Argentine Open Polo Championship
119th Campeonato Argentino Abierto de Polo
Many of our clients will attend the 119th Campeonato Argentino Abierto de Polo (Spanish for Argentine Open Polo Championship) at Palermo’s Catedral del Polo.
We are fast approaching the polo season in Argentina, I say this every year, start planning for Buenos Aires apartments, houses and tickets NOW!
If you are looking for polo houses, horses, stables, daily stick and ball, and chukkas speak to the polo team at Buenos Aires Stay – we can help you find the best rates, best horses and 3+ goal professional tuition and games.
The Argentine Open Polo Championship has taken place every year since 1893 at the Catedral del Polo in Palermo, the largest barrio in the north of Buenos Aires City, Argentina.
The polo championship, like the football league, St. Georges and St. Andrews schools are just some reminders that the British were one of the biggest investors in Argentina from the mid-nineteenth to the early twentieth centuries.
The Argentine Polo Open Championship was formerly known as River Plate Polo Championship between 1893-1923 and along with Campeonato Abierto del Tortugas Country Club and Campeonato Abierto de Hurlingham, these polo competitions are known as Argentina’s Triple Crown.
Polo clubs have competed for the Triple Crown 118 years.
Polo teams entering the competition must have a handicap of between 28 and 40 goals.
The Triple Crown is organised by the Asociación Argentina de Polo (Argentine Polo Association).
The 2012 Triple Crown will start on 25th September 2012.
The first event will be at the Campeonato Abierto del Tortugas Country Club when the best polo clubs in the world will battle for the Emilio Anchorena cup, with the final taking place on 14th October.
All matches are played on the fields at Tortugas, ruta Panamericana Ramal Pilar km. 38.5.
You can buy tickets at Tortugas Country Club.
The start of the Tortugas, opens the Torneo Clasificatorio (qualifying classification) for the Abierto de Hurlingham and the 119th Campeonato Argentino Abierto de Polo.
The 119th Campeonato Abierto del Hurlingham Club, the Ayrshire Cup, starts on 16 October with the final on 4 November 2012.
119th Campeonato Argentino Abierto de Polo starts 17th November and the final is scheduled for December 8th.
Some polo history
The origin of Polo goes back many centuries to Persia.
Polo was played in Persia from the 5th century BC.
At first, Polo existed as a training game for cavalry units, usually the king’s guard or other elite troops. Although, warlike tribesmen played polo en-mass with more than 100 men on each side fighting a miniature battle – now that must have been worth watching.
Later, polo became an Iranian national sport played by the nobility. Women as well as men played polo in Persia. Could I play polo in Iran today? Possibly not.
Later on, Polo travelled from Persia to other parts of Asia including Indian and China. It was very popular in China during the Tang Dynasty and frequently depicted in Chinese art.
Polo was played from Constantinople to Japan by the Middle Ages.
After the Indian rebellion in 1857, the British Crown (Queen Victoria and her Majesty’s Government) assumed direct responsibility for India from the East India Company.
The British Crown installed the Queen’s government with a Secretary for India and Lord Canning as the first Viceroy, the Military and diplomats to restore law and order.
Part restoring order (making money), was to ‘’win’’ the hearts and minds of the most important people in India, that included disgruntled British and some ruined parts of the East India Company.
Unlike the corrupt and brutal East India Company, the British Crown encouraged established local religions, local laws, customs and sports, and representatives of the British Crown were made to engage the upper echelons of Indian society thus exposing them to polo.
It was not long before the military realised Polo’s great application for Cavalry Regiments.
The military adopted polo both for training and to play local teams.
In 1862, the first polo club, the Calcutta Polo Club, was established by two British soldiers, Captain Robert Stewart and Major General Joe Shearer.
Military officers imported the game to Britain in the 1860s, although not formalized in any way, it became a standard amongst British Calvary regiments as part of training.
In 1873, the Hurlingham Club published the rules of polo, still followed by most of the world to this day; Polo was first played at the club on 6 June 1874.
In 1886, the club hosted the first international polo match between England and the United States.
The polo matches for the 1908 Summer Olympics were also played at Hurlingham when the club was found too small for the number of teams and the crowd.
The Guards Polo Club in Windsor Great Park succeeded Hurlingham as the leading British polo club.
Polo has remained a game for the military, wealthy and landed classes in Great Britain, which is probably just one of the reasons why Argentina now dominate the sport internationally.
Polo in Argentina
On the left is the Giannico family preparing for a game of polo at Palermo – they are NOT British cattlemen!!
Every December, 30,000 polo fans attend the Argentine Polo Open at Palermo , which is now one of the world’s most prestigious tournaments.
In the land of the gaucho, boys growing up on estancias (framing estates) play polo as soon as they learn to ride and consequently, the majority of top-ranked players in the world are Argentine.
Do you want to learn to play polo or would you like us to arrange stick and ball, or chukkas with 3-goal professional polo players? Read a recent article by Andrew McCance on the Giannico family at Santa Maria de Lobos Polo ranch: