A woman with clear ideas
Here at CLICKPOLOUK we like to share stories. In a sport mostly dominated by men, we like to tell stories about women too. Farida Rosso Baldacchino's story and her bond with polo are a good example. "I don't come from a family of polo, but I have always loved being around horses. I've represented England, I've played and won mixed and women's tournaments of up to 18 goals in both the UK and Argentina. I've been lucky to travel to Germany, France, Ireland and Malta to play polo. Today, I am a horse breeder, and I still enjoy it a lot."
Farida talks about the technique that differentiates her from other breeders: "There are many methods to get to the same product. What I do is take the old-school training I was taught in Argentina, you don't need to re-invent the wheel. I apply modern veterinary techniques to help the horse reach their full potential, both physically and metabolically. Given how the English market is for horses, it's only worth it to sell ready-to-play horses.
"Everyone buys the leftover horses from racing because they are cheap and broken in, but that doesn't make sense to me. I breed polo horses, I don't go around finding leftovers from other sports. I'm passionate about polo horses and dedicated to them."
Farida Rosso Baldacchino: a woman with a clear mind.
"I had to keep myself strong to get to where I wanted to go"
"It is true that polo is a sexist sport, even though we've been better about it lately. When I got started working in Argentina, none of the grooms would talk to me other than to criticize me for the first two or three months. I had to keep myself strong to get to where I wanted to go. I remember that I didn't have a name, I was "The English Girl," until they realized I wasn't quitting."
Farida Rosso Baldacchino continues talking about her experience in a sport mostly played by men. "After that, things improved a lot, and I admit that I learned a lot from my Argentine teachers and trainers, and I am very thankful for what I have learned."
Today, she's renown for her work in breeding along with her husband José Luis Salas. "We've produced 18 horses that play at the highest level. Working together makes it better for me. We are a team, we are both focused in breeding polo horses. If we aren't working with them, we are talking about them, planning for the future, and trying to find ways to improve. We have the same spirit and work well together."
How to breed your horse
In the last few pages we have been talking about Farida Rosso Baldacchino's story, her passion for polo and love for horse breeding. However, there is something else: she has an embryo center called Benham Parj Stud
"We know that there is no way it'll be as good in England as it is in Argentina, and that the embryo business is a very private one. Those who do embryo transplants are patrons who have overseas players, or the players themselves. The numbers cannot be compared to those in Argentina. People here don't spend money in embryo transplants because they don't think it is necessary. And the sale for genes, outside of stallions, is almost non-existent."
It started almost a decade ago. "I started doing embryo transplants and natural breeding in 2010, and the first set of ponies were born in 2011. We invested a lot in the facilities, so we decided to work for others who didn't have or couldn't allow themselves to invest so much in the horses they were making. Ever since, we've done breeding services for Ellerston, Lovelocks Polo Stud, Emlor, Pablo MacDonough and Lucas Monteverde, among others."