Polo Players Edition

AUG 2018

Polo Players' Edition is the official publication of the U.S. Polo Association. Dedicated to the sport of polo, it features player profiles, game strategy, horse care, playing tips, polo club news and tournament results.

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38 POLO P L A Y E R S E D I T I O N but knew him as a polo legend. He came up to her and encouraged her to keep doing what she was doing and suggested she go to the mainland to make a career of it. "I was just blown away. It was really powerful. It was really cool," she remembered. "Nobody had ever really told me that I could actually do that." Later, Lynwen Baldwin, who had been like an aunt to Tiamo, went to Palm Springs to work with polo horses. When she called, Tiamo asked her to find her a job. After a few months, Baldwin called to say George Dill was looking for a groom so Tiamo gave him a call. Dill offered her the job and told her to buy a plane ticket and he'd pay her back when she got to California. "I didn't know this guy and all I had was about $500. So I bought a ticket from Oahu to Palm Springs. I didn't have a suitcase so I packed all my clothes in a feed bag and duct taped it shut, then taped by mallets to the side of the bag and checked that," she explained. "I had one saddle so I carried it with me as my carry on." She spent all summer traveling with Dill and a bunch of horses all around the Northwest. "I had never been paid before for polo, so I thought this is great. I was on Cloud 9! Every weekend we went somewhere new. It was amazing. I got to meet all these people and I got to play all over the place—Canada, Washington, Oregon, Wyoming," Hudspeth recalled. "I have to thank George because he really gave me a lot of opportunities. I got to play in so many tournaments that I would have never gotten to play in. It was so fun and I made a lot of really good friends and so many good contacts there." They spent the next winter in Indio, California, and when Dill rented out horses for the Townsend Cup at Empire Polo Club, Hudspeth groomed for players like Tommy Biddle and Shane Rice. After meeting her, Biddle watched her play in a game that weekend. Later, he pushed to get her on Team USPA. "He was the reason I got on [Team USPA] because none of my family plays and no one knew who I was. I had never been to the East Coast," she explained. "Tommy really fought for me." That winter, she was offered a full-time position with Steven Armour in Texas, working under Cody Woodfin, starting colts under saddle. "That's when I learned the most about managing a barn, managing horses and it was the first time I got to work under someone. Cody is an amazing horseman and we got along so well," Hudspeth said. "Every summer we saddle broke 10 to 12 2-year-olds. So we had about 10 2-year-olds, 10 3-year-olds, 4- year-olds, 5-year-olds. We had so many horses, good horses. That's when I really started to figure it out and find my style. "I have to thank Cody so much because he taught me a lot. We were really similar and I was [training] in a similar way but he made it even better." In 2012, Hudspeth was chosen for Team USPA, which later gave her an opportunity to train in Sheridan, Wyoming, with some of America's best players, like Julio Arellano, Hector Galindo, Owen Rinehart and Charles Smith. "I took nine of Steven's horses and ended up selling three, including one to Hector." she said. They were the first horses she had ever sold. Hudspeth worked for Armour for four years when she was offered a job as head manager of a similar but smaller operation. Alston Beinhorn happened to be visiting Sheridan one summer and ran into Polo Development, LLC's then- executive director, Kris Bowman. "He was looking to get back into breeding and wanted someone to manage the whole operation. ... Kris gave him my number," recalled Hudspeth. "It was hard for me to leave [Steven's operation]. I was ... really attached to the horses. It Tiamo, right, on Bridget, in Texas. She won Best Playing Pony on the horse in the USPA Hall of Fame Challenge Cup at South Padre Island Polo Club. Pro Mason Wroe recently bought the horse. KAYLEE WROE

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