Profiles in Polo

The Players Who Changed the Game

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About the Book

This book, with contributions from many of the world’s leading polo journalists, profiles more than 30 of the most influential polo players from history. The players covered were selected for inclusion based on their overall impact on the game rather than their prowess on the field, although many covered are considered all-time greats. Each chapter covers an individual player, including early pioneers, those who played during the “golden era” (the years between World War I and World War II), superstars, game-changers, and great contemporaries. The book includes numerous photographs and a foreword by H.R.H. The Prince of Wales.

About the Author(s)

A polo player and surgeon, Horace A. Laffaye is on the board of directors of the Museum of Polo and is chairman of the Polo Hall of Fame Nominating Committee. His writings on the game include several books and many articles in magazines in North America, Argentina and England. He divides his time between Connecticut and Florida.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Horace A. Laffaye
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 312
Bibliographic Info: 104 photos (17 in color), notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2015 [2007]
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6273-2
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0518-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      v

Foreword by H.R.H. The Prince of Wales      1

Preface by Horace A. Laffaye      3

PART I. THE PIONEERS

Introduction      8

Edward Hartopp: “This must be a good game”      13

Thomas St. Quintin: “A Great Polo Pioneer”      17

John Watson: The Founding Father      23

Francis Herbert: “Killed a salmon, shot some grouse and played polo”      28

Foxhall Keene: “A Life of Pure Delight”      33

Harry Payne Whitney: “Total Polo”      42

PART II. BETWEEN THE WARS

Introduction      50

Johnny Traill: An Irishman from the Pampas      54

Devereux Milburn: A Back for the Ages      59

Lewis Lacey: Master of the Game      67

Rao Raja Hanut Singh: “There is only one tiger….”      75

Tommy Pope: The Horse Whisperer      84

Earl Mountbatten of Burma: A Tangible Legacy      90

Jim Ashton: Of the Brothers Four      96

Between pages 104 and 105 are eight color plates containing 17 photographs

PART III. THE SUPERSTARS

Introduction      106

Thomas Hitchcock Jr.: “The best of America was in his veins”      108

Cecil Smith: The Cowboy from Llano      115

Stewart Iglehart: “Best backhander in the game”      124

Bob Skene: “Hurricane Bob”      132

Carlos Menditeguy: “To be the best was effortless”      140

Sinclair Hill: “I’ll give you fancy pants!”      148

Juan Carlos Harriott Jr.: “The Aristocrat of Polo”      156

Francisco Dorignac: The Chieftain      164

PART IV. SHAKERS AND MOVERS

Introduction      174

Lord Cowdray: He Saved the Day for England      180

John Oxley: Patron and Benefactor      185

Kerry Packer: Winning Whatever the Cost      190

Michael Rattray: Player, Promoter and Environmentalist      196

Marcos Uranga: A Vision Splendid      200

Claire Tomlinson: “The most influential lady player”      206

PART V. THE GREAT CONTEMPORARIES

Introduction      216

H.R.H. The Prince of Wales: The Prince of Polo      218

Alberto Pedro Heguy: Basque Blood—Passion and Verve      225

Julian Hipwood: A Living Polo Legend      232

Harold Barry: “A galloping oak with the soul of a poet”      236

Gonzalo Pieres: Superstar and Entrepreneur      244

Guillermo Gracida Jr.: The Field General      253

Adolfo Cambiaso: “There is a kid from Cañuelas….”      260

Afterword      265

About the Contributors      267

Bibliography      271

Index      275

Book Reviews & Awards

“excellent…another gem…a wonderful book…a must-have”—Polo Times; “fact-filled…entertaining anecdotes”—ARBA; “a must-read…fascinating”—The Morning Line; “scholarly and engaging…important…a must”—Horse & Hound.