What makes a good polo player
The first polo player
Legend has it that the first polo players enjoyed the sport over two and a half thousand years ago, in Persia. It is said to have originally been a game for warriors to celebrate victories, and those who triumphed in battle would use the heads of their enemies instead of polo balls.
Polo is often credited with being the oldest team sport. It quickly spread from Persia as it was taken up by the Kings, Sultans and Emperors of the ancient world.
Now, polo is comparatively far more civilised. A long heritage of dedication, hard work and skill still inspires young players to this day.
Polo is known for being a family sport. One of the best things about a polo event is that whole families turn out to support the teams, and this is one of the ways that the next generation of polo stars is inspired from a young age to be like their favourite players.
pampeano means ‘from La Pampa’, and it is here, in the heart of Argentina that we have our roots. In the polo fields of La Pampa, the sport has a famous heritage and produces some of the world’s greatest players. It is a passion strongly ingrained in the national identity, and passed down from father to son. Expert leather craftsmanship and artistry go hand in hand with the strong tradition of horsemanship, where each artisan is personally invested in the production of fine leather equipment for equestrian pursuits.
The skill of polo
A skilled polo player must be master of himself and of his horses. Each player must have a string of ponies, all schooled to an extremely high standard. It requires a certain type of horse to become a polo pony, and each pony must be given as much dedication and care as an athlete gives to himself. It is often said that the horse makes up 80% of the game of polo, and that even the best player in the world cannot perform if his horse is not at also at its best.
A polo player must be able to think ahead, even in the most fast-paced game. The player sees the field in terms of ‘lines’, and pays attention to the direction of the ball and the line of play. If due care is not given to these aspects, the player is in danger of penalties, and play can quickly become dangerous.
To read more about the rules of polo, click here.
It takes four players to makes up a side in polo, with each player having his own string of ponies. It is equally important for the rider to work in harmony with his pony, as it is for this team of four riders to work well together. A professional team has trained so well together that they almost seem to think as one, playing out strategies with indiscernible movements that drive the ponies on.
The top players to look out for this season
As we move into September, it's time for the Southern Hemisphere to gear up for the polo season ahead. In Argentina, the capital of polo, there are three world-class players to look out for. Adolfo Cambiaso is arguably the most influential polo player in Argentina. For two decades he has been making history on the field, introducing a new way of using horses and never-before-seen ball skills. Juan Carlos Harriot has won the Argentine Open more times than any other player, achieving a total 20 cups. A man who is catching up is the revered Facundo Pieres, who at almost 30, has already gained a worldwide reputation for his polo prowess.
Quality polo equipment is essential for each player. The Hurlingham Polo Association also notes that ‘’players are expected to be well turned out so that the reputation of the sport is enhanced’’. The smart attire and beautifully maintained ponies are just one way that spectators get a sense of the dedication and passion that every member of the polo team puts into their game.
Polo is a sport with powerful bodies and high speeds, with swinging sticks and sturdy polo balls that require each player to be fully protected.
Polo is so fast-paced and action-filled, that knees must be adequately protected by sturdy, professional standard kneepads.
We have a range of kneepads, from those for taller players to children's kneepads, so that the whole family can join in the world's favourite equestrian sport.
Read this journal entry to learn more about our range of premium polo equipment.
The right combination of horsemanship, dedication and passion is what creates the stars of the polo world. These are the players who inspire the next generation to train just as hard as they did, and to become record-breakers in their own right.
pampeano. be inspired.