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Robert Strom
Robert StromRobert Strom

Robert Strom

"Bagatelle is like a mini Palermo in France"

April 27, 2017
April 27, 2017
The Parisian season kicked off last weekend with the Coupe des Potrillos, which was claimed by Kazak polo team. The prestigious French Triple Crown is due to start this Saturday; the series begins with the Tournoi de Printemps at the beautiful Bagatelle Polo Club. In the run up to the tournament Robert Strom spoke to PoloLine about Sainte Mesme’s 2017 objectives. The Frenchman also talked about his experience playing the Copa República Argentina. 

On playing the Parisian season: "Playing the Republica is the best way to prepare for the season. It was the best thing I could do. I played some fun tournaments in the snow before travelling to Argentina, which we were able to win. I started organising practices in Sainte Mesme as soon as I arrived in Paris. The horses had already started exercising and last week we started with polo."

On playing the season with his father, Birger: "I am lucky to be able to play with him. It is a lot of fun for me. I also enjoy playing with my cousin Alexis, who plays very well. My father and I have been playing together for a while; we are a duo. This year we will play with 3-goaler Gonchi Bernal in the 10-goal. It is quite a well rounded team and we get on great, so it could work out well."

On his decision to play the Copa República Argentina and other tournaments during the Argentine Autumn Season: "I have played the Argentine autumn season several times, but I could never make the dates work to play the República or any AAP tournament. I have played the Palermo Polo Tour and the La Dolfina Polo Tour and we went well. I knew the AAP tournaments were fun because it is four man polo, and you always come up against teams with four great players. The games are open and the fields are good. The República is 0-40 goals, which makes it very special. There is nothing like it in Europe. It is good to play as it helps you improve your level."

On what he gets out of playing in Argentina: "I always try to play the highest level of polo I can when I come over. In the spring season we play the 22-goal Copa América at Alegría, which is always good. We don’t have that level in France. I always try to travel over and improve by playing good polo. It helps me be quicker off the mark. I feel more comfortable when I return to Europe; I learn a lot every time I come."

On playing in Bagatelle: "I have been playing in Bagatelle since the age of 14. The club is special and it is always fun to play there. It is like a mini Palermo in France; the field is in the center of Paris and is easy to get to. Playing a final there is very exciting. The club has a lot of history; it is one of the oldest in Europe. The polo there is always competitive and a lot of fun to play."

On the tournament to be held at Sainte Mesme in July: "The objective is to play 6-10 goal polo and award goals on handicap, because in July some teams want to play a lower level, while others want to play more than 10-goals. We want to organise a fun tournament with friends in Sainte Mesme. It is a beautiful place and we are planning to host asados and parties. France is a bit empty in July because everyone heads to Deauville or St. Tropez in August. There is a lot of competitive polo in May and June in Paris and Chantilly, so many people take July off to prepare the horses for August."

On Sainte Mesme’s plans after playing in Paris: "We are going to go to Sotogrande for a seventh year and play the 14-goal tournaments. We go the whole of August and play three tournaments. The polo is great in Soto, similar to polo in Argentina, and we play on good fields. There are many good, competitive teams, and the season helps me improve a lot. We won the Gold Cup two years ago. I think we have a good team this year; I am going to play with my father Birger, Corchito Zavaleta, and Tuki Ruiz Guiñazú. It’s going to be fun!"

On his objectives in polo: "I have always wanted to play the Cámara. I don’t know if I could win it, just playing would be amazing. I have to continue improving and travelling to Argentina to play as much high level polo as possible. I am improving my string in Argentina; I have a few new horses which will hopefully be good to play in a couple of years. My current aim is to play the Cámara, hopefully with Corchito, who has already won the tournament twice."