Top 13 Famous Polo Athletes in the World

Who are the faces of Polo Sport? Who’s the most famous polo athlete in the world? Has this type of question ever crossed your mind? Well, If it has, this article will answer all your questions. Here, you will get to learn all about the top famous polo athletes in the world.

Polo is known as the oldest equestrian sport, a game that originated in Central Asia. It was first played in Persia.

However, unlike other sports Polo may not be a trendy sport, but even in a game like that, they have famous players widely known for their skills, looks, and charm.

Although the most famous polo athlete list is filled with Argentine athletes, we have tried our best to rank them as far as practicable.

Top 13 Famous Polo Athletes in the World

Below mentioned is the list of 13 famous polo athletes in the world. 

RatingNameCountry
1Adolfo CambiasoArgentina
2Mariano AguerreArgentina
3Pablo Mac DonoughArgentina
4Juan Martin NeroArgentina
5Tommy BeresfordIreland
6Hilario UlloaArgentina
7Facundo PieresArgentina
8Bob JornayvazUSA
9Nicolas RoldanArgentina
10David Sterling Jr.Uruguay
11Bartolome CastagnolaArgentina
12Carlos GracidaMexico
13David ParadiceAustralia

13. David Paradice

David Paradice is an amateur Australian Polo athlete/businessman with numerous trophies and achievements to his name. He plays for the “Scone Polo Club,” which is backed by an exiled Russian billionaire Andrey Borodin.

For a Polo player winning the U.S. Polo Championship is a dream come true accomplishment. David Paradice won his first title along with Poroto Cambiaso, Adolfo Cambiaso, and Peke Gonzalez.

Paradice participated in the 2021 “Gauntlet of Polo” for the first time, where he ended the season with two reputable titles. He also scored a win for “The Queen’s Cup” in England.

In his interviews, Paradice can always be seen thanking his team, family, and supporters. Unlike many other athletes, Paradice is not a full-time athlete. He is the owner/founder of “Paradice Group,” an investment management company.

As much as he is successful in his Polo, he is also successful in his business and fame, setting his name on the famous polo athlete list.

12. Carlos Gracida

Carlos Gracida was a famous polo player from Mexico. Gracida started playing polo at the age of five. His father, Guillermo, was a 9 goaler polo player who played in Palermo and Meadowbrook, Argentina.

Carlos was a member of Ellerstina, an Australian-owned legendary team. Along with his brother, he won player of the year five times in America, the first time in the history of polo sports.

In England, he has ranked 9 goals. He was also the favorite player of HM Queen Elizabeth. Among the celebrities and royals, he was also the favorite instructor.

Carlos Gracida, Ylvisaker Cup tournament 2010.
Carlos Gracida, Ylvisaker Cup tournament 2010. (Source: Wikimedia)

His horse Chesney was also as famous as him, winning the Best Playing Pony award numerous times. In British Gold Cup alone, three awards are under Chesney’s name.

Sadly, Carlos died two months after becoming a US citizen at the age of 53.

11. Bartolome Castagnola

Bartolome Castagnola is a 52 year-old polo player from Argentina with a 10-goal polo handicap ranking. He is also referred to as Lolo.

Castagnola began playing polo from the age of fourteen when his father took him to La Martina Polo School. He started playing polo on international levels from 1988 onwards.

On his tour to San Diego with Marcelo Caset, he won the San Diego Open match. He also won the US Open, Sotogrande Gold Cup, USPA Gold Cup, the Queen’s Cup, and the Hurlingham Open.

In the Argentine Open Polo Championship, he participated fourteen times, out of which he won six times, taking part in the finals three times.

He played for La Martina, Ellerstina, Outback, and Dubai and played in Argentina, Dubai, Spain, the United Kingdom, and Australia.

10. David Sterling Jr.

David Sterling is one of the very few non-Argentinian players in the Polo sport’s top ten list. Born in Uruguay, he is a 41 year-old professional athlete with a 10-goal handicap ranking.

He rose to fame when he joined the Orchard team in 2007 and won USGA Gold Cup and US Open. He is well known for his dribbling skills, charge, and space creation.

After his 2007 win, he claimed the USGA Gold Cup two more times, in 2012 and 2013.

David Sterling Jr.
David Sterling Jr. (Source: Pinterest)

In 2010 he joined La Dolfina, an Argentine Polo team where he claimed four Argentine Triple Crown titles from 2013 to 2016.

Making it into the top famous polo athlete list. Sterling got the title of reigning champion of the Argentine Open, which is said to be one of the most prestigious polo championships in the world.

9. Nicolas Roldan

Argentinian professional polo player Nicolas Roldan is considered among the best polo players in the polo league.

Aged 40 now, he holds many prestigious titles to his name. He won 3 titles of World Snow Polo Championship Aspen and USPA National with 20 goals.

At the young age of 15, Roldan played for team Escue and became the youngest player ever to win the title of US Open Polo.

In 2018 playing for the team La Indiana he won the Cartier Queen’s Cup.

Given his success in the polo sport, he also has a successful modeling career and is a renowned philanthropist. He is among the famous polo athlete whose name is equally renowned in the modeling industry.

Roldan is the ambassador of Kids Cancer Foundation and Brooke USA. Being a charitable man himself, he has hosted many charity fundraiser events till now.

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8. Bob Jornayvaz

Bob Jornayvaz is the name that cannot be missed when it comes to the best amateur polo player list. He first started playing polo when he was in college at, the University of Texas. Unfortunately, he had to take a break from the sport for a few years after a severe injury.

During this time, he focused on his family and his business. In 1984 he established the Intrepid Production Corporation, where he holds the president position.

Jornayvaz is the CEO and Executive Chairman of Intrepid Potash, which also owns multiple gases, oil, and mining companies. He holds a total net worth of over $200 million. 

His achievements include 2 US Open, a Sotogrande Gold and Silver Cup each, 2 CV Whitney Cup, 1 Jockey Club Open, 2 Ylvisaker Cup, 4 times USPA Gold Cup, Joe Barry Memorial, and San Jorge Open 1 each. 

7. Facundo Pieres

Son of the polo legend Gonzalo Pieres Sn, Facundo Pieres was ranked second in the world polo ranking in 2018. He started his solo career in 1997, playing in the Ellerstina Jr. team, winning the Copa Potrillos.

The 36 year old, 10-goal handicap professional Argentine polo player has some of the most prestigious trophies to his name.

His trophy rack boasts of 5 CV Whitney Cup, 5 Hurlingham Open, 3 Argentine Open, 7 Tortugas Open, 4 U.S Open, 3 Sotogrande Gold Cup, 5 British Open, and 5 Queens Cup.

Pieres was presented with the winner’s trophy at the Cartier Polo Cup 2019 by the Queen herself.

6. Hilario Ulloa

Hilario Ulloa was the son of a world-famous horse trainer and breeder Carlos Polito Ulloa. His father’s passion seems to have worked its way into him, too, as his love for horses matched that of his father.

Hilario Ulloa at the East Coast Open.
Hilario Ulloa at the East Coast Open. (Source: Wikimedia)

The 10-goal player Hilario was an enormous enthusiast since childhood. His dream was to play in the Argentine Open. After playing polo for 10 years, he finally acquired his dream by playing in the Argentine Open in 2013.

Hilario became the East Coast Champion in 2016. This led him to be rated 10 goal handicap player.

5. Tommy Beresford

Polo seems to run in the Beresford family. Tommy Beresford’s father, Sir Charles Beresford, was a former Irish player, and his uncle Gabriel Donoso was known as the best Chilean polo player.

At the young age of 24, he is rated as a 7-handicap player.  

Playing side by side with Adolfo Cambiaso, Beresford was part of the winning quartet of RH Polo in 2013. Due to his excellent playstyle, he was named the MVP in the final.

The reason for his success can be clearly seen in his actions. Being an excellent player, he boosts his teammates’ morale and confidence, helping to improve their performances during the game. Due to this, everyone wants to play with him.

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4. Juan Martin Nero

Nero was a common household name for many polo enthusiasts. He was on the top Argentine Polo players list for the past decade.

Nero is a 41 year old athlete, rated as a 10-goal score handicap. He has won a total of 11 Argentine Open, 8 Hurlingham Open, and 8 Tortugas Open.

His victory while playing for La Dolfina in 2015 made them the only team to win the Triple Crown for 3 years.

Nero was crowned the winner of the 2018 Polo Challenge Silver and Gold Cup.

3. Pablo Mac Donough

Ranked 7th in 2019, Pablo Mac Donough is a well-known professional polo player with a 10-goal rating. He is among the many Argentine players who are ranked in the top 10 categories.

Pablo Mac Donough.
Pablo Mac Donough. (Source: Facebook)

The 40 year old wasn’t the only polo player in his family. His brother Matias Mc Donough and cousins Gonzalo and Facundo Pieres are also well-known top-rated polo players. He got the opportunity to even play alongside his brother Matias Mc Donough.

He has a record of winning 9 Argentine Open, 11 Tortugas Open, 9 Hurlingham Open, 2 Queen’s Cup, 1 British Open, and 1 C.V. Whitney Cup.

2. Mariano Aguerre

As a child, the 53 year old Mariano Aguerre had a dream of becoming a hall of fame athlete, one of the best.

In February of 2017, this dream turned into reality, as his name was placed in the Museum of Polo’s Hall of Fame in Lake Worth, Florida.

Aguerre has been playing for Greenwich Polo Club since 1987. In the same year Aguerre started his international career, he won the USPA Gold Cup, where he played for the White Birch.

Currently rated as a 9-goal player, he has won among the most prestigious tournaments multiple times.

Some of them are C.V. Whitney 6 times; the U.S. Opens twice. Mariano and his team have won more titles than any other U.S. professional polo team, making them among the most famous polo athlete in the sport.

1. Adolfo Cambiaso

If polo had a face, Adolfo Cambiaso would be the best representation of it. He needs no introduction, for he is the most famous polo athlete. Cambiaso is the Floyd Mayweather of polo, staying at the top for a quarter of a century.

The most famous polo athlete Adolfo Cambiaso was often called The Goat of polo.

In his triple crown victory in 2014, the proud Argentine said, ‘I’ve already made history, but I always want more glory. Always.

Adolfo Cambiaso at the Valiente club.
Adolfo Cambiaso at the Valiente club. (Source: Wikimedia)

As a child, he was a prodigy. At the age of 15, he achieved 6 goal handicap, an achievement not easy to achieve even for a grownup. Four years later, he got promoted to a 10-goal ranking. Now, he is among the most famous polo athletes in the world.

In 2000 he founded La Dolfina, which turned into a legendary team. With a record of winning 9 US Opens, 8 British Opens, Sotogrande Gold Cup, 17 Argentine Opens, 12 Hurlingham Opens, 9 Tortugas Opens, and many other international trophies, he still holds the number 1 position in the World Polo Tour ranking.

Conclusion

Here are a few honorable mentions: Pablo Pieres, Guillermo Caset Jr, Facundo Sola.

If you feel we missed a few, please feel free to leave a comment down below. I hope you all enjoyed our today’s list. See you at the next one!

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