Raúl Colombres, better known as “Gringo”, is not only one of the most experienced players in the US but also maybe the one who knows current polo within the country. Together with Scott Swedlin’s organisation and wearing the Palm Beach Equine jersey once again, he already won one of the 18-goal tournaments, the Bobby Barry Memorial Cup, as well as being named MVP.
With the advice of no less than Adolfo Cambiaso, Gringo Colombres has set his organisation up, by taking his own horses to Palm Beach, something that makes him very proud. At the moment, he is riding one of La Dolfina’s mares, Dolfina Niñera, who took BPP honors following the championship match of the Bobby Barry Memorial Cup.
As he awaits the final of the Ylvisaker Cup, against Beverly Polo, PoloLine met up with Gringo Colombres to talk about his expectations and how’s the season going in these times of pandemic.
Tell us about the current season in Palm Beach. How do you see it with regards to the level of play, horses and organisation?
Well, we were fortunate enough to start the season after a very difficult year like 2020, because it was really uncertain, no one knew what could happen. But, and despite it kicked off later than usual, thank God we are doing well, which is great. I am very happy to be in the United States, mostly because it is a very complicated year with regards to having a job.
How do you feel this season, in a context of a new normality due to the pandemic?
As I told you before, I am very happy to be in the United States and be able to compete in such very difficult times. Yes, there’s no spectators and we have to go through sanitary measures, but it is all about to learn to live with that. On a personal side, I think this will take time so we must adapt to it. With the exception of the spectators and the hygiene and safety measures, I can say everything is quite normal. Anyway, I hope this will be a good year for everybody.
What can you tell us about your current team, Palm Beach Equine, after winning the Bobby Barry Memorial Cup and now you made it through the Ylvisaker Cup final?
I am very happy with this team. We are due to play the final of the Ylvisaker Cup, a tournament Palm Beach Equine was not able to win yet. And this is the first year I play this final with this organisation. We have a lot of confidence and very much looking forward to winning another tournament. It always feels good to win such a prestigious cup.
How is your relationship with Scott Swerdlin?
It is great indeed. I knew him because we were rivals several times, and this is the first year we play together. He is a nice person, very kind, and we get along great, we play team practices. I am very happy to be a part of his organisation.
How are you doing with your horses and how did Adolfo Cambiaso contribute to your string?
I could add many of my own horses in the last years. With regards to Adolfito, I am currently playing one of his mares, Dolfina Niñera; in addition, he gave me advice to buy a couple, as well. The rest of the horses, which I brought from Argentina, are all mine. I am very proud to have brought my own organisation.
You are one of the most experienced players within polo in the US. How do you see the evolution of the sport thoroghout these years?
It’s already 10 years I’be been coming. I see polo in the US is doing very well; this is a large country, so there’s always new players and patrons, there are plenty of spare. Obviously we are going through a very difficult time economic wise as well as in a pandemic, but I still thing the US is the best place.
What are your plans with Palm Beach Equine for the near future?
Well, after the Ylvisaker Cup, we will be playing a 18-goal tournament in Port Mayaca, with Matías Torres Zavaleta and Nicolás Díaz Alberdi, Lucas’ brother and Piki’s son. Then, we will go back to International Polo Club Palm Beach. And finally we will be in full swing to play the Gauntlet of Polo. It is a very busy season, plenty of polo and fun. And I hope we will be able to win on Sunday… that would change the season for good!