Polo Players Edition

NOV 2011

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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P O L O T I CS BY CHRIS ASHTON IRISH TBS Bred for racing, great for playing polo Thoroughbred, bred for racing but converted to polo, may T I of the Council Thomas Francis Dale, M.A. member introduce (Oxon), of Polo and Riding Society and equestrian journalist contributing to the monthly field sports magazine The Field. "When polo was introduced to Ireland it found congenial soil," writes Dale. "The Irish players soon discovered the game was well adapted for Irish ponies as it was certainly attractive to Irish men. English players found that the Irish pony is the best for polo in the world. There was henceforth a market for a class of horse, which hitherto had few buyers. Now Irish ponies are eagerly sought and bought for large prices. There are none to eat them when well trained …" According to The New York Times Dale's 350-page tome is scholarly and "accomplishing previous writer on polo has done, that is to present a concise, even graphic view of the present throughout status of polo the world of particular interest at the present time owing to the growing sentiment for an international code of rules." Charles Scribner & Sons published the U.S. edition in 1905, at the retail price of $3.75. Though the golden age of Irish polo, from John Watson (1852-1908, 16 POLO PLAYERS EDITION recalled as the father of modern polo) to Pat Roark (1885-1939, Britain's best player in the interwar years) is long gone, in other ways little has changed. The need for "an international code of rules" remains unfinished business while Irish Thoroughbreds converted from racing to entertaining, what no o put the case for the Irish Richard Le Poer, left, won the 2011 Ferguson Cup for most improved young player in English polo. His 7-year-old Irish Thoroughbred mare, Dido, above and left, was Best Playing Pony at the 2010 Jaeger Le Coultre Polo Day at Cowarth Polo Club. She was bred by Le Poer's uncle. polo persist in cutting a dash at the very pinnacle of the game. Why Irish Thoroughbreds in particular? Lush pasture rich in limestone, and water rich in calcium are key factors, coupled with a people wedded to their rural past, not least to horses and population of horsemanship. With a just 4.5 million, Tipperary, Cork Ireland boasts 8,000 Thoroughbred breeders, with and Kildare Counties accounting for 35 percent. For the past nine years Argentine- born, Kildare-based Alejo Aita Tagle, 35, NICOLAS LEVIN WWW.MICHAELCHEVIS.COM WWW.MICHAELCHEVIS.COM

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