The world’s top ranked polo player bids an emotional farewell to the mare that helped build his career.
Cambiaso had many horses that helped him rise to the top of his sport, but it was Dolfina Cuartetera that he credits as “the best ever.”
Born from the Pieres’ mare, Lambada, and the stallion, Sportivo, Cambiaso had modest expectations for the chestnut foal born on February 3, 2001, at his ranch in the town of Washington, located in the Córdoba Province of Argentina.
But later, Cambiaso would describe her as “one in a billion,” to Global Polo.
At three, Cuartetera was sent to trusted trainer, Carlos Polito Ulloa, who remarked the entire group she came with was very good, but Cuartetera “already stood out.”
She was described as “a machine” even then. Machines, in polo, are horses that never quit.
When Cambiaso stepped into the irons, he couldn’t believe her power, stamina, and willingness. But it was her ability to read the game, even at four years old, that truly set her apart. A few years later, when Cambiaso began campaigning her at the highest levels of polo, she won everything.
She helped win the Lady Susan Townley Cup in 2009, 2010, and 2014. Was named the Best Polo Argentino Bred at the final of the Argentine Open in 2006, 2009, and 2012. Was awarded the Best Polo Argentino Bred in the final at the Hurlingham Open in 2012. After retirement, in 2017, she was voted #1 in the Hall of Fame of Polo Argentino Bred by a panel of the highest-rated players in the world.
Ulloa remarked, “It wasn’t a year that she flew, instead campaigns. Years and years and that’s a mare, isn’t it?”
Cambiaso reiterated again and again that Cuartetera was the best mare he ever played. A belief that led him to clone her. CBSNews reported in 2018, Cambiaso had created “more than 100 clones,” mostly from Cuartetera and a stallion, Aiken Cura.
Cambiaso has said all the Cuarteteras inherited the original’s calm personality and intense athleticism. There are small differences, such as their white markings, and Cambiaso also noted, “There is some that are a little bigger. Some eat more, some eat less. Or they move a little bit different. But the mind are really similar. The good thing about it, they are machines, all of them.”
The original Cuartetera passed away on May 4 at Cambiaso’s ranch, very near where she was born 22 years earlier.
Cambiaso told Pololine: “It is a very sad moment indeed, very painful for me, poor thing. She was a total genius; she was Messi, Maradona, what can I tell you?”
He marked the passing on his Instagram by saying, “Simply thank you.”
He also wrote, “03/02/2001 – ∞,” noting the original Cuartetera’s birth date and the symbol for infinity.
Rest in peace, La Cuartetera.
Amanda Uechi Ronan is an author, equestrian and wannabe race car driver. Follow her on Instagram @uechironan.