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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36 POLO P L A Y E R S E D I T I O N create circuits of women's polo to have blocks of time and specific places in the world so women pros can travel that circuit, participate and not have conflicting dates," said Jones. "This Florida season we are working on organizing a 2019 Women's Florida Circuit with the U.S. Women's Open Polo Championship as the keystone between women's tournaments schedule before and afterward," she explained. "You will have Vero Beach at the end of February to honor Sunny Hale. Then the first week of March, Sarasota will host a women's tournament combined with a charity match. Port Mayaca will host its Tabebuia Cup the second week of March, combined with its Molly's House benefit. Then you'll have the Women's U.S. Open, followed by the Sunny Hale's Legacy WCT Finals. After that, The Villages will host its Women's Challenge." Once the Women's Argentine Open was introduced into the calendar, it conflicted with the U.S. Women's Open played in Houston in the fall. It will now be played in Florida beginning in the spring of 2019. "This year, players like Nina Clarkin, Sara Wiseman, Lia Salvo and Hazel Jackson made an extra effort to do it because they love the competition, and they wanted to help support [the U.S. Women's Open's] final year in Houston. We all wanted to make a real showing of support the best we could. We had four teams participating (see page 30). I invited two young women from Kenya—Izzy Parsons and Tiva Gross—to join and they happily came here to play," Jones said. "That is part of this network because a lot of women didn't even know there were women that played polo in Kenya, much less knew about Tiva Gross, whose mother was 4 goals and played against Claire Tomlinson in the day. And it's not just their polo. For instance, Izzy is involved in conservation in Kenya with elephant and rhino rescue. It's really admirable," she said. To build the website, Jones and Gandomcar-Sachs enlisted the help of Gandomcar-Sach's good friend Kim DeLashmit, a beginner polo player who also owns Orange Marketing in Denver, Colorado. DeLashmit recently helped Denver Polo Club rework its online presence and marketing efforts. Working from a wishlist of functionality from WIPN's core volunteers, Orange Marketing began mapping a plan for the site. Over the next nine months, her company, along with their development partner ByteJam, designed WIPN's brand identity and built the organization's online platform from the ground up. "Their biggest challenge was to layer together the site's sophisticated functionality in a way that would be simple and intuitive for players and clubs to use. There was no existing template, so they designed a user experience that was unique to WIPN, including club and player accounts, player-to-player messaging, printable list and calendar views of upcoming tournaments and events, and more," explained Jones. The WIPN will be a welcoming place, free for everyone to use. Jones points out it is a non-profit so no one is going to make any money off of it. A GoFundMe page set up five months ago raised its goal of $40,000, which went to build the site, and will help keep it running. Fundraising will still continue in order to help with ongoing management costs of the website, and also help the WIPN try to establish a scholarship fund for young players to travel to other countries to experience polo in other parts of the world. "This idea was based on a program Jones believes we have to culti- vate talented young players like Malia Bryan (left) by offering them opportunities. The WIPN hopes to establish a scholarship fund for young players to play abroad. UNITED STATES POLO ASSOCIATION

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