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Rubén "Patito" Gracida

Column by Memo Gracida

We are so proud and excited to have the third member of the Gracida family, our dear cousin, “Ruby-Do”, being inducted into the Polo Hall of Fame. When we were young and starting to play polo in Mexico City, we never imagined that we would make it to the likes of all our childhood heroes in the sport.

I remember when I was eight-years-old and Ruben was 14, we played 2 on 2 indoor polo with twin brothers: Salvador and Antonio Solorzano. The chukkers were one hour long, and they occurred while our fathers played their games. It was so much fun, and while we endlessly competed, the four of us always left the arena as friends. We would meet our fathers and uncles back at the clubhouse, where we would sit and listen intently as they told stories of when they played against the legends in polo. These stories would provide dialog for the next day in the arena, where we would be shouting and attempting to emulate their heroic plays and goals.

“Cecil Smith hitting a penalty with ten seconds left on the clock to win the game,” Ruben would say as I teed up the ball.

“Michael Phipps running to goal as the best Number 1 in the world,” I would yell as Ruben rushed to goal.

“Harold ‘Chico’ Barry giving a hard bump,” Antonio would say as he crashed into me, attempting to steal the ball.

“Juan Carlos Harriott launching the ball forward to his Number 1,” I would say as I hit the ball forward to Ruben.

The commentary was endless. But the irony to all this is that while we were playing as kids in such a humble and modest polo environment, we never thought that one day we would reach the same level of greatness as these polo legends.

Ruben, you have had to work the hardest ad the longest to achieve this recognition, but my God, every sacrifice you have made and every obstacle you have faced has been well worth it. I have the honor to say that you were my first mentor, both on and off the field. You have taught me as much about polo as you have about life, and I am forever grateful. The trifecta of Gracida names in the Polo Hall of Fame is now complete, and I couldn’t be more proud of you for what you have contributed to our family name. Well done, Ruby-Do

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