Polo Players Edition

DEC 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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26 POLO P L A Y E R S E D I T I O N The U.S. Women's Arena Open and Handicap were played for the second year at the Virginia Polo Center in Charlottesville, Virginia, Oct. 5-7. The Arena Open had two 20-goal teams battling it out, while the Arena Handicap had four teams. In the Arena Open, mother and daughter, Kelly and Marissa Wells teamed up with 15-year-old Sophie Grant for the Marlan Farm team. The Welles were fresh from competing together in Australia, first in the Queensland Gold Cup, then in the Queensland Women's Spring Polo Tournament. The pair also helped instruct at a polo clinic there. Kelly Wells taught Grant and her sisters, Maddie and Abbie, to play polo and is their polo coach. In fact, the sisters won the Girls' National Interscholastic Championship this year. Facing Marlan Farm was Ace Sportswear with Maddie Grant and last year's Arena Open winners Demitra Hajimihalis and Julia Smith. Maddie Grant, aboard her favorite pony, Paz, jumped out of the initial throw- in and passed to Smith but the neckshot didn't connect. Maddie grabbed the ball and shot to goal for the first tally. Ace won the next throw-in but Marissa Wells got the ball and shot to goal. The teams traded penalty shots but neither connected. The teams continued to battle until Sophie found the mark. Marlan kept knocking and Smith was whistled by the goal giving Marlan a Penalty 2. Marissa Wells hit the target to give Marlan the 3-1 lead. Soon after, Marissa backed the ball to goal for the three-goal lead, ending the first chukker, 4-1. Maddie made another run early in the second but Marlan took the ball away, Kelly passing to Marissa. A tussle ensued but Kelly slipped the ball into the goal. Sophie Grant followed up with one of her own to take a five-goal lead. Ace missed on a Penalty 2 opportunity Family Affair Welles, Grants dominate arena action by Gwen Rizzo • photos by Mike Ryan M arlan Farm victorious in USPA Women's Arena Open, while Drumcliffe tops Women's Arena Handicap.

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