Some of the best polo players in the world are Argentinean, but Argentinean horse riders have an historic horseback game of their own - Pato, which is Spanish for duck.
GV Pan crowd in stadium
TV players arrive on pitch for game
LV Players 3 (Darkers shirts attacking left to right) scores
GV Crowd applaud
GV Pan stripped shirts pass as they attack up the field but miss score
GV Play in progress light shirts attack, skirmish then "ball" snatched by the darks who ride down field pass and score
GV Crowd applaud
Initials AE/1739 AE/17.56
SPORT - ARGENTINEAN RIDING GAME
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Background: Some of the best polo players in the world are Argentinean, but Argentinean horse riders have an historic horseback game of their own - Pato, which is Spanish for duck.
The game used to be played with a live duck placed in a bag with only its head showing. A horseman grabbed the duck and rode off. The other players charged after him and a free-for-all followed for possession of the duck. Sometimes players lost their lives in the disputes which followed. The games was first played last century by Indians on the vast pampas, and later by the gauchos, the cowboys of Argentina.
Now the game has set rules and the Pato players use a ball with a rope loops to hold on to instead of a duck.
There are more than 500 Pato players in the province of Buenos Aires alone.
On Sunday (August 5) a game of Pato was the climax of The Rural, the annual display of Argentina's agricultural and livestock wealth, in Buenos Aires.
Though on this occasion here was only three players on each side instead of four because it was being played in a much smaller arena than usual.
SYNOPSIS: In Buenos Aires on Sunday thousands turned out to watch a Pato match - Argentina's own game of horseback skill. Pato is Spanish for duck and originally a live duck was used, instead of today's ball with loops of rope attached.
Now the game is a civilised test of strength and horsemanship with rules and referees and goals.
But once Pato was a free for all end sometimes players lost their lives in disputes over the duck.
The game was first played by the Indians of the Pampas and later taken up by the Argentinean cowboys.
The duck was put in a bag with only its head showing. Then a horseman grabbed it and rode off, parade by riders trying to get possession of the duck. There were no real rules and the game ended when everyone was exhausted. The modern game of Pato is played by more than five hundred riders in the province of Buenos Aires alone. Sunday's match was part of Argentine's annual agricultural and livestock show. Each team had three instead of four riders because the stadium was too small for a fullsize match.