The kick off of the Polo Nations Cup is just around the corner. The first edition of this 12-goal tournament will take place at the Polo Club du Domaine de Chantilly, France, from June 8 to 18 and will feature teams representing different countries. Among them is Korea Polo Club.
David Ko, a cornerstone for the asian based team, shares: “The Nations Cup is a fantastic opportunity that allows us to play at a higher level alongside professional players while also providing a learning experience. We are always looking for more opportunities to play together as Koreans. In Asia, competitions like the All-Asia Cup or SEA Games (South East Asian) take place every few years. Outside of Asia. Each year we are building on our program to create stronger players to not only raise the level at our club at home, but also raise the level of our Asian and international polo”.
What are your expectations for this first time playing in Chantilly?
As competitors, the mindset when entering most tournaments is to play to win, but playing to have fun and make new friendships will be the main goal. In order to feel confident going into a new tournament on unfamiliar horses, we have been training hard in the off-season. In the last year, we competed in tournaments in Sotogrande, Saint-Tropez, Argentina, The Philippines, Thailand and the UAE to increase our confidence on new horses.
How is it to represent your country in the first edition of this tournament?
We are very proud to represent Korea and are excited to invite the top board members of the newly formed Korea Polo Federation to France, especially to a club as beautiful and historic as Chantilly. KPF goals for the future are to improve the level of Korean players and increase the popularity of the sport of polo within our country. Over the winter, our younger generation players took part in clinics in Singapore and in Thailand at King Power and Thai Polo, hoping to bring home new skills. Additionally, we are excited to meet our competitors and make lasting polo friendships with individuals and organizations from around the world.
How did you set up the lineup?
In 2022, we played three tournaments with Pandy in Saint-Tropez, Rome and Argentina. It took some time to get used to playing with new pros at the start, but now we are very excited to play with him again in the Nations Cup. This will be the first time playing with Tito, but his reputation precedes him, so we are looking forward to him captaining the team and hope to capitalize off his strengths and learn in the process. Jerry, Bin and I try to play together as much as possible at home at the Korea Polo Club in order to better know each other’s styles.
TEAM KOREA: David Ko 0, Jerry Kwak / Bin Kim 0, Santiago Irastorza 5, Tito Ruiz Guiñazú 7. Total: 12.