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Aiken Polo Club 2015

Aiken Polo Club 2015



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Table of Contents President’s Letter


Aiken Polo Club Schedule


Newcomer’s Guide


Aiken Polo Club 2015 P.O. Box 3021 Aiken, SC 29802 Volume 11, Number 1. Published annually

Gear of the Game


Editor & Publisher: Pam Gleason

How to Watch Polo


Aiken Polo History


Alan Lyle Corey III


USPA Copper Cup 2014




2014-2015 Winners


The Next Generation


Will Tankard


Restaurants & Hotels


Polo Glossary


Index of Advertisers


Ambrose Clark


Layout & Design: Gary Knoll, Aiken Horse Productions

Photography by WarhorsePhotography.com Gary Knoll Pam Gleason To purchase images from this magazine, visit www.warhorsephotography.com Unless otherwise noted, All images property of WarhorsePhotography © 2015 Editorial Inquiries: Aiken Polo Magazine P.O. Box 332 Montmorenci, SC 29839 803.643.9960 www.aikenpoloclub.org aikenpolomagazine@gmail.com Advertising Inquiries: Pam Gleason aikenpolomagazine@gmail.com Cover: Alan Lyle Corey III photography by Gary Knoll

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Aiken Polo Club 2015



Aiken Polo Club 2015

Aiken Polo Club 2015


Dear Friends of Polo


elcome to Aiken Polo Club. This is our 133rd year of polo and we have a full schedule of tournaments for both our upcoming fall and spring seasons, highlighted by the USPA National Copper Cup 12-Goal in September. This year the tournament is named in memory of William Tankard. Will, whom we lost this summer, exemplified all the qualities that contribute to the greatness of our sport. This past spring Whitney Field returned to its glory days with sell-out crowds, elaborate tailgate entertaining, and unprecedented weather conditions. In addition, the Alan Lyle Corey Pavilion was definitely the place to be on Sunday afternoons. There is no doubt in my mind that Alan, who dedicated the last three years of his life to making the pavilion a reality, watched from above and negotiated with Mother Nature to ensure that there would be perfect weather for Sunday polo this past spring. The pavilion truly is Alan’s lasting legacy to polo and to Aiken. Whitney Field is an iconic symbol of American polo; its history is synonymous with the game’s roots in the United States. Alan provided us with a unique perspective on the old and the new, and he had the ability to bind the two together. He knew more than anyone the importance of Whitney Field’s place in history and the significance of keeping the landmark alive. The pavilion has allowed Aiken Polo Club to take front stage in our community by offering an elegant setting for spectators to enjoy Sunday afternoons. Many of our advertisers in this edition of the Aiken Polo Club magazine were also generous food and beverage sponsors under the pavilion this year. But the project is not yet complete. We are still working on a campaign to pave the floor of the building and improve the field. Donating to this campaign will help us secure the future of Aiken Polo Club for generations to come. Please consider making a gift today, or buy a commemorative brick, to help us in our efforts to secure historic Whitney Field’s future. All donations are greatly appreciated and fully tax-deductible. Thank you again to all of Aiken Polo Club’s players, sponsors and supporters. I look forward to seeing everyone on the sidelines.


Aiken Polo Club 2015

Charles S. Bostwick President, Aiken Polo Club

Aiken Polo Club 2015



Aiken Polo Club 2015

Aiken Polo Club 2015


A Newcomer’s Guide to Polo

Julian Daniels on the line: Rob Stenzel & Antonio Galvan in pursuit.

by Pam Gleason

Let others play at other things, the king of sports is the sport of kings! -Ancient Persian Inscription


ake eight players, two umpires, ten horses, a vast green field and a little white ball, and you are well on your way to having a game of polo. Of course, at a polo game, every player has several more horses back at the trailer, since each game is four to six chukkers long, and horses usually play just one chukker. The players probably have a groom or two there as well, along with a trailer load of saddles, bridles, leg wraps and extra mallets. There are also goal judges at each end of the field to signal whether or not a goal has been scored and to place a ball on the endline if a ball is hit out. Then, there is someone to put the numbers up on the scoreboard, an official on the sidelines to keep time and blow the horn when the chukker is over, an official scorekeeper and the allimportant “third man” or referee, who settles disputes between the umpires. Polo is as much a production as it is a sport, and polo players never travel light.


Aiken Polo Club 2015

For the player, however, the thrill of the game more than makes up for the immense investment of time and resources it demands. Polo, it has often been said, is not just a game, but a way of life. Once a person is bitten by the polo bug, all of the production surrounding the game fades to insignificance. The only thing that is important is the action on the field and the horses back at the trailer. Polo is allconsuming.

The Team

Each polo team is comprised of four mounted players. Players must carry their mallets in their right hands, whether or not they are right-handed. (The United States Polo Association Rule Book – the “Blue Book” – makes an exception for players registered as left-handers with the USPA before January 1, 1974. There are few, if any of these players still out there!) The first object of the game is to drive the ball down

many goals a player is theoretically worth to his or her team, but has nothing to do with how many he or she might actually score in a game. Players are assessed and assigned a handicap in the fall and the spring after the summer and winter seasons respectively. They normally keep their handicap until the next handicap meeting, though it is occasionally possible for someone playing significantly above or below his rating to have a handicap change mid-season. To arrive at a team handicap, one adds up the individual handicaps of the four players on the team. Three 1-goal players and one 4, for instance, would make a 7-goal team. This team could play in an 8-goal tournament. If they were playing against an 8-goal team, they would start the game with one goal on the scoreboard. Tournaments are classified by how many goals they are. Aiken Polo Club, for instance, runs the 12-goal USPA National Copper tournament in the fall; no team on the roster may be rated more than 12 goals. The handicapping system keeps teams that play against one another relatively even and allows players of different abilities to compete on the same field. Men and women are rated on the same scale and regularly play with and against one another on an equal basis. Handicapping also gives rise to the unique “pro-am” aspect of polo. There is very little purely professional polo in the United States. The most usual Matias Magrini for the goal; Kegan Walsh for the hook. USPA National Copper Cup situation is to have amateurs hire higher strongest on their teams. Their job is to hit long balls, rated professionals to play with them in tournaments, set up their teammates, plan the plays and make them thus raising the level of the competition. The majority happen. They also must cover the opposing Number of amateurs are 1 goal and below. Players who are 3 2s. The Number 4, or Back, is primarily defensive. goals and above are usually professionals who play for He covers the opposing Number 1 and generally a fee. “shuts the back door” preventing the other team from The Field scoring. The Back must also get the ball to his or her A regulation polo field is 300 yards long by 160 yards teammates, often by hitting long back shots. wide. Many polo fields (including Aiken’s Whitney Gary Knoll

the field and into the opposition’s goal. The second object of the game is to prevent members of the other team from hitting the ball into the goal that one is defending. Each of the four players on the team wears a jersey numbered from 1 to 4. The number refers to the player’s position on the field. Those wearing the Number 1 are primarily offensive players, whose job is to run to goal, hoping for a pass from their teammates so that they can score. The Number 2 is also an offensive player, but he must be more aggressive, breaking up the offensive plays of the other team, and putting “his nose in every play and continually forcing the attack,” according to the polo legend Tommy Hitchcock. The Number 3 players are usually the


Like golfers, polo players carry handicaps. The handicap is expressed as a number of goals. This number reflects the player’s overall ability on the field, taking into account hitting ability, game sense, team play, horsemanship, sportsmanship and quality of his or her horses. Handicaps run from C (-2, or beginner) up to 10 (the best in the world.) A “goal” is how

Field) are equipped with low sideboards, which help to keep the ball from going out of bounds. Although the play stops when the ball crosses the boards, horses and players regularly jump them and keep on playing as long as the ball itself stays on the field. This is why polo fields are marked with a run-off area or safety zone. Spectators must take care not to park their cars or let their children or pets play in this space. Aiken Polo Club 2015


Fields in the American South are planted with a special variety of Bermuda grass that forms a dense, smooth sod. Fields must be mowed frequently. They are also watered, fertilized, limed, aerated, rolled and treated with herbicides and insecticides. Serious field maintenance requires a professional crew, but spectators can do their part. At half time and after the last chukker of every game, everyone present is invited to come out and help replace divots kicked up during the action. This keeps the ball rolling straight and makes the game faster and more fun to play and to watch. Everyone does divots, even the Queen of England.

The Play

Pam Gleason

A polo game is divided into four or six periods, called chukkers. The word “chukker” sometimes spelled “chukka” is derived from the Sanskrit word referring the turn of a wheel, which was presumably the way chukkers were once timed. Each chukker consists of seven to seven and a half minutes of playing time. The clock is stopped for foul shots, but Horacio Onetto tries to get past Will Tankard. USPA Congressional Cup keeps running after a goal is scored or if players return to the center of the field for another the ball goes out of bounds. If the ball does go out of line-up and bowl-in. After every goal, the teams bounds and rolls up to you, you must resist the urge switch directions. This equalizes field conditions, but to toss it back onto the field. The umpire will call for a can be a bit confusing to the novice spectator, who line-up and bowl the ball in. He has plenty of balls in may not understand why the team he was cheering his polo ball bag, though sometimes he will be happy for suddenly seems to be going the wrong way and if you give him one that you pick up. shooting at the wrong goal. The play generally begins with a line-up at the If the ball does not pass through the goal posts but center of the field. The umpire bowls the ball between merely goes over the endline, the defending team gets the two teams (the “throw-in”), and each fights to a free hit, or “knock-in” from the point where the ball gain possession. Most of the rules in polo are based went out. on the concept of the “line-of-the-ball.” The line of Defensive play in polo consists mostly of “hooking” the ball is an imaginary line that the ball creates when and of “riding off.” Players may use their mallets it is hit. Generally speaking, players must not cross to hook or strike an opponent’s mallet while the this line if there are players behind him who are “on opponent is in the act of hitting the ball. Players the line” and therefore have the “right of way.” This may reach across their own horses, but they may not sometimes means that a player must take the ball on extend their mallets in front of, over, under, or behind the left side (near side) of his horse, and sometimes their opponent’s mount. They also may not hook their means he is not allowed to hit it at all. opponent’s mallet when it is above the level of the A goal is scored when the ball passes between the shoulder, nor may they strike it with undue force. goal posts at any height. When this happens, the 16

Aiken Polo Club 2015

The Horses

The animals used in polo are called ponies, but they are usually not really ponies at all. By definition, a pony is a horse standing 14.2 hands or below at the withers. (A hand is four inches, so this means 58 inches or below.) Most true ponies belong to specific pony breeds, although there are many individual horses from larger breeds that could qualify as ponies because of their height. In America, most polo ponies Thoroughbreds, and some began their careers as racehorses. Others were bred specifically for polo, and still others were

imported from Argentina, where polo-pony breeding and training is a big industry. Aiken has a growing reputation as a top place to breed, train and bring along young horses. Polo ponies generally stand between 15 and 16 hands. They are trained to stop and turn quickly, to boldly face oncoming horses, to tolerate fast-moving mallets and balls, to ride-off, bump, and run like the wind when asked. Players say the horse makes up 60, 70 or even 80 percent of a player’s worth. An exceptional string of horses can make the difference between a good and a great player. Conversely, a player mounted on a slow, sluggish, unwilling or unmanageable horse can be quite useless to his team. After all, you can’t hit the ball if you can’t get to it. Since each game is four or six chukkers long and a horse may play in one or possibly two chukkers, every player must have a minimum of two or three horses to play a full game. Most have more: one horse per chukker is a good rule of thumb, and many players have one or two extras as well, or even a whole second string. Not surprisingly, building, conditioning and maintaining a good string is one of the primary preoccupations of players at every level. Everyone wants faster, handier, quicker, easier ponies. Top horses are hard to come by, and it is rare for a player to have an entire string of great horses all at the same time.

The Life

Polo was once the sport of kings, played only by the wealthy leisure classes. Today, although playing certainly requires a significant investment of time and money, it is played by men and women from many different walks of life, from England’s Prince Harry to the local veterinarian, real estate agent, blacksmith or fence builder. Polo can be played on many different levels and by players of all ages and abilities. Polo professionals and serious amateurs may play polo full time and year-round. More casual players might play on the weekends, or on occasional evenings after work. Whatever their level of commitment, all polo players share in the special world of polo; a world with its own language, its own worries and its own set of celebrities. They are united by a shared passion for horses, a shared commitment to the sport, and a shared connection to the traditions of the past. Pam Gleason

A player may use his horse to “ride off ” his opponent so as to push the opponent away from the ball or otherwise spoil his shot. Polo is a contact sport, and horses and players often bump each other quite hard in the heat of the action. However, it is a foul to bump with undue force, or to do anything that endangers the other player or his mount. If any player infringes on the rules, the umpires blow their whistles for a foul. The team fouled then gets a penalty shot or a free hit. Depending on the severity of the foul and where it occurs, the ball may be hit from the point of the infraction or moved down the field closer to the fouling team’s goal. If the two mounted umpires disagree on whether or not a foul occurred, they go consult the “third man” who acts as the referee. Filming and instant replays are innovations that arrived at some clubs recently. Important games are filmed with drones, and each team has the opportunity to challenge a limited number of foul calls each half. In this case, a special instant replay referee reviews the game tape and makes the final call. In most cases, however, the third man’s opinion is the ultimate word. Polo being a “gentleman’s game,” it is a foul to appeal a foul. It is also a foul to argue with the umpires. Umpires may call a technical foul on players exhibiting unsportsmanlike behavior. They do this by pulling a red handkerchief from their back pockets. If a player incurs too many technicals in a game, he is asked to leave the field and his team may have to continue playing three to a side.

Aiken Polo Club 2015


Gary Knoll

Aiken Polo Club Board of Directors

Gary Knoll

Pam Gleason at practice on Eli Yale.

Barb Uskup: 8-goal action at Meadow Hill. 18

Aiken Polo Club 2015

Aiken Polo Club 2015


Pam Gleason

Aiken Polo Club Board of Directors

Pam Gleason

Geoff Ellis at practice.

Joe Meyer backs it past Barb Uskup. USPA Smoak Family 8-Goal

Gear of the Game The Helmet is required equipment. The most common helmets are made of reinforced, padded plastic with a cloth or leather covering. They are modeled after the pith helmets that the British wore in 19th century India. Modern helmets are designed to fend off flying balls and mallets and to protect the head if the player should fall. The Team Jersey Draw Reins run from

the player’s hand, through the bit rings and then back to the saddle.

sports the color of the player’s team and the number of the position that he plays. (From 1 to 4)

Knee Pads provide some

protection from balls and rough ride-offs.

The Bit controls the

horse. Polo players use many different kinds of bit. This one is called a gag. It is the most common bit in polo

The Mallet is made of

malacca cane. It usually has a fair amount of “whip” and can bend quite a bit during a hard swing. The head is made of tipa, a South American wood. Both sides of the head are used to strike the ball.

The Martingale is a

The Ball

leather strap that runs from the noseband to the girth. It keeps the horse from raising his head too high.

Polo plates are special, lightweight horse shoes. Made of iron, they have an inner rim and an outer rim. The inner rim is slightly higher than the outer one, making it easier for the hoof to pivot in all directions.

is made of hard plastic that dents a bit each time it is hit.

Leg Wraps & Boots

provide support to tendons and ligaments as well as protection from balls and mallets. Horacio Onetto

Gary Knoll

Aiken Polo Club Board of Directors


MartyClub Cregg, club member; Bob Stanton, Aiken Polo Club Board of Directors. USPA National Copper Cup. Aiken Polo 2015

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Aiken Polo Club 2015


How to Watch Polo


nlike most spectator sports, polo requires active participation. If you’re planning to watch, be prepared! Before leaving for a polo game, be sure to pack a picnic and put some refreshments in the cooler — you can get hot and thirsty watching all the action. Once you arrive at the game, remember to park at least ten yards away from the side of the field. At Aiken, you will see a marked “safety zone” a few yards out from the sideboards. Horses and balls regularly fly into this zone at high speeds. The play stops when the ball goes out, but the horses often jump the boards then jump back into the game without pausing or looking. So don’t park where you can get stepped on. The idea is to park near the game, not in it! Now you are ready to participate. First, open your picnic and pour yourself a refreshment. Then, remember the following points: 1. Keep you eye on the ball and the horses. Action often extends quite far beyond the edge of the field and some horses stop faster than others. The riders generally have great control over their mounts, but they are usually paying so much attention to the ball and to their opponents, they often are not watching out for spectators. 2. Keep your pets on a leash and you children close at hand. Dogs may watch the game, but are definitely not welcome to play it. Children love polo, but please do not let them climb on the sideboards or play in the safety zone during a chukker. 3. Be prepared for the half-time divot stomp. Halftime is after the second chukker (in a four chukker game) or the third chukker (in a six chukker game.) Spectators are invited onto the pitch to walk off their picnics and help maintain the field by replacing clods of dirt torn up by galloping hooves and stomping them in. This is also a good time to chat with friends and show off your dress, your dog or your child. Just get back to the sidelines before the players return to the field. 4. Feel free to ask the players or officials if you have any questions about the game after it is over. Polo players are an enthusiastic group and love to talk polo. Compliment a player on his horse, and your relationship will be off to a good start. (“I loved the horse you played in the fourth chukker. Where did that horse come from?”) 5. Keep track of goals scored by each player on your scorecard. Remember that teams change ends after each goal. If the Blue team scores at the west end of the field, they will be trying to score at the east end in after the throw-in. 6. Have fun!

Gary Knoll

Jason Wates on the ball: Will Tankard in pursuit. USPA Congressional Cup 8 Goal. Aiken Polo Club 2015



Aiken Polo Club 2015

Aiken Polo Club 2015


The Aiken Polo Story

A Long and Distinguished History By Pam Gleason n the late 1800s, Aiken was famous as a health resort and a vacation spot. Not only did it attract many seasonal visitors from the coastal areas of South Carolina and Georgia, it also brought in hundreds of winter travelers from the North. By 1880, these “tourists” had established a Winter Colony in the city. They would come down on the train in November, pursue outdoor activities with a vengeance until April, then pack up and migrate home. Tourists came from Boston, Chicago, and especially New York. In those years, horse sports were particularly in vogue. In 1876, James Gordon Bennett, an eccentric newspaper publisher, saw a game of polo in England and became fascinated with it. Returning to New York with a suitcase full of mallets, he introduced the sport to



Aiken Polo Club 2015

members of New York society. Polo, which has its roots in antiquity, caught on quickly and began to make its way across the country. Captain Clarence Southerland Wallace, a New Yorker and an executive in the Havemeyer Sugar Company (now Domino sugar) organized Aiken’s first game. That first game took place at the site of today’s Whitney Field off Mead Avenue. According to the March 27, 1882 edition of the Charleston News and Courier, the game was a gala affair attended by about 10,000 spectators. “Gay parties of ladies and gentlemen mounted on prancing steeds dashed over the countryside enjoying the delightful surroundings . . . . Sumptuous luncheons were served. . .The crack military company the Aiken Palmetto Rifles, entertained with dress parades, but all this paled in significance before the brilliant and successful introduction of James Gordon Bennett’s popular national game, polo. It has caused a great sensation and revolutionized the city as far as amusements are concerned.” Not much is known about the very earliest years of polo in the city, but by the 1890s, it was a wellestablished and popular pastime. Prominent Aikenites who took up the sport included Aiken’s mayor as well as numerous winter residents. Local historians

generally credit the development of polo in the city teams held occasional charity matches to raise money to the Hitchcock family, who summered on Long for war bonds. After the war, regular polo resumed Island and wintered in Aiken. Thomas Hitchcock, on Aiken’s fields under the auspices of the Knox, Sr. was one of the first 10-goalers in America and a Bostwick and Corey families. Society was changing, member of America’s first international polo squad in however, and as the years passed, polo in America was 1886. His wife, Louise Hitchcock, known as Lulie, in decline. Many of the illustrious players from before played herself, encouraged others to take up the sport the war retired or died, and fewer members of the and organized and coached fast and furious junior next generations stayed with polo. Across the country, games of both horse and bicycle polo. Many young old clubs were falling to development. Aiken still had players nurtured in Mrs. Hitchcock’s junior programs Whitney Field and the complex of fields on Powder went on to become the premier players in America in House Road and a group of families upheld Aiken’s the 20s and 30s. The Hitchcocks’ son, Tommy Hitchcock, a 10-goal international superstar, was the most famous player in America before World War II. Today, his name is synonymous with polo greatness. He was also, incidentally, a friend of F. Scott Fitzgerald, and is said to have been the inspiration behind the character Tom Buchanan in The Great Gatsby. During the first three decades of the twentieth century, Aiken was the acknowledged polo center of the South. Great numbers of high-ranked players came to spend the winter, competing daily on the 16 fields the city offered. The horse trainer Fred Post arrived in Aiken in the early 1910s and soon had as many as 100 horses in training, along with a stable full of young players to work them. Polo dominated the Aiken sports scene, and poloists who practiced in Aiken went on to represent the United States in numerous international matches. Famous players included the Hitchcocks, Tommy Hitchcock, soon to be the most famous polo player in America, shown here at 16. the Bostwicks, the Gerrys, the Photo courtesy of the National Museum of Polo and Hall of Fame. Posts, the Knoxes, the von Stades, the Igleharts, Alan Corey Jr., Harry Payne Whitney, polo tradition, but it was only a shadow of what it had Jimmy Mills, Russell Grace, Jules Rompf, Devereux been in earlier years. Milburn and Louis E. Stoddard. It was the Golden By the mid-1970s, polo was coming back across Age of American polo, and Aiken was at the center of America. Players from other parts of the country it all. moved to Aiken, joining the descendants of players World War II dealt a severe blow to polo from the Golden Age and encouraging others to everywhere. During the conflict, Aiken’s women’s take up the sport. By 1982, the Centennial year of Aiken Polo Club 2015


polo in Aiken, the club was on the upswing. Tom Biddle, David Widener and Gene Kneece, wanting to play with their sons, helped develop a new program on Aiken’s historic fields. Tom and Gene’s sons, Tommy Biddle and Tiger Kneece, matured into top professionals, bringing their talents to clubs around the country.

are now formidable competitors. Today, Aiken has an international reputation as a place to play, as well as a place to breed and train polo ponies. Players come to Aiken for the spring season on their way north from Florida, or for the fall season on their way south from points north and west. A growing number of players stay and play year round,

The 50th anniversary celebration of Aiken Polo, 1932.

Things really heated up in the 1990s when Owen Rinehart and Adam Snow, two of America’s best players, bought property outside town and established the Langdon Road Club to hold medium and high goal matches. Soon, the horseman Dan McCarthy set up a green horse training operation nearby. Then Russ McCall and Matias Magrini established the New Bridge Polo and Country Club, bringing with them more high goal polo. More and more players moved to Aiken, buying up old cotton fields, forests and farms, putting in first class tournament and practice fields. Other clubs sprouted around the county, offering tournaments from the 2-goal to 22-goal level. Meanwhile, programs for children’s polo introduced a crowd of young players to the sport, many of whom 30

Aiken Polo Club 2015

and Aiken now has both summer and winter polo, as well as several arenas that hold matches. Polo is an essential part of the city because, as 10-goaler Devereux Milburn remarked many years ago, “so many people who love horses naturally are attracted to Aiken.” This attraction is still as great as it was in Milburn’s day. The polo community here is still growing and more polo players are buying property in the area every year. With its distinguished history and its current popularity, Aiken Polo’s future is bright, and Whitney Field, the oldest polo field in continuous use in the United States, promises to hold its place as the focal point of Aiken’s Sunday afternoons for many years to come.

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Aiken Polo Club 2015


Alan Meeker scores. Matias Magrini follows up. USPA National Copper Cup 12-goal final.

Gary Knoll

Tristan Hurley on the ball; Thomas Ravenel with Luis Galvan and Richard Terbrusch behind. USPA Dogwood Cup 4-goal.


Aiken Polo Club 2015

Gary Knoll

Aiken Polo Club 2015



Aiken Polo Club 2015

The End of an Era

Remembering Alan Lyle Corey III By Pam Gleason


brought up her three children (Alan, Russell and Patricia) to be accomplished riders. Alan started polo young and played through his teenage years in Aiken and on Long Island. He then followed in his father’s footsteps, matriculating at Yale where he played on the intercollegiate polo team and was the team captain as a senior. In his final two years, Alan was the team’s high scorer and he led Yale to consecutive intercollegiate championships. After graduating in 1965, Alan went to Wall Street where he became an equity trader on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. He continued to pursue polo in his spare time, rising to a 4-goal handicap. He competed in high and low goal tournaments up and down the East Coast and became known as a quick and clever player with a sense of humor and a deep respect for the game and its traditions. Alan and his wife Patricia Ellis Corey moved to Aiken full time in the 1980s. There, Alan became indispensable to Aiken Polo Club, where he served on the Board of Directors. He also became one of the Whitney Trustees who oversee Whitney Field and other historic properties in Aiken, such as the Palmetto Golf Club and the Aiken Court Tennis Club. In his later years, Alan remained a dedicated player. He had a sincere regard for horsemanship and proper horse care, and he enjoyed schooling his horses every morning in the Hitchcock Woods. He was highly competitive by nature: when he arrived at the field, he was always there to play and he always played to win, whether it was in a practice, an exhibition or a tournament. He was gracious and friendly to new and old players alike, and always made visitors to Aiken’s fields feel welcomed and appreciated. He genuinely liked people, and regularly kept Alan in the front with the mallet. Behind him: Mickey & Barry van Gerbig, Bill & Timmy in touch with friends from every era of his Hitchcock. At the National Open Championship at Meadowbrook, 1950. life, frequently calling them on the phone to tell them a story, to reminisce about old times, or just inducted into the Museum of Polo Hall of Fame in to share a joke. His enthusiastic laugh was genuine 1992. and infectious. Alan Corey III grew up with horses and polo in his Alan was person of many talents. He prided himself blood. His mother was a superb horsewoman, who he Aiken polo community lost one of its most dedicated and esteemed members on the afternoon of April 3, 2015. Alan Lyle Corey III, 73, was a part of Aiken Polo Club for decades. He was playing the first practice of the year at Aiken’s Powder House Field, where he collapsed after the fourth chukker of a heart attack. Alan’s roots in Aiken were deep. His mother, the former Patricia Grace, spent her winters in the city with her family at the Grace’s Two Trees estate on Grace Avenue. Patricia’s father William Russell Grace Jr. was a 3-goal player, who played in Aiken during the winter and on Long Island during the summer. Alan’s father, Alan Lyle Corey Jr. attended Aiken Prep School as a boy, where he played both bicycle and horse polo. He then played intercollegiate polo at Yale, and after graduating went on to become a legendary 9-goal player, known for his superb strategic play and the quality of his horses. He was

Aiken Polo Club 2015


on being an “idea man,” and was known for his original thinking and his ability to inspire those around him. His most recent project in Aiken was the construction of an elegant viewing pavilion at the club’s historic Whitney Field, which was completed in the fall of 2014. The project earned a leadership award from the Historic Aiken Foundation, as well as the highest praise from the Aiken Polo community. Alan died before he could fulfill the other part of his dream, which was to complete a memento brick campaign to construct a brick floor at the pavilion. Funds raised through this campaign, which is ongoing, will create the foundation of a legacy for Aiken Polo Club and the Whitney Trustees. A celebration of Alan’s life was held on Whitney Field on Saturday, May 16. Hundreds of people attended the service, coming from New York, Florida and points between. The Reverend Grant Wiseman from St. Thaddeus Episcopal Church was the officiant. Speakers included Alan’s good friend and fellow Aiken Polo Club board member Charlie Bostwick, as well as his stepson, Geoff Ellis, and close friends from his 36

Aiken Polo Club 2015

Gary Knoll

college days at Yale. After the service, the pavilion was formally dedicated to Alan by Geoff Ellis and Alan’s friend Woody Millen, who served with him on the Whitney Trust. The dedication included the unveiling of a plaque bearing his name, and his picture. At the end of the dedication, a bagpiper played as Katherine Thomas, who is Aiken Polo Club’s social director, led Alan’s favorite grey polo pony past the crowd, his boots backwards in the stirrups. The Alan Lyle Corey III pavilion is Alan’s legacy both to polo and to Aiken. The family asks that those who wish to make a donation to honor him purchase a commemorative brick to be installed on the floor of the pavilion. Information about the brick campaign and order forms can be found on the Aiken Polo Club website: www.aikenpoloclub.org. Alan is survived by his wife, Patricia Ellis Corey; daughters, Christine Corey Romero and Cynthia Corey Dolezal; sons, Alan Lyle Corey IV, and Robert William Corey; stepsons, James Thomas Raezer and Geoffrey Alan Ellis, as well as his sister, Patricia Corey Montgomerie, and brother, William Russell Corey, and seven grandchildren.

Aiken Polo Club 2015


USPA National Copper Cup Crestview/Karna wins in 2014 by Pam Gleason


he USPA National Copper Cup 12 goal, one of the most prestigious tournaments on the United States Polo Club schedule, is the marquee event of Aiken Polo Club’s year. Teams come from near and far with one objective in mind: hoisting the historic Copper Cup trophy at the awards table on finals Sunday afternoon. Ask any player who has won a tournament here: there is nothing like it. Eight teams entered the 2014 edition of the tournament. These teams were divided into two brackets of four, and the team with the best record in each bracket advanced to the finals on Whitney Field. Before the tournament started, handicappers could easily make a case for why any one of the eight teams should win. As always, there were some favorites. For instance, there was Duck Hill, boasting the powerful combination of Tommy Biddle (6 goals) and John Gobin (4) along with Weston Gracida (2) and Bob Stanton (A). Tommy Biddle, who won the cup in 2011 playing with Blanco Texas, is a powerful hitter and always a force to be reckoned with, especially at the 12-goal level. John Gobin, a veteran of U.S. international teams, played hard all summer in Virginia and was especially on his game. But for Duck Hill, it was not to be. After winning their first two hard-fought matches, the team was knocked out of contention in a 9-8 overtime decision against Crestview/Karna. It was one of the most exciting games of the tournament. Kenny Ray Personal Fitness also looked good for a chance at posing for a win picture. With the former 10-goaler Owen Rinehart playing at a 5-goal handicap, the team, sponsored by Barb Uskup (A), included Antonio Galvan (4) and Gabriel Crespo (3), both clever players who are skilled at turning the game their way. But Kenny Ray Personal Fitness lost its first game by a score of 16-12 against Indigo Inn. The team rallied to win its second game against Clearwater 14-8, and then to tie 10-10 with High Ground/SD. In another tournament, this might have been enough to advance, but Indigo Inn won all three of its games decisively, making it the clear winner of the bracket. With no semi-finals, there would be no second chances. Kenny Ray Personal Fitness was out.


Aiken Polo Club 2015

When finals day rolled around, the two teams vying for victory were Crestview/Karna and Indigo Inn. Each foursome had plenty going for it. Crestview/ Karna’s greatest strength was its anchor, the 8-goaler Matias Magrini, who was the highest rated player in the tournament. Down from his former 10 goal rating, Matias had not lost much, and had certainly stayed true to his ultra competitive nature. He was playing with Hugo Lloret, an up-and-coming 4 goaler, and two sponsors, Alan Meeker and Stan Sandefur, both playing off a zerogoal rating. Indigo Inn, for its part, was a more Gary Knoll balanced team. It featured the brothers Brien and Brad Limehouse, rated 1 and 3 respectively, along with Kegan Walsh, a 20 year-old 2-goaler with a bright future. Leading the team and directing plays was Pelon Escapite (6) whose style is both masterful and generous. In each game Pelon managed to create the majority of the plays and finish them when he had to. Most important, he always used his teammates to the best of their abilities so that each was able to shine. It would have been hard to imagine a more perfect day for a final. Historic Whitney Field was in its glory, ringed with cars full of spectators and sporting its newly completed Alan Lyle Corey III viewing pavilion. The day was bright and sunny but not too

MVP Kegan Walsh on the ball. Matias Magrini chases behind.

hot. The playing surface was green and inviting, reflecting the time and effort that Aiken Polo Club put into improving its fields. Crestview/Karna wore red. Indigo Inn wore black. In the first chukker, everything favored red. Magrini and Lloret kept the play in enemy territory, pushing hard toward goal. Indigo Inn’s players covered them closely: too closely, perhaps. The first two goals of the game were both Penalty 2s from Indigo Inn fouls. Magrini converted them easily. Then Lloret took the ball all the way down the field and knocked it through the uprights, making the score 3-0 in favor of Crestview/Karna. Just before the chukker ended, a foul was blown on the red and Indigo Inn’s Escapite put the black on the board for the first time.

Crestview/Karna kept up the pressure in the second chukker with Lloret opening the scoring with a goal from the field. The team was also playing excellent defense. Midway through the chukker, Escapite hit a perfect high Penalty 4 that should have been right on target, but Magrini defended it beautifully, knocking the ball out of the air and out of the goal. Indigo Inn just grew more determined. After this play, the foursome managed to keep the ball in the offensive end of the field, always driving to goal. Brad Limehouse got the ball in heavy traffic, dribbled past the goal, then hit a strong, high tail-shot that sent it precisely through the uprights. Then, Indigo Inn knocked in a Penalty 3 just as the chukker ended, putting the score at 4-3 in favor of Crestview/Karna. Aiken Polo Club 2015


In the third chukker, Escapite started things off with a goal from the field to tie the score. Lloret answered with a goal for Crestview/Karna. Indigo Inn then converted two penalties to take the lead 6-5 as the

Gary Knoll

goal and then mis-hit the last shot. Brien was there to knock it in, widening his team’s lead to three. But momentum can change. This is particularly true when the strongest player on the losing team gets on his best horse and decides it is time to turn the tables. This is what happened now. Magrini had recently purchased a mare name Los Machitos Macy, and she was his ace in the hole. Los Machitos Macy is a little chestnut mare, the kind of horse that puts the “pony” back in polo. Royally bred for the game (her sire, Ellerstina Monaguillo, is descended from the great polo stud Pucará and is also the sire of many top Argentine horses), she never let her small size get in her way, even though Magrini is a big man. Darting here and there, she was fast, she was handy, and she took her rider wherever he needed to go so quickly that he sometimes ended up on her neck. Crestview/Karna’s first goal of the chukker would be off Lloret’s mallet and from Matias Magrini on his Best Playing Pony Los Machitos Macy. Brad the field. The next three goals came from Limehouse guards him. Alan Meeker and Hugo Lloret follow up. Magrini, making the score tied as the timer teams left the field for halftime. ticked down toward the seven-minute mark. There was The fourth chukker started out strong for Indigo one minute, 20 seconds left when Crestview/Karna Inn. First, the team was awarded a rare Penalty One, pulled ahead 13-12. The crowd held its collective an automatic goal followed by a throw-in near the breath, hoping for overtime, wishing for the chance to goal line, after which they tallied a second time. Now see the game extended. But the clock ran out, the bell the score was 8-5 in their favor. But Crestview/Karna rang and Lloret drove the ball to the sideboards to end answered back. Both Alan Meeker and Stan Sandefur the chukker and the game. Crestview/Karna was the scored from the field and Magrini converted a penalty, winner by a goal. making things even again at 8-8. Best Playing Pony honors went to Magrini’s Los In chukker five, Kegan Walsh, riding his best horse Machitos Macy, while Kegan Walsh was awarded Most Earl, received a pass at midfield and then carried the Valuable player. ball smoothly to goal, putting his team back in the “I am honored that I won it, but I don’t think I lead. Escapite scored at the other end of the field with deserved it,” said Walsh. “I think Pelon deserved it. a seemingly impossible backwards neckshot that must Playing with him has been the biggest part of why have flown in an arc like a curveball to find its mark. the tournament was fun for me. In my opinion, he And with two minutes left, Walsh scored yet again, outshined everyone he played against.” picking up a ball that was dropped for him by Escapite. Pelon Escapite is no stranger to the Copper Cup in It looked like Crestview/Karna would be shut out for Aiken. In fact, playing with the Skaneateles team, he the chukker, until, with just 15 seconds left, Indigo Inn made it to the finals of the tournament the last four committed a foul near the goal. Magrini converted and years in a row. Will it be his turn to raise the trophy the score ended up11-9 in favor of Indigo Inn. this year? We will find out when the USPA National At the beginning of the sixth chukker, it looked as Copper Cup final returns to Whitney Field once though Indigo Inn had the game firmly in hand with again. This year the tournament is being played in momentum on its side. In the very first play, Brad memory of Will Tankard, whose teams won in 2012 Limehouse drove the ball within a few yards of the and 2013. Finals will be October 4. 40

Aiken Polo Club 2015

Aiken Polo Club 2015


Gary Knoll

Brien Limehouse versus Eliza Limehouse; USPA Sportmanship Cup 6-Goal

Summer Kneece on the ball: Sunday exhibition 42

Aiken Polo Club 2015

Pam Gleason

Aiken Polo Club 2015



Aiken Polo Club 2015

Aiken Polo Club 2015


2014 Aiken Polo Club Tournament Results 2015 SPRING FALL 2014 USPA Governor’s Cup 6 Goal. October 1, Whitney Field

Winners: Karna/Palmetto Parking: Chip Limehouse, Luis Galvan, Brad Limehouse, Stan Sandefur.

George Buggs

George Buggs

George Buggs

Karna/Palmetto Parking def Airy Hall Blessing Plantation 10-4 MVP: Luis Galvan. BPP: Minxy owned and played by Brad Limehouse.

Runners-up: Airy Hall/Blessing Plantation: Omar Cepeda, Del Walton, Barry Limehouse, Edouard de Francs.

2014 USPA National Copper Cup 12-Goal. October 5, Whitney Field

Winners: Crestview/Karna: Matias Magrini, Hugo Lloret Alan Meeker, Stan Sandefur.


Aiken Polo Club 2015

Gary Knoll

Gary Knoll

Crestview/Karna def Indigo Inn 13-12 MVP: Kegan Walsh. BPP: Los Machitos Macy, Matias Magrini

Runners-up: Indigo Inn: Brad Limehouse, Pelon Escapite, Kegan Walsh, Brien Limehouse.

2014 USPA Player’s Cup 4 Goal. October 19, Whitney Field

George Buggs

George Buggs

Cedro Azul def Beverly Equestrian . MVP: Omar Cepeda. BPP: Overa, Tenzin Tognini

Runners-up: Beverly Equestrian: Tenzin Tognini, Doug Barnes, Matt Sekera, Bill Balhaus.

Winners: Cedro Azul: Omar Cepeda, Diego Ferriera Alan Hale, Dave Smith.

2014 USPA National Officer’s Cup. October 26, Whitney Field

Winners: Duck Hill: Brien Limehouse, Luis Galvan, John Gobin, Bob Stanton.

George Buggs

George Buggs

Duck Hill def Foxdale Equine. MVP: John Gobin. BPP: Split Pea, Tom Uskup

Runners-up: Foxdale Equine: Paul Shealy, Tom Uskup, Julian Daniels, Hugh Worsham.

2014 USPA Hall of Fame Challenge Cup 4 Goal, November 9, Powderhouse Field Woodlawn def The Aiken Horse, 5-4 . MVP: Phillip Staples. BPP: Mancha, Omar Cepeda

Winners: Woodlawn: Phillip Staples, Omar Cepeda, Chilo Cordova, Josh Daniels.

Runners-up: The Aiken Horse: Matthew Fonseca, Matt McGhee, Seth Howe, Pam Gleason. Aiken Polo Club 2015


2014 USPA Cup of Aiken 8 Goal. November 9, Whitney Field

George Buggs

George Buggs

Blackberg Ranch def Duck Hill, 13-12 OT MVP: Horacio Onetto. BPP: Chrome, John Gobin

Winners: Blackberg Ranch: Horacio Onetto, Pedro Lara, Josh Shelton, Rob Berg.

Runners-up: Duck Hill: Brien Limehouse, Luis Galvan, John Gobin, Bob Stanton.

Winners: Kenny Ray Fitness: Barb Uskup, Brien Limehouse, Rob Stenzel, Antonio Galvan.


Aiken Polo Club 2015

Pam Gleason

Pam Gleason

2015 USPA Congressional Cup 8 Goal. May 10, Whitney Field Kenny Ray Fitness def Peachtree 15-10. MVP: Rob Stenzel. BPP: Bobby, Antonio Galvan

Runners-up: Peachtree: Will Tankard, Amy Flowers, Randy Rizor, Marcos Onetto.

2015 USPA Sportsmanship Cup 6 Goal. May 17, Whitney Field

Limehouse Produce def Kenny Ray Fitness 8-7 OT MVP: Marcos Onetto BPP: Fanta, Marcos Onetto

Winners: Limehouse Produce: Eliza Limehouse, Marcos Onetto, Luis Galvan, Chip Limehouse.

Runners-up: Kenny Ray Fitness: Antonio Galvan, Will Tankard, Nick Galvan, Barb Uskup.

2015 Dogwood Cup 4 Goal. May 31, Whitney Field

Woodlawn def Bandoleros 7.5-6. MVP: Josh Daniels. BPP: Flaca, Luis Galvan

Winners: Woodlawn: Josh Daniels, Chilo Cordova, Omar Cepeda, Phillip Staples.

Runners-up: Bandoleros: Richard Terbrusch, Barry Limehouse, Tom Uskup, Luis Galvan.

2015 USPA Smoak Family 8 Goal. June 7, Whitney Field

Pam Gleason

Pam Gleason

Kenny Ray Personal Fitness def Brookland Plantation 15-14 OT MVP: Antonio Galvan BPP: Bloody Mary, Alan Martinez.

Winners: Kenny Ray Personal Fitness: Antonio Galvan, Will Tankard, Brien Limehouse, Barb Uskup.

Runners-up: Brookland Plantation: Barry Limehouse, Chip Limehouse, Alan Martinez, Luis Galvan. Aiken Polo Club 2015


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Aiken Polo Club 2015

Aiken Polo Club 2015



Aiken Polo Club 2015

Growing Up in Polo

Young players make their mark Story and photography by Pam Gleason


erhaps the best indication that the sport of polo is on healthy footing in Aiken is the number of young people who are playing here. Not only is there a new crop of pre- and early-teen players getting started at Aiken Polo Club, there is also a group of mid- and late-teenaged players who have been participating in regular tournaments. These players are not just on the field, they are excelling. In fact, the young players, some of them in their first official matches, are so impressive that several found themselves at the awards table last spring. Their teams are winning and the kids are also regularly being honored as the MVPs of the match.

them are showing signs of getting seriously hooked. Tiger donates his time to run the lessons, which have no fee. The kids have to supply their own horses, however, whether this means they are riding horses owned by their families or they are borrowing or leasing from someone else. Not surprisingly, the majority of the kids have a polo (or at least a horse) connection, and many of them have at least one parent who is a player. For instance, Alea Crespo, a Mead Hall student who is the daughter of the professional player Gabriel Crespo, has been an enthusiastic member of the junior team. When she is not playing she is singing,

Aiken Juniors: Grace Ellis, Alea Crespo, Liza Cram, Daniel McCarthy, Celia Cram, Virginia Gwinn, Summer Kneece, Josh Escapite Left: Summer Kneece on the ball

Aiken’s latest junior program is run by Tiger Kneece, a former 7-goal player who lives in Aiken. His youngest daughter, Summer, is one of the stars of the show. The kids practice twice a week on Winthrop Field in the downtown horse district, and many of

and has sung the national anthem before Aiken Polo’s Sunday games, as well as at Aiken’s Memorial Day Parade in May. Grace Ellis, whose parents Geoff and Shannon own The Willcox, is an integral member of the team. Her father, also a player, is often on the field Aiken Polo Club 2015


with the kids, coaching, keeping the game moving and filming it all with a Go-Pro camera mounted to his helmet. Dan McCarthy, a horse trainer who runs Farmer Road Polo, comes to the field to watch his son Daniel play. Josh Escapite is the son of a professional

usually B (-1) for at least their first year or two on the field. Most of them don’t generally play significantly above that rating for the majority of the game, but they do tend to have excellent hitting and riding as well as one-or-two-goal-worthy flashes of brilliance

player (Cuko Escapite) while his mother is an equine veterinarian, Dr. Sarah Thompson. Rick and Cathy Cram, who own Highfields Event Center and run Progressive Show Jumping, have two daughters who play, Liza and Celia. Their family is obviously into horses, but the two girls are the only Cram representatives who are wielding mallets. The kids in the junior program are still at a beginning stage and their exhibition chukkers at halftime on Aiken Polo Club’s Sunday field rarely break out of a slow canter. In a few years, however, these same kids are likely to be speed demons, playing fast and hard with the adults. Young people of 16 or 17 who have been playing since they were little more than toddlers have a big advantage over other players with relatively little experience. Although they are not as strong as the adults, they have a better sense of the game, a more natural way of riding, and they can often hit surprisingly long and accurate shots. Because of this, having a teenager on your team can be a real advantage. Their handicaps are still low,

that can really make a difference in the score. This is why they picked up a number of MVP awards at Aiken Polo Club in the spring. For example, Josh Daniels, 14, whose father Julian is a 6-goal professional, was the MVP of the USPA Dogwood Cup 4-goal. Tristan Hurley, 17, was named the MVP of the Sunday, May 24 game in the same tournament. Other teenagers have taken home the MVP title pretty frequently at APC, most notably Wesley Bryan, now 18 and a member of Team USPA, the United States Polo Association’s training program for aspiring professionals. Any student of the game recognizes that playing polo is a little like playing the violin. If you want to be good, it is best to start as young as possible. Where violin has the Suzuki Method, putting scaled down instruments in the hands of 4-year-olds, polo has foot mallets and junior programs. If the current crop of young players is any indication, Aiken’s fields will soon be seeing whole teams of virtuosos.


Aiken Polo Club 2015

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Aiken Polo Club 2015


Aiken Polo Club 2015

Pam Gleason

Horacio 56Onetto

Aiken Polo Club 2015


Greyson Brown on the ball. Chilo Cordova in pursuit. USPA Sportsmanship Cup 6 Goal.

Chilo Cordova hits; Geoff Cameron waits for the next play. Maria Cepeda follows up. USPA Sportsmanship Cup. 58

Aiken Polo Club 2015


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Aiken Polo Club 2015


Antonio Galvan’s Best Playing Pony Bobby. USPA Congressional Cup 8 Goal. Presenters Karl McMillan and Sharer Dale from RE/MAX Aiken Tattersalls Group.

Above: Louis Berizzi and Cristian Thieme at practice. Right: Josh Daniels in action. USPA Sportsmanship Cup 6 Goal 60

Aiken Polo Club 2015

Pam Gleason

Aiken Polo Club 2015


Stacie Rodriguez and Del Walton in the USPA National Officers Cup

George Buggs

Hugh Worsham on the ball. USPA Officers Cup 8 Goal

George Buggs


Aiken Polo Club 2015

George Buggs

Above: Whitney Vogt versus Barry Limehouse, USPA National Officers Cup 8 goal.

Pam Gleason

Elizabeth Hedley

Below: Gary Knoll and a flying mallet, USPA Dogwood Cup. Lito Salatino at practice

Aiken Polo Club 2015


Remembering Will Tankard The Polo Community Mourns by Pam Gleason

The polo community in Aiken and beyond is mourning the loss of William Tyler Tankard. Will, 31, died along with his dog Chewy and three of his horses in a motor vehicle accident on July 30. He was en route from Lexington, Kentucky to the Darlington Polo Club on the PennsylvaniaOhio border, where he was scheduled to play in a Friday night exhibition match. Will has been described as the heart and soul of the polo community, a promising young player who was hard-working, sincere and a team player in every sense of the word. He grew up in the polo world, playing his first chukkers by the age of 5. He went on to play in the interscholastics in Fort Worth, Texas, where he led his team to the national championship in 2002 and 2003. From there, he earned a partial polo scholarship to Texas Tech University in Lubbock. In 2006, Texas Tech won their first ever intercollegiate championship. After graduation, Will was working in an insurance office and trying to figure out a way to continue playing polo. It was then that he heard of Team USPA, the United States Polo Association’s new training program for aspiring professionals. He applied, was accepted into the program during its first year, and went to work with Adam Snow, a former 10-goal player in Aiken. Dedicating himself to the sport, he progressed rapidly. Will was soon in demand on many teams, and those teams found success with him. Among other accomplishments, his teams won the USPA National Copper Cup 12goal in Aiken in 2012 and 2013, as well as the National Chairman’s Cup 12-goal at Myopia in 2013. He also played internationally, in Argentina and Chile, and represented his country on the winning team of the Bryan Morrison Cup against England. This past spring, he made it to the finals of three of Aiken’s tournaments. Although Will’s tenacious playing and accurate hitting were responsible for many wins, he was never a flashy player. Instead, he played for his team, always taking the role that would help that team succeed, and making his teammates play better because of it. In the days following the accident, a Facebook page was set up, called In Memory of Will Tankard, and it was soon filled with pictures, tributes and stories, as well as an immense outpouring of support from around the country and world. People came forward with their memories of Will, many of which involved accounts of his lending a hand to someone when they needed help. It became clear that, as beloved a figure as he was in the polo world, his generosity with his time and his talent went further than most people realized.


Aiken Polo Club 2015

Kris Bowman, who is the director of Team USPA, says that Will embodied all of the qualities that Team USPA was looking for. “He did everything exactly how we imagined,” she says. “So many people had a hand in getting Will to the point where he had that success in his career and so many people believed in him. And he totally understood the concept of giving back. If there was ever anyone in the program who had a problem or was struggling a bit, I knew I could always send them to Will and he would help them every day. He was so patient with them and so helpful.” Seven of Will’s horses miraculously survived the accident. They were transported to Mike and Andrea Groubert’s farm in Canfield, Ohio, where they were treated by a series of vets and were cared for around the clock by Will’s mother, Cissie Snow and his partner, Samira Waernlund, who was driving in her car behind Will when the accident occurred. Cissie, Samira and the Grouberts were joined by an army of volunteers from the local community as well as polo friends from near and far. Businesses donated feed and supplies and various fundraisers were set up to help defray veterinary and horse care costs. In August, the horses were transported home to Aiken where they continued to recover at Barb Uskup’s farm, Meadow Hill. “It has been incredible,” said Cissie Snow shortly after the accident. “People I don’t even know come to clean the barn. Families keep coming by with their children, bringing us food or wanting to give us some bandages that they had for their horse that they don’t need any more. One man we met reached in his pocket and took out ten dollars and gave it to us and said ‘This is all I can do. Please take this for the horses.’ That’s the kind of people they are. Every time I look around there are more angels. It is testimony to Will’s life. He would do that for somebody. It gives you faith in a lot of different ways. “They say it takes a village to raise a child,” Cissie continued. “Raising a child as a single parent in the polo community has been one of the most incredible experiences. I think Will took the best of everybody that ever helped him. I think he made me a better person and I think he made a lot of the other people who knew him better people, and it’s because he was raised by this village, this polo community.” An addition to Cissie and Samira, Will also leaves his father, Bill Tankard and a brother, Jason Melson. A celebration of his life is scheduled for October 3 at Whitney Polo Field, the day before the finals of the USPA National Copper Cup 12 goal, which will be played in his memory. To make a tax-deductible donation to help Will’s horses, send checks to AIPF, 12300 South Shore Boulevard, STE 218, Wellington, FL 33414 or donate directly at In Memory of Will Tankard on GoFundMe: www.gofundme.com/c44cvmh34.

Gary Knoll

Aiken Polo Club 2015



Aiken Polo Club 2015

Pam Gleason

Pam Gleason

Tom Uskup: USPA Congressional Cup

Gary Knoll

Pam Gleason

Above: Theresa King at practice and Todd Martineau in the USPA Sportsmanship Cup. Below: Kathy Iverson on the ball, Thomas Ravenel follows: practice at Powder House Field.

Pam Gleason

Aiken Polo Club 2015


Hotels and Restaurant Guide 2015 Dinner Downtown Aiken Brewing Company 140 Laurens St. SW 803-502-0707 Aiken Speakeasy & Eats 126 Laurens St. NW 803-226-0260 Casa Bella 120 Chesterfield St. SW 803-641-3107


Aiken Polo Club 2015

City Billiards 208 Richland Ave W 803-649-7362

The Pizza Joint 125 Richland Ave. West 803-648-1028

Linda’s Bistro 135 York St. SE 803-648-4853

Prime Steakhouse 316 Richland Ave. West 803-642-4488

Malia’s Restaurant (dinner: Thursday – Saturday only) 120 Laurens St. SW 803-643-3086

Cork & Bean at 100 Laurens 100 Laurens St. 803-648-4265

Mellow Mushroom 151 Bee Lane 803-474-8454 Playoffs Sportsbar 205 Richland Ave 803-648-1028

The Restaurant at The Willcox 100 Colleton Ave. SE 803-648-1898/ Toll Free: 877-6482200 The Stables at Rose Hill Estate (dinner: Thursday – Saturday only) 221 Greenville St. NW 803-648-1181

Takosushi 210 The Alley 803-642-8899 Trio Bar & Kitchen 222 The Alley 803-226-0386


The Acropolis 1647 Richland Ave. West 803-649-7601 Aiken Brewing Company 140 Laurens St. SW 803-502-0707 Auten’s Family Restaurant 969 Pine Log Road 803-502-1307 Atlanta Bread Company 1944 Whiskey Rd. 803-643-8100 Betsy’s On the Corner 159 Laurens St NW 803-226-0078 City Billiards 208 Richland Ave. West 803-649-7362 Duke’s Bar-B-Q (lunch: Thursday, Friday, Saturday only) 4248 Whiskey Rd. 803-649-7675 Firehouse Subs 100 South Aiken Lane 803-649-517 or 3555 Richland Ave. West 803-643-9677 Five Guys Burgers and Fries 1909 Whiskey Rd. 803-649-9949 Honey Baked Ham Co. & Café 1701 Whiskey Rd. 803-649-6038

La Dolce Gourmet Bakery, Coffee & Tea Bar 123 Laurens St NW 803-335-1440 Magnolia Natural Market & Café 210 York St. SE 803-649-3339 Malia’s Restaurant (Tues – Fri) 120 Laurens St. SW 803-643-3086 Ridgecrest Coffee Bar 2502 Wagener Rd 803-641-9000 Moe’s Southwest Grill 1500 Whiskey Rd. 803-642-0409 New Moon Café 116 Laurens St. NW 803-643-7088 Noble Breads & Grocer 1625 Richland Ave. East 803-642-8898 Pat’s Sub Shop 1747 Whiskey Rd. 803-649-1523 Ray’s Tavern 2466 Wagener Rd 803-649-5915 Sawasdee Thai Restaurant 730 Augusta Rd 803-663-6363 Shanes Rib Shack 2645 Whiskey Rd 803-226-0192 What’s Cookin’ Downtown 123-B Laurens St. NW 803-649-1068 Which Wich 2645 Whiskey Rd Aiken, SC 29803 803-226-0424

DINNER BEYOND DOWNTOWN Apizza di Napoli 740 Silver Bluff Rd. 803-226-0700

Applebee’s Bar & Grill 1360 Whiskey Rd. 803-642-8175 Chili’s Grill & Bar 2599 Whiskey Rd. 803-648-8148 Cracker Barrel 2364 Whiskey Rd. Aiken, SC 29803 (803) 648-0007 Eastern Buffet 190 Aiken Mall Drive SW 803-642-2788 Fatz Café 996 Pine Log Rd. 803-641-4261 Ferrando’s Italian Pizzeria 103 South Aiken Lane (The Shoppes At Whiskey) 803-644-8881 General Elliott Inn (parties of 8 or more, Monday – Thursday; general reservations, Friday – Saturday) 939 New Bridge Rd. 803-642-8108 Harry’s Local Neighborhood Oyster Bar 1208 Whiskey Rd. 803-649-0082 Iron Horse Bar and Grill 2510 Storm Branch Road 803.867.2388 Jade of China 1014-C Pine Log Rd. 803-642-8509 Aiken Polo Club 2015


Juniper 640 E. Main St. in Ridge Spring 803-685-7547 Kobe Japanese Steak House 1040 Pine Log Rd. 803-642-9080 Maria’s Mexican Restaurant 716 E. Pine Log Rd. 803-648-8840 Mi Rancho 3607 Richland Ave. West 803-644-1111 or 124 Dominion Dr. 803-641-6099 New China Restaurant 252 East Gate Drive 803-641-1229 Hao Chinese Buffet 3553 Richland Ave. W. 803-648-5233 O’Charley’s 168 South Aiken Lane (The Shoppes at Whiskey) 803-644-8874 Outback Steak House 160 Aiken Mall Dr. 803-644-4031 Red Bowl 2645 Whiskey Rd. 803-226-9888 Red Lobster 950 Aiken Mall Dr. 803-648-4320 Red Pepper Café 752 Silver Bluff Road 803-649-9915 Roma’s Italian Restaurant 1368 Whiskey Rd. 803-643-7828


Aiken Polo Club 2015

Ruby Tuesday (East Gate Shopping Center on Whiskey Rd.) 803-642-7266 Sakura Japanese Steak House 1913 Whiskey Rd. 803-648-3238 Salsa Tex-Mex Grill 109 Tamil Drive 803-643-2722 Sawasdee Thai Restaurant 730 Augusta Rd 803-663-6363 Tokyo Grill 3555 Richland Ave. W. 803-502-7868 Travinia 470 Fabian Drive (803) 642-9642 The Wing Place 732 E. Pine Log Rd. 803-644-7777 Zorbas 510 Silver Bluff Road (803) 643-8777


Auten’s Family Restaurant 969 Pine Log Road 803-502-1307 Atlanta Bread Company 1944 Whiskey Rd. 803-643-8100 Dolce Gourmet Bakery, Coffee and Tea Bar 123 Laurens St NW 803-335-1440 Ridgecrest Coffee Bar 2502 Wagener Rd 803-641-9000

The Track Kitchen 420 Mead Ave. 803-641-9628 The Waffle House 1710 Richland Ave. West 803-644-4098 or 2519 Whiskey Rd. 803-649-9990 or 462 East Pine Log Rd. 803-649-1838

HOTELS DOWNTOWN The Carriage House Inn 139 Laurens St. NW 803-644-5888

Days Inn Downtown 1204 Richland Avenue W 803-649-5524 Hotel Aiken 235 Richland Ave. West 803-648-4265/ 877-817-6690 Rose Hill Estate 221 Greenville St. NW 803-648-1181

Hampton Inn Tamil Drive at Whiskey Rd. South 803-648-2525

Sleep Inn 1002 Monterey Drive 803-644-9900

Hilton Garden Inn 350 East Gate Drive 803-641-4220

Towne Place Suites 1008 Monterey Drive 803-641-7373

America’s Best Value Inn 2577 Whiskey Rd. 803-641-8800

Holiday Inn Express and Suites 2897 Whiskey Rd 803-508-7700

Clarion Hotel 155 Colonial Parkway 803-648-0999

Houndslake Guest House 897 Houndslake Drive 803-648-9535/ Toll Free: 800-735-4587

BED & BREAKFAST Abbeville Bed and Breakfast 208 Abbeville Avenue NW 803-649-3109

The Willcox 100 Colleton Ave. SW 803-648-1898/ Toll Free: 877-6482200


Country Inn & Suites 3270 Whiskey Rd. 803-649-4024 Econo Lodge 3560 Richland Avenue W 803-649-3968 Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott 185 Colony Parkway 803-648-7808

Annie’s Inn Bed & Breakfast 3082 Charleston Hwy. 803-649-6836

Howard Johnson’s 1936 Whiskey Rd. South 803-649-5000

Briar Patch Bed & Breakfast 544 Magnolia St. SE 803-649-2010

Knights Inn 1850 Richland Avenue W. 803-648-6821

White House Inn Bed & Breakfast 240 Newberry St. SW 803-649-2935

Quality Inn 3608 Richland Ave. W. 803-641-1100

Aiken Polo Club 2015



Aiken Polo Club 2015

Aiken Polo Club 2015


Polo Glossary

What are they saying? When you go to a polo match, especially if it is your first one, you will discover that polo players and fans speak a slightly different language. Just what are the players saying and what do they mean? The following is an abbreviated polo glossary that might help you understand what is going on around you.

Ball: The polo ball is about 3½ inches in diameter

and weighs 3½ to 4½ ounces. In ancient days, the polo ball was made of the root of the willow tree; the word “polo” may derive from the word “pulu” which was an ancient Manipuri Indian word meaning “willow.” Throughout history, polo balls were made of various different materials including wood and leather. Today, they are almost exclusively made of white plastic. Every hard hit dents the ball a bit, so that one that has made it through a game is no longer absolutely round and is actually smaller than a new ball. A polo game requires many balls so that there is always one handy for knock-ins from the endline, throw-ins from the sideboards or for foul shots. If a ball rolls out of bounds, don’t toss it back onto the field. The umpire will do that. (See “throw-in”)

the divots, otherwise known as “stomping the divots.”

Flagger: An official who is stationed behind each

goal to determine whether or not a goal has been

Bump: A player may ride his horse into his

opponent’s in order to spoil his shot or remove him from the play. The angle of the bump must be no greater than 45 degrees. Although a bump can be quite hard, it may not endanger either horse or rider. A bump is “dangerous riding” and a foul if either horse is significantly ahead of the other, going much faster than the other, or if the bump causes either mount to lose its balance.

Chukker: A period in polo is called a “chukker,” or sometimes a “chukka.” Each chukker lasts seven and a half minutes and there are usually either four or six chukkers in each game. After each chukker, the players leave the field and then return with fresh horses for the next chukker. A horse may play one or at most two chukkers in a game. The word chukker comes from a Sanskrit word meaning “the turn of a wheel,” which is presumably how periods in polo used to be timed. Today, officials use electronic timers and sound a horn to mark the end of each chukker. A warning horn is sounded at seven minutes; the final horn is sounded at seven and a half minutes. Divot: A loose piece of turf created by galloping hooves, or by horses stopping and turning quickly. At halftime, spectators are invited on the field to replace 74

Aiken Polo Club 2015

scored. If yes, the flagger waves his flag over his head. If no, he waves it down by his feet.

Foul: Also a “penalty.” A foul is any infringement of

the rules. When the umpires blow their whistles, time stops and the team fouled takes a free hit. Depending on the severity of the foul, the free hit may be from the point of the infraction, or closer to the goal. If the umpires determine that there was no actual foul or that both teams fouled simultaneously, they may have a throw-in instead of the foul shot.


The purpose of polo is to score goals by hitting the ball through the goal posts. It doesn’t matter how high in the air a player hits the ball: as long as it passes between the parallel lines created by the goal posts, it counts as a goal. After each goal is scored, the teams switch directions and return to the center of the field for a throw-in. Also a term for a

handicap, as in “How many goals are you?” (See next entry)

Handicap: Every player is assigned a handicap

from C (-2) to 10 goals. This handicap reflects the player’s theoretical worth to his team and has nothing whatever to do with how many goals he might score during a match. On each team, the four players’ handicaps are added together to arrive at a team handicap. Team handicaps are used to classify tournaments: in an 8-goal tournament, the teams have a maximum of eight goals, for instance. If a 7-goal team plays against an 8-goal team, the 7-goal team will start the game with one goal, “on handicap.”

to hook an opponent, he will yell “Mallet!” Other times, when a player breaks his mallet, he may yell “mallet!” to his groom. With luck, someone will come to the endline to bring him a new one. The play never stops just because one of the players has broken or dropped a mallet.

Near Side:

The left side of the horse. One normally handles the horse on his near side. A near side shot is one taken on the left side of the horse. All players carry their mallets in their right hands, so to execute a near side shot, they must lean across the horse. Near side shots are more difficult than off side (right side) shots.

Hook: A defensive play. A player may hook or strike at his opponent’s mallet when the opponent is in the act of hitting at the ball. He may not reach over, under or across his opponent’s horse: this is a “cross hook” and a foul. A “high hook” (above the level of the player’s shoulder) is also a foul. Sometimes a player commits a foul hook accidentally. An “inadvertent foul hook” merits a free hit from the spot.

Neck Shot: a shot made under the horse’s neck,

“Leave it!” A player may call for his teammate to “leave it” (meaning don’t try to hit the ball) if the player behind the one “on the ball” thinks he has a better shot. Generally speaking, the player behind has a better view of the game and knows if it would be better for the player in front to leave it or not.

Open: (a) A shot that travels at an angle away from

Line of the Ball: The imaginary line that the ball creates from where a player hits it to where it is going. The line extends indefinitely across the field. Many of the right-of-way rules in polo are based on the concept of the line of the ball. Generally, one tries not to cross the line of the ball, especially in front of someone who is “on the line.” Knock-in: When the ball goes over the endline

but not through the goal posts, the team defending that goal gets a free hit or “knock-in” from the point where the ball went out. Attacking players must stay 30 yards away from the hitter until the ball is in play.

Mallet: The polo stick. Mallet canes are made

of malacca, a type of palm that grows in the Asian rainforest. The mallet head is typically made of tipa wood from Argentina or Brazil. Since polo is not croquet, players do not have to hit the ball with the pointed end of the mallet. Instead, they hit it with the side of the head, at the juncture of the head and the cane. Sometimes when a player yells for his teammate

causing the ball to travel at an angle in front of the horse. Players must lean forward and hit the ball well in front of them to execute a neck shot properly. Otherwise, the ball will bounce into the pony’s galloping legs.

Off Side: The right side of the horse. The most common shot in polo is an off side forehand.

the horse, either backwards or forwards. Also called a cut shot or and away shot. (b) A polo game that is played without consideration of handicaps – in other words, a lower handicapped team would not receive any goals to start with.

Penalty One: a dangerous foul that takes place near the goal, created when a defending player attempts to stop an attacker from scoring. In a Penalty One, the team fouled gets an automatic goal. The teams do not change ends, and the ball is thrown in at the 10 yard line. A Penalty One often results in two goals for the team that was fouled. Pick-up stick: A necessary piece of equipment

for the umpire, it is a stick with a special end that allows the umpire to pick up a polo ball from the ground.

Pony: Although they are full-sized, full-grown horses, polo mounts are called ponies. This term comes from the early modern history of polo. When British tea planters learned the game from Manipuri Indians in the mid-19th century, they did indeed play on ponies — they also played eight to a side. As the sport developed, players used larger and larger mounts and had fewer and fewer teammates. By the end of the World War I, height limits for polo mounts Aiken Polo Club 2015


were a memory. Today, the majority of polo ponies in America are Thoroughbred horses, some of which began their careers on the racetrack.

chukker, he does this on his own time. The timer is not stopped so that a player can change his horse.

Pony Goal: a goal that is scored by a pony kicking

behind the horse (“under the tail.”) When a player calls to a teammate to “tail-it!” he is asking for a tail shot. The opposite of a tail shot is a cut, or an open shot

it in. Pony goals count just as much as goals scored by players. If your pony scores a goal, the trick, of course, is to make sure that he kicks it through the correct goal. No one likes to ride a pony that is scoring points for the opposition!

Tail shot: A back shot executed at an angle


“Take the man!” Like “leave it!” this is something that a player might yell at a teammate who is in front of him. He is asking his teammate to ride off an opponent and leave the ball for the player behind him.

Safety: If a defending player hits the ball over

Technical: A penalty exacted against displays of poor sportsmanship. If an umpire awards a foul and the player or team that fouled argues, the penalty might be “moved up” on a technical. Umpires ask a player who earns two technicals in a chukker, or three in a game, to leave the field.

See “Bump.” In a ride-off, a player encourages his horse to lean into his opponent’s horse in order to keep his opponent from hitting the ball. The rider may also make contact with his opponent, but only with his shoulder. “Elbowing” is a foul.

his own endline, the umpires blow the whistle for a “safety.” The attacking team takes a foul shot 60 yards out, parallel to the point at which the ball went out of bounds.

Sideboards: Low boards that help keep the ball

from going out of bounds. If the ball goes over the sideboards, the players line up facing the boards and the umpire bowls the ball between them, just as he does after a goal. Although play stops if the ball goes over the boards, horses jump them regularly and keep on playing. Time does not stop when a ball goes out of bounds. However, if the ball goes out of bounds or hits the boards after the first, 30-second warning horn has sounded, this will end the chukker.

Sudden Death: If the score is tied at the end

of six chukkers of regulation play, the game goes to sudden death overtime. The overtime chukker is timed just like a regular chukker, and ends either if a team scores, or at the seven-and-a-half minute mark. It is possible for a game to go to double, or triple overtime. Often, however, if there is no winner after a full overtime chukker, the outcome of the game is determined by a shoot out.

Tack-time: A time out that is called because one

of the players has a piece of broken equipment. Unless the player with the broken equipment is in imminent danger, tack-time is only called after the play has stopped for some other reason, such as a foul or a goal. The player with broken equipment is allowed to leave the field to repair or replace the broken item. He is not allowed to change horses at this time. If a player wants to change his horse in the middle of the 76

Aiken Polo Club 2015

Third Man: Also the “referee.” The third man sits on the sidelines and watches the play carefully. It is his duty to settle disputes between umpires by giving his opinion as to whether or not a foul was committed. Never distract the third man! Throw-In: The way a ball is put into play in a neutral situation, such as at the beginning of the game, after a goal, or if the ball goes out of bounds. The umpire lines the two teams up facing him, and then bowls the ball between them. Each team fights for possession. Sometimes also called a bowl-in. Shoot-Out: If the game is tied at the end of the game and the players do not want to play a sudden death chukker, or have already played one, the winner can be determined by a shoot-out. In this case, each player on each team takes a turn hitting a 40-yard foul shot. When all four players on each team have hit, the team that has scored the most goals is declared the winner by one goal. If the teams are tied, then the players hit again in turn until one team comes out ahead. Stick and Ball: practicing polo by cantering around, hitting the ball.

Walking: slowing to a walk while dribbling

the ball in order to maintain possession. This is considered delay of game, and is a foul. The penalty for walking is a throw-in at the site of the infraction.



Aiken Polo Club 2015


Gary Knoll

against Matt Sekera. USPA Sportsmanship Cup 6-Goal. 78 Chip Limehouse Aikenriding PolooffClub 2015

Pam Gleason

Pam Gleason

Thomas Ravenel and Barry Limehouse go for the ball. USPA Dogwood Cup 4 Goal

Julian Daniels hits to goal. USPA Congressional Cup 8 Goal

Marcos Onetto fights Rob Stenzel for the ball. USPA Congressional Cup 8 Goal Final.

Gary Knoll


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Aiken Polo Club 2015

Aiken Polo Club 2015


Pam Gleason


Pam Gleason

Pam Gleason

Above: Brien Limehouse goes for goal. Amy Flowers is ready to defend. USPA Congressional Cup 8 Goal Final. Below: Alan Martinez and Antonio Galvan (MVP) about to scores: USPA Smoak Family 8 Goal Final.

Aiken Polo Club 2015

Pam Gleason

Aiken PoloUSPA Club Congressional 2015 838 Goal Brother against brother: Marcos and Horacio Onetto; Cup

Index of Advertisers A & B Beverage Abbott Oil Aiken County Farm Supply Aiken Dry Goods Aiken Pest Control Aiken Polo Brick Campaign Aiken Polo Schedule Aiken Saddlery, Inc. Aiken Veterinary Clinic Annie's Inn Bed & Breakfast Atlantic Broadband Auto Tech Banks Mill Feeds Be Fly Free Bespoke Breeze Hill Plantation Carolina Eastern, Aiken Carriage House Inn Charles Fliflet CPA Cold Creek Nurseries Core Equus Creative Financial Strategies Crestview Genetics Dave's Grill & Grocery Derrick Equipment Designer Builders Dietrich Equine Insurance Dixie Well Enviroscape Equine Divine Equisport Agency


Aiken Polo Club 2015

88 50 26 9 55 57 11 33 73 80 77 81 19 59 50 80 73 57 80 50 59 37 87 84 13 2 80 50 33 51 51

Estrella Equine First Citizens Bank & Trust Gary Knoll Photography Harvard's Wine & Beverage Hotel Aiken Hutson Etherredge Companies Isinya Kenny Ray Personal Training Lionel Smith Ltd. Louise Mellon Art Magnolia Natural Market & Cafe Marketplace Paints Meybohm RE Turner Meybohm RE Reilly &Sullivan Meybohm RE Stinson Michael Brown DVM Oak Manor Saddlery Pony Up Polo Prestige Appliance Red Armour Inc. Ronnie's Hitches & Trailers SC Shavings Step n Soak The Cato Corporation The Himan Group The Saddle Doctor The Willcox Therapeutic Massage Warneke Cleaners York Cottage Antiques

57 81 43 73 41 73 59 27 59 55 31 3 27 12 5 31 37 55 31 37 72 37 37 7 23 80 4 31 73 84

Gary Knoll

Gary Knoll

Kegan Walsh reaches for the hook on Hugo Lloret. USPA National Copper Cup finals.

Jason Wates and Will Tankard. USPA Congressional Cup 8 Goal.

Matthew Fonseca at practice Aiken Polo Club 2015


Historic Aiken Polo

F. Ambrose Clark: A lover of animals by Pam Gleason


hroughout its history, Aiken Polo Club has always attracted a wide variety of players, including ordinary amateurs, legendary polo greats, and interesting people who were better known as philanthropists, statesmen or prominent members of society. Frederick Ambrose Clark (1881-1964), was one of those interesting people who made the Aiken polo scene especially fascinating during the early decades of the 20th

century. Born to immense wealth and privilege as an heir to the Singer Sewing Machine fortune, Brose, (as he was called by his friends and family), devoted his life to horses. When he was a young man, he rode to hounds, played polo and competed in showjumping competitions and steeplechases. When he got older, he was known for driving an immaculately turned out four-in-hand. He maintained homes in Cooperstown, New York and on Long Island and became a member of the Aiken Winter Colony in 1916 after the outbreak of World War I made overseas travel too dangerous to consider. Brose was a bold rider, but he was not careful. Descriptions of his riding almost invariably include accounts of his many falls. According to his obituary in the New York Times, by the time he was an old man, he 86

Aiken Polo Club 2015

had broken every bone in his body at least once. In addition to his athletic pursuits, Clark owned and bred racehorses. His wife, the former Florence Lockwood Stokes, known as Meg, was both an heiress and an avid horsewoman and racing enthusiast in her own right, maintaining her own racing and breeding operation separate from her husband’s. Her older sister Marie, also an enthusiastic horsewoman, was married to Albert C. Bostwick and was the founder of the Aiken SPCA. The Clarks often visited England where they had a country estate in Melton Mowbry. There, they went foxhunting and maintained stables of flat and steeplechase horses. In 1933, Ambrose had two horses entered in the British Grand National, the most prestigious contest in steeplechasing. Believing himself to be a jinx on his horses that year, he sold one of them to his wife for one pound just before the race. That horse, Kellsboro Jack, sailed home the winner by three lengths. After this win, the Clarks renamed their Aiken estate Kellsboro House in their horse’s honor. Brose’s Aiken properties also included a distinctive brick stable that still stands today just across Mead Avenue from Whitney Polo Field. Known as the Clark Barn, the stable, complete with an indoor track, was built for Brose’s polo ponies. Brose’s polo career was not particularly distinguished, although he attained a 3-goal rating and was famous for spending impressive sums on his ponies. He was also known for using mallets that were hand crafted for him by prominent American cabinet makers. His chief claim to polo fame was his nephew, Pete Bostwick, the son of his wife’s sister Marie. Pete’s father died in 1911 when Pete was just 2, and Clark became a father figure to him. It was Brose who introduced Pete and his brother Dunbar to polo. Pete, an iconic figure in Aiken Polo history and a member of the National Polo Hall of Fame, attained an 8-goal rating and often played with the legendary 10-goaler Tommy Hitchcock. After F. Ambrose Clark died in 1964, he was buried in a private cemetery on his Cooperstown property. Just two other graves are in this cemetery: one belongs to the beloved horse Kellsboro Jack; the other to Buttons, a special dog. Both these tombstones have long inscriptions. Clark’s is more modest. It has just his name, his dates, and the inscription “a lover of animals.”

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Aiken Polo Club 2015


Profile for aikenpoloclub

Aiken Polo Club Magazine 2015  

Aiken Polo Club 's annual magazine.

Aiken Polo Club Magazine 2015  

Aiken Polo Club 's annual magazine.


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