14th July 2018
La Polo brings to you the best of polo players, not only of this generation, but all times.
The ageless sport has produced some of the greatest athletes whose legacy from the field of polo will live on for generations to come. Unlike those from other arenas, some of these players have been working their magic seated on saddles for the past many, many years. This sums up our reference to polo as the ‘ageless’ sport.
La Polo pays a tribute to the glorious career records and accolades of some of these men.
David Sterling Jr.
He comes across as an odd-one-out in the list of best polo players in the world. One of the only two non-Argentines in the top 10 rankings by World Polo Tour (WPT), David Sterling was born in the city of Young in Uruguay on 04 January, 1981. The 37 year-old has a 10-goal handicap. Pelon, as he is fondly known, rose to fame when in 2007 he joined Adolfo Cambiaso’s Crab Orchard team to win the US Open and USPA Gold Cup. What especially caught everyone’s eyes was his ability to dribble, create spaces and produce thunderous runs down the ground. It was the embarkation of a wonderful journey that Pelon would go on to have.
Since then, the Uruguayan has won two more USPA Gold Cup titles (2012, 2013), taking his tally to 3. He joined team La Dolfina in 2010, and won four consecutive Argentine Triple Crown (Argentine Open, Hurlingham Open, Tortugas Open) titles from 2013 to 2016. Having won the Argentine and Tortugas Open last year, David and his team missed out on their 5th consecutive title due to the loss suffered in the Hurlingham Open. This however doesn’t snatch away his title of the reigning champion of Argentine Open, the most prestigious polo championship in the world.
With Argentine origin, born in the capital city Buenos Aires on 04 December 1982, Nic grew up in Florida state of the USA and currently is the captain of his national polo team. In 1998, at the age of 15, he became the youngest player ever to win the US Open Polo title playing for team Escue. Now 35, he has added a lot more to his cabinet- winning 3 titles each of the World Snow Polo Championship Aspen and the USPA National 20 goals. He recently won the prestigious Cartier Queen’s Cup 2018, playing a crucial role in his team La Indiana’s title winning stint.
Apart from being a top-notch polo professional and having a distinct modelling career, he is a renowned philanthropist. An ambassador for the Kids Cancer Foundation and for Brooke USA, he also has successfully hosted 5 editions of ‘Nic Roldan’s Annual Sunset Polo’- 3 in the USA and 2 in the UK. The events feature many events like Sunset Polo match featuring Nic himself, dressage shows and other equestrian displays. The USA edition raises money for ‘Brooke USA’, world’s largest equine charity organisation. The event in the UK benefits ‘Chestnut Tree House’, which takes of children and young adults with progressive life-shortening conditions, and ‘Coach Core’, an organisation training youngsters in age group of 16-24 to become inspirational coaches.
Undoubtedly the best amateur polo player in the world, Bob Jornayvaz features as the only non-professional in top 10 of WPT’s rankings for men. Playing with a handicap of 2, he has won four USPA Gold Cup, two US Open and several other titles.
Bob’s introduction to polo occurred in his college days, when he took to the field for University of Texas team. A big blow to his playing career came as he suffered from a serious injury. He thus shifted his focus to family and business, and went on to establish Intrepid Production Corporation in 1984. As its president, he owns several oil, gas and mining Intrepid companies, and is the CEO and Executive Chairman of Intrepid Potash, Inc.
He founded the much renowned Valiente Polo Club in 2007, which has been one of the most successful polo teams around the world in the past decade. They won the 2015 USPA Open and the 2017 USPA Triple Crown. Valiente have had their moments of celebration outside the USA as well, the biggest of them coming in 2014 when they captured the Spanish Triple Crown in Sotogrande.
Last month he lead team La Dolfina/Valiente to victory in the Royal Windsor Cup, the oldest Guards Polo Club trophy, and received the coveted silverware from HM The Queen.
Son of the world renowned horse trainer and breeder, Carlos ‘Polito’ Ulloa, the love for horses came naturally in his blood. Growing up, Hilario was always a boy with a dream to play in the Argentine Open and become a 10-goal player.
After more than 10 years of playing professional polo, he made his first appearance in the Argentine Open in 2013. The following year, playing for team Alegria, he won the US Open beating Valiente in the final. He repeated the same feat earlier this year as well, taking his career total of the US Open titles to 3. Victories at USPA Gold Cup 2010, British Open 2011, CV Whitney Cup 2010 and 2013, have been some of the other major highlights of his career.
The Argentine, already a 10-goaler in his country, became the East Coast Champion in 2016. Following this triumph, the US Polo Association upgraded his handicap from 9 to 10 before the 2017 season, for his magnificent performances with teams Villa del Lago and White Birch. Today, he is one of the very few players in the world to be rated at 10 handicaps in Argentina, the UK and the USA. Without any exaggeration, it would be perfectly true to say that the 32 year-old is living his dreams!
Currently 2nd in the World Polo Tour rankings, Facundo is the second son of legendary Gonzalo Pieres Sn. His brothers Gonzalo Pieres Jr. and Nicolas Pieres are also amongst the best players on the planet. With his brilliant stickwork and horsemanship, which is always a joy to watch, he has been on the winning front in plenty of competitions. The career which began in 1997 by winning the Copa Potrillos with the Ellerstina Jr. team, has been nothing short of marvellous.
The 32 year-old has laid his hands on some of the most prestigious silverwares, not once but on several occasions. His trophy cabinet boasts of- 7 Tortugas Open, 5 Hurlingham Open, 3 Argentine Open, 4 U.S Open, 5 British Open, 3 Sotogrande Gold Cup, 5 CV Whitney Cup and 5 Queens Cup.
He won the Argentine Triple Crown in 2010 winning all three tournaments- Argentine Open, Hurlingham Open, Tortugas Open. He is the 2018 champion of Cartier Queen’s Cup with La Indiana and one tournament (US Open) away from the US Triple Crown- having won the USPA Gold Cup and CV Whitney Cup with Valiente earlier this year.
The 21 year-old has polo deeply instilled in his Chilean and Irish roots- something that runs in the blood. His maternal uncle Gabriel Donoso, is the best player in Chilean polo history. While his father Sir Charles Beresford is a former Irish player. Standing tall at 6’5 feet, he is currently rated a 4-handicap player, and regarded as one of the top 15 players in the world.
Beresford was a part of the Queen’s Cup 2017 winning quartet of RH Polo, playing alongside Adolfo Cambiaso, where he was named MVP in the final. The best in the world has been all praises for him. "He's unique in what he does. That's probably why he has been so successful. He gives his team mates a lot of confidence so they play well for him. He can pick out the players he wants because everyone wants to play with him.", Cambiaso said.
In such initial years of his playing career, he already has added many achievements under his belt. These include- a Queen’s Cup, USPA Gold Cup, CV Whitney Cup, Sotogrande Medium Goal Gold Cup and more. With plenty of time ahead of him, more and more glory looks inevitable.
Juan Martin Nero
The name Juan Martin Nero has dominated Argentine polo in the past decade, and is amongst the very best in the sport worldwide. The 37 year-old has won 8 titles each of Argentine Open and Tortugas Open, 7 Hurlingham Open, converting these into Argentine Triple Crown on 4 occasions- in 2010, 13, 14, and 15. His victory in 2015 with La Dolfina made them the first and the only team till date to win the Triple Crown for 3 consecutive years.
Nero tasted his first international success back in 2001, when he won the Gold Cup Deauville (France) followed by the Gold Cup Sotogrande (Spain). His record in the USA includes a double each in the US Open, CV Whitney Cup and 1 USPA Gold which came in 2010 playing for Lechuza Caracas.
Following his Argentine Open win with team Ellerstina in 2010, he was promoted to a 10-handicap. Currently he’s the 2018 winner of Polo Challenge Gold Cup and Polo Challenge Silver Cup.
Pablo Mac Donough
A part of the history making team of La Dolfina that won three consecutive Triple Crown in Argentina, Pablo Mac Donough currently sits at 7th in the rankings by World Polo Tour. Born on 21 February 1982 in Pehuajo (Argentina), he comes from a globally famous polo family. He has played alongside brother Matias Mac Donough in Argentina, and his cousins are Gonzalo and Facundo Pieres with whom he shares a spot in the top 10 world rankings.
He has an astonishing domestic record of 8 Argentine Open, 9 Hurlingham Open, 10 Tortugas Open, and 4 Jockey Club Open titles. Playing for Dubai Polo Team in the UK, he has won the Queen’s Cup and the British Open. The reigning Dubai Silver Cup and Dubai Challenge Cup winner also has 2 St Moritz Snow Polo World Cup titles to his name. His other international success includes 2 titles each of Dubai Gold Cup and Ellerstina Gold and 3 of Sotogrande Gold Cup.
In an interview to the Wag Magazine, the Buenos Aires born 9-goaler revealed that as a child he would watch hall of fame inductions of legendary athletes, and say to himself “One day!”. The childhood dream turned into a reality when in February 2017, he was inducted into Museum of Polo’s Hall of Fame in Lake Worth, Florida.
Team White Birch’s star turned legendary figure, he has been playing for the Greenwich Polo Club team since 1987 alongside founder Peter M. Brant. In fact, his international career’s first trophy as a professional came in the same year when he won the USPA Gold Cup playing for White Birch alongside Gonzalo Pieres Sr., Alfonso Pieres and Peter Brant. The team went on to become the most successful one in high-goal polo, winning more titles in the category than any other professional team. Aguerre has won 6 CV Whitney Cups and 2 US Open titles, and captured the US Triple Crown in 2005.
Playing in team Ellerstina with Adolfo Cambiaso, Gonzalo Pieres, Sr. and Carlos Gracida as his teammates, he won the Argentine Triple Crown in 1994. A nine-times winner of the Argentine Open, with three different team, he was the “Best Mounted Player Award” in the Argentine Open on three occasions: 2004, 2005 and 2007.
The GOAT in polo! If you know a thing or two about the sport, this name needs no introduction. He’s the Messi of polo, or the Muhammad Ali, or the Usain Bolt. Yet his glory outshines that of all other names mentioned, because unlike all of them he has stayed on top for almost a quarter of a century now. And that’s exactly what this legendary figure from Argentina wants, as he famously quoted after his Triple Crown 2014 win- “I’ve already made history, but I always want more glory. Always.”
Right from a very young age, his mother encouraged him and his brothers to play polo. By the time Dolfi, as he’s fondly known, turned 15, he had achieved a 6-goal handicap. This came after he won the Renault Cup Open with team La Martina in 1990. Four years later, following his Argentine Triple Crown victory, his handicap was promoted to 10-goal thus making him the youngest player ever to attain the highest rating of polo.
Along with his fellow 10-goaler from Argentina, he founded La Dolfina team in the year 2000. The team has won the most coveted trophy in Argentine polo- The Argentine Open- for a record 11 times in 17 years of its establishment. They will go into the 2018 edition as the defending champions. Cambiaso and his team made history in 2015 when it became the first ever team to win the Argentine Triple Crown for three consecutive year- 2013,14 and 15. At present, he holds the number 1 spot in World Polo Tour rankings.