PoloChannel Staff | 03/09/18

Regardless which team wins the Butler final this Sunday at International Polo Club
Palm Beach, both Valiente and Colorado will go from the awards ceremony into the
same parallel universe they encountered last Sunday. Back at the barn after the C.V.
Whitney final, the guys Valiente had just defeated were rolling into Jornayvaz
central. Since when does the losing team show up at the other side’s victory

When memories mean more than a trophy. The 2018 C.V. Whitney final was an
emotional touchstone for Adolfo Cambiaso and the Jornayvaz family. It marked the
sixth anniversary of three important firsts for them in 26-goal competition: the first
time Cambiaso played a final on a Jornayvaz team (Valiente II); the first time Bob
Jornayvaz and his son, Robert, took the field in the same final; and the first time Rob,
then a teenager, competed at the highest level of polo in the United States. (“We
threw him into the deep end of the pool,” recalled his dad.)


The 2012 C.V. Whitney Cup was the genesis of the personal and professional bond
that developed between Cambiaso and the Jornayvaz family. That year Cambiaso
was playing for Crab Orchard with Pelón Stirling, who was rated at 9T. Crab Orchard
owner George Rawlings had made it known that if Stirling was raised to 10 he would
drop Cambiaso. With Stirling scooping up win after win, the increase seemed

“So I stood at the ready,” said Jornayvaz, and in the middle of the 20-goal series it
happened. “True to his word, Rawlings let Adolfo go, and I went and picked him up.”

Thus began the partnership between Cambiaso and the Valiente organization. He
and Bob Jornayvaz have taken Valiente to the final or winners podium of more
major tournaments around the world than other teams. In their first season
together both Jornayvaz teams (Valiente and Valiente II) made it to the finals of the
2012 C.V. Whitney and Gold cups. Valiente won the C.V. Whitney with Bob
Jornayvaz, and Valiente II took the Gold Cup with Cambiaso. Things were looking
good for the U.S. Open that year until Cambiaso broke his hand in the Gold Cup. Ever
since then the Valiente organization has been a U.S. Open finalist, winning the title in
2015 and 2017. (Cambiaso played for Dubai, the winner in 2016, on a trade
arrangement with Jornayvaz.) Last year Valiente took the U.S. triple crown.

In their first C.V. Whitney with Cambiaso there were 13 teams, two of them
Jornayvaz entries (Valiente and Valiente II). “There was so much competition. It was
an incredible feat to get two teams into that final,” recalled Rob. “It was this year,
too. It’s never easy getting to these finals, even if you have Adolfo and Facundo
[Pieres]. It was just as special for us as a family this time as it was six years ago.”

This year, said Rob, “I went out there telling myself to enjoy the game. That’s
something you tell yourself before every single game, but this time we really did just
go out there and enjoy it. We played as hard as ever and we both wanted to win, but
for my dad and I it was a win either way. We knew all of us would be celebrating
together that night.” (Both 2018 finalists were Valiente in spirit, even if not in name.
Colorado is Rob’s newly formed team. Father and son decided it would be fun to
swap jerseys for the C.V. Whitney.)

“I’m happy for Rob and Bob to be in another final. To have two teams in the final
means that we created a great organization. I’m very proud about that,” said
Cambiaso at the asado.

The organization’s growth continues this year with Valiente’s newest addition, 10-
goaler Facundo Pieres, who won the 2018 C.V. Whitney with them. The asado must
have felt otherworldly for a guy who has spent 99.9 percent of his career in fierce
combat against Cambiaso and Valiente.

“Facundo got thrown in with the rivals and had some adjusting to do, but it didn’t
take long for him to feel part of the team and start having fun with us. That’s an
important part of our culture: to have solid people we enjoy being around,” said Bob

“He’s a great asset to us—an amazing player and such a gentleman. I’m so honored
to have the opportunity to play with Facundo, and I’m looking forward to seeing
what we can do together the rest of the season.”

Article by: Darlene Ricker

Photos: David Lominska