Polo Players Edition

JAN 2019

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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62 POLO P L A Y E R S E D I T I O N are to be found in stud the sons, the grand- sons and the great-grandsons of such sires as Ben Brush, Broom Stick, Domino, Sweep, Bend Or, Star Shoot and Roc … to mention only a few. In their produce, we … combined to advantage the two great factors of … horse production—heredity and environment ... Hence, we have in … our polo industry a paradoxical situation: America consti- tutes the largest and richest market in the world … our breeders equal, or excel, those of any other nation in their output of excellent polo prospects; yet very few of these American-bred ponies ever reach the market, for, more and more each year, this market is being usurped by foreign producers. To summarize, this state of affairs has arisen principally through three contribut- ing factors: 1. American polo players, through lack of experience, had not the judgement to make intelligent and independent selec- tions from the offerings of the dealers. 2. Many of the dealers were unable to make a proper selection from what the breeders had to offer, or else they were so eager to reap profits that they unloaded many poorly selected and half-trained ponies on the market. 3. In many polo circles of America today, there exists a growing fad for for- eign-bred and foreign-trained ponies, espe- cially in the Argentine. Fads are excusable so long as they are harmless, especially so when there is some justification for their existence. But this particular mania is assuming the propor- tions of a discouragement, if not a menace, to an important American industry—horse breeding. And let me emphasize once more that horse breeding is an industry of vital importance. One of the outstanding lessons of World War was that armies cannot, and must not, depend upon mechanical transport alone. Our peace time experiments with motors reinforce this lesson; the depression has shown that there are limits beyond which industry cannot mechanize without plung- ing into disaster. This is particularly true of farming. Even Russia, with her vast dream of mechanical output, is feeling keenly her scarcity of horses. Moreover, the American sportsman, particularly the polo player, will discover that equestrian sports cannot flourish on imported horses. The attitude of our American sports- men has a more serious aspect than is apparent on the surface. The sports of a nation are not the activities of a few frivo- lous-minded and idle citizens. They are, on the contrary, an outgrowth of national development and national resources, and are indicative of the character and the sta- mina of the people. It would be impossible to estimate the value to England of her sportsmen; the English sportsman and the English country gentleman have had much to do with the development of her livestock industry. In the past, America has not been want- ing in public-spirited sportsmen and citi- zens who have contributed of their time and means to assist in setting standards for American breeders and producers. It was due largely to the experience and foresight of a number of American sportsmen that the American Remount Association was formed immediately after the war. And When the Argentines came to play in 1922, their horses were impres- sive. They sold them at auction before departing back home, as they did in 1928. That year, the sale brought in $276,000 for 42 horses, including Jupiter, which sold for a record $22,000. When Harry Payne Whitney organized the 'Big Four' in 1909, he real- ized the team would have to be equally mounted with the competitors if it was to win. As a result, a large number of ponies were imported. The American victory was added incentive for others to import ponies.

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