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“O pass of the north now the old giants are gone we little men live where heores once walked the inviolate earth.” Courtesy of Tom Lea Institute

DEAR FRIENDS, Thank you for joining the 2018 Polo Real during this year’s exciting competition at Rancho Los Amigos. The El Paso Museum of History Foundation hosts this exceptional event to raise funds in support of the El Paso Museum of History. The El Paso Museum of History Foundation chose the Sport of Kings as its signature fund raising effort because of its rich connection to our community. Adopted by the British in India, polo came to Ft. Bliss early in the 20th century. The renowned General John J. Pershing enjoyed playing on an 8th Brigade team at Washington Park. The El Paso Museum of History is dedicated to telling this and other stories from El Paso’s grand history. We invite you to share a bit of this history with us and join in honoring individuals who have expressed their devotion to our community in such countless ways. Funds raised at this event allows the El Paso Museum of History to engage with over 7,000 school age children annually along with the many individuals and families that visit our museum to explore and discover El Paso through the new exhibitions and wide-ranging programs provided. As the City of El Paso progressively plans for the future well-being of its citizens, it is the Museum's responsibility to document and collect this forward momentum to preserve it for generations to come. I am profoundly grateful to so many who made a difference, all for the love of Family, Community and Country. Sincerely,

Elizabeth Uribe-Sinclair - Polo Real Founder and Christian Perez Giese -El Paso Museum of History Foundation President

DEAR FRIENDS, We are delighted to welcome you to Rancho los Amigos. We invite you to enjoy today’s exciting polo match and the festivities that follow. Polo Real is the main fundraising event for the El Paso Museum of History Foundation and all of the funds raised today go directly to support your El Paso Museum of History with resources for acquisition, conservation and education. As the Foundation Board’s President, it is my pleasure to lead an exceptional group of individuals who are dedicated to the Museum’s success. We want you to visit the Museum and see its wonderful exhibitions. The Pass of the North has a rich and colorful history and your El Paso Museum of History wants to share it with you, your family and visitors to our great city. Sincerely,

Liz Uribe Sinclair

El Paso Museum of History Board Vice President & Founder and Director of Polo Real.

Christian Perez Giese Board President

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MISSION STATEMENT The Foundation is organized to obtain endowment and other funds in support of the El Paso Museum of History, and to hold and distribute such funds for the purpose of acquisitions of exhibits and materials, the preservation and conservation of exhibits and collections of the History Museum. Foundation- Board of Directors Christian Perez Giese, President Liz Uribe Sinclair, Vice President Rosemary V. Neill, Secretary Bernie Sargent, Treasurer Rebecca Whitaker Gary L. Williams Eric Summerford Pearson, President/CEO El Paso Community Foundation

FOUNDATION

A part of the El Paso Museums and Cultural Affairs Family

Tracey Jerome, Director • Ben Fyffe, Assistant Director Please Make Your Tax-Deductible Contribution Payable to: El Paso Museum of History Foundation 510 N. Santa Fe Street, El Paso, TX 79901

Polo Real Committee Founder/Director – Liz Sinclair Honorary Chair – Dede Rogers Co-Chairs/Executive Committee: Christian Perez Giese Rita Baca Ric Lara Victoria Elizabeth Loya Martha Vera Yvonne Golston Laurencia Baca Duncan Raquel Markland Joe Gomez Mark Dunham Patricia Maese Mayela Mejia Ben Bridge Jeweler 1


H I S TORY

Woody & Josh Hunt The Hunt Family Foundation, a private family foundation founded in 1987 by Woody Hunt and his wife Gayle, supports not-for-proďŹ t organizations and initiatives that focus on the Paso del Norte region. Charitable giving is focused on healthcare, education, arts, local heritage, quality-of-life initiatives, and regional economic development.

The Hunt Family Foundation offered a multi-year challenge grant to the El Paso Museum of History Foundation to support the History Foundation’s endowment that provides funding for museum programs, exhibits and special programs

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MA K E R S

Dede Rogers Dede Rogers is a noted El Paso philanthropist. The daughter of former El Paso Mayor Jonathan Rogers, Dede has provided generous and continuing support to various El Paso arts and culture organizations. In addition to the El Paso Museum of History, her support has beneďŹ ted the El Paso Opera and the El Paso Museum of Art. Polo Real was her idea in 2011. When she pitched the idea, her enthusiasm quickly made this event a reality. Since its founding, Polo Real is the Museum’s largest and most successful fundraising event.


HI STO RY

M AKE RS

ERNESTO & NORA HERRERA Ernesto and Nora Herrera, the youngest of the honorees, are known for their generosity and support of arts and culture organizations throughout El Paso. Both UTEP graduates with degrees in ďŹ nance. They now own and operate, The Herrera Group. Over the years, they have had the opportunity to meet and mingle with political celebrities such as Hillary Clinton, Colin Powell, Benazir Bhutto and others.


All aspects of construction and industrial maintenance

Proud supporter of El Paso Museum of History Foundation and Polo Real 2018

DIVOT AND DANCE SPONSOR

Miguel & Jean Reyes

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PREVIOUS HONOREES

2012 2014 Jonathan W. Rogers

2016

Paul and Alejandra Foster

Ben and Yolanda Arriola

TEAM LEADERS & PLAYERS

THE

HERRERA GROUP Paul Foster

Gabriel Gracida

Agustin Bengochea

Eloy Vallina

Ric Lara

Alejandra Foster

Jonathan Gracida

Toño Bermudez

Toño Bermudez Jr.

Bryan Duncan

Dede Rogers

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AGENDA Master of Ceremonies- Patricia Maese Welcome Comments — Christian Perez Giese, President of the El Paso Museum of History Foundation Invocation, Commissioner Carlos de Leon Recognition of Dede Rogers Recognition of Woody and Josh Hunt Recognition of Ernesto and Nora Herrera Presentation of Colors — El Paso County Sheriffs Association Team Introduction 4:30 pm Dinner Served 5:30 pm, Polo Match (Champagne Divot Stomp after 2nd Chukker) New Horizon’s Dance Academy Presentation of Trophies Closing Comments- Christian Perez Giese and Liz Sinclair Dance — MDM Entertainment Productions

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POLO Horseback games where strategy and agility are important are found throughout the world. After all, there can only be one fastest horse at a time, whereas a team sport allows a group of people to win. Polo, where the rider uses a long handled mallet to move a wooden (now plastic) ball across the field, may have originated in Persia, and from there, made its way into India. The game was readily accepted by the leaders of ancient armies. Since opponents can take the ball away from each other, the turning, dodging, and headlong gallops across the playing field mirrored the riding skills needed in hand to hand combat. Polo was introduced to New York City in 1876 and was rapidly taken up by civilian riders. The American military was otherwise occupied at the time with the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Eventually, extension of the railroads and pacification opened up easy travel through the western territories (El Paso was still experiencing Apache raids in the 1870s, which essentially ceased with the coming of the railroads in 1881). Polo enthusiasts in the East, suffering from the lack of any American breed of pony on which to play the game, woke up to the idea that the undersized horses used by cowboys had the turning ability and speed that they wanted, and that this new source of horseflesh was only a railroad car away. The West was happy to comply. El Paso newspapers of the 1890s mention droves of horses being brought up from Mexico for shipment to the East as potential polo mounts. The Halff Ranch in Midland, Texas not only bred polo ponies, but also trained them for the game. A polo player might ride a different mount for each period of the game - during which the pony might have galloped four or five miles. Therefore, there was a large market for the well-trained polo pony which could be worth thousands of dollars. Gen. John Pershing’s 8th Brigade formed a Polo Association soon after its arrival at Ft. Bliss. The General played on the 8th Brigade team which practiced at Washington Park on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons (the Washington Park field was smoother that the parade ground). Pershing went so far as to request 10 horses suitable for polo ponies from headquarters and at all other times to be used for the mounted orderlies of the 8th Brigade. El Paso newspapers continued to mention polo through 1916 (the year of Pershing’s Punitive Expedition into Mexico), recording that the Ysleta (the only mention of this team) polo team had triumphed over the Army in a hard fought game. Then there is a pause for the Great War which started in 1914 for British players. Military polo resumed on a larger scale post war as Ft. Bliss became home to the 1st Cavalry Division.

Today, Polo Real adds to the History of Polo in our area.

As an April, 1910 newspaper put it, “El Paso has no players of the pony game.” Army units at Ft. Bliss were not that much more advanced. The solution was to convince Dr. J. A. Edmunds, a California veterinarian and polo expert, “known on the Pacific coast as the father of polo in America,” to move his practice to El Paso. Dr. Edmunds had two months to get the El Paso team together. What was billed as the, “first polo club in the southwest” was drawn from members of the El Paso Country Club, the Toltec Club, local ranch owners, and a few officers from Ft. Bliss. The claim was justified in local eyes - Midland was east of the Pecos, California was, well, California, and Arizona and New Mexico were still territories. Teams from Midland, Fort Sam Houston, and Ft. Bliss were invited to join in the tournament play. By the end of October reservations had been received for 41 polo ponies to stay at the Fairgrounds. With four teams of 4 received for 41 polo ponies to stay at the Fairgrounds. With four teams of 4 each this meant most players had only two ponies available; half the number of an east coast team. As the newspapers stated, “The “rich man’s game” in the east, which is “any man’s game” in the west, is expected to have a spurt among horsey folk of the southwest as a result of this initial tourney.” Midland won the tournament. The El Paso Polo team hosted all the teams to a dinner at the Toltec Club and then went quiet. Dr. Edmunds

remained active buying polo pony prospects from Midland for training and then shipped them to San Antonio and even farther east. Eventually, he moved permanently to San Antonio.

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GAME This story is an excerpt from text written by

El Paso Museum of History Senior Curator, Barbara Angus In the early 1900s, if you had asked an average El Pasoan how the local polo team was doing, they would have assumed you meant water polo at the natatorium or roller polo. Swimming pools and roller rinks became popular at about the same time as the game played on horseback did, so any new game involving two teams trying to get a ball through their opponent’s goal posts was called “polo.” There were even versions of the game for automobiles and motorcycles. In India the game was played on the available native ponies. British officers stationed there in the mid-19th century adopted the game, equipment, vocabulary and the size of mounts used by native players. The average British troop horse or officer’s mount was bred to carry a full size man and another hundred or hundred and fifty pounds of equipment, and the ponies could easily outmaneuver the larger horses. Returning to England, the officers continued playing the game on the many pony breeds available in that country, and in fact, the official rules that the English developed put a height limit on the size of horse that could be used. The sport of pony polo slowly crept closer and closer to El Paso. Polo was played in San Antonio, Midland, of course (the polo ponies in training had to get firsthand experience), California, and Mexico. British investors were welcomed by the Porfirio Diaz regime and probably introduced the game to Mexico, although Mexican players took part in the California circuit of tournaments. Here in El Paso, Dr. Yandell (Yandell Drive is named after him) may have been the first to suggest the formation of a local team. The El Paso Country Club talked about building a polo field at their first home near Dudley Field. The true impetus was in 1909 when an American polo team traveled to Great Britain and returned, for the first time, with the International (Westchester) Polo Cup. U.S. newspapers added polo to the list of competitions that they covered in the yearly U.S. VS England sports rivalry, and the organizing committee for the 1910 El Paso Fair decided it was time that El Pasoans actually saw the game. In 1912 there was plenty of talk about a new facility called the Mt. Franklin Rancho Club. Patterned after the Colorado Ranch Clubs, the Mt. Franklin Club was to be designed by Trost and built upon the Mesa. The up to date amenities were to include a grass golf course, polo grounds and a 15 mile auto race course. The resort was to be a halfway station on the coast to coast auto route. This was a rather flexible proposition as the project was moved to Dona Ana County and then abandoned.


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