The Polo Report
By Steve Crowder
It might be the thrill of the 2000’s for those who go!
The 2017 FIP World Cup will be the best ever I am sure. I was involved on different levels in four Polo World Cups. There were some fancy ones, like ’98 in CA. There have been some scenic ones, like France, but there were none more real and better than Melbourne. This was real World Cup from horses to fields. Hands down it was the best. They were fine with the social and pomp like others, but this was a Polo Players World Cup. They made Polo the key and it was. All teams were mounted in most cases better than they were at home and many players said that. There was no BS in the stables or with the vets. It was run by Mr. Jones and it was absolutely straight. You were mounted, you were taken care of as well as the horses. The mounts were some of the best horses in the Country. They wanted you to know what they had and they did prove it. I think between the US and Canada maybe 50 came here and we knew why Gonzalo Pieres went there so often. This time it is in Sydney. They will have it all … the bright lights and I bet the horses to make it the best ever. So if you have a chance to go do not miss it. As a player or a fan, there won’t be another like it . IT WILL BE FAIR AND YOU WILL BE MOUNTED.
The amazing thing about Australia … if you are bored you can change it in 30 minutes. Tired of Sydney head North to the Gold Coast. In the 70’s and 80’s, it was amazing and need more go West from Sydney to Melbourne on West you go from Desert to tropics and the Mountains in 2 hours. Want more catch a flight because you will not be back for the next game. If you drive head to Perth. It is AMAZING AND SO FAR AWAY. Don’t worry you will love it.
Teams are fighting it out right now for the right to be there. Australia is in as host. Chili is in as defending Champs and Argentina just won in Uruguay to be there as well. I am not sure if any other qualifications have been finished yet. Down South a little past FL it is the Mannix Brothers in the finals in the Bronze in the Dominion taking on a very strong Lechuza with Victor Vargas at the helm.
In Switzerland it is Desert Rat Jesse Bray in the finals of Snow Polo today with Melisia Ganzi @ St Moritz.
In Palm Beach it is a very big one. There are 14 teams battling for the Ylvisaker Cup. It is named after the man who made Palm Beach Polo what it is today. So far in 6 games it has been the return of Valiente as both Robert and Big Bob have won their first games. Ms Johnston and her Coca Cola have a win and US Open Champs Steve Van Andel and his Orchard Hill have a big win. A huge surprise was Horseware/Tackeria with 4 young American Pros wiping out a strong Equine Liquid Biocell by 10 . There are some great names on this Team … Matt Coppola son of Tony, Juan Martin Obregon of the clan, Mariano Gracida son of the late Carlos Gracida and Tommy Collingwood who was the big gun. They all played amazing today. Another surprise was a young nephew of Matias Margin, somehow rated 3 goals, named Vic Ruiz Jorba. He might be next Cambiaso and go from 3 to 7 this month. WOW this Kid is on fire and mounted on Valiente Horses and teammate is AC as well.
Another amazing idea came up in IPC as new Owner Mark Bellisimo seems to be leading the charge to redo LA Equestrian Center, which many have talked, but done little. He started Gladiator Polo, a form of super Indoor polo, which exploded last Thursday night and was really a hot topic. Like Switzerland, it had a Desert touch as Santi Torres and Jason Crowder were on the 2 teams.
A big plus for the Desert Polo is how well we are represented across the continent and then some. Fred and Julian in the Dominion, and Jesse in Switzerland and the boys in FL. Now we just need to make the Desert a place for all of them to come back to.
Guess what it is Raining in West Palm Beach right NOW.