November 9, 2012 ·

Polo in Argentina 101

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Polo, like many things in Argentina, arrived on these shores as an immigrant. It has established a home here, and has turned Argentina into the well-established polo capital of the world. Argentina is also home to the best players (and horses) in the entire world. Even though Argentina is the mecca of polo, it can still be hard to understand exactly when and where you can catch a game.

If you’re interested in seeing some polo matches, then without a doubt the best time to come is in the spring. Polo has two seasons: a spring season from late August through the end of December and a fall season, from early February through early May. The spring season is the one you don’t want to miss because during these key months the most important tournaments in the polo world will take place right here in Argentina. These tournaments are the Tortugas Open (end of Sept.-mid Oct.), the Hurlingham Open (mid Oct.-early Nov.), and the Argentina Open (mid Nov.-early Dec.). Together, the three of these constitute the Triple Crown of Polo, and teams compete year after year to see if one can emerge as the victor of all three. These open tournaments are open to all teams throughout the world, and since Argentina has so many excellent players that many times all of the qualifying teams are Argentine! For the fall season, the 2 main ones that happen yearly are Serie Internacional de Polo (April) and Copa de Las Naciones (April).

Although the Tortugas and Hurlingham Opens are held outside of the city, the Argentina Open is held right in the neighborhood of Palermo at the famous and historical Catedral del Polo. While it is necessary to buy a ticket in order to attend the Argentina Open and similarly big tournaments, other events like youth tournaments and qualifying matches of the major open, held at the “Polo Cathedral” are typically free to anyone who would like to come, watch, and get an idea of what polo is all about. These games are usually held from September to mid-October, although there are also a few free matches in February and March. To find out when and where the tournaments will be held, you can check the Asociación Argentina de Polo website.

As with the high stakes races and derbies in horse racing, this is an event where people go to both see and be seen. At these major events, like the finals, many people will dress to impress and will aim to be both trendy and comfortable. If you’re going to catch a free qualifying match or one of the smaller tournament games, then you don’t have to worry about dress code – just head out in your casual clothes!

Kat

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