Sunday, April 14, 2024

Faces: Jeff Hall

It makes sense that Jeff Hall would be riding by the time he was 3 years old. His father, John Hall, sounds like the kind of guy who could have starred in a modern-day “Lonesome Dove,” herding cattle on horseback from Mexico to Tucson, riding hard in rodeos. But John Hall also became a successful oilman, and he discovered polo early in his career—an influence that would later define his son’s life.

Today, Jeff Hall, 33, has a charmed life most would find beyond glamorous. He has homes in Santa Barbara and Houston, and a farm in Wellington. As brand ambassador for Piaget, he travels around the globe playing polo for a living. And he is at the top of his game. It’s an image that conjures up darkly handsome brooding polo stars with one name—like Nacho. Or Adolpho.

But Hall has two names—and both feet on the ground. There is no brooding here, no fashion modeling, just a guy from out West who is crazy about polo—and horses.

“I am passionate about it,” he says. “I live it every day. I wake up and it’s all I think about—it’s my whole life.”

Hall was entering polo tournaments when he was 7, and professional events at age 12. Today, he is one of a handful of seven-goal polo players (he is working on getting to 10) in the world, which has nothing to do with actual scoring and everything to do with ability. “There aren’t many players who get past four or five goals—it means you are an elite player,” he admits.

Hall says Wellington is action central when it comes to the sport. “Outside of Argentina the best polo that is played in the word is in South Florida,” he says. “They play 26-goal polo here—the highest polo played in the world is 22—except here, where it is 26, and in Argentina where it is 40.”

At the center of Hall’s private polo universe (next to his young family, wife Michelle and son Luke) is one other major factor: the horse. Hall says he’s always loved horses, and he has 75 to prove it—all breeding stock for the sport he loves. “You grow a bond with them out on the field,” he says. “You go out and run 40 mph and crash into people. They have to be very athletic, very quick and they are all different…”

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