In this month’s Polo Escape, Polo Lady traveled to La Esperanza, an incredible ranch in Coronel Suárez, one of many historical places in Argentinian polo.
Argentina is the mecca of polo in the world. If you want to specialize in this sport, you must know that this South American country is a ‘must’ destination.
Currently, country houses dedicated to practicing and playing polo are scattered in an increasingly high number around the country. Indeed, there has been a steady growth of these equine establishments over the past few years that have been specifically created for a weekend break.
La Esperanza is only a few hours away from Buenos Aires and it is the ranch with the oldest history. Being an old ranch does not affect its charm. It is located in Coronel Suárez, the birth town of the Huguey family and a reference point for Argentina’s high handicap. It offers luxury, comfort, and high-level horses, if you want to practice the Sport of Kings. José María Bertola, manager of the establishment, explains what you need to know to be irrefutably convinced to visit the place.
Can you tell us the history of La Esperanza?
“The ranch was opened by my parents in the ‘50s in Córdoba. Then, we lived in Tucumán for a few years and we built La Esperanza there where we had a beautiful club. Finally, we came to Suárez in 1984 and built La Esperanza. As my grandmother from my father’s side of the family was from Suárez and we are Heguy’s cousins, we wanted to develop a concept principally associated with polo. It is important to us, so we came here as this city is related to the sport.”
What is the visitor’s timetable?
“Accommodation and meals are offered here. In the morning, there is practice of hitting the ball, and in the afternoon, there is training. As there are so many horses, a lot of people are needed to take them around every day.”
When is the best time of the year to visit?
“In general, from November to April. When it is cold, things can be rather difficult.”
What’s the range of people who visit the ranch?
“90% are foreigners and some are Argentinian; all age groups, from 7-year-old children to 60-70-year-olds. We have even had good polo players who come to improve their polo, 4 or 5 goal polo players, so a bit of everything. Some of these players are regulars whilst others are occasional.”
Talk about the facilities and other services you offer.
“We have six fields, all with irrigation, and many horses—around 240. We have bedrooms with bathrooms ensuite and we serve meals all expertly prepared by our onsite chef at a special place we have. Food is homemade and our specialty is country meat. Our fields are just outside the city. A taxi to visit the village takes only a few minutes. We have an optional private jet service that we hire and bring here for people who come from other countries.”
How much does it help being at Coronel Suárez, the birthplace of polo?
“It helps a lot with promotion. When people hear Coronel Suárez, they feel impressed. There are a lot of people involved with polo in this area and like being in contact with polo. Here, you can breathe polo and many people make a living from this. There are a lot of grooms and trainers and there must be 40 or 50 polo fields. All this creates work, people come to stay at the ranches, they visit the village, and buy things. All in all, it benefits everyone.”
Learn more about La Esperanza at www.la-esperanza.com.ar.