“It's a wonderful experience that I'm very honored and fortunate to have”
Bob Jornayvaz keeps racking up achievements in his polo career. He has now met another goal: winning the USPA Butler Handicap with a unique team, that had both Adolfo Cambiaso and Facundo Pieres. The top two players in the world, playing in the same shirt.
“Playing with Facundo and Adolfo this year has been amazingly magical. I have spoken with Adolfo many times over the years about how he has made my polo life so wonderful, and to then get to play with Facundo, who is a true gentleman, a true professional, a wonderfully nice guy to have around the barn and he's just an incredible player as well. It's been more fun than you're allowed to have. The two of them together are, you find yourself watching when you need to be working on the field, watching them play together is really amazing, it's a wonderful experience that I'm very honored and fortunate to have.”
It is also a very special season for Bob, given that Valiente won the Ylvisaker Cup for the first time. "Winning the Ylvisaker 2018 was huge for us, we've been to the finals twice and for different reasons we were unable to win the two previous finals, so winning it really completes winning the big tournaments in Florida, it's something we are extremely proud of.”
Bob Jornayvaz, the man who is happier with his life in polo every year.
“Our next goal is making sure that the 26 stays alive in the US”
It will be a year full of discussions for American Polo. The US Open has been down in its number of teams, which sparked the idea in the USPA to lower the handicap of its most important tournament from 26 to 22 goals.
After winning the CV Whitney, Adolfo Cambiaso spoke with CLICKPOLOUSA and said that he didn't think it was a good change, that it endangered polo. The Ganzi family think the same way.
We were missing the voice of the most important organization in the world: Bob Jornayvaz. And his message was loud and clear: “The USPA is looking into dropping the US Open from 26 goals to 22 goals for 2019, I'm very opposed to it because I think that the 26 goal is something very special. Since that is happening, we're going to form our own League, we have our own fields, we have players, we have enough sponsors and teams already lined up, so we'll play around 26 goal. We wish them the best of luck at whatever the USPA wants to try to do, but we've got players, teams, sponsors, fields, the ability to broadcast. We are really looking forward to playing the 26 on our own”.
CLICKPOLOUSA asked Bob what his next goal is, and what he thinks he still has to achieve in polo. His answer was also related to the 26-goal tournaments: “It's a great question about goal setting… Adolfo and I, we have so much fun talking about what we have to do. I think our next goal is making sure that the 26 stays alive in the US because it's so special. So I'd say that's my next goal”.
“The Argentine Polo Association is a great role model that we need to follow”
The season in Wellington has many different tournaments. On these days, the schedule is over-saturated with matches, having them every day at the IPC and Grand Champions.
Bob Jornayvaz having spoken about the 26-goal tournaments moves on and talks about the other levels: “I think polo in the US is thriving. Here in Wellington there is 4, 6, 8, 12, 20 and 26 goal, going on every single day, I think we have 3 teams going right now, two in the 26 and one in the 8 or 12. I forget. Kids polo is incredible, through the US I think that we need leadership to focus on how we help fund our clubs, Argentina has the wonderful fields of the association, and in the US, given our great wealth within the USPA, we need to figure out how to do something very similar to what the association has built over the long term”.
Jornayvaz also complimented the work done by the new Argentine Association, under the lead of Eduardo Novillo Astrada: “The Argentine Polo Association is a great role model that we need to follow, and I think that we have the opportunity to continue to build polo if we are willing to learn from other areas and other countries”.