CHARITY POLO MATCH AT SOTOGRANDE

25 08 2008

POLO 24 AugustRioBenefit 059

The charity match in aid of Nuevo Futuro at Río Sotogrande yesterday was a treat for every polo enthusiast anywhere. Two 29-goal teams, Jaeger-Le Coultre Black and J-LC White captained by Lia Salvo (1 ) and Claire Milford-Haven (1) respectively had the likes of Adolfo Cambiaso (10), Juan Martin Nero (10), Pablo McDonough(10), Agustín Merlos (10), Eduardo Novillo Astrada (9) and David ‘Pelón’ Stirling (8) on board. The 4-chucker match resulted in an equal 6-6 score, though that is probably the least important detail. The grounds were full of people supporting this charity in a relaxed atmosphere of good will. Among those present were Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, who came to watch her friend Claire Milford-Haven (see photos below).

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THE PLAYING FIELD

17 11 2007

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These are the official dimensions of a polo field including safety zones, which, according to the Hurlingham Polo Association Rules (the Bible of polo, as it were), are here depicted as the minimum size.





‘GARROCHA’

15 09 2007

 

This is the target, a ring of about 5 cms. in diameter set at an angle.The garrochista set out at full gallop.

 

Walking, trotting or even cantering are not allowed.

 

It is very easy to miss!But there are those who seem to make it easy, though the trick, once the ring has been hooked, is to keep it on the pole. It must be handed to the judge directly off the lance to qualify.

 

Although this has nothing to do with polo, excellent riding skills are certainly needed, including a ‘good eye’. This time we feature what in Spanish is called carrera de garrocha. A garrocha is variously described as a lance, goad or cattle prod and is used principally at fighting bull breeding or other cattle farms, often to separate a chosen animal from the rest. It is also a countryside ‘sport’ with points given to the ways a rider can ‘turn’ or knock down a cow or bull.

 

This year’s Novena feria in Estación de Jimena, with the riding section organized by the El Estribo association, featured a more innocuous though thrilling sport whereby the garrochista has to hook a small ring on to his pole, not an easy thing to do at all.