We see them outside the pitch, cheering for and showing their all-out support for their kids and husbands. For this Mother’s Day, POLO LADY speaks with one of the best polo moms about her personal and family life.
Meghan Arellano is unlike any other polo mom because she is an accomplished player, too. Coming from a polo-loving family, she started riding at the age of five. Although her father and grandfather played polo, she did not take riding seriously until she was 13.
“I did jumping, but I did not try polo,” she shares, noting that her father offered to get her a dog to try it [polo], and that’s when she fell in love with it. “From the moment I stick and balled, I knew I wanted to start playing polo.” With her father and Steve Crowder as her first coach, it did not take long for Meghan to get a grasp of the sport.
A few years down the line, Meghan went to Chicago for a summer job at a barn, where she eventually met her future husband, Julio. “We met there and started dating. He came to play the US Open a few months later at my hometown in Indio, California.”
Meghan and Julio’s shared love for horses helped in strengthening their relationship. “We spend every minute together in the barn,” she narrates. When asked about which accomplishment in her polo career she is most proud of, she quickly answered, “playing the 16-goal with my husband and winning with him! It was so much fun to play.”
Pregnancy did not stop Meghan from playing. “I actually played with all of my pregnancies; I believe I stopped around the fifth month. I even won a women’s tournament while pregnant with Hope. The other team joked that we had five girls [in the team], and that’s why we won,” she recalls with zest.
Because polo is a sport that requires you to travel most of the time, the couple decided to raise their children in Aiken, South Carolina because of the town’s simplicity, wonderful people, and excellent schools. Meghan stayed at home to take care of the kids and bring them to school while her husband continued playing tournaments in other states.
“The most challenging times were being apart. We didn’t like being apart. The best decision we made was to get a tutor to travel with us,” she says.
Raising kids who love riding and playing with horses is a beautiful experience, according to Meghan. However, it became important for her not to push them to play polo. The only thing she told her kids is: “if you decided to have a horse, you had to ride and take care of it.”
Because of this, her kids developed a sense of responsibility at an early age and grew up with discipline. “Kids having a purpose is the best thing for them. Being accountable for their animals is so important—it teaches them the importance of caring.”
Seeing the excitement in her kids’ eyes whenever they talk about polo also makes her happy. The incredible bond between her kids is undeniable. “They love talking amongst each other about the horses and the games.”
When her two boys, Agustin and Lucas, started playing more, Meghan stopped playing to give them her ponies. This just goes to show how selfless and dedicated she is in raising her young polo athletes. “I have no time for anything else when they are playing. Polo is our life, and I would be happy in whatever they decided to do as long as they are happy,” she notes.
Although she is a very supportive mom, Meghan is also extremely protective. “There were some nights when I couldn’t sleep when we had said ‘yes’ to them playing in a tournament. Maybe I thought they were too young, more with Hope than the boys.”
Nevertheless, this is also what makes Meghan proudest of her kids. “They are very hard workers. They love the horses more than polo,” she affirms.
As a full-time polo mom, Meghan said that the best thing about it is being able to watch her kids grow. Her kids are her best friends. But apart from the sport, what keeps the family relationship tighter is their love for traveling.
“We take a two-week trip every year. We get in the RV and have the kids pick three places, and we would just drive anywhere they wanted. We have seen every national park in America! We had so much fun doing that,” she details.
When asked for tips on how to show support as a mother to young polo players, she emphasized that all moms have different ways of showing their support. For her children, Meghan revealed that she uses very different approaches for each of them. And now that they are grown-ups, “I still support them the same way.”
Meghan Arellano is just one of the many excellent polo moms out there who goes over and beyond to support their children. Let’s not forget to celebrate them every day and give them the same amount of love and care they give us.
Happy Mother’s Day!
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Pámela Piedad is a journalist, author, designer, and the Editor-in-Chief of POLO LADY Magazine.