Gustavo Mejía, Manager Mandarina Polo & Equestrian Club
MANAGER, MANDARINA POLO & EQUESTRIAN CLUB
Gustavo Mejia manages the world-class Mandarina Polo & Equestrian Club, where guests and residents of all ages and abilities can gather to experience the highly specialised equestrian lifestyle, from learning and practicing riding to competing out on the field. In addition to the equestrian activities, Gustavo also managers the unique experiences offered at Mandarina, from hiking and biking trail riding to tennis, archery, ziplining and an adventurous jungle course for the whole family.
Growing up, Gustavo has always had a special place in his heart for horses, but it was not until he was six years old that he was invited by a friend to play polo for the first time. “I have always loved playing sports, but there was something different with polo aside from the adrenaline,” shares Gustavo Mejia, Manager, Mandarina Polo & Equestrian Club. “The connection you develop with the horse, and the way the players treat one another on the field, with the utmost respect and understanding of the courage and risk we all take when we get on the saddle is truly remarkable. Something about that unique combination has placed polo above all other sports for me and now I can’t envision my life without playing.”
What is special about the Mandarina Polo & Equestrian Club?
At Mandarina we are surrounded by nature in an amazing way that sets us apart from other clubs. The place itself has a magical atmosphere and then you add in the beautiful horses, the walks on the beach, a sunrise over the mountains that makes you feel like you are in a painting or a sunset accompanied by the sound of the waves, and you get a completely unique experience. As a club we have some of the best stalls, tack and equipment around, we have a roofed arena that allows us to play polo throughout the summer heat and rains, and we have excellent facilities to practice horse jumping, dressage and plenty of other styles of riding. Another huge plus for us is having Canalan Beach Club and, of course, One&Only Mandarina resort to host our players, their families and guests. Very few places in the world can offer the combination of a luxury hotel with an equestrian centre.
What is your favourite thing about your day-to-day job?
No day is like any other. Every day seems like an adventure in the wild. Some days the horses are the ones that require more of my attention, sometimes it’s the polo field, other days our experiences and activities, but no day is the same.
I’ve been fortunate to work in a place where people always have a smile in their eyes and are not only willing to help you but also looking forward to it. The group of people at Mandarina is a big part of why I love spending every moment I can here.
What are some of the unique experiences guests can enjoy?
We have a huge list of experience options, ranging from hikes to an ancient tree and meditation to mountain biking on a single track, archery, bicycle rides, tennis lessons, fishing trips, jungle zip lines and family horseback lessons. You can spend a week here and still have something new to try.
Do you have any favourite riding trails in the area?
My favourite is the polo field, it’s magic being on it, but as a trail goes, I love the ride down to the beach. We start by going around the tennis courts and pastures, then around the polo field and through the jungle, past our organic farm and into the jungle again, then a cross a wooden bridge and onto the beach you go. There is more than a mile of wave-lapped sand and it feels different every time you ride there.
For reservations or more information, please visit oneandonlyresorts.com