Polo Players Edition

JUL 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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10 POLO P L A Y E R S E D I T I O N also introduced the newly minted Polo Under the Stars with a featured outdoor match lit by industrial-sized floodlights brought in specifically for the occasion. Just west of Fox Den Farm in King Township lies Bancroft Farm, owned and operated by Brian O'Leary who manages a polo boarding facility and the club's second polo school. Offering a beautiful grass field and an outdoor arena, the Bancroft facilities allow for "swing" spring and fall seasons; when conditions on the grass fields are not ideal, but the temperatures are still nice enough to play outdoor. According to the Toronto Polo Club website, "Occasionally, when conditions are right, the club has also played snow polo in this arena." Club Manager Karen White admits this novelty competition has only happened on one or two occasions. "You need special shoes for that, so we usually do it around the snow polo event at Mont- Tremblant in Quebec [held in March]." Amid the quiet agricultural countryside, 45 minutes north of Fox Den Farm, are the Alliston facilities, TPC's third club location. Three fantastic grass fields are surrounded on one side by a row of privately-owned barns and houses. Toronto's most competitive polo takes place in Alliston with low- and medium-goal club sign-up and pro-am style tournaments. Games are held on the weekends followed by a traditional Argentine asado or gorgeous Sunday brunch beautifully presented on a series of white linen-clad picnic tables. "We try to offer whatever someone wants to play, we hopefully have it all," said White. "If you want to play competitive, Alliston has the tournaments, and if you just want to play some fun club chukkers, Fox Den [Farm] has that on Tuesday and Thursday nights. The indoor season is such a great tool for any of our new players. They get a real handle on the game before they get out on the grass. But it's more casual, it's more friendly and social. We are hopefully appealing to the demands of what everyone wants." The club's best kept secret however, and the key to its decades-long success, boils down to its history of successful youth programs. "We have such a huge influx of young players," exclaimed W hite, "which is really helping our club sustain year after year; the young players are coming in and becoming the really good players, and this is happening as older players are stepping back a little bit—we've got that regeneration." Spanning three decades, the club boasts a remarkable eight National Interscholastic Championships (1977, 1979, 1984, 1987, 1988, 2006-2008) and one National Intercollegiate Championship in 1980 by TPC members attending York University. In recent years, Western University in London, Ontario, began an intercollegiate team consisting entirely of Toronto Polo Club members. During 2016, in only its second year, it reached the semifinals of the National Intercollegiate Championship. Last year, Toronto Polo Club's women's interscholastic team qualified for the The club's headquarters are located at Fox Den Farm in Gormley, Ontario, which has an indoor arena used by both interscholastic and intercollegiate teams. The Alliston facilities are one of three available to the club. The venue has three outdoor fields, and holds games on weekends followed by a traditional Argentine asado.

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