Winter training in Argentina

Published in News on 24 Mar 2018

In January the RN Polo Association fled the British winter for the sunnier climes of 25 De Mayo, Argentina (arguably the home of great polo), to undertake an intensive training camp ahead of the British polo season commencing in the summer. Lt Josh Skelding reports:

The party consisted of Lt Cdr Bob Santrian RN, Maj Simon Dinsmore RM, Lt Holly Carter RN and Lt Josh Skelding RN, with experience and ability ranging from novice to seasoned veterans.

Having unpacked after a long flight, the team threw themselves into practice sessions, dusting off some of the cobwebs (and extra ballast!) acquired during the winter months.

The polo club and training grounds of Mr Santiago Moyano provided an idyllic venue for the team to hone existing skills (these peaceful surroundings only occasionally disturbed by his robust, vocal style of encouragement!) in the company of some very accomplished Argentine players.

Well-kept grounds, diligent grooms and spectacular horses made the experience truly special, with morning training sessions as well as evening chukkas (to spare playing in truly ‘redders’ afternoon conditions) forming a fantastic coaching package.

The training peaked with a tournament, running out of Los Petalos estancia, supported by patronage from the De’By brothers (two prominent patrons of Guards Polo Club).

Over the course of a sweltering couple of days, with temperatures roaring into the mid-thirties, there were some fantastic displays of polo by the Los Marineros (Navy team).

Textbook nearside shots delivered to great effect by Dinsmore, and an outstanding goal by Santrian (quickly followed by an equally outstanding fall) put Los Marineros on top.

Prize-giving was followed by an asado (one of many) where the RN team regaled the club members and patrons with their witty banter.

Looking back on the camp, there was truly a quantum leap in the abilities of those attending, with Skelding and Carter showing great confidence in hitting (and even scoring occasionally) at speed, despite being very new to the sport.

In summary, immersed in Argentine culture and staying with Martin Del Papa in the heart of 25 de Mayo made for a thoroughly enjoyable training camp, with plenty of great experiences and fantastic polo.

The RNPA continues to attract interests from personnel across the Navy and truly is the way to enjoy this fantastic sport.

Should you fancy yourself as the next Cambiaso or just want to partake in a new challenge, please contact the Blue Jackets development squad via the Royal Navy Polo Facebook site

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