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Sylvester Stallone Says He Once Believed Playing Polo 'Was My Destiny': 'Life Had Other Plans'

The actor previously recounted in the 2023 documentary 'Sly' that he began pursuing acting after giving up a promising polo career

<p>Paul Harris/Getty </p> Sylvester Stallone on July 10, 1989

Paul Harris/Getty

Sylvester Stallone on July 10, 1989

Sylvester Stallone is throwing it back to his days playing polo.

The actor, 77, shared three photos of himself on horseback on Instagram Tuesday as he reflected on his love for the sport.

"Fun fact of the day: Stallone means Stallion in Italian. Funny but true - and for a good part of my life, I pursued my passion for polo, believing it was my destiny," he wrote in a caption.

One photo showed him playing the sport in Montecito, California, in 1989. Two other pictures Stallone shared feature him in what he has previously described as his final time playing polo. Entertainment Tonight and other outlets documented that match, which also took place in 1989, at the time.

"Life had other plans and sidelined my dreams. Yet, I refused to let that be the end of my journey," he added, noting that he threw himself into his writing and acting career after giving up on playing polo in his youth.

"When one door closed, another opened — only this time, it was one of creativity and resilience. I embraced writing and acting with fervor, shaping a path I never imagined," Stallone wrote. "So, when life knocks you down, remember: Get back on your horse. Keep punching."

Related: Sylvester Stallone and Wife Jennifer Flavin Channel 'Miami Vice' in Stylish Throwback 1991 Photos

<p>Paul Harris/Getty </p> Sylvester Stallone on July 10, 1989

Paul Harris/Getty

Sylvester Stallone on July 10, 1989

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Stallone previously reflected on his experiences with polo in last year's Netflix documentary Sly, in which he recounted abuse from his father Frank Stallone Sr., who died in 2011. Stallone said he was nationally ranked in polo by age 13 but fell out of love with the sport in part due to his father's behavior during matches.

In one instance, as the Rocky star recalled in the documentary, Frank Sr. "comes out of the stands, grabs me by the throat, throws me on the ground, takes the horse, and walks off the field," during a match after yelling at his son from the stands.

“I laid there and I went, ‘I never want to see a horse again in my whole life,' " Sylvester said.

Related: Sylvester Stallone Says Ryan Gosling Can Take Over Rambo Role One Day: 'He Loves the Character'

<p>Ryan Emberley/Getty</p> Sylvester Stallone on Sept. 16, 2023

Ryan Emberley/Getty

Sylvester Stallone on Sept. 16, 2023

Sylvester's brother Frank Jr. recounted in that documentary that he believed Sylvester could have played at the highest level of polo “if it wasn’t for my father browbeating him."

Sylvester said in Sly that he picked polo back up around age 40, after his Hollywood career took off. He organized the 1989 match he once described on Instagram as his final polo match in order to play against his father, who he said behaved violently toward him on the field during that match too.

“I never played polo again from that moment on," he recalled at the time. "I sold everything, I sold every horse, the ranch, the truck, and that was the end.”

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