POLO+10 spoke to Andrew Nulty (0), polo player at Santa María Polo Club, about the advantages of playing at Santa María and his career as a polo player.

POLO+10: Why do you play here at Santa María?
Nulty: The answer is quite obvious. They have an amazing club, the best fields in Europe and with the good weather it is a combination that makes this place so successful. But they also have many professionals, who not only give everything to the club, but the club gives back to them, an example of this is Nano Iturrioz, polo player and coach at Santa María. You can see how happy his clients are. At the end of the day polo is very competitive, but it is also about fun. So professionality, the weather, the sunshine, the fun: it’s a great combination.

POLO+10: Do you prefer high season here or low season?
Nulty: The nice thing about Santa María is: I prefer them all. In August we have the 22 goal tournament (Land Rover International Polo Tournament, editor’s note), some of the best teams in the world are coming, some of the best players from Pablo MacDonough to Adolfo Cambiaso, the Pieres brothers and many, many others. But off-season is also great, we can play polo here almost twelve months of the year. For me the finest part of the year, which everyone here plays, is in June: We have some great tournaments such as Conde de la Maza, the Andrés Parladé Memorial and the very famous restaurant tournament, La Quinta.

POLO+10: Which would you say are your biggest milestones in your polo career so far?
Nulty: I think breaking my hand in my first year, breaking my shoulder in my second year and continuing to play (laughs). I like the camaraderie of polo: four men or women, all young or old, together on a team. T-E-A-M stands for: Together Everybody Achieves More. And this is what we have done over the last four years here. We had great seasons whether we win or lose and we always have fun at Santa María.

POLO+10: We would like to know more about your background, how did you start in polo?
Nulty: There was a newspaper article about five years ago, and it advertised a ProAm tournament. I hadn’t ridden a horse since I was six years old, my hobbies were racing cars and motor bikes. I thought “This sounds good to me” and that is where I met all of people like Nano, Luciano Irazábal and Mario Gómez. I did the ProAm tournaments where you take six people who have never been on a horse or have no skills with horses. We learned to hit the ball, we learned to play the game and we learned the rules. We had a tournament here in the August of 2010, which was fantastic. And since then it is addictive. There are only two ways out of polo they say: death and bankruptcy. And I don’t want to do either for some time! (laughs)

POLO+10: Do you reside here?
Nulty: I come and stay in Spain for six months of the year and then I spend three months in Argentina.

POLO+10: What is the main difference between here and Argentina?
Nulty: Argentina truly is the home of polo. In Pilar Chico where I was the guest of Craven Giorgino McKinney, I was able to play a game there with three 10 goalers. I like both places. I did a lot of training in Argentina, but my heart is really here, my friends are here, the team is here and we had a great season last year. We won the Bronze Cup and the Silver Cup in the Low Goal section of the Land Rover International Polo Tournament, we only missed out on the Gold Cup.

POLO+10: Do you also keep your horses here at Santa María Polo Club?
Nulty: Yes, most players keep their horses here. It is nice and local. We have lots of different smaller clubs around this place and we work together with most of them. It’s polo, it’s a big family.

POLO+10: Do you feel your horses are well taken care of?
Nulty: The professional standards of delivery here, the quality of the food we give the horses: we really get a five star service. The better you look after the horse, the horse is going to be better for you.