Polo Players Edition

Intercollegeiate Interscholastic 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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39 I/I MAGAZINE - 2019 PTF RUSSEL A. SHELDON MALE INTERSCHOLASTIC PLAYER OF THE YEAR Brennan Wells Maryland Polo Club W hen I look back at my interscholastic polo experience, I can't help but feel gratitude toward everyone who helped prepare me for collegiate polo. I was very fortunate to have a strong foundation in the sport. I am a third generation player and my whole family has played. I lived at a polo facility called Marlan Farm (Horseback Riding & Polo) which is located in Freeland, MD. This farm was my home and was where I grew up, learned polo and discovered my love for the sport. Both my parents, Kelly and Trevor Wells, were polo instructors at the time I started playing and they have each helped me reach my current level of play. I'm incredibly grateful to them and for their constant support of my polo. When I was 6 years old I had my very first lesson. My mom put a mallet in my hand on the safest horse, Kali. Although I almost flung myself off, taking a giant neck shot, I was captivated by the sport of polo and knew that it was my passion. In 5th grade, I started playing competitively in the I/I polo program for Baltimore Polo Club, which was a team coached by my father. By 6th grade, I was competing in the 2012 Southeastern Open Regional which was hosted at UVA. In middle school, I began playing for Maryland Polo Club (coached by my mother). My ultimate goal was to one year win nationals. I'm extremely thankful to my teammates who also strove to accomplish this goal alongside me. The countless hours we spent practicing, reviewing game footage, and drilling penalty fours at each other, paid off immensely. In both 2017 and 2018 I captained the Maryland Open "My whole family has been very supportive of my polo and without them in my corner none of this would be possible." I/I team to consecutive wins of the Open Interscholastic National Open Championship. I couldn't have asked for a better way to close out my interscholastic career. I'm very honored to be recognized by the Polo Training Foundation as the Russell A. Sheldon Jr., Interscholastic Player of the Year. I'd like to thank everyone who has helped me reach this point. Most notably is my mother. She has been my coach since day one and has opened up so many opportunities for me. She dedicates so much time and effort to instructing youth polo at Marlan Farm. I cannot thank her enough for coaching my team for the past 6 years. My whole family has been very supportive of my polo and without them in my corner none of this would be possible. Furthermore, I'd like to give a special thank you to all the players from Marlan Farm. From the older players who inspired me when I was young, to the younger players who looked to me as a mentor or leader, I'm extremely thankful for all of them. Finally, I'd like to thank the USPA for being an advocate for I/I polo and for providing numerous opportunities for youth polo players all over the nation. Interscholastic polo has been an incredible experience. The I/I program inspires dedication and provides a fun way for young polo players to compete against each other. There is a sense of teamwork and collaboration within interscholastic polo unlike any other sport. Players completely dedicate themselves to polo and to the horses as they strive for their teams' success. I'm extremely excited for collegiate polo this fall at the University of Virginia and can't wait to compete for an intercollegiate championship.

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