The final was between La Dolfina (hcp 40) and Ellerstina (hcp 38). Of the 8 players 6 had the maximum handicap of 10 with two other hackers being "only" on 9. Looking through the glossy brochures 6 of the 8 are in the top 10 in the world with the Number 1 being Adolfo Cambiaso (another winner for the Pub quiz for you) curiously the No.3 in the World is a chap called David Stirling. Don't get excited it is not an Englishman but a Uruguayan (and certainly not the Lloyd's broker of the same name). Both were playing for Dolfina.
Clearly this wasn't going to be a knock about in the park on a Sunday afternoon.
They seemed to have brought enough ponies to mount a cavalry regiment - and this is just one teams! There is an equally impressive number of grooms looking after them, the grooms look and dress suspiciously like Gauchos.
These guys can launch the ball as if they had a 7 iron rather than a mallet in their hands. Not only that, they do it whilst galloping full tilt with another player leaning his horse on to him. Both men and horses take a bit of a beating, one faller and a few broken mallets. It is very exciting to watch especially when 8 thunder past right in front of you.
I tried to take a video but neither that or the pictures are very good. the pictures on the match program are fantastic, showing every muscle, sinew and polo stick stretched to breaking point.
It became clear why there were so many ponies, they did not just change horses between Chukkas, they would peel off from the game and jump from one pony to another and ride back in to the fray. their feet never touching the ground.
If I had seen this 20 years ago I would have loved to have tried it and would no doubt now be bankrupt!
When I got back the match was on TV so I watched it again. Like a lot of sports, it just can not convey the sense of speed or energy.
If you get the chance to go to a game I would recommend it but I may have been spoilt by seeing the world greats playing. The knock out stages of the Palermo Open are about to start, so that is my weekends sorted! .........oh and guess which teams are likely to be in that final too.
The other interesting part of my week has been trying to sort out the paperwork for the bike. It appears they entered the wrong chassis number on the temporary import document. For those of you who remember the Post Office fiasco of January - this has very similar traits, with me walking around Buenos Aires in circles.