International polo player, George Meyrick, who has a handicap of 6 in the UK and 6 in Argentina, shares his Pro Secrets with us during the Cartier Queen’s Cup tournament. George, who turned professional at the age of 18 after receiving early recognition during the HPA fast track scheme at the age of 15, is considered one of the best young Polo professionals around.
He has played with some of the world’s best players including playing alongside Adolfo Cambiaso for a two year period whilst representing Dubai in the British high goal, in which he won the Cartier Queen’s Cup. It was during this time that Cambiaso tipped George to become the first ever British 10 goal player. Currently George is the second most followed polo player online after Ralph Lauren model and professional polo player Nacho Figueras.
George, bad luck on Sunday, what did you make of the match?
Zacara are an extremely strong team and it was a tough match but I thought our team, The Fox & Hounds, fought hard but we wish Zacara all the best for the semis.
Who in your eyes is the team to beat ? Who are you expecting to see in the final this Sunday?
All the teams are incredibly strong this year. Zacara will be there I’m sure and if they win it will be satisfying to know we were knocked out by the winners! Talandracas played fantastically to beat Dubai Polo Team but UAE Polo and Enigma Polo are equally strong too. It will be exciting to watch.
What is it about the Cartier Queen’s Cup that makes it such a prestigious tournament?
It’s the first of the 2 high goal tournaments in England and I’m sure is one of the toughest tournaments to win. Guards Polo Club is one of the most prestigious clubs not only because of its surroundings but you play the final in front of the HM The Queen.
What or who inspires you within the equestrian world? Past and present.
It’s a boring and obvious one, but Adolfo Cambiaso. Even before I played with him, and more so afterwards. His riding skills combined with his stick work are unique.
Do you have a favourite equestrian possession?
Apart from my ponies obviously, it would be my polo boots
Is there an all time favourite polo match that you’ve been to? And why?
Not counting ones I’ve played in, the Argentine Open final of 2005 when La Dolfina won, I was 17 and helping with Lolo Castagnola’s ponies. Lolo went to 10 goals after that win. The atmosphere at Palermo and back at the stables afterwards was incredible.
Which country in your opinion does equestrian best? And why?
England by a long way mainly because of the relationship between the people and their horses. We humanise and care for the horses more than anywhere else I’ve been.
What would you like your legacy to be?
At 26 I’m not really thinking of a legacy, perhaps I’ll be able to answer that better in a decade or so…
What is the quality that you most like in a horse?
If you weren’t a professional polo player, what would you be doing?
Looking for a job probably…
What is the most valuable piece of advice you have been given? Who gave it to you?
Carlos Gracida. I was lucky enough to play with him. I was very nervous and he said to remember that the most important thing was to just enjoy it.
Tell us something about yourself that only you know?
Between my girlfriend, family and friends, I’d have to be a lot cleverer than I am to keep anything secret. So the answer must be that there isn’t anything.
Do you have a secret superstition before a match?
Not a superstition as I’ve tried plenty and haven’t found an effective one! I do spend a while cleaning my boots quietly as part of my pre match routine.
What are your top indispensable pieces of kit?
My English leather tack
English saddles (I’m launching my own saddle soon!)
Argentine Fagliano polo boots
My hat and of course I couldn’t play without my polo sticks.
I wouldn’t be match fit without the help of Matt Roberts, my trainer.
How does the UK and Argentine Handicap differ? Confirming you are still 6 goals in both locations?
Yes I’m 6 goals in Argentina too. Playing around the world, it obviously depends on the quality of horses you have or are given in each place as to how well you play, as they are such a vital part of one’s performance.
Is 10 goals your aim?
It has to be for everyone.
What, who, how did you get into polo?
Grandfather, Dad & the Pony Club
What would you say is the percentage of talent required for horse versus human player in polo?
It’s impossible to give a percentage as if one isn’t any good then it doesn’t matter how good the other is … it’s hopeless.
Where are you based most of the time?
In England for the season from May to September. The rest of the time out of my suitcase.
How big is your string of ponies?
15 playing, a small young horse programme and a handful of horses in Argentina.
Penalty Shoot Out…
Argentine Open or The Gold Cup? Argentine Open
Grass or Snow? Grass
Tea or G&T? Tea
Bay or grey? Bay
You can keep up to date with George this season by following him on Twitter @GeorgeMeyrick and on his Facebook page. All information regarding matches this week and the latest scores can be found here: Guards Polo Club : Cartier Queen’s Cup Tournament
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