Every polo field is different and has its quirks. There are several factors which must be taken into account during the design and planning of a polo field. This includes the location of the field, watering and drainage systems, type of ground and ground movements. Alejandro Battro, founder of Battro Polo Fields, explains the typical process for building a polo field, “The first thing to clarify is what kind of polo matches will be played on the field. Are low or high goal tournaments planned? How many chukkas per year will be played? How often do tournaments take place? Questions such as these determine the type of field. Other related issues must then be discussed, such as the budget available and expected level of usage. A project plan is then created on the back of this. This plan is the key to success in building a high-quality polo field. The biggest mistake, and the one that is most often made, is underestimating the building process and not leaving enough room for manoeuvre.” The planning process can take two months or more. The complex building process then usually takes another two months but it may take longer.
Creating a match-ready polo field from a simple plot of land also involves taking several other factors into consideration. According to Battro, the most important aspects are the surface and choosing the right type of grass, tailoring them to respective location and level of expected usage. Battro states, “the greatest challenge is making sure that a good surface can be achieved using materials from the local area. Safety is the highest priority. Polo players must be able to concentrate on the match and be sure that they are playing on a level and predictable field.”
A good polo field is much more than this, however: it must be able to withstand a great deal of wear and tear, be able to regenerate itself quickly following chukkas and dry out quickly following rain or watering. The original surface of a future polo field is not as important, “Regardless of whether the weather is tropical or cold or the ground has a surface of snow, sand or rock, whether it is boggy or desert-like, at a high altitude or at sea level – our aim is always the same: to build a high-quality polo field. We have built polo fields under the most varied of conditions and to various requirements. The most important prerequisite for success is the willingness to work in harmony with the respective environment and conditions.
More than 35 years of experience in polo field construction serves the agricultural engineers from Battro Polo Fields well. Theory is only a small part of the work for those who construct polo fields for a living. What really counts is a comprehensive knowledge of the sport, awareness of how the surface and grass will react, as well as a good feel for the best way to maintain a particular field. “Over the past 35 years, we have seen and analysed hundreds and thousands of the most varied chukkas played under a wide range of conditions. This forms the basis of our experience – and is something which cannot be found in any textbook in the world.“
Years of experience, a good understanding of people, open-mindedness, numerous hours spent analysing as a spectator and, above all, a passion for the polo field is the secret of the global success of Battro Polo Fields. Alejandro Battro is keen to point out a particular aspect of his work that seems astonishingly obvious but is often forgotten, “A polo field is a polo field. It’s not a soccer field or a golf course or a course track, not even a garden. It must therefore be designed, planned, built and maintained with polo in mind.”
Founded by Alejandro Battro, one of the best-known and most renowned polo designers in the world, Battro Polo Fields has specialised in the construction and maintenance of grass sport pitches (golf, football, rugby, hockey and polo) for the past 35 years. Providing advice on the construction of polo fields and building them has always been a particular focus of the company. The experienced agricultural engineers have now built more than 500 polo fields in over 27 countries. Every year, the seven-member team, which works from Argentina and has also an office in Brazil, builds around 30 new polo fields.
Battro Polo Fields has constructed fields for the best polo clubs, teams and players in the world. The list of customers reads like a who’s who of polo, including Ellerstina, La Dolfina, La Aguada, Chapa Uno, the Tortugas Country Club, the Hurlingham Club and the Jockey Club Argentino, as well as Sotogrande, Polo Club St. Tropez, La Lechuza in Palm Beach and many more. The “Cathedral of Polo” in Palermo was also designed by Battro Polo Fields. So which is the most beautiful polo stadium in the world? Alejandro Battro considers the question, “That’s a really difficult question. It’s like asking a father which of his children is his favourite.”
More information about Battro Polo Fields can be found at www.battropolofields.com