The Argentine Polo Open

A showcase of the world’s best players and horses.

In world polo circles, Argentina has long been famous for producing the game’s best players and horses. Most Argentine players are from ranching families and some, such as the Heguys, are from polo dynasties whose members raise and train many of the horses they play. The best derive most of their income abroad, from contracts to go with their horses to play in different tournaments on teams sponsored by companies, or by a wealthy patron who is a team member. And they earn even more by selling their horses at the end of the season. However, they do not part with their best mounts; they keep them in the country to play in the Argentine Polo Open. Thus, on December 5, the top players astride their best horses will dispute the final match of the 116th edition of the Open in Palermo.
This final winds up a series of three prestigious high-handicap spring tournaments: the Tortugas Country Club Open (Sept.-Oct.), the Hurlingham Open (Oct.-Nov.) and the Argentine Open in Palermo (Nov.-Dec.). Forty-goal Ellerstina, which won the Tortugas and Hurlingham tournaments, is the favorite to win this year’s Open and take the triple. Its chief contender is La Dolfina, also a 40-goal team, whose captain is Adolfo Cambiaso, considered the world’s best polo player.
All the games of the Open are played at the Palermo polo ground, which seats 15,000 spectators and is known as the “Cathedral” of world polo. Tickets can cost as little as 60 pesos for the first match of the series, and as much as 1,700 pesos for the final. They can be acquired a week in advance online, by phone, or on Ticketek. Information: 4777-6444 and Phones to check for a possible postponement in case of rain: (011) 15-6448-5151 / 4163-1595 / 4163-1596.

PHOTO CREDIT: Courtesy of the Argentine Polo Association.