Standing Rock: Interview with Philipp Mueller

The Standing Rock Polo Team can look back on a successful year. What makes this relatively young team so successful?

Well, last year we played our fourth season in England with three of those being under our old name (Wascosa Polo Team). We try to find a healthy mix of sport and fun, and the way in which team members interact with each other is an important part of this. Everyone in the team has their role and no one is more important than the team itself. Standing Rock is a big family and there’s a great atmosphere in the Team. What’s more, we aim to be as professional as possible and leave nothing to chance.

What are Standing Rock’s plans for the new season?

The new year has started well with a number of tournaments in Argentina and New Zealand some of which have been up to 20-goals. In England, we will also be competing this year in the 12-Goal Victor Ludorum Championship. We’ll also have a newly formed High-Goal Team, to allow us to focus initially on the 18-Goal tournaments. Later in the summer, we plan to play again in Chantilly before heading off to Argentina to take part in further tournaments.

What does the organisation of Standing Rock look like today?

We have our base in England, at the Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club, and at the Guards Polo Club. In Argentina, we recently purchased 20 stables at the La Dolfina Ranch near Cañuelas, which really is becoming the new hotspot in the Buenos Aires area where many of Argentina’s best players are now based. We want to expand this base, which will mean adding and training quite a few young horses so that they can play in the years to come.

Standing Rock is more than a polo team and positions itself as a brand in the polo world. What else is on the agenda besides the polo team itself?

True to the values of the Native Americans,  which have been our guiding inspiration, we are committed to fair play and to the welfare of our horses, as well as to the various charities that we support.

Can you tell us more about that?

Starting this year, Standing Rock will donate a Fair Play Award to the HPA for the fairest and most sportsmanlike polo team in England. And of course, we’re eager to see how this award will be received. Emma McDermott, one of the most renowned sculptors in Britain, has been commissioned to create the trophy which we hope will be an inspiration for the polo world. Winning is important, but it’s also about how you conduct yourself towards your opponents, the umpires and the horses. In addition, we are involved in various charities, such as the Polo in the Park tournament in June in London. The annual party for the grooms, which Standing Rock hosts for all the grooms of the Berkshire Polo Club, is also a must. It’s our way of expressing our gratitude for their daily work.

What are your hopes for the new season?

Well, I’m hoping for a thrilling season without any accidents because the health of the players and the horses is paramount. At the end of the day, if we can inspire the polo world with our DNA and the values we stand for, then I will be more than pleased.

By POLO+10
Photography The Art of Polo,
Standing Rock Polo Team/Privat, Prensa Polo

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