The ambassador, who presented his credentials in Hungary last October, said that in a meeting with Budapest Mayor István Tarlós he had listed 20 items in common between Budapest and the capital of Argentina, Buenos Aires, and one of these was equestrian sports.

He said Hungary is not a polo country yet but it is an equestrian country. Gregorio-Cernadas admitted that when invited to visit the Magyar Polo Club at Tabajd on his first weekend in Hungary last autumn, his expectations had not been high, but instead he had found an impressive respect for horses.

The ambassador’s doubts were perhaps understandable: his country supplies the vast majority of the world’s top-ranked players.

The event in the Argentina Embassy and Residence, which have newly moved from District II to the Tildy Palace, at 96 Andrássy, was also a forerunner to the 2017 Audi Diplomats International Polo Cup at Tabajd, Hungary, on May 26-28.

Magyar Polo Club is Hungary's biggest polo club and dates to 1896 when the first known polo match in Budapest was organised by Count Géza Andrássy.

The 2017 season opened with a tournament on April 23. Coming up are the Summer Cup International at the end of June, the Count Andrássy Challenge Cup in August and the Count Batthyány Cup in September.

Polo is considered an elite sport, and some rather costly gear was on display at the embassy. A polo shirt begins at HUF 50,000 and the trousers are about HUF 74,000. Then you need boots, a safety helmet and a long mallet for thumping the ball. Oh, and it helps to have a horse or two, too.


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