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marks on it! Cue more lessons, with 7 goaler “Chino” Estrada, about becoming more active in the saddle and building a better platform from which to execute shots. The wonderful aspect of the Puesto Viejo Experience was the ability to learn from so many exceptional pros and to take and apply those aspects which fitted my own style.

The final day was a club chukka involving Ham’s own Nicholas C-D. If you had told me in early October that I would be playing club chukkas in Argentina with the Chairman of the HPA...well let me just say that my experience at Puesto Viejo made it happen...

(Part 2):

January 24th found me back at Puesto Viejo! After the success of my first trip, I found myself picked to represent the Sherdills team (no pressure!) and totally enthused about the sport. December had been a wash-out with the weather in the UK, so I was a little nervous about heading out to Argentina so soon. For me, the next two weeks were about building upon the foundations I had built both at Puesto Viejo and in the UK and to further develop my game. Day 1 saw me in a ‘friendly’ set of chukka’s involving Jeremy Baker, Chino Estrada and some club members – so no pressure! I was ecstatic that the lessons I had had with Adolfo in the UK and the Puesto Viejo team hadn’t been forgotten and that I was able to enjoy the chukkas so much. The welcome I got from everyone was touching.

Jeremy and Lilliana run Puesto Viejo based on their own experiences of taking up polo in the UK. Having played both at Ham and Guards for many years, they have created a great members club which really allows Patrons, playing members, pros and ‘associate’ members such as myself to mix and have fun.

The new clubhouse (the layout and spacing of which is inspired by Ham’s own clubhouse) is now in the final stages of fitting out. It is spectacular and the views from its large balconies really do explain why Jeremy and Lilliana chose to develop the club. They are both perfect ambassadors for the sport. The team that they have assembled really do build on their philosophy – from Holly O’Neil, the Polo Manager to pros like Chino Estrada who build a level of infectious enthusiasm for anyone interested in the sport.

I had originally thought of naming this article “Meet the Basil and Sybil Fawlty of Argentine Polo” – but this would have given the wrong impression of Puesto Viejo and the team. I must admit that I haven’t laughed so much during any type of game as I have when playing with Jeremy “You’re meant to hit the little round white thing between the big red long things” Baker, but the whole team at the club are exceptionally professional.

I also realised that Jeremy and Liliana had arranged a “surprise”. My first tournament – the “Copa de Patrones”, a 4 goal tournament with five other clubs participating. To my enduring surprise, we came second! Not bad for a total novice to the sport and a testament to the great teaching I had had.

As my two weeks comes towards an end, I can reflect on how lucky I have been to enjoy the great Polo, teaching, facilities and fun that I have had at Puesto Viejo. I have made some enduring friendships and have already booked my family in for another trip this year.

Roll on the season! The London Polo Club Photos: Liliana Baker 49





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