Robert Jornayvaz is a businessman, entrepreneur, and philanthropist with a passion for polo. As the owner of the Valiente and J5 organizations, Jornayvaz has played a significant role in promoting the sport and supporting its growth in the United States.
Despite some health issues that forced him to take a break from the sport, Jornayvaz is now back on the field and ready to compete once again. He recently shared about returning to the sport and playing alongside Adolfo Cambiaso, widely considered to be the best polo player in the history of the sport.
“In terms of my goals, I have now returned to polo mainly to have a good time frankly.” – Bob Jornayvaz
Jornayvaz is not just a player, but also a key figure in the breeding and training of some of the best horses in the sport. He takes great pride in the success of his breeding program, which has produced top-quality horses that have helped mount some of the best players in the world.
However, Jornayvaz’s commitment to polo goes beyond just playing and breeding horses. He is also a strong supporter of the USPA and its efforts to establish the National Polo Center- Wellington (NPC). Jornayvaz recognizes the importance of having a central hub for the sport in the U.S. and believes that this will help further promote and grow polo in the country.
Jornayvaz celebrates Valiente’s 2023 C.V. Whitney Cup victory.
Jornayvaz’s dedication to excellence both on and off the field has earned him great success in a variety of industries, including real estate, energy and technology. He brings the same level of passion and commitment to his involvement in polo, and his return to the sport is a testament to this.
Fresh off of a win in the C.V. Whitney Cup, it is clear that Jornayvaz and Cambiaso’s partnership is a force to be reckoned with. Jornayvaz’s love of the game and his dedication to excellence have made him a valuable contributor to the sport of polo, and his return to the scene is a thrilling development for fans and players alike.
“We are really looking forward to playing together in the Gauntlet of Polo. It is also something we want to do to support the USPA’s purchase of the National Polo Center. I think this is something very good for polo and we are very supportive of trying to help the USPA create a center.” – Bob Jornayvaz
How do you feel to be back in the saddle and out on the field?
“It’s so good to be back in polo and to be back in Wellington, Florida. I can’t tell you how much I missed being in the polo scene. I had some health issues and am glad to be back playing, especially with Adolfo [Cambiaso]. We are really looking forward to playing together in the Gauntlet of Polo. It is also something we want to do to support the USPA’s purchase of the National Polo Center. I think this is something very good for polo and we are very supportive of trying to help the USPA create a center.”
What do you think of present American polo?
“I still think there is a lot of polo in America, and I want to compliment the various groups who established things. I still want to support what the Ganzi’s are doing with the World Polo League in terms of trying to have a higher level of polo available. Overall, it is very good to be back for the Gauntlet with Adolfo, we had a great run in the three tournaments. They are enjoyable, now that the fields and NPC are really being invested in by the USPA, it is something all of us should continue to support, so I’m glad to be part of that and I’m looking forward to a great season here.”
Did you miss playing polo?
“In terms of missing polo, I totally missed the people, the lifestyle, the barbeques, the games, and the practices. Everything about polo is much more of a lifestyle than simply a game. It’s something that has been missing in my life and I am so grateful to be back as part of it, especially with friends like Adolfo. We have David Paradice at the barn with the Scone team. It’s fun to watch Scone play with Poroto [Cambiaso] and Pelon [Stirling] and I’m very proud of the team we made with Peke [Gonzalez] and Luckitas [Criado].”
Valiente’s Bob Jornayvaz, Mariano ‘Peke’ Gonzalez Jr, Lucas ‘Luckitas’ Criado Jr. and Adolfo Cambiaso.
What are your current goals?
“In terms of my goals, I have now returned to polo mainly to have a good time frankly. I want to enjoy the game and try to be as competitive as possible. With Adolfo, you always have a chance. You have great possibilities to make it to the semifinals or finals, so I can’t say enough about the many good years we’ve been together. It’s something unique that I missed greatly as part of my life. I want to play as much as I can!”
What can you tell us about your breeding program?
“In terms of the breeding program, it has become very successful and much to the vision of Adolfo. He always had an eye for picking great mares and some good stallions that we’ve been able to continue to differentiate our bloodline, add to our bloodlines, and have some incredible horses. Look at the number of horses we had at the FIP World Polo Championship and the Argentine Open. Winning the Susan B. Townley [Best Playing Pony of the Argentine Open] award this year was a great achievement for the organization. I’m just very proud of our continued breeding program and the ability to mount players like Adolfo, Juan Martin Nero, Pelon Stirling [and] Poroto [Cambiaso]. It’s quite an achievement that makes us very proud.”
Jornayvaz with close friend and fellow team owner Curtis Pilot.
You have a strong bond with the Cambiaso family. What did you feel when you saw Poroto win the Argentine Open?
“To see Poroto win it with Adolfo was very rewarding. We’ve watched Poroto here for many years, playing practice matches, but we always talked of just Poroto or just Adolfo and you can’t talk about them without talking about Maria, Mia and Myla, because as a family they are such a remarkable polo family.
Poroto has turned out to be the fine young man that he is and a great player because of the encouragement he receives from both his parents. We see Adolfo with him on the field, but unfortunately, we don’t see Maria, Mia and Myla behind the scenes. Also, we sometimes forget, for example, how accomplished Mia is in her role as Poroto is in his. The Cambiaso family is a pretty remarkable family from a polo standpoint. It is very gratifying watching Poroto achieve the goals he achieved in so few years.”
All photos courtesy of ©David Lominska.