The Helvetia Polo Country Club is the epicentre of polo in Brazil.
Founded in 1975 by Giorgio Moroni, the Club inaugurated its new headquarters in 2014 in the city of Indaiatuba, near the Viracopos International Airport and less than 100 km from the capital São Paulo. Moroni’s idea in the 1970s had been to create a facility with both polo fields and condominiums. Two polo fields and a clubhouse formed the infrastructure of the Helvetia Polo Club in the late 1970s.
In search of support and assistance, Giorgio Moroni invited friends and acquaintances who already had experience in mana-
ging pole clubs to help him. Didi and Mauro Souza Aranha, Sylvio de Andrade Coutinho, José Luiz Herreros and Ronald Scott, José
Carlos Kalil, Luizinho Matarazzo, Antônio Moroni and PG Meirelles began to contribute to the development of the club. Today, the Helvetia Polo Country Club is Brazil’s most important polo club with ten of its own fields and around 20 private courts, making it a reference region for the sport of polo and home to the country’s most traditional polo tournaments with more than 200 players and 3,000 horses each year.
In addition to the major tournaments and regular club activities, the Helvetia Polo Country Club offers its members a polo school where children and adult beginners have the opportunity to learn how to play polo.
POLO+10 Interview with Antonio Giorgio Moroni,
grandson of club founder Giorgio Moroni:
Photo: Robson Senne
Can you please give us an overview about the history and development of the Helvetia Polo Country Club?
The club was founded in 1975 by my grandfather Giorgio Moroni with the purpose of gathering polo fields together with a condominium of houses. The club started with only two fields and few partners. Today it has 10 own fields and more than 200 members. Currently the club is the main center of the sport in the country, hosting more than 20 tournaments per year, among them the Brazilian Polo Championship and the Triple Crown of Brazil. Besides all the polo fields and structure, the club has a tennis and beach tennis court, a soccer field, a polo academy, a restaurant, one bar and a playground.
Which are the major tournaments at the Helvetia Polo Club?
The main Helvetia Polo tournaments in the first part of the season are the Brazilian Triple Crown, which consists of the Giorgio Moroni Cup (4, 12 and 20 goals), the Helvetia Open (4, 12 and 20 goals) and the State of São Paulo Open (4, 12 and 24 goals). In the second part oft he season the Brazilian Polo Championship are played – also in three modes: 4, 8 and 16 goals.
How many horses and active players has the HPCC?
The club already welcomed until August 2019 around 200 players taking part in the tournaments. They already played more than 1,500 horses in the club this year. In whole Brazil there are arond 500 players.
How much is a polo lesson and how many different polo classes are you offering?
The polo lessons take place here in the club and cost around USD 100 per class. Usually two to three lessons per week are offered. In the beginning, the coach works on the relationship between horse and rider. After that he begins with the stick & ball training on our wooden horse. Then the players get on the horse and into the saddle. The club coach is called Gilberto “Pateta” Rodrigues. He is an experienced teacher and a former 5-goal-player.
How many chukkers are played at the club per year?
Matches are usually held in 6 chukkers (2 goals tournaments are played in 4 chukkers and 4 goals tournaments in 5). In 2018 Helvetia hosted a total of 24 tournaments and 308 games. And also a lot of practices matches.
How many polo fields and stables do you have at Helvetia Polo Country Club?
Helvetia has 10 fields, 2 in its main social clubhouse and another 8 in a place called Helvetia Village. In addition, Indaiatuba, the city where the club is located, has more than 25 private fields. The club has 104 stables that can be rented by the players per day, month or season. The monthly price is approximately USD 65 (just for the space, the player must have his own groom). Most of the players have their own stables, some with attached fields – and some of them also rent some stables.
What are your aims for the club in the near future?
It is important to maintain and try to be continuously improving the quality of our fields and tournaments in order to always be the reference and the center of polo in Brazil. And of course to attract the best players of Brazil and from all over the World. We also want to gain more players for our sport and improve our polo classes. We are also investing in the club and social infrastructure to be attractive for the polo player’s families and polo fans.
Is there a major difference between polo in Brazil and in other countries?
One of the main differences of polo in Brazil is, that unlike to some of other polo places, especially regarding Europe, we play polo throughout the year. The Helvetia Polo season runs from March to October and we still have competitions in the south of the country between November and February. Also comparing to Europe, the polo here is easier to access and cheaper to play. Another important point is that we have a lot of good amateur and professional Brazilian players playing here. This year, as an example, we held a tournament of 20 handicap goals, the Giorgio Moroni Cup, with a total of 10 teams and only two foreign players. This shows the strength and quality of our players.
© Thomas Wirth