In Argentina, the sport of Polo originated from Pato

Polo | Spotlight



Polo’s history goes back to around 2,500 years. It is still being played as a royal game. It dates back to 2000 BC. The British people introduced this game to the world for the first time. By the end of the 19th century, English settlers, generally landowners, went to Indian properties and discovered horses and men who were perfect to play this game and start this game, which is known as an Argentine Game to all.

The first-ever match was played in Argentina in 1875. The British looked for potential players. Despite the fact that polo was at first for ace English players who lived in the locality of Buenos Aires, with time more clubs emerged, like the popular Hurlingham Polo Club. It was thanks to the efforts in 1888 by the English Campbell, Fortune, Ravenscroft and Robson, who after a few years would be the winners of the Argentine Polo Open Championship. In 1921, the Argentine Polo Federation came up, which made polo a household name and got people to notice it.


Slowly, some local groups were invited to be a part of this European Tournament. The Argentine players’ exceptional skills took everyone by surprise. However, the $64000 gift came once Argentina was the 1924 Olympiad winner, against two world powers--the USA and UK. Thereafter, Argentina gained its popularity in polo all around the globe.


Polo was an Olympic Tournaments on five occasions (1900, 1908, 1920, 1924, and 1936), and the Argentines won the title in 1924 and 1936. Additionally, the primary World Cup was held in Buenos Aires in 1987. Argentina was a world leader by this time in Polo with renowned tournaments, which were Open Hurlingham, Tortugas, and Urban Center.

History of polo in Argentina Pato


The gauchos played a game called 'pato' which was a mix of polo and ball; at the starting days it included a duck. It was placed in a calfskin bin with handles and left in a field between two towns. There were two teams from two different towns and the sacred duck was released and these two teams used to fight for it. The one who gets it first won the match.

Lassoing your opponent or cutting his seat were allowed under the rules of the game. The focus was that you need to have a clearly defined distance between the pato, so that others have a way to get it. The game was prohibited for and the government took steps to stop any individual who played it, yet it has endured, though in subtle way with regulations.


With such a great legacy attached to its soil, the Argentinean polo players are considered the best in the world. Eight out of nine best Handicap players are from Argentina. These players namely, Mariano Aguerre, Alberto Pedro Heguy, Juan Martín Nero Claudius Caesar Drusus Germanicus, Gonzalo Pieres, Facundo Pieres, Juan C. Harriot, Pablo Macintosh Donough and Adolfo Cambiaso, are considered to be the best players in polo. The ability of the riders and the success of Argentine Polo is thanks to the exquisite quality of horses they use. Right now, in a sum of 1477 polo players all around the world, 711 (almost half) are exclusively in Argentina – the rest are found in the US, the UK, Uruguay, France, the UAE, South Africa, and Chile etc .

When you visit Argentina, never miss a chance to see a polo match as it will be one of a kind experience, which will linger on your mind for long.

Polo is a treat to watch, but when you go to Argentina it's not just a game but a religion you know. Like in India, you see cricket as a religion, in Argentina you see polo being played as a religion.