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.

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POLO P L A Y E R S E D I T I O N 45 met with the Jamaican host players and families at dinner and had some strong laughs over some delicious jerk chicken and a very heated game of pool. Sleeping that first night was not an issue for anyone of us. On the morning of the second day, the gang gathered together, and we took a scenic walk to Doctors Cove Beach. Seeing the dense mountains cascade into the turquoise water was breathtaking. After we all had snorkeled at the beach and drank way too many strawberry smoothies, we trudged back to the hotel to get ready for the clinic with Lesley- Ann Masterson Fong Yee at Chinook farms. The trip through the Jamaican mountains was unbelievable, nothing anyone of us had expected. The lush beautiful jungle with friendly smiling faces of the locals and scattering of Jamaican reindeer (grazing goats) made our already loud van rock with excitement. You could feel the need to soak in all the diversity. As we drew closer to the club, there was an excitement among our team to get mounted and put a mallet in hand. I could not wait to see the horses, the field and meet the grooms. The clinic was incredibly informative. It really taught us how to travel as a team and as individuals within the polo world. Fong-Yee showed us the etiquette to use around the horses, grooms and the owners who have offered us their most prized processions. We now know how to do tack checks correctly before mounting, what to ask the grooms and owners, and the circuital first few steps to do after mounting before the game begins. I am looking forward to using these etiquette pointers in my future traveling for polo. It was great to apply the skills Lesley- Ann had taught us the next day at the practice match. The Jamaican players were an absolute blast to play both with and against. They brought an aspect to the game that most juniors and adults lose when they begin playing competitive polo. They laugh when they play, even in the competitive matches, and you could hear them yelling and joking with each other. It's something that you don't see all the time. Many players lose their ability to have fun on the field once they get in "game mode." One of the highlights of the trip was at the main tournament, seeing players from different countries and different teams, talking to one another and giving each other tips and discussing strategies between chukkers. I can say that at that moment it became clear to me that this sport isn't about who holds up the trophy, or what player scored more goals, or even who has nicer horses. It's about the people and bonds that are forged on and off the field. The last day was spent at a beach that one of the hosting families owned. The day was filled with tubing, kayaking, paddle boarding, and snorkeling. Finally, the day came for us to depart and we spent the morning trying not to make it so obvious that we were all dreading to board the airport shuttle and for us to spilt up. It was astounding how in just one week we all had grown so close. The entire group is still in contact with one another. We often log on to Facetime for our much-needed laughs and antics of recent happenings. Some of us are in Jamaica, some away at school, some sitting in the bedrooms waiting and planning for the next trip we can all play passionate polo together. Simply said, we all agreed we had the time of our lives. Onward to more adventures and bigger laughs with this world's polo-playing youth!. Chris Owen, Patricio Fraga-Errecart, Jack Whitman, Ava Hinkson and Catie Stueck Polo is about the people and bonds forged on and off the field.

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