At PoloHUB we talked to Guillermo Cuitiño about the progress of a season that in the last 15 years had a very important growth: “Day by day organizations continue to improve the level,” said the Manager of Habtoor Polo.
How do you prepare to receive next season’s teams?
Speaking of the Dubai season, which comes in an incredible process of evolution. I think it’s been 15 years since the World Cup Series started polo there and the truth is that it was a success. Many teams, many players, high-level players, high-handicap. So we are very happy.
The season starts in October until the end of April, early May. The strongest months are January, February and March, which are the three high-handicap tournaments that play 20 goals.
The teams come well, on our side we repeat the formation of Habtoor, with Bauti Bayugar and with Juancito Jauretche. And now we incorporate the 5 goals that is Jote Araya, last year we played with Matt Perry, a very good English player, who raised him to 6 goals. But keeping the training a little, 2 years ago since we are in the final or 3, and trying to see if we can win it this year. And it’s given to us!!
How do the teams arrive for the season?
The teams come in well, there is a very good level of competence. It has evolved a lot with the horses, with the courts, with the players. All teams today have possibilities. There are teams that are a little more cutting-edge, high-edge I mean teams that have organizations in England, in Europe, in Argentina such as UAE, for example, that you have to put yourself at the level of them to be able to compete. So, that’s what raises the level of competition much more.
I think all the teams that are there today are aiming for that. To better organizations, to better horses, better players. I am referring to players with more handicap, higher level. That’s why today we are playing 20 goals and I think everyone with the same expectations, waiting for the Gold Cup, as one of the most important high-handicap tournaments for me.
How do you see the evolution of the Polo in Dubai in recent years?
I think that evolution is a tournament that is already turning 15 years old, and we started playing 12 goals, from there we jumped to 14. Always with many teams, with many new patterns, many patterns and local teams.
Local teams, I mean that the bosses are local. The evolution it has had was incredible. We started, as I said, 15 years ago playing 12 goals, today we are playing a level of 20 goals, with levels of players and horses.
The truth is that it takes years to achieve that evolution. I have seen what has happened in Palmicho, what has happened in England or Spain, they have an enormous antiquity to achieve what they have achieved.
Here in Dubai I think that in a very few years, I think it is the 15th championship of the World Cup Series, there is an incredible level. It seems to me that the evolution was surprising, perhaps much more than we expected.
The people of polo, see what happened in Dubai in 10 years, I repeat, the level of horses, the level of players, the level of courts, the enthusiasm, the number of boys who play polo again, is very good. We also have a female pole that is advancing a lot. What is the club where we are, which is the Habtoor Polo Resort, every year we have more members, more practices, more attendance, as I told you, of the boys of the women’s polo, we have an academic polo that works very well. It seems to me that it is advancing at an unexpected speed, at least for me, so I am quite happy with the results of recent years.