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.

Issue link: https://polo.epubxp.com/i/1005812

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Page 61 of 67

60 POLO P L A Y E R S E D I T I O N Y E S T E R Y E A R S INTERNATIONAL PROSPECTS A s the U.S. makes final prepa- rations to face a British squad for the Westchester Cup on British soil, 70 years ago the two countries were beginning to make preparations for the international matches to be played at Mead- ow Brook in 1939. By December, things were progressing at an accelerated pace: Candor compels the statement that, so far, American plans for defending the treasured Westchester Cup seem more realistic than the British preparations for lifting it. Indeed, the Americans have indi- cated—by a subtle hint—that their gallop- ing cousins need a bit of help. During the past month, the American defense committee—Robert E. Straw- bridge Jr., chairman; Thomas Hitchcock Jr., Devereux Milburn, C.V. Whitney and J.H. Whitney—invited 13 players to take part in trials for the team to be chosen. These 13 are the best players in the land today and, while the four tops are clearly indicated, there is no doubt but that every first-class player will have his chance. Every American player rate at 7 goals or more was invited to participate in the trial matches: Thomas Hitchcock Jr., Stewart Iglehart, Michael Phipps and Cecil Smith, all now rated at 10; Eric Ped- ley and Raymond Guest, each rated at 8; Elmer J. Boeseke Jr., G.H. Bostwick, Elbridge T. Gerry, Winston Guest and William Post II, rated at 7. In addition, C.V. Whitney, leader of the championship Old Westbury side, and Robert L. Gerry Jr., No. 2 of the Aknusti four that won the Monty Waterbury Cup, outstanding 6-goal players, were also asked to compete. Th 13 were asked to prepare their affairs, if possible, so that they could report on Long Island on May 1 for train- ing and trial matches. The British, meanwhile, though heav- en knows they will need all the strength they can muster, have not yet decided to invite their best players to try out for their team. That they ought to do so, was hint- ed in the new handicap list of the United States Polo Association. The new list, which rates all the players of the country with unfailing fairness and impartiality, advanced Capt C.T.I. Roark to 9, serving notice on one and all that Americans consider Pat Roark the best polo player England possesses. But Pat Roark, carried at the ridiculously low fig- ure of 6 on the English books, has not yet even been invited to try out. Nor, for that matter, has England's best No. 1—an Indian player named Raj Kumar Prithi Singh—been asked to com- pete for the English side. Nor Rao Raja Hanut Singh, the brilliant Indian No. 3 who was to appear against America in 1936 and only failed to represent Britain then because he injured his shoulder a few days before the London matches were to begin. The British announced some time ago that they expected to play a team some- thing like the following: either Hesketh H. Hughes or Robert Skene at No. 1, each rated at 7; Aidan Roark, brother of the famous Pat, a brilliant player just raised from 7 to 8 on our list, and No. 2; Gerald Balding, captain of the team, rat- ed at 10 in England but only 8 over here, at No. 3; Eric H. Tyrrell-Martin, a steady 8-goal defensive player, at back. This makes a 31-goal combination at best—one which could hardly win our Open Championship. Preparations begin for 1939 matches between Great Britain and the U.S. Capt. C.T.I. "Pat" Roark, the English star, was raised to 9 in America in 1938. He was only 6 in England and apparently was not asked to play for the British side. Michael G. Phipps, brilliant young American polo player, reached 10 goals in 1938. The Americans invited all players 7 goals or higher to try out. The top 13 were asked to train.

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