Spotlight On Fernando Arata
Casa de Campo’s Polo & Equestrian Director
HOW DID YOUR CASA DE CAMPO STORY BEGIN?
My arrival at Casa de Campo came along with the Polo Challenge project in 2016, when there was a search for a multitask Polo director. Although I’m a lawyer by profession and polo player by choice, before arriving in the Dominican Republic, I had worked at the prestigious Embryo Center Los Pingos del Taita, had covered the Polo Argentino season as the narrator for ESPN, and had worked on my wife Martina Monteverde’s ‘ESPN POLO Show’. I believe it was not just my experience, but my passion for horses as well, that landed me the position of Director of the Equestrian Center.
YOU’VE WORKED WITH MANY CELEBRITIES AND POLO STARS OVER YOUR TIME HERE. ANY MEMORABLE MOMENTS TO SHARE?
I have had the pleasure of playing and hosting many of the best Polo players in the world such as Juan Martin Nero, David Stirling, Milo Fernandez Araujo, Lucas Monteverde and Ignacio Novillo Astrada, the elite of the elite of the world pole. We have even hosted the best player on the planet right here in our polo fields—Adolfo Cambiaso, who was amazed by the place, the courts and our people.
WHAT ARE GUESTS MOST SURPRISED BY WHEN THEY TAKE THEIR FIRST POLO LESSON? WHAT ABOUT WHEN THEY PLAY DONKEY POLO?
Many are surprised by the level of the facilities and the quality and variety of the horses, as well as the rich history of the sport here. Beginners often have this idea of Polo as a risky sport, but once they hit the ball and they start to gallop, feeling the adrenaline and passion that comes with this sport that was played by Kings, they never forget the experience.
While the Donkey Polo is not a true sport, it is a fantastic activity for family and friends. It is guaranteed fun, filled with lots of pure laughter.
WHAT IS THE MOST REWARDING THING ABOUT YOUR ROLE AS EQUESTRIAN & POLO DIRECTOR?
In the past three years, I am proud to have helped elevate Casa de Campo to the level of the best equestrian centers in the world. And what I’ve liked the most has been sending Petiseros (horse workers) to work in Europe and in the United States to the some of the biggest Polo organizations in the world.
HOW MANY HORSES ARE THERE IN THE CASA DE CAMPO STABLES? WHAT DO THEY ALL HAVE IN COMMON?
In the summer season, we have a total of almost 220 horses. They all are being taken care by a highly qualified staff and the facilities are the best equipped.