become a particularly close friend. He’s a celebrity figure in Argentina, but he has been kind to me ever since the first time we met in Palm Beach nearly 20 years ago. I photographed him with his horses, and he asked me to a party where I met his wife. He always says, “the outside of a horse is good for the inside of a man” – and he is a great example of why that’s true.