The World Polo League recently announced that Gaston Dorignac has accepted the position of head umpire, beginning with the 2021 Florida season.
Dorignac, who lives in Madrid, is president of the Spanish Polo Referees Association, holds a category A designation from the Asociación Argentina de Polo and is qualified to officiate at a maximum handicap level of 40 goals.
A native of Argentina, Dorignac comes from a family with a rich polo tradition, being the son of legendary 10-goaler and Argentine Open winner Gaston Dorignac. Prior to becoming an umpire, he played polo professionally for 20 years, reaching a handicap of 6 goals.
Dorignac’s umpiring began in 1996, officiating at up to 28 goals, and by 1999 he was umpiring in Argentina’s Triple Crown of Polo at Tortugas, Hurlingham and Palermo. By the end of 1999, he had officiated at seven of the eight games played in the Argentine Open in Palermo, including the final. Today, he has umpired more than 20 finals in the Triple Crown, including six in Palermo, as well as eight King’s Cup finals in Madrid, eight finals in the Puerta de Hierro, five Sotogrande Gold Cups and numerous international tournaments.
“We are thrilled to have an umpire of Gaston’s standing joining us as head umpire for the World Polo League,” World Polo League founder Melissa Ganzi said. “Our aim is to offer the very best in high-goal polo outside of Argentina, and Gaston brings tremendous experience to the table. With his involvement, we can continue to enhance an already incredible level of play in the league.”
Dorignac said that he is excited to serve as umpire at WPL’s upcoming season in Florida.
“After Argentina, the WPL offers the highest handicap matches in the world,” he said. “Play at the 26-goal handicap is very challenging, and if you take into account players like Cambiaso, Nero, McDonough, Andrade, Ulloa and the Castognola brothers, we’re talking about an epic level. This wouldn’t be possible without the organization and effort from the WPL, and I am very proud to be a part of this.”
Co-founded by Grand Champions and Aspen Valley Polo Club owner and president Melissa Ganzi and Valiente Polo Farm owner Bob Jornayvaz, the World Polo League is the only 26-goal polo in the world outside of Argentina.
For more information, and to watch the games, visit www.worldpolo.org for a complete library of WPL inaugural and second season games.