When it comes to hearing the word ‘Argentina’ in relation to sports, the reaction most likely will be football or more specifically Messi (Maradona if you’re of an older generation) popping into one’s mind. It could also be Del Potro “La Torre de Tandil” if one is a tennis fan. Or, Carlos Delfino/Manu Ginobli for NBA fans. Rarely it would be associated to polo. In fact, not only Argentina is one of the most recognized countries in the world of polo, Argentine players actually constantly dominate in the ranking. (See Current World Polo Ranking, 7 out of Top 10 are Argentines.)
Even to those who are from and living in Argentina, those players’ names on the board are not household names given polo still very much remains as an elitist sport despite it was introduced to this country centuries ago by the British colonists. Nevertheless, if you are interested in experiencing some polo, it is not that out of reach if you know where to look especially 3 of the most important world polo tournaments are held annually here in/near Buenos Aires. Thus, one of them is just around the corner!
Abierto Argentino de Polo (Argentine Open Polo Championship) is the most important polo tournament in the world and it takes place yearly right here in Buenos Aires at Catedral del Polo in Palermo. The championship has 7 game dates and this year’s will start on Saturday November 15 and the Final on Saturday December 6. You can get your tickets here in advance or at the gate on game day. For more information on dates and teams, please visit the Argentine Polo Association website (Spanish only).
Last but not least, before you head out to watch a game, give this polo basics guide a read, so you won’t be completely lost with what’s happening.
(Photo credit: it’s the cover of book “Argentine Open in Palermo” by Maria Lia and Luis Garrahan)