Polo In the Media
Please click on the YouTube videos (below) by CBS News: (2) 60 Minutes, and (1) CBS This Morning, where they interview one of the most popular and famous, of our time, Argentine polo pro, Mr. Nacho Figueras. Nacho is both the face of polo and the face of Ralph Lauren’s “Black Watch” collection.
The first video is a very informative interview for those interested in learning more about the sport of princes & kings…POLO! The second video, also by CBS News 60 Minutes, clearly is after their interview with Nacho because not only is the host impressed by Nacho and polo, but their production crew were also amazed at all it took to properly cover one of the fastest, most dangerous, oldest sports, played on the largest field of all international sports…POLO! The third YouTube video is by CBS News This Morning also interviewing Nacho after a polo injury.
CBS News 60 Minutes interview with Nacho Figueras on “The Sport of Kings: Polo”
CBS News 60 Minutes Sports on “Nacho Figueras Profile” and behind the production scenes
CBS News This Morning featuring Nacho Figueras on his statement “I have 9 more years in polo, hopefully 25 as a model”
A Game For Kings
06/30/12 – By Drew Davis – email@example.com
It is tough to go to a polo match without preconceived notions. My GPS eventually returned a result for Prestonwood Country Club, located off of Yacht Club Drive (that’s literally the street-name). I instantly had a sinking feeling that I was underdressed and I should stop somewhere to top the car off with premium gasoline. However, at $10 per car, the price of admission is the same as it is for many of our lakefront public parks — so far so good.
In fact, the Prestonwood polo grounds don’t have an ostentatious feel at all. The parquet flooring in the Ralph Lauren section of Macy’s is more exclusive. Most fans avoid the seating area (the grandstand as it’s called) in favor backing up their SUVs to the field to watch the match from their tailgates. At the outdoor clubhouse, there is patio furniture for every taste. The grandstand area consists of plastic chairs. Both the grandstand and clubhouse are wooden, simple and sturdy; trellis fencing helpfully blocks the afternoon sun.
In a nutshell, polo consists of six, seven and a half minute periods called chukkers. Players are not allowed to use the same horse in consecutive chukkers. The match begins when a mounted umpire drops the ball (roughly the size of a softball) and two players from opposing teams compete for it in something that looks like a face-off in hockey. There are 4 players on a team. Bonus fact: polo is also a part of Texas history — the first polo game in the United States was in played in Galveston in 1876.
For a game played on horseback sometimes reaching a speed of 30mph, (good luck getting a clear photo of the action from your cell phone camera) polo is surprisingly slow from a spectator’s point of view. The size of the field is equivalent to 9 football fields. At the goal posts, the players are roughly as far away from midfield as the observation deck of the Reunion Tower is from the ground. In addition to play being sometimes difficult to see, iffy ball control and minimal passing contributed to my irresolute interest in keeping up with the game.
Chatting and the BYOB champagne can be interrupted by some absolutely thrilling moments. Play can be surprisingly physical with plenty of bumping and jostling between both players and horses. When ten horses thunder past on a breakaway, it was like being magically transported to the finish line of a horse race.
The closest most people get to polo, the game, is the infamous divot stomp scene in Pretty Woman (when Jason Alexander propositions Julia Roberts which is intended to serve as a cruel reality check). For a spectator, the divot stomp is the defining moment of the game. It isn’t a fashion show or an exhibition of high powered networking as seen in Pretty Woman, but it isn’t the bloated nacho line during the 7th inning stretch either. There is something oddly, enticingly like being on stage about the event as you are on the playing field milling around with champagne pretending to look at the grass while actually reassuring yourself that you aren’t underdressed compared to everyone else. Most men seemed to wear collard shirts; most women wore either summery, not exactly casual tops or sundresses.
The post divot stomp relief that I didn’t encounter any ascots or floppy hats that cost more my pre-tax paycheque, was coupled with another realization. Unlike the competitiveness that goes with tracking statistics for fantasy teams and small talk analysis about who may be brought up from the farm team – that kind of detail is reserved for the players who are much more invested in the game (literally) than the spectators. The absence of these sports related pissing contests enhanced the casual Sunday afternoon feel of the Sunday afternoon.
There isn’t anything showy or exclusive about watching Polo at Prestonwood. Expect tailgating, a leisurely interest in what happens on the field and a memorable Sunday afternoon.
There are matches on Thursday, June 28th and final game of the season is June 30th. Gates are open at 6, the match starts at 6:30. The cost is $10.
Prestonwood isn’t the only location for Polo in Dallas. Lifetime polo enthusiast and my tour guide, Charlotte Taylor has assembled a list of all things polo in the metroplex at Texans for Polo.com and click on the “Schedule” drop downs per club.
In addition to Prestonwood, there are also other polo clubs in Red Oak and Little Elm.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 26, 2008
North Texas Polo, LLC
North Texas Polo, LLC (NTP) Announces Prince Harry joins Lucchese US Polo Team in match benefiting the British Forces Foundation against Audi US Polo Team in Sandhurst, England.
Sandhurst, England, June 11, 2008 – Lucchese team led by Prince Harry played against the Audi Polo team for the Stanford Commodore’s Cup. The match was held at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst and benefited the British Forces Foundation. British Forces event director Mark Cann invited John Muse, who also participated in 2007 with Prince William, to support this special occasion again this year.
It was a very competitive five chukker battle between Lucchese and Audi. The Lucchese Team also included 7 goaler Hector Guerrero, Ben Vestley, and team patron John Muse. While the Audi Team under the leadership of team patrons Marc and Melissa Ganzi, including 6 goaler Nacho Figueras and 7 goaler Juan Bollini all fought aggressively against the Prince and his Lucchese teammates.
Although Audi played very well, in the end strong goals scored by Hector Guerrero and John Muse and Prince Harry scored the final goal resulted in a victory for the Lucchese Team 7.5 to 7.
According to Lucchese Team Patron and North Texas Polo Board Member John Muse, “Prince Harry was delightful and great fun as a polo teammate. We appreciate his support of the British Forces Foundation. I am honored to support those who put themselves in harms way to protect our freedoms.”
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
North Texas Polo, LLC
North Texas Polo, LLC announces former President of Mexico, Vicente Fox Quesada’s visit to North Texas the weekend of May 17, 2008
Dallas, Texas, May 18, 2008 – North Texas Polo, LLC was proud to host President Fox at the Capital One Bank Championship Field at Las Colinas Polo Club facility on Sunday, May 18, 2008. President Fox tossed the game ball to commence play of their first polo match Eureka vs. Lucchese.
NTP member and polo patron Roozbeh Payervand (RP) and polo player Guillermo Brittingham held private celebrations in honor of President Fox hosted at the beautiful home of NTP Board Member and polo patron John Muse during President Fox’s visit to North Texas. President Fox was in Dallas to promote his new Vicente Fox Center of Studies, Library and Museum.
Vicente Fox Quesada (born July 2, 1942) was the President of Mexico from 2000 to 2006. He is currently Co-President (with Pier Ferdinando Casini) of the Centrist Democratic International, an international organization of Christian Democratic political parties (which includes Mexico’s National Action Party as a member). Fox was elected President of Mexico in the 2000 presidential election, a historically significant election that made him the first president elected from an opposition party since Álvaro Obregón in 1920. The 2000 election was also significant because it was the first presidential election since the end of the Mexican Revolution to be generally considered competitive and fair. He was elected with 42 percent of the vote, marking the first time that the then-dominant Institutional Revolutionary Party had lost a presidential election.
After serving as president of Mexico for six years, President Fox returned to his home state of Guanajuato, where he resides with his wife and family. Since leaving the presidency, Vicente Fox has been involved in public speaking and the construction of the Vicente Fox Center of Studies, Library and Museum.