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 62 of 67

POLO P L A Y E R S E D I T I O N 61 Of these players, Balding is in India but Tyrell-Martin and the Roarks are in California, and the other members of the squad are waiting there. They will play a number of games this winter in various California centers, depending on finan- cial arrangements still to be completed, but most of their time will be spent preparing ponies for their June test. The British are bringing the incredible number of 90-odd ponies to the United States for these matches, according to pre- sent plans. Most of them will never, of course, see the international matches, but the job of weeding them out—and prepar- ing them for the auction block—will be exhausting just the same. The new handicap listings, which went into effect the middle of November, added Michael Phipps to the America trio already rated at 10, Hitchcock, Iglehart and Smith. Phipps, who thus reached the height at the age of 27 after a dozen or more years of playing polo, is the No. 1 of the Old Westbury team that has won our Open Championship tournament for the past two years. This makes possible an American 40- goal combination for the first time since 1925 when Watson Webb, Hitchcock, Mal- colm Stevenson and Devereux Milburn successfully defended the Westchester Cup against the British, beating them 16- 5 and 14-5. Among the others who were raised were Raymond Guest, back of the Aknusti team that finished the season in such a blaze of glory, he going back from 7 to 8; C.V. Whitney, captain and back of Old Westbury, who went from 5 to 6; William G. Reynolds, hard-hitting young players who also went from 5 to 6; Peter Perkins, son of the veteran California star, Arthur P. Perkins, who jumped from 3 to 5; Lewis Smith, the young Buffalo player, who made his debut in high-goal play with Aurora this year, from 4 to 5; Charley von Stade and Mott Woolley, two young Mead- ow Brook players, from 3 to 4. The international polo matches to be played at Meadow Brook next June can hardly provide much in the way of close competition, if present plans are carried out. The British will attempt to beat a 40- goal polo team, which is as strong as they can come, with one rated at 31. Based on these official American and British handicap figures, and similar rat- ings which have worked out time and time again with uncanny accuracy, the Ameri- cans would beat the British next June by about 9 goals a game—by scores of, let us say, 15-6 or 16-7—if not worse. Every polo player who has seen the members of the proposed teams knows this to be so. If it is true, that there won't be much in the way of polo in these matches for those who sincerely love the game, is it also true that they can serve no useful purpose—beyond of course, providing a social fiesta par excellence, paticularly if King George VI and his Queen happened to visit Long Island at the time? The answer is no. The games can do American polo and the American horse industry a great deal of good. Provided the American team plays American-bred horses and only American-bred horses. We challenge the American team to do so! Let us show that our horses rank with the best, just as our players do. Let us put an end to the cry that we lead the polo world because without money we deplete the stocks of rival nations. Let us demon- strate just exactly what our polo is, not merely the pastime of a few rich men but a national game drawing its strength from all sections of the land and, in turn, giving something back to those who contribute to its greatness. In the end, United States (Michael Phipps, Thomas Hitchcock Jr., Stewart Iglehart, Winston F.C. Guest) took the matches 11-7 and 9-4. The British squad was Bob Skene, Aidan Roark, Gerald Balding and Eric Tyrell-Martin. Mrs. Robert E. Strawbridge Jr. presents the International Polo Challenge Cup to the United States team of Stewart Iglehart, Michael Phipps, Winston Guest and Thomas Hitchcock Jr. With them is the Great Britain team of Gerald Balding, Aidan Roark, Robert Skene and Eric Tyrrell-Martin and Robert E. Strawbridge Jr., chairman of the United States Polo Association.

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