By Sharon Robb
Sun-Sentinel, January 8, 1995

Carlos Gracida could ride a horse before he could walk. By age 10 he was playing polo and at 14 was entered in competitive tournaments.

In polo, it’s the norm, especially when you’re born into a polo-playing family.

“I will teach my children everything I know like my father taught me everything he knew about horses. From there, they can choose whatever they want to do,” Gracida said. “I chose polo because I loved it.”

Like his older brother, Memo, Gracida is one of the world’s best players rated 10 goals, the highest rating in the sport. The Mexican-born Gracidas are two of only 10 10-goal-rated players in the world. Memo has been 10 goals since 1980, Carlos since 1985.

“He opened every door for me there was to open,” Gracida said of Memo. “It was very easy to follow his steps and his knowledge.”

Carlos Gracida will also play at Royal Palm Polo with Wichita in the Sunshine League. He makes his season debut Wednesday at Royal Palm.

The Gracidas have played with or against each other since their teens.

“He is a very tough competitor,” Gracida said of his brother. “Once we get to the field, we forget that we are brothers. Off the field, we are very, very close. We talk about everything. There are no secrets. But, once we get to the field, it is different.

“I get mad at him the same way I would any player. He is so good you have to try harder to beat him.”

Carlos Gracida is coming off an impressive 1994 season. His teams advanced to 12 of 15 tournament finals and won nine of them, including the Argentine, British, and U.S. Opens, two of the sport’s biggest tournaments.

“A lot of times it was luck, winning by one goal in the last chukker,” Gracida said.

Gracida was leading scorer (121 goals) at Palm Beach Polo last year in six tournaments. Gracida and Les Lions won the 1994 Challenge Cup with a 10-9 victory over Calumet Farm in the final. Gracida had five goals. That began Gracida’s unprecedented run.