Incorporating Darmanin Stables and Darmanin Equine Consultants
Salvo Darmanin, International Polo Player, Horse Trainer, Jockey of Flat and Trotting races, Show Judge in Malta and Ireland, Starter and later Vice-Chairman of the Malta Racing Club (2 years), Riding School and Livery Stable Proprietor.
Salvo Darmanin was all of these people and much more, born in July 1940, in Hamrun, Malta, he was educated at a local primary school, where he won a scholarship to study at St Michaels College.
He was known to many as the 'Horsemaster of Malta", a natural horseman, with a talent for 'spotting' good horses, and fixing those with problems, together with a high level of integrity and moral principles, he soon built an excellent reputation.
The legacy he left behind both to his family and those whose lives he touched, is that of horses and achievement through hard work against the odds.
This is his story:
Salvo learnt to ride at a young age and at the age of 11 was racing in "go as you please" races with a pony called 'Giddy'. He won best jockey at the Rabat road races, and began riding in Flat Races on English Thoroughbreds Ti-Face and Fast Fox. At the age of 13 he came second in the Queen Elizabeth's Coronation Cup.
During 1956, he took up the game of polo quite by chance whilst training and exercising polo ponies for the army and Navy under the supervision of his late father Victor.
He trained a polo pony called "Desert Rat" which was later purchased by Lord Mountbatten of Burma - the first of many to be purchased, and consequently the start of a great friendship.
With Lord Mountbatten's encouragement, he took up the game more seriously, and was soon chosen by the late Capt. Tony Cassar to join the first Maltese polo team with the Galea brothers, Vince and Albert.
The team, known as "The Maltese Cats" soon became a legend, beating the "Services" at their own game, and winning the prestigious 'Cawnpore Cup' on 11 consecutive occasions.
Salvo Darmanin (left) with "Maltese Cats" team mates, Albert and Vince Galea and Capt. Tony Cassar.