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.

Issue link: https://polo.epubxp.com/i/1055534

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Page 58 of 67

P O L O R E P O R T POLO P L A Y E R S E D I T I O N 57 Spencer also found the time to form competitive teams for Sundays—games rarely decided by more than one goal. Club president Bruce King said, "He was the heart and soul of polo here in Springfield." In his memorial procession, his wife and children, along with one mounted player from each of the many clubs Spencer frequently played, as well as a group of his western riding friends, followed a riderless horse led by his son Garrett to his final resting place. His 30-plus years of polo and his entire 55 years life ended far too early by cancer. Spencer lived life to the absolute fullest and made an enormous and positive impact on the sport of polo and in the lives of all who were fortunate enough to know him. His legacy will live on forever in the hearts and actions of his family and the entire polo community of Springfield. MIKE FLANNERY Polo lost one of its most colorful characters, Mike Flannery, on Oct. 3. Mike grew up in Detroit, Michigan. After relocating his car business to Colorado, he was introduced to polo on a visit to Detroit by his good friend and fellow car dealer, Jerry Spitler. After Mike's first introductory game on borrowed horses, Spitler sent him to the barn the next morning with instructions to walk the six horses he played for one hour. Never one to turn down a task, Mike, with his backside too sore to ride, led the horses around the track on foot for exactly one hour. Following this experience, Mike bought a string of horses and drove them to San Antonio, Texas. He showed up with 10 horses and no groom. The morning after he arrived, he was found cleaning stalls at 7 a.m. Mike had just turned 60 years old. He loved the horses, the camaraderie and the game. Not long after his arrival in San Antonio, he introduced his future wife, Margaret Williamson, to polo. Mike and Margaret partnered on their polo and jumping horses. They developed a first class facility, M&M Ranch, in Larkspur, Colorado, to house their growing number of horses and entertain their many friends. An Irishman through and through, Mike and Margaret enjoyed frequent trips to Ireland where they kept a farm and enjoyed foxhunting. Although he started playing polo late in life, Mike won his share of tournaments. Their M&M Ranch team went undefeated two straight years in San Antonio's Prima Vera League. Mike finished his polo career in style when M&M Ranch won the National President's Cup in 1994. At 65, Mike was perhaps the oldest player to ever win the President's Cup. Mike Flannery made many friends during his polo years and he sure put a smile on a lot of faces. SETH HERNDON Seth Woodruff Herndon, Jr. passed away on July 15, 2017. Seth was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma and graduated from Tulsa University with a degree in Petroleum Engineering. He had a very successful career in the oil and gas industry and a polo career that extended over 40 years. Seth was a member of Eldorado Polo Club, and the patron of the Southern Hills polo team. At his peak, he achieved a rating of 4 goals, and in 1980, he won the U.S. Open with the Southern Hills team of Jake Sieber, Tommy Wayman and Ruben Gracida. Seth also won the North American Cup in 1981, the C.V. Whitney Cup in 1982 and the America Cup in 1988. Seth served as the USPA Pacific Coast chairman for eight years. He had a true passion for polo and was known for his spirit, sportsmanship and passion for ponies. Fred Mannix remembers Seth as a tough competitor and a great contributor to polo. He was on the rating committee on the West Coast for many years and did a sterling job. Corky Linfoot recalls playing both with and against him: "Seth Herndon was a solid 4-goal player who played for the love of the game. He was an honorable man both on and off the field, and always came well mounted." One of Seth's favorite ponies, Electric Charge, was the winner of the Hartman Trophy in 1981 and was inducted into the Polo Hall of Fame in 2005. Seth played Electric Charge, an Oklahoma-bred mare, in numerous high-goal tournaments, including two chukkers in both the final and semi- final of the U.S. Open. Seth was married to the love of his life, Margaret "Muggy" for over three decades. They lived in the Indian Wells, California, area for their entire marriage and were almost inseparable. Muggy was Seth's biggest fan and supporter, in polo and throughout life. As his polo career slowed down, Seth enjoyed golf and fishing. Muggy, who now resides in Tulsa, Oklahoma, said, "It's been well over a year, but I still miss Seth terribly. He was such a wonderful man, and a wonderful husband." —Megan Kominski u

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