While the polo community has their eyes glued on the action in Europe, where the high season is at boiling point, Argentina is drawing up what’s to come, in a season that will finish a couple of weeks later than usual. November and December are particularly busy months, and we already have much to look forward to, including the Tanoira Cup, which will be played from November 19-29 at Cuatro Vientos.
Let’s put this tournament in context: this competition is certainly one of the most traditional of the Argentine calendar, and it was set up in 2004 to honour and remember the late Gonzalo Tanoira. “The idea was to bring the family together, with his friends, to remember him the way he would have liked: playing polo at Cuatro Vientos, a place he built with so much dedication and pleasure,” shares Gonzalo’s daughter, Barbara.
“In the early years of the Tanoira Cup, my father’s friends, in-laws and sons, were the ones who competed,” she continues. “People like Alex Garrahan, Álvaro and Gonzalo Pieres, Martín Zubía, Juan Badiola, Rodrigo Rueda, Carlos and Diego Miguens, and of course, his children Gonzalo, Javier and Santiago Tanoira. None of them would miss it. As time went on, the friends of his generation retired, and my brother’s friends joined in the challenge; players like Pancho Bensadon, “Mono” Gassiebayle, Juanchi Lagos, Santi Blaquier, Ale and Hernán Agote. Players changed, but we always wanted to keep the spirit of the event the same, which is about having fun and playing polo with friends.”
The Tanoira Cup is played in spectacular surroundings at Cuatro Vientos, located in the polo capital of the world. The club was one of the three that started it all. “Cuatro Vientos, Pilarchico and La Baronesa were the first clubs in the area, where there are now over 100 polo fields,” says Lolo Tanoira, Gonzalo’s youngest daughter. “It started being just a farm with two fields; my father and my brothers were members of Pilarchico, right next to us. The club has 100 hectares, with four world-class fields and all the necessary infrastructure for polo. We have 150 boxes for our horses and those of our members, which today includes over thirty players who play both seasons. Cuatro Vientos is our home, it is a place of reunion for everyone, and it represents our father’s legacy, the love for polo and for horses, and a place to enjoy nature with friends and family.”
What are the expectations for this year’s Tanoira Cup?
We want to host a first-rate tournament in terms of organisation, so that everyone is able to have fun and play good polo in an amazing place. Beyond the number of teams that compete, we hope that our friends and family will all come and support the event. This year Minuto Siete will help us organise the tournament. They are a good team, capable of organising a quality event, considering every detail so that the experience on the field is the best possible.
Lastly, Barbara Tanoira, speaks about her father’s legacy in the world of polo: “My father was a polo fanatic, and he loved horses in particular. He was always grateful for his talent, and when it was time to be a director, he didn’t doubt it; he wanted to give back to the sport, almost as a way of saying thank you for the experiences he had had, the people he met, the places he discovered, and for the being able to share something as wonderful as sport with his family. We received that legacy and we want to pass it on to our children. What better way to do that than by having fun playing polo?”