Valiente player Santi Torres tells the story behind “Mini Watt,” a horse he took a chance on as a 4-year-old. The American Polo Horse Association selected her as Best Playing Pony of the 26-goal All-Star Challenge Draw in Wellington. The tournament opened the World Polo League’s 2019 Triple Crown of Polo.
I bought Mini Watt as a playing 4-year-old from Segundo Ortiz, an Argentine horse trainer who is based in Louisiana. I was on a road trip to Denver and stopped there to try some horses. When I got on Mini Watt, something about her stood out. I liked how she moved, and she was comfortable and had a pretty good mouth.
When you buy a young horse, you never know how it’s going to end up. You try not to rush them. You pick up with the training it’s had and just keep it going from there. You finish it and hope it comes out good. I’ve had Mini Watt five years now, and she’s coming 9. I was lucky—she came out pretty nice. She was BPP in her first tournament, the 2017 World Cup final.
I always look forward to playing her. I’m always confident on her. She’s strong and fast, so if I mess up I know I can get back to the play quickly, and in the middle of it I can sneak out and pass someone.
Mini Watt is like Claudia, another American Thoroughbred I bought from Segundo. Thoroughbreds are different from Argentine horses. They’re more sensitive and hotter. They’re bred to have a big engine to run races, so you have to be careful with them. They have attitudes, and they’re strong.
I always know I can make runs on Mini Watt. Her best quality is passing other horses. She loves it, and she’s always fast. She’s good laterally to the sides, too, and she stops, so she’s pretty complete.
Photography & Video: Horseplay Productions