Polo Players Edition

DEC 2018

Polo Players' Edition is the official publication of the U.S. Polo Association. Dedicated to the sport of polo, it features player profiles, game strategy, horse care, playing tips, polo club news and tournament results.

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POLO P L A Y E R S E D I T I O N 35 years. This may have to do with the number of higher-rated players who have teenage daughters interested in riding and playing. Players like Fernandez Araujo, Adolfo Cambiaso and Miguel Novillo Astrada have daughters who are excellent riders and players. The players have nurtured their daughters' love of the sport and supported them as they compete in not just women's, but mixed polo. Cambiaso, who was close to Hale, has long supported women players. In fact, he won the 2000 U.S. Open with Hale and more recently, invited Lia Salvo to play on his team in the 2016 Jockey Club Open. The 32-goal team with 10-goalers Cambiaso, Pablo Mac Donough and Juan Martin Nero won, making Salvo the first woman to win a high-handicap tournament in Argentina. At the time Salvo said, "I'm [living] a dream. Two months ago I would have never imagined being here. Now, I can barely stand because of the joy. I hope this achievement enables the more than 500 girls who play in Argentina to have more opportunities to show their skills and even more girls are encouraged to play." Cambiaso's daughter, Mia, won the first Women's Argentine Open last year with the Fernandez Araujo sisters. And in March, Mia played and won the 20-goal Sterling Cup with her 12-year-old brother, Poroto, and her dad. She was named MVP. The children also competed in the Rural Exhibition in Palermo this past August. There they demonstrated their riding ability and showcased some of the young horses from the family's breeding operation. The exhibition generally sees some of the best polo organizations' top trainers, nearly all of them men. It is great to see talented young women participating in these types of events and as Salvo said, the hope is more women will get opportunities like these. Jones agrees, pointing out that if there are more high- goal women's events in the U.S., we can build some 18-goal teams that will be able to play together multiple times, allowing them to be more competitive when traveling abroad. The highest-rated American women (outdoors) are 7-goalers Kristy Waters Outhier, who just retired to spend more time with her kids, and KC Krueger, who is just getting back to playing after having her second child last spring. "The best we can field on any given day in the U.S. is a 25-goal team. We have to cultivate up-and-coming players like Malia Bryan, Hope Arellano, Marissa Wells, Mia Bray and Kendall Plank by giving them opportunities," explained Jones. While associations generally offer tournaments and handicaps, according to Jones, the women she spoke with want a place to access more detailed information such as if players have horses and if so, how many; what position they prefer to play; do they have access to horses oversees; can they travel to play; and what level of polo do they want to play. "We want the website to be as user- friendly as possible. It will provide players searches as comprehensive as possible. If you want to search for a player from a certain region of the world, you can do it. If you want to search for a player based on their handicap, you can do that. If you want to search for a player based on the best position played, you can do that," explained Jones. "These are things they were interested in knowing about and seeing. And they want to be able to see a calendar of all the most important events around the world," she said. "We'd like to list as many as possible, including charity events, youth polo and collegiate polo." Ideally, there will be a cooperation between clubs and even countries so that women's events won't conflict with each other, allowing for the most participation. "We are trying to help encourage and The WIPN hopes to create circuits of women's polo so pros can travel the circuit without having conflicts. The more events we can build in the U.S., the more competitive our teams will be internationally. SERGIO LLAMERA

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