Polo Players Edition

NOV 2011

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.

Issue link: https://polo.epubxp.com/i/44977

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Page 18 of 67

has been making polo ponies from Irish Thoroughbreds, broken and unbroken, 3 to 5 years old. He annually sells some 30 as polo ponies, mostly to the English market but also to Spain and Portugal. "Irish Thoroughbreds selling for $6,000 to $7,000 are ideal for medium- and high-goal European polo," he says. "You can't buy the best Argentine polo ponies, either because they're not for sale or they're too expensive, typically $25,000 minimum and another $7,500 to fly them to Europe." Married to Wendy (nee Quinlan), Aita Tagle has been assigned part of Quinlan the family farm, 250-acre Bishopland, outside the market town of Ballymore Eustace in Co. Kildare. While his bred at the highest level, competed in—Irish show jumping, the pastures of Bishopland (to which a polo field has been added), now schools Thoroughbreds for polo. Born in Cordoba City, Aita Tagle freely admits that his school days focused on rugby union football and horses rather than the classroom. He was introduced to polo courtesy of Mark Keegan, an English player with an estancia in Cordoba Province. For five successive English seasons he played with, and worked for Keegan, during which he was introduced to the English polo community. To test and buy Irish Thoroughbreds for polo, the two of them visited Ireland where Aita Tagle first met Wendy and her family. "My handicap was 3 but it's now 2," he continues. "I couldn't have made a living as a professional player but I've always enjoyed working with horses more than playing polo. They're my real passion." Of the advantage which Ireland enjoys, both environmentally and breeding horses, he is no doubt. "An English cattleman will allocate 100 percent of his pasture to cattle while an Irish farmer will set some of it aside for horses," he says. "Every single Irish farmer has a brood mare which foals every year. They love breeding Thoroughbreds on the side, whether for flat-racing, point- GulfstreamPolo.com • Marla Connor • 561.965.2057 POLO PLAYERS EDITION 17 father-in-law, Paddy Quinlan, once for—and to-points, hunting or whatever." Tagle's admiration at how readily the Irish Thoroughbred adapts to polo is echoed in the other side of the Irish Sea. Since 1995, Australian-born, England- based former 5-goal professional, Rob Cudmore, 53, has bought dozens of Irish Thoroughbreds, unbroken 2- or 3-year- olds all under 15 hands. Employed by former Hurlingham Polo Association Chairman Christopher Hanbury to manage his Longdole Polo Club and its polo school, and the son of Peter Cudmore, who played for Australia for 20 years, a 7-goaler at his peak, Rob Cudmore breaks in his Irish fillies and colts, introduces them to polo then offers them to the global market. Nine have played at the very pinnacle of the game, the Argentine Open, including Jupiter, bought by continued on page 43 GULFSTREAM POLO CLUB Lake Worth, Florida Join us for our 89th season of Traditional Club Polo the late Stable, Practice & Play in One Convenient Location Practice Games Every W/F/S Pay by the Chukker/Month/Season Prices begin at $1000/Player On-premises Stabling for 500 December—April Fridays-8 Goal Saturdays-4 Goal Sundays-12 Goal 7 Improved Polo Fields / 2 Stick & Ball Fields Improved Working Track culturally, in

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