Freddie Mannix the second
highest-rated Canadian polo player in history
By Alex Webbe
Following the heroic effort of the Alegria polo team (Polito
Pieres, Hilario Ulloa, Lucas Monteverde and Freddie Mannix) in their loss to
Adolfo Cambiaso’s La Dolfina foursome (Adolfo Cambiaso, Pelon Stirling, Pablo
MacDonough and Sebastian Merlos-replacing the injured Juan Martin Nero) Freddie
Mannix saw his impressive 8-goal handicap elevated to nine, making him the
second-highest rated Canadian player in history.
His 34-goal Alegria polo team played La Dolfina goal for
goal through much of the first six chukkers of play in the Argentine Open
finals before falling 16-11 to the veteran lineup.
“We had a good game plan and got some inspiring speeches
from our captain (Lucas Monteverde) and coach (Clemente Zavaleta), and we
studied the films before the Ellerstina game (a 19-15 upset) and the final with
Alegria played La Dolfina, the 2013 winners of the Tortugas
Open and the Hurlingham Open, to an 8-8 tie at the end of the first half and trailed
by only two goals after six periods.
“We got behind by a couple of goals late in the game and
took some chances that didn’t work out for us,” said Mannix. “I was proud of the team and the effort that
we put forth,” he added.
The efforts of the Alegria team didn’t go unnoticed by the
Argentine Polo Association, and following their performance in the finals both
Mannix and teammate Polito Pieres had their handicaps raised to 9-goals.
When asked about the discrepancy between his 6-goal handicap
in the United States (Mannix had been rated at 7-goals) and his 9-goal rating
in Argentine he said that they were different levels of polo and had separate associations
to rate the players.
“I don’t pay much attention to individual handicaps,” he
said. “I’m more concerned with the individual
efforts of the players and the teamwork.”
Mannix was busy getting his horses in shape for the winter
season at the International Polo Club in Wellington where he will compete with
Melissa Ganzi, Miguel Novillo Astrada and Juan Bollini on the Flight
Options/Alegria roster in 20-goal competition.
When asked if he would be playing at the 26-goal level this
winter season he replied that he couldn’t get on a team that he thought had a
chance of winning and would pass on it this year.
Canadian polo dates back to the year 1878 and boasts their
very own 10-goal player in Lewis Lacey, but Lacey did most of his playing in
Argentina. Mannix was groomed in Canada
and hones his skills at the Eldorado Polo Club in Palm Springs, California and
Wellington, Florida before establishing a base in Argentina. A promising young player with unlimited
potential, you can expect to see a competitive Alegria team back on the fields
of Buenos Aires again in 2014.