Name: Felipe Viana
Age: 28 years old
United States-born, Uruguayan raised
Playing for Farmers & Merchants Bank Polo Team
When did you start playing polo?
Started playing polo at age 7 in Montevideo, Uruguay. No family members played the sport so I joined a local clinic/polo school.
What do you love most about the sport?
I love the whole package the sport sells. The horses and the athleticism. No other sport combines these two areas the way polo does, and this makes it special. It is a wild sport and profession to enroll in.
What’s the most challenging aspect of polo?
Traveling and inconsistency. Our life moves along with the sport and we accept it that way. Therefore our family becomes very involved into this lifestyle and life commitment. The inconsistency comes from our short-term contracts and rating modifications. Its hard to predict where we will be next.
Tell us about your horses (or your favorite horse)?
I enjoy my horses and I know all of them very well. Its hard to find a favorite one because they all have better days than others, and sometimes depending on the game we will be playing, we prefer a horse with certain characteristics over another.
Favorite post-match meal?
Don't have a favorite post-match meal. Sometimes I just need something sweet to recover energies.
What’s your favorite thing to do in Santa Barbara when you’re off duty?
Santa Barbara offers plenty of things to do. The beach, the town itself, hiking, etc. If we're adventurous, we'll always have fun stuff to do.
Where will polo take you next this year?
I’ll go to Boston MA next, and probably Argentina and Uruguay. Maybe some other place too, who knows!
Photo credit: David Lominska