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.

Issue link: https://polo.epubxp.com/i/996749

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Page 34 of 67

POLO P L A Y E R S E D I T I O N 33 improve on that by winning the Open Interscholastic Championship with an all- girls team (in addition to taking the girls' tournament by the score of 15-14). An all- female team had never won the Open Interscholastic tournament, and Garrison did so by a convincing score of 20-15. The feat will likely never be duplicated, either, as all-girl teams are no longer eligible for the Open Tournament unless they choose not to play in the girls' event. After a bit of a lull the next two years, Kelly's Garrison team won the girls' title again in 2001, 2002 and 2003 in tightly contested finals. Their winning margins were one, four, and two goals, respectively. Kelly left Garrison after the 2003 season, starting her own program at her home base, Marlan Farm. They made the final in their first attempt, losing narrowly to Garrison Forest, 11-9. Considering that she was drawing largely from the same talent pool in the Maryland Hunt Country north of Baltimore, fielding the second-best team in the country was quite an accomplishment. Maryland went on to win the title the next three years, running up convincing scores of 19-9, 20-10 and 17-9 in the respective final games. They lost the final by one goal in 2008 and by three in 2011, before winning again in 2012. After losing by one goal again in 2013, they ran up the absurd margins mentioned previously in the following two years, and defeated Garrison 15-8 in 2016. The following year saw another narrow loss, as Garrison won in a shootout to send Halle into her second retirement on a high note. All in all, Kelly's teams have won 12 titles and been runners-up five times in the past 21 years, which is remarkable to s ay the least. Their five losses have been by a total of eight goals, with three being the biggest deficit, while the total of their winning margins is well into triple digits at 109, an average of just over nine goals per final. Kelly works with most of her students from their first riding lesson all the way up to national championships. Alumnae of Kelly's teams have gone on to win a remarkable 13 Women's Intercollegiate Championships, starting with Melissa Riggs for Cornell in 2000, 2001 and 2002. Kelly Wisner and Elizabeth Rockwell led UCONN to four straight from 2005-2008, and were joined by Lizzy Wisner for the last of those. Cristina Fernandez led UVA to the 2009 title, and Courtney Asdourian did the same for University of Kentucky in 2010. Cornell took the 2011 championship with two Maryland veterans, Lizzy Wisner and Ali Hoffman. Mary Collins, Marissa's teammate on the 2012 Girls' Interscholastic Champion, won two titles with UVA in 2014 and 2017, joining forces with Julia Smith, who had been part of the Marlan Farm program before winning an Open Interscholastic Championship with Cowtown/Work to Ride. Marissa's win was lucky number 13, and she has a good shot at repeating next year. Marissa will be joined by Hannah Reynolds, graduating from high school this year after moving programs to play at Marlan Farm. In addition to being champions a great deal of the time, Kelly's players are great kids and good sports all the time. They play smart, clean, fast polo that is truly a joy to watch. Even after a heartbreaking shootout loss in the 2017 girls' final, the Maryland players conducted themselves with dignity and grace. Kelly must be doing something right. NANO'S POLO MALLETS CUSTOM MADE MALLETS Professional and Prompt Mallet Repair Service Tipa Wood Heads Wide Selection of Canes We supply cane, grip heads for repair We have light mallets for women children NEW MALLETS IN STOCK OPEN YEAR-AROUND We honor Visa/Mastercard/AMX 3500 Fairlane Farms Road Suite # Wellington, FL 33414 www.polomallets.com info@polomallets.com (800)903-NANO (6266) Tel: (561) 793-4911 Fax: (561) 793-4714 Daughter Marissa Wells served as mascot for Kelly's teams.

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