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  • Adam Ragsdale

The Beginning Chapters of Chris’ Polo Legacy

Updated: Jun 19, 2023

Before Chris Dawson made his mark on Hawaii polo, the landscape of the sport was not what you see today. The owner and visionary had a huge impact on the development of polo in his homeland, and he now uses the sport to help native communities.

One giant step in Chris’ early legacy was meeting Adolfo Cambiaso, known as the best player in history. The entrepreneur met Adolfo through Bob Jornayvaz, a famous American patron who built the Valiente team. Later on, Chris went to Bob's manager Robertito, asking if they'd organize Chris' operation in Hawaii. After discussing it, Bob and Robertito said yes.

Through these amazing influences, Chris learned how much work is required behind the scenes. He also discovered the military-style precision which it entails, and all the moving parts. Now, Chris has a mantra for how he operates the teams: You must win in the barn, before you win in the field.

Dawson also learned from the magnificence of Adolfo himself, including the way he plays, thinks, organizes and breeds. Additionally, Chris credits Tatú Gomez Romero, who helped him develop his organization strategy, as well as an ability to enjoy the game.

Chris' journey to promote Hawaii in polo began while he was on the board of the United States Polo Association. After joining, Chris enquired about the health of polo clubs in Hawaii. He discovered that the majority of polo clubs either reached a plateau or were actually declining.

Dawson also uncovered the history of polo in Hawaii, and how it links back to the last king, Kalākaua, in 1880. In the kingdom, that period was an incredible time for the sport. Hawaii began its polo journey seven years before the United States, and this legacy continues today, as Chris moves the needle forward with each passing season.


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