Polo Players Edition

OCT 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/1029347

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Page 20 of 67

POLO P L A Y E R S E D I T I O N 19 EMPIRE POLO CLUB in Indio, California, recently announced Hall of Famer and former 10-goaler Memo Gracida has been hired as polo director. Gracida will work with Vicky Owens, Empire polo manager, to help recruit teams and players. He will also be working closely with Kevin Ittig, who oversees Empire's grounds crew, to ensure the fields are in prime condition for the winter season. "Last winter was my first season playing at Empire Polo Club and it was one of the best experiences I've had," said Gracida. "I believe that Empire has the potential to be the No. 1 polo club in the U.S." While Gracida's career as a professional player has set an exemplary standard for those who now follow in his footsteps, it is his exceptional ability to coach, educate and organize polo players, teams and programs that drew Empire's interest. "After spending the summer in Santa Ynez working with Memo, I see that he has a wealth of experience and exciting ideas about how to grow polo. I'm excited to have his help with Empire's continued growth," said Vicky Owens. The addition of Gracida to Empire's management team is only the beginning of Empire's strategy for this new season. Two new venues will open this coming winter: Calhoun Ranch and Empire Grand Oasis. Calhoun Ranch will feature a grass polo field, an indoor polo arena—with plans for a second arena in the works, stabling and 80 acres of large grass pastures. Empire Grand Oasis will be the most precious gem in Empire's crown. Members will have the opportunity to enjoy a 5,000 square-foot clubhouse, a tropical swimming lagoon flanked by palm trees, lush landscaping with waterfalls and an authentic Tiki bar. Adjacent to the lagoon is a newly- installed grass polo field, a natural amphitheater and an indoor polo arena, with plans for three additional grass polo fields. Empire Polo Club hosts fun parties, offers affordable polo, maintains immaculate grass fields and is a world- class equestrian facility. It is the perfect polo destination for polo players and their families. The club's polo facilities for 2019 include 14 grass polo fields, two polo arenas, stabling and turnout for 800-plus horses and multiple exercise tracks. Future plans include an additional three fields and a third arena. The club hosts 8-goal leagues in February and March, 4- goal leagues January through March and 1-goal tournaments almost every weekend throughout the season. EXPANSION Club hires Gracida, adds new facilities Better teammates give themselves a chance to get the ball again and again and again. Make each shot go to your team's advantage and minimize the benefits to the opponent. SanDiegoPolo@hotmail.com PARKER'S POLO MINUTE Memo Gracida and Empire's Alex Haagen

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