Sam Hophinson, a promising polo player from New Zealand

Polo | Players


Intro: In the quest to find out how polo has moved over time in New Zealand, LA POLO set itself on a journey to admire the players that define polo then and now. Find out with us four amazing polo players:

New Zealand has all the warmth in its soil to embrace and admire the spirit of horsemanship. Indeed, the equine endowments are something the nation proudly boasts of. It has 19 polo clubs and 300 handicapped players, including women and youth.




  • The name Grandstands among the eloquent equestrian riders from the land of long white cloud- Aotearoa (NZ’s name in Maori). Often referred to as a master horseman who made horse and rider seem one, his record of two Olympic gold medals in the three-day event, at Los Angeles in 1984 and Seoul in 1988, makes him one of NZ’s finest sportsperson. He has won a string of other top-line competitions, including world championships. His journey has inspired equestrian enthusiasts. Todd was voted eventing rider of the century in 1999 and at his final Olympics in Sydney in 2000, he won the bronze medal in the three-day event.
    Credits: https://www.nzhalloffame.co.nz/New-Zealand-Sports-Hall-of-Fame-Inductees/T/Mark-Todd




  • He is a familiar, handsome face when it comes to representing New Zealand in the international arena. Standing among the top rankers of world polo, he has been playing for New Zealand for the last 15 years, based predominantly in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. The Rodd & Gunn team has often played under the captaincy of Sam and had managed to win the New Zealand open, an event of eminence and stature not just once but thrice. His passion for the sport and horses as well is quite pleasantly evident on the field!


    John Paul Clarkin

  • He is presently the highest ranked professional polo player on 8-goals. In 2003, John-Paul won the prestigious Veuve Clicquot Gold Cup, held in Cowdray, Midhurst and in 2008 the Cartier Polo World Cup on Snow in St Moritz, Switzerland. In 2007, on the Cadenza team, together with Tony Pidgley, Tomas Fernandez Llorente and Nicolas Espain, he won the Prince of Wales Trophy. In 2010, on the Emlor team, he won it again with Spencer McCarthy, Ignacio Gonzalez and Joaquin Pittaluga. The polo player swings the mallet not only in New Zealand but also in Australia, Argentina, England and South Africa.


    Greg Keyte

  • Keyte currently holds a 5-goal handicap though he has been rated higher in the past. He has played for the New Zealand Polo Team on several occasions, including against Australia in 1994, 1995 and 1996. Keyte plays the summer polo season in the UK at the Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club. He has also played in The Royal Salute Polo Gold Cup in China.