By Aulia R. Sungkar. Published in Polo Indonesia Magazine, first edition 2013.
Indonesia’s only polo club has set the pace for nurturing and developing talents and enthusiasts from across the archipelago.
Nusantara Polo Club was built with the enthusiasm that breathes the spirit to drive Indonesian athletes to compete at the international arena.
Aside from accommodating the national athletes with housing and regular trainings, the club also attracts other polo and equestrian enthusiasts from all levels of competence to hone their polo skills, as well as those who just enjoy watching the sport in a laid-back, friendly and green atmosphere.
Located on the premises of Jagorawi Golf and Country Club, a 30-minute drive from Jakarta’s central business district takes us to the beautifully green landscape with an art-deco interior designed club house facing the polo practice field.
Sipping a cup of coffee in the crispy morning at the open-air club house while watching our national athletes practice polo truly puts us in a jovial mood. The rhythmic percussions of hoof beats and polo mallet swinging echo the team’s spirit and confidence to take Indonesian polo to the next level.
As polo is the sport where horses play a crucial role in the game, the bond of these animals with the riders is of great importance. It should n
ot come as a surprise, therefore, that the athletes have built some types of relationship with horses as an inseparable element of their daily routine.
Just behind the club house, there are rooms where the national athletes stay. The location of the rooms, which directly face the stable, is designed with a reason.
While visiting their rooms, we speak with three of the athletes, Billy Barsel Lumintang, Acep Krisnandar and Glendy Martilas Buyung (Glen) – all have joined the national team since before the establishment of the club in 2007.
“Polo is the sport that requires a rider to communicate with his or her horse and other riders in the team. It’s not easy to train a horse to communicate with its rider. Having us the team live adjacent to the stables create a special bond that helps us build a better relationship with the horses,” Billy says.
Currently, the club’s stables house over 70 horses from various breeds, such as Argentinean and Australian thoroughbreds. “These types of horse may not suitable for horse racing, but perfect for polo. You don’t want to ride a horse that runs too fast in this game, as you have to focus on hitting the ball while controlling the movement of the horse,” Acep explains.
Adding to Acep’s explanation on the importance part of focusing on hitting the ball, Glen shows us ‘stick and ball’ practice ground area. “It’s one great mallet hitting practice. I especially like doing the practice in the morning after a coffee time.”
The Argentinean Nicolas Curto (Nico), who is in charge of managing and training the national team, expresses his delight about the presence of Nusantara Polo Club, which is according to him very conducive to an international polo environment. “The club’s beautifully green scenery, great horses, talented athletes and training facilities make up a great life here. Not to mention the presence of the club’s members and non-members who regularly attend the practice and tournaments. It’s truly our home. It’s the home to Indonesian polo.”