What do you mean you've never been to a polo match?

A 19-year-old professional polo player breaks down the culture of the sport


The Polo season has begun. And this is a big deal — one you should know about, and even experience.

If you’ve never been to a polo game, your ideas about what it is and what to expect may be a bit off. Even a bit negative. 

So to be sure we get our facts straight about the game and the culture around the game, we sat down with Agustin Arellano, 19, a professional Polo player, at the South Fields Farm in Wellington, to asked him all things-polo. We especially wanted to know how to go to a match without feeling out-of-place.

Our discovery? Stereotyping is bad (obviously). Polo is cool. And not just because Arellano says so. 

Here’s how he responded to some stereotypical comments about the sport.

I think fancy. Polo is for the elite and rich.”

Arellano: I think that people make [polo] out to be more fancy than it is. I know people think of it as more of a sport for royalty. It has that name from back in the day “The Sport of Kings” because, you know, it is expensive to play, but that doesn’t mean polo is exclusive. We want more people to attend. It’s for everyone and anyone.

It’s very White. American.”

Arellano: It’s actually more Hispanic in popularity than it is American. It’s very South American, actually. It’s also very diverse. We have players from everywhere. Most of them are from Argentina, a couple more from England, Uruguay, Chile and Canada. There are some Mexican players as well. It’s pretty international. 

It’s strict and country-clubbish, like you definitely know your place.”

Arellano: It’s a really chill time. When you get in,  they have all these seats that are right on the field and that’s perfect for watching. Or you can purchase a tent on the other side and bring your actual truck in. And you can bring food, coolers and chairs. It’s fun. And you can wear whatever you would wear at another sporting event. Wear jeans. Most people dress normal.

I would think the prices are too expensive, maybe like $40-$50 per game”

Arellano: It’s only $10 for general admission per person if you just want to go and watch the game. I don’t think that’s bad at all. It’s less than you would pay at other sporting events. Tickets can go up when you choose to sit on a different side of the lawn. Also, if you want, you can just come in any day of the week and watch a game for free. It’s less of a “Sunday-polo” vibe.

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“I think they can be... probably not very welcoming. I think of snottiness.”

Arellano: People make it out to be more upper class, but that’s not the idea we want. We’re hoping more people can just come in and make [polo] more of a spectator-sport. We would prefer to have more people join us, watch and enjoy. If someone comes and sees it, hopefully they like it, then they can come take a lesson. If more people come, maybe they’ll start playing as well.

They’re all very pretty, like pretty boys”

Arellano: It looks clean because we wear white pants. But there’s actually a lot of blood and sweat that goes into [the sport]. We train pretty hard with the horses and on our own fitness. There’s definitely nothing pretty about trying to ride a 1,000 pound animal while exceeding speeds of 30 mph and handling a ball. 


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