The Capilla Polo Club is launching a new polo school aimed at English speaking beginners on 1st December.
“We are catering for those who are looking to learn polo but have little previous experience, or even complete beginners who do not know how to ride a horse,” says Fabio Lavinia, the club’s Director and resident polo professional. “Unlike other polo clubs in Argentina, clients are assured of English speaking tuition on quieter, safer horses on championship-level polo grounds, twice a day, seven days a week.”
The Capilla Polo Club features four laser-levelled grounds laid out in 2008. “We used the same company which levelled and maintain the ground at the famous Palermo polo grounds,” says Fabio. “The grounds are all irrigated and boarded, and each has a slightly different level of rain runoff so that we can play quickly after rain. We also have a stick-and-ball ground designed with a 0.7% incline so that we can play even after a downpour.”
The club has 35 local players, and each year welcomes 10-20 guests of differing levels of ability during the Argentinian summer polo season (October – March). “We play polo all year round, but the high season for us is November and December, when many guests decide to come to play and also to watch high goal games of the Argentinian Triple Crown. ‘High goal’ in Argentina means teams of 35-40 goals, whereas ‘high goal’ in the UK means 22-24 goal,” he says. Team handicaps are calculated by adding together the individual handicaps of each of the four players. “It is a chance for guests to watch polo in its purest expression, with the finest horses in the world,” he continues.
Guests are accommodated in a traditional Argentinian estancia-style house with a swimming pool and air conditioning, complete with housekeeper and cook. After a day of riding practice and polo, guests can unwind to a traditional Argentinian “asado” (barbecue), or make a trip to the bright lights and bars of Buenos Aires, an hour away. Many other activities, such as golf, tennis, and fishing are close by and can be arranged upon request.
“Many polo clubs cater primarily to experienced polo players who can get onto almost any horse and play,” Fabio continues. “Consequently they do not have more placid horses suitable for absolute beginners, as we do. We have set out to attract adventure holidaymakers, so we are competing more with ‘experience’ holiday destinations. Let me tell you: there is no adrenalin rush like galloping up to a ball, swinging your stick, and hitting it 80 yards into a goal. Especially when an opposing player is digging his elbows into your side trying to stop you,” he says with a grin.
High season costs start at USD 2100, GBP 1342, Euro 1450 per week polo tuition.
Full board (polo tuition plus accommodation) prices start from USD 3150, GBP 2012, Euro 2325.
Low season costs (February-March) are somewhat lower.
Shorter periods are possible, but they depend on player ability and timing (low season/high season).
Guests do not need special equipment, though those with riding boots and hats should bring them.