Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Photo by Mrs. Longhorndave
We were walking around in Las Cañitas Saturday afternoon and stumbled upon our first Pato Argentina match.

Pato was declared by President Juan Perón in 1953 to be the national game of Argentina. It is an odd cross between Polo and Basketball. In fact, we thought it was a Polo match at first seeing how Polo is a big sport here and we were at the Polo fields.

Pato has its roots in the Estancias of early Argentina where Gauchos would fight over a basket containing a live duck (hence the name Pato). The first team to reach their own estancia's ranch house with the duck was declared the winner.

It was a very violent game in the early days and gauchos were often trampled under foot while fighting for the duck. If they weren't killed by the horses, they might fall victim during the knife fights that would break out afterwards.

According to the Wikipedia, the Roman Catholic Church banned to sport and refused burial to anyone who died playing it.

During the winning goal above, one of the blue team's players fell off the horse and was injured. You can see the horse falling in the bottom right.

Wow, a game on horseback like basketball with gunfights and knife fights aftwards. Sounds tailor made for Texas. How come a cool sport like this never took off given our cowboy culture?


Anonymous said...

I'm thinking of moving to BAs after finishing my Masters degree. I'm from NY and I lived in China and Vietnam for almost 3 years all together. How is the expat community in Argentina? The ones I met in Asia were rather arrogant and that really turned me off. Are the portenos friendly?

What made you decide to leave the States and move to Argentina?

Longhorn Dave said...


For the most part, the expat community here is very friendly and respectful of the Argentine people and culture.

The porteños I have meet have been very friendly. Even the taxi drivers.

As far as younger expats you'll find many here. Most just out of college are very outgoing and fun natured. I've meet only a slight few that were arrogant and those seemed like obnoxious trust fund baby types.

Many older expats run the full spectrum. However, those that are here not because they have to be, are great people and we have enjoyed meeting them.