Polo Players Edition

SEP 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/1016123

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Page 21 of 67

20 POLO P L A Y E R S E D I T I O N P OLO PLAYER CHRISTIAN WEISZ recently began his freshman year at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida. If that wasn't exciting enough, he is attending on a full scholarship after being named Chief Osceola, the official mascot of the school's Seminoles football team. Rated 1-goal, Weisz's riding and playing ability helped land him the gig. As Chief Osceola, Weisz will lead the football team onto the field riding bareback into the 80,000-seat Doak Campbell Stadium aboard a leopard Appaloosa named Renegade at each home game before throwing a flaming feathered spear into the middle of an FSU helmet painted on the field. Weisz isn't the only polo player to portray Chief Osceola. Chris Gannon performed the pre-game ritual during the 2008 football season and recommended Weisz for the job. Weisz was brought in for a trial run during a spring football game. In addition to a hectic college schedule, during the season he will help out at the farm where the horse is kept four or five days a week, riding and practicing his routine. He also will make appearances at various functions to talk about the Osceola and Renegade pageantry and its significance to the FSU Program. On game days, he starts early, exercising the horse at the farm before helping get it ready and driving to the field with program director Allen Durham, whose father started the program. Durham was Chief Osceola from 1992-1994. Weisz will get to the stadium hours before game time to ride the horse on the field before getting into character with war paint and authentic regalia designed by the Seminole Tribe of Florida. Later, he will take pictures with fans. During the game he will be in the end zone urging fans to cheer for the school's beloved football team. HAIL TO THE CHIEF Polo player swaps polo mallet for spear Florida State University's new Chief Osceola, Christian Weisz, with grandfather Ted Brinkman T HE CINCINNATI POLO CLUB in Cincinnati, Ohio, held its 5th annual Polo for Babies event at its home field on July 14. The event has raise over $115,000 for Children's Hospital's Neonatal Institute. Chris and Betsy Leonidas' daughter, Adeline, was saved by the hospital, which also helped care for her for the next two years. The Leonidas family wanted to give back and since Chris had played with the club for a year and Betsy's father Jim Fraser, for many years, they could think of no better way to show their appreciation, bring awareness and raise funds for the institution. The club played a team from Atlanta in a match where the chukkers were shortened following heat index good practices. Cincinnati was victorious while Atlanta's Jolie Liston's paint pony, Turbo, won Best Playing Pony. Cincinnati club president Katy Keffer recently bought Turbo. GIVING BACK Players thank hospital for saving baby's life Betsy and Chris Leonidas, center, celebrate with benefit participants.

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