The Culture Of Polo Explained By A Polo Expert

 

Spring in Buenos Aires means only one thing: Polo Season. We’ve always been fascinated with the sport, from the incredible amount of skill that goes into an effective stroke, to the chic aura that surrounds all of the world’s Polo events. Recently, we had the opportunity to ask Joanna Kimball, one of the leading minds behind the bourgeoning Ladies Polo Tour, a few questions that were on our mind about the culture of polo.

Oasis Collections: Tell us a bit about your involvement with polo.

Joanna Kimball: At the moment I’m working on a few projects. On one hand, alongside with Samantha Perrusi, founder and CEO of Ladies Polo Tour, we help promote women’s polo around the world by organizing tournaments or exhibitions. For 2013 we have two different tournaments in USA, one in Palm Beach during the men’s US Open and another one in the Hamptons in August. The idea is to have a challenge for the first time ever where the best women’s polo players from the US will confront the best from Argentina. Nobody has ever done a ‘Countries’ challenge of this type before with women. Since handicap used to be the same for men and women, it wasn’t very competitive for women to play, since there was a big gap between a 0 and a 1. Thanks to the AAP (Asociacion Argentina de Polo) and Samantha’s work, there now is a different handicap for women and men, making it possible to have a more competitive game for the women. We also have a few potential projects in China, India, and Mexico.

And on the other hand I’m working on a Polo and fashion magazine that will be distributed in the US and Mexico.

OC: What can we expect at this years Palermo Open?

Joanna Kimball: Once again the great candidates are La Dolfina and Ellerstina. They have both already crossed in the finals of the two first tournaments of the Triple Crown. Ellerstina winning the Tortugas open, and La Dolfina winning Hurlingam Open. Palermo will be the defining tournament. Besides, there are other teams like Pilara Piaget and La Aguada, that can always surprise the higher handicap teams.

Palermo is the best tournament in the world. It has the players with the highest handicap, the fastest horses and the most important tournament of the season. It’s an unique event that’s worth going to!

OC: What do you have to say to all those haters that consider Polo an “elitist sport”?

Joanna Kimball: That it’s not like that. Polo is out in the country, on horses, etc. Everything else is pure marketing.

OC: Should we go for the polo and stay for the party or vice versa?

Joanna Kimball: I’m personally not too keen of those who just go for the party. In the Hamptons Nacho Figueras has done something excellent; at the Bridgehampton Polo Club so many people would just go to just to say that they went or for the party, that the essence of going to watch the match had been lost. There would be up to 2000 people in the VIP area and no one watching. So what he did is when he partnered with the club, he only allowed 350 guests, and brought back the attention to the sport. I do have to admit the parties are very fun though, so I understand those who don’t know much about the sport why they’d come for the party.

OC: You travel a lot for the sport. What are a couple of songs that keep you going on the road?

Joanna Kimball: It depends a lot on my mood, but lately I’ve been listening to “sisters” by Divididos when I want to feel relaxed. Or anything by the Rolling Stones or Black Keys for something more upbeat.

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Buenos Aires, New York

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