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Big Horn

Equestrian centeR

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LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT Dear Friends and Supporters of the Big Horn Equestrian Center: Welcome to our 2018 season! This program highlights many of this summer’s events. The Big Horn Equestrian Center is truly a community gathering spot where all are welcome. I invite you to take in as many of the activities as you can. As always, the Clubhouse will be open every Sunday from June through August and we encourage everyone to bring the family and join the festivities or stake out a piece of grass for the day. In addition to our usual youth soccer, polo, fireworks and various specialty and equestrian events, in September we are bringing back the Balloon the Bighorns hot air balloon rally. Be sure to save December 1, 2018 for our annual Equestrian Ball. To view our current calendar of events, visit Please consider becoming a patron of the facility. Keep in mind that the BHEC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and your patronage and donations are tax deductible. Your donations help us maintain and preserve this unique and wonderful facility. If you are interested in holding an event at the Equestrian Center, donating to our facility or have any questions, please contact Jill Davis, our Executive Director at 307-673-0454 or email On behalf of the board of directors, we welcome you to the Big Horn Equestrian Center. Sincerely, Doyl Fritz BHEC Board President 3




Letter from the President


4th of July


Schedule of Events


Winter Ball






History of Polo in Big Horn


Tack and Equipment


BHEC, BHPC and the Flying H


Don King Days


Big Horn Polo Club


Faux Fall Fox Hunt


How the Game of Polo is Played


Steer Roping on the Grass


Flying H Polo Club






The BHEC Board


Perspectives-Bob Brotherton


Patronage & Planned Giving


Balloon the Bighorns!


Letter from the Director


Big Horn Polo School


Thank You


Divot Stomp


Big Horn Polo Club Schedule

Thank you to all featured photographers and contributors: Bob Brotherton, Bruce Burns, Chip Campbell, Kim Campbell, Mandy Carroll-Beil and M.C. Picture Company, John Chase, DeeDee Connell, Tom Doolin, Chris and Katie George, Gillian Johnston, Vicki Jorgenson, Vicki Kane, Jill Davis, Cecile Pattison, Dawn Pilot, Eric and Karie Salveggio, E Bar K, Cate Sheehan, Sheryl Sick, Candace Swanson, Tracy Swanson, Bill Thomas, Alexis Von Gontard, Michael Wallop, ShannonWhittle Advertising & Editing: Jill Davis, Cecile Pattison Articles: Jill Davis, Cecile Pattison, Shannon Whittle, Stacie Beckman, Ginny Rieger Program Design: Stacie Beckman 5

307-675-BEST (2378) 808 Coffeen Ave, Sheridan w w w. b e s t w y. c o m


Jill Bates

Sarah Ackerman

Joel Bailey

Saralee Mackey

Jack Wood

Alli Johnston















BHEC Board Meeting Forward Sheridan – Tech Conference – Private

MAY 11-13 16 18 20 29 30

SNICKER’S BIG HORN SOCCER CUP Polo Practice Polo Practice Polo Practice BHEC Board Meeting Polo Practice

JUNE 1 3 6 8 10 13 15 8

Polo Practice Blue Jeans Polo - Practice Game - 2pm Polo Practice Polo Practice White Pants Polo – Practice Game - 2pm Polo Practice Polo Practice

17 20 21 22 23 24 26 27 29

POLO Tournament Game – 2pm Polo Practice Private Event Polo Practice / Private BBQ Private Event POLO Tournaments 1pm & 3pm – Clubhouse Open BHEC Board Meeting Polo Practice Polo Practice / Private BBQ

JULY 1 4 6 8 11 13 14 15 18 20

POLO Tournaments 1pm & 3pm Clubhouse Open 4TH OF JULY, GATES OPEN AT 4PM. FIREWORKS AT 10PM. Clubhouse Open Polo Practice / Private BBQ POLO Tournaments 1pm & 3pm Clubhouse Open Polo Practice Polo Practice / Private BBQ Private Event POLO Tournaments 1pm & 3pm Clubhouse Open Polo Practice Polo Practice / Private BBQ


POLO Tournaments 1pm & 3pm, Clubhouse Open Polo Practice Polo Practice / Private BBQ POLO Tournaments 1pm & 3pm Clubhouse Open BHEC Board Meeting

29 31




1 3 4 5 8 10 12 15 17 19 22 24 25 26 28

1 2

Polo Practice PATRON'S PARTY! Private Event POLO Tournaments 1pm & 3pm Clubhouse Open Polo Practice Polo Practice / Private BBQ POLO Tournaments 1pm & 3pm Clubhouse Open Polo Practice Polo Practice / Private BBQ POLO Tournaments 1pm & 3pm Clubhouse Open Polo Practice Polo Practice / Don King Days Calcutta and BBQ Private Event POLO Tournaments 1pm & 3pm Clubhouse Open BHEC Board Meeting


3 8 9 16 16 25

DON KING DAYS - 30TH ANNIVERSARY Horseshoeing World Championships Cowboy Polo DON KING DAYS - 30TH ANNIVERSARY Polo, Roping, Bronc Riding, Horseshoeing DON KING DAYS - 30TH ANNIVERSARY Polo, Roping, Bronc Riding, Horseshoeing, Cowboy Polo BALLOON THE BIGHORNS, Glow in the Field 6pm **Weather Permitting BALLOON THE BIGHORNS, Hot Air Balloon Festival Mefford Steer Roping Connell's Faux Fox Hunt BHEC Board Meeting


ANNUAL WINTER BALL Tris Munsick Playing! 9

5th St.

Main St.


Big Horn Ave.


Travel south of Sheridan on Coffeen Avenue (Highway 335) for 6 miles towards the town of Big Horn. Turn left on Bird Farm Road. Travel 1.9 miles. Turn right to stay on Bird Farm Road and travel another 1.6 miles. Follow the signs. BHEC is located on the right-hand-side of the road.

336 Sheridan Co ffe en

Brundage Ln.


If coming from I-90 South, take the Meade Creek Exit 33. Turn left on 342 (Meade Creek Road) and then right on Highway 87. Turn left on Bird Farm Road and follow the signs to the Equestrian Center. 90

Contact: P.O. Box 6413 Sheridan, Wyoming 82801 (307) 673-0454 or


Big Horn 342

Big Horn Equestrian Center 10


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A BRIEF HISTORY OF POLO IN BIG HORN According to Michael Amundson, polo probably originated in Persia twenty five hundred years ago. The British Colonial Cavalry brought the game to England from India in 1869. Just seven years later in 1876 it arrived in the U.S. when James Gordon Bennett Jr, the publisher of the New York Herald became captivated by the game after visiting England.

Moncreiffes, the Wallops and the Gallatins inviting neighboring ranchers to play simply as a means of having enough players. The cowboys often played the Sunday matches riding in their Western saddles, cowboy hats and chaps. Hence the term “Cowboy Polo”. This history is the tradition that is kept alive by the Big Horn Polo Club today.

Polo is called the “Sport of Kings” because it was originally used as a training method for the King's elite cavalry. They mastered the art of warfare on horseback by practicing maneuvers that simulated battle scenes.

Polo has been in Big Horn for over 120 years, making it one of the oldest clubs in the US. There was a decline in Big Horn Polo when ranches sold or were handed down to subsequent generations. A revival that began in the 60’s brought polo back, first to the Moncreiffe field and then to the Big Horn Equestrian Center in the 80's, and later at the Flying H Polo Club in 2005.

Polo's link to English royalty is ironically what brought Polo to Big Horn, Wyoming. Oliver Wallop was the son of the Fifth Earl of Portsmouth. He was the first ex-pat to arrive in Big Horn after failing his Naval entrance exam for health reasons. He used his British Remittance payments to purchase land in Otter, Montana, and soon after in Big Horn, Wyoming. He was joined a few years later by the Moncreiffes and the Gallatins, also expats with links to British royalty. From its inception polo in the US was linked to exceptionally wealthy families. In traditional eastern clubs, polo became a subculture and created barriers between social classes. In Big Horn, Wyoming – the opposite happened. Player Robert Walsh said that while polo was thought of as a “rich man's game” in the east, things were very different in Big Horn. Here each man acted as his own groom and there were no dues thus ensuring the game’s enjoyment for anyone who had a couple horses. This translated into the 12

Background Image-“Transition of the West” Elsa Spear Byron Collection, THE Wyoming Room - Sheridan County Fulmer Public Library

“Moncreiffe Field ” Elsa Spear Byron Collection, THE Wyoming Room - Sheridan County Fulmer Public Library


BHEC, BHPC and Flying H BIG HORN EQUESTRIAN CENTER (BHEC) BIG HORN POLO CLUB (BHPC) FLYING H Most people don't realize the distinction between the Big Horn Equestrian Center, the Big Horn Polo Club and the Flying H. There are vast differences between the entities and also a necessary interdependence that is rare in traditionally competitive environs. The Big Horn Equestrian Center (BHEC) provides a Venue: a clubhouse and roughly 70 acres of polo fields that are host to many events that are vital to the nature of this community. The BHEC is a non-profit corporation, governed by a volunteer board of directors, that relies on patronage for a percentage of income. There is an annual Patron's drive where the public can make donations that provide operating capital. The BHEC leases the facility. Each summer, the Big Horn Polo Club (BHPC) leases the fields from the BHEC. The Big Horn Polo Club is the Equestrian Center’s largest customer, paying a $100,000 lease each summer. The BHEC is responsible for maintaining the fields, obtaining the necessary equipment and staff that make it one of the best fields in the country. Field maintenance requires $70,000 to $80,000 annually, with any overage going toward anticipated equipment repairs and/or replacement. The Big Horn Polo Club (BHPC) generates income through dues paid by members. They sponsor a polo school every summer in order to encourage locals to learn to play and hopefully become members. The BHPC is comprised of locals as well as high goal players from all over who come to the Flying H to play for the summer season. A “Goal” is akin to a handicap. The higher a player's goal rating, the better the player. This is a rare treat where you can watch local players scrimmage next to professional players. 14

Just “next door” to the BHEC is the Flying H, a private Polo Club where some of the best players in the world summer in Sheridan to train and compete. Adolfo Cambiaso, the top ranked player in the world, and many believe of all time, played at the Flying H in 2017 as well as prior seasons. Proximity to the Big Horn Equestrian Center is a benefit to the top flight players who spend summers at the Flying H. Here they can join the Big Horn Polo Club and play their “green” or novice horses in a less stressful setting. They can play high goal polo at the Flying H Polo Club and then join in the scrimmages that make up the majority of the Big Horn Polo Club matches. This unique arrangement between the Big Horn Equestrian Center, the Big Horn Polo Club and the Flying H has resulted in the fields at the Equestrian Center being named the “Green Horse Capital” of the United States. This relationship between these three has resulted in a value added equine agriculture model that generates significant revenue for the area. Equally important, it sustains a unique cultural heritage that's been 120 years in the making.

BIG HORN EQUESTRIAN CENTER – THE VENUE Clubhouse • Fields • Equipment & Crew Soccer • 4th of July • Balloon the Big Horns • Weddings • Reunions • BBQ's • Don King Days • Much More! BIG HORN POLO CLUB – IS THE BHEC'S BIGGEST CUSTOMER Local and Non-local Members • Matches Open to the Public • Free Admission Hosts the Summer Polo School • Established the Margarita League for people just learning the game FLYING H POLO CLUB – PRIVATE POLO CLUB ACROSS THE FENCE Hosts High Goal Polo • Exposes Sheridan to High Goal Polo Players Matches Open to the Public • Thursday, Saturdays matches at 11am, 1pm and 3pm • Fun and Free 15

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BIG HORN POLO CLUB The Big Horn Equestrian Center is home to the Big Horn Polo Club. Spectators are encouraged to come to Sunday polo for an afternoon of tailgating, and the admission is free! Come enjoy polo, we have bleachers and an announcer for each Sunday game. Food trucks and cold beverages are always available...not to mention the tailgating! Bring your vehicle and back it up to the field, we encourage it. After the last match, the clubhouse is open to everyone for drinks and conversation. Polo begins the first week of June and we play through Labor Day weekend. There are practice games on Wednesdays and Fridays at 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm. In June, the Sunday tournament games are at 3:00 pm. Then in July and August, there are two games each Sunday, at 1:00 and 3:00 pm. There are some tournament games on Friday evenings as well.




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HOW THE GAME OF POLO IS PLAYED The game of polo is played on a 10 acre grass field.Goal posts are set eight yards apart at each end. There are two teams that compete in each game. The teams are made up of 4 mounted players. They play 6 chukkers/periods that are 7 minutes and 30 seconds long in a single game. You will hear the horn blow at 7 minutes into the game, warning players that the chukker is almost over. The final horn is blown 30 seconds later. The object of the game is to maneuver the ball downfield, hitting the ball through the goal for a score. The team with the highest score at the end of the game is deemed the winner. Teams change direction after each goal is scored. Ponies are typically switched out at the end of each chukker. 22

Penalties and/or injuries may stop play, as there are no time-outs or substitutions allowed, except for tack repair. Each of the 4 players on a team wears a jersey with the number 1, 2, 3 or 4 on his/her back. Each number corresponds to their assigned position. #1 is the most offensive player who concentrates on scoring goals. #4 is the most defensive player, primarily responsible for defending his/her team’s goal. #3 and #2 are usually the most experienced players on the field with the #3 being the most pivotal player on his/her team. He/she coordinates the offense and passes the ball up to his/her teammates as they press towards the goal. Each player has earned himself a handicap ranging from -2 to 10. The higher the handicap, the better the player.


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FLYING H POLO The Flying H Polo Club, complimented by the Big Horn Equestrian Center, allows for this magnificent valley to present an opportunity for polo to be played at every level, for every member of the family. The last few years have been enourmously successful for the Flying H Polo Club. Successful not only in the promotion of high caliber polo played in the Bighorns but also in attracting players and spectators alike to this beautiful part of the world. As an extension of the Flying H Ranch, and its top quality polo-pony breeding and training operation, the Johnston family established the Flying H Polo Club in 2005. The Flying H Polo Club welcomed high goal polo to Big Horn for the first time in its one hundred and twelve year history. This level of polo is only played in a few locations around the world. 26

The 8 week season at the Flying H Polo Club will run from the first week in July through the last week in August. A new tournament will be played each week. Teams will be changed each week to give players a chance to play with as many different people as possible and create a level playing field. This format has proven over the years to insure a friendly but competitive spirit. Games are played on Thursdays and Saturdays at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Everyone is welcome and admission is free. So come along and enjoy an afternoon of world class polo, soak in the ideal summer climate and be surrounded by the spectacular Bighorn Mountains.

“My recent purchase of property in Big Horn was largely based on the proximity to and activities conducted at the Flying H Polo Club and the Big Horn Equestrian Center in Big Horn, Wyoming. I can attest that out of the 200 plus clubs across the United States there are very few, if any, that have the player participation and amount of chukkars played on any given day during the summer as occur in Big Horn, Wyoming! It is unique and remarkable!� Chip Campbell, United States Polo Association Chairman


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SOCCER The BHEC is proud to be known as one of the most scenic, high-quality soccer facilities west of the Mississippi with more than 25 soccer fields in a single location.

Each Mother’s Day weekend, the BHEC hosts the Snickers Big Horn Soccer Cup. This tournament draws more than 135 youth soccer teams, ages 8-14, from around the region. 2018 will mark the 14th anniversary of the Snickers Big Horn Soccer Cup. We welcome you to come out and support our kids! Enjoy this fantastic facility for happy, healthy sport and fun.


The BHEC board and members would like to thank the Mars Family, Jimmy Legerski, the Sheridan Soccer Association, Don Julian, Sheridan High School, and the countless volunteers for their commitment to these tremendous events.




PERSPECTIVES bob brotherton “We have made life long friendships because of the sport of polo and the Big Horn Equestrian Center.”–Bob When I was 52 years old I bought three horses off the track thinking I would ride them a while and sell them. Paul Wollenman bought one and when I delivered it to his house he gave me a mallet and said if I would teach them to follow a ball they would sell easier. That mallet ruined me. I never sold the other two; I started hitting the ball and enjoyed it so much I started taking Sam Morton’s polo classes. I went through my first cancer operation during my first year of Sam’s classes. All the time I was asking the Great Architect of the Universe to let me play another year. Two years later the cancer returned and I underwent radiation, through all the treatments I prayed to play another year. I got to play 13 seasons before the cancer came back. Again, I asked for another year and it has been two and I am still playing. 34

Big Horn Equestrian Center has been the center of our lives for 18 years. I never realized how much we enjoyed and used the Equestrian Center until I look at old photos and say, we were there. For about 20 years we attended matches, never thinking I wanted to do it. We were there when Phillys Diller kissed Doc Connell and he went to his trailer and had a heart attack. We were there when the first game was played on the new field; we were there when Tommy Lee Jones played the first time. A lot of firsts and I never dreamed it would be me out there. Thanks to Paul Wollenman for giving me the first mallet. I have had 18 wonderful years at the Big Horn Polo Club. It has become a way of life for us. Friends all over the United States have invited us to be part of their lives. We have made life long friendships because of the sport and the Equestrian Center. The proudest day of my life was when I played Don King Days with a Coca Cola jersey on my back. Being a sharecropper cotton farmer’s son from Arkansas, that’s a long way from my roots.


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BALLOON THE BIGHORNS The Balloon the Bighorns hot air balloon rally is a new event to the BHEC. Currently in its second year, Balloon the Bighorns is a fun, family-oriented event that features hot air balloons from across the country and even Canada against the backdrop of the gorgeous Big Horn Mountains. Hot air ballooning is a wonderful way to see the area from a different perspective and provides breathtaking views and a sense of adventure that is unparalleled! The weekend begins Saturday morning with a mass launch of the balloons. Each balloon is laid out on the field and cold inflated, and when everything is ready, heat is applied to stand the balloon up. When cleared for takeoff, each balloon rises slowly into the air, providing breathtaking scenery for the spectators. It is a sight to behold! Saturday evening, the balloonists participate in a Balloon Glow. Pilots will inflate their balloons and keep them on the field at 38

dusk, and spectators have the opportunity to wander amid the giant “lanterns,” take pictures, and interact with the pilots and crew. Balloon glows are magical! Sunday morning, the balloons will launch again in a mass ascension, filling the skies with color and beauty. Additionally, tethered balloon rides are provided free of charge for kids of all ages with parental consent. Balloon the Bighorns is proud to partner with the BHEC for the second annual hot air balloon rally. The event is open to the community, and fun for the whole family! WHAT KIND OF WEATHER IS BEST FOR BALLOONING? Hot air balloons are very dependent on good weather to fly safely. Ideally, cool temperatures, light winds, and high pressure provide the right conditions for a safe flight! HOW DO I GET A RIDE? All our balloons during the event are generously sponsored by local businesses, and as such, sponsors get to take the rides all weekend. If you are interested in sponsoring a balloon for next year’s event, please contact the Balloon the Bighorns committee. If you can’t wait for a ride, Ginny Rieger with Cloud Peak Ballooning offers chartered rides. In addition, we do offer free tethered balloon rides for kids of all ages on Sunday morning, weather permitting! WHY DO THE BALLOONS TAKE OFF SO EARLY? Typically, early morning is the coolest, calmest part of the day, especially here in the western states. Hot air balloons routinely launch just after sunrise, fly, and land prior to the development of weather and heat that may make the flight less safe. WHY WOULD THE BALLOONS NOT FLY? Safety is the primary concern of all hot air balloon pilots! Winds in excess of 10 mph, incoming weather, rain or snow all limit the ability of the pilot to fly safely, and for the spectators to enjoy a quality event. If the balloons are not flying, while disappointing, it is for good reason! HOW DO I GET INVOLVED? Balloon the Bighorns committee is always looking for people with passion and flair, and if you like balloons, all the better! Like us on Facebook, and shoot us a message, and we will welcome you with open arms! 39

Balloon the Bighorns Hot Air Balloon Rally Big Horn Equestrian Center September 8-9, 2018

Saturday, September 8, Mass Ascension 7:30 am, gates open at 6:30 am Saturday, September 8 Balloon Glow 7:30 pm, gates open 6:30 pm Sunday, September 9 Mass Ascension 7:30 am, gates open 6:30 am

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POLO SCHOOL The ultimate goal for Polo School is to create sustainability in the program for the Big Horn Polo Club.


The Big Horn Polo Club Polo School is the opportunity of a lifetime to learn the sport. Our teachers are available to offer the polo enthusiasts of Big Horn the opportunity to play polo and become knowledgeable in the rules and regulations. There is no one too young or too old to join in!

The summer Polo School will be an 8 week course. Everyone will have the option of attending once or twice a week. No riding experience necessary! Use your own horse or one of ours. Private and group Polo lessons are scheduled at your convenience Tuesday-Sunday. Megan will help the players improve their game and get them ready to eventually participate in Margarita League and regular chukkers. For more information or to sign up contact Megan Flynn at 414-651-8091 or

We are excited to have Megan Flynn as our United States Polo Association Certified Polo Instructor. In addition to Polo School, Megan will also be available for private or group lessons. • NOVICE RIDERS ARE WELCOME.


Dates: Mid June through the beginning of September Times: Tuesdays at 5:00 pm and Saturdays at 10:00 am



Dates: Mid June through the beginning of September Times: Wednesdays at 5:00 pm and Sundays at 9:00 am


The Margarita League is a 1 to 4 chukker polo game. It is the next step for Polo Scholars, with an end result of regular play at the Polo Club. To sign up for Margarita League chukkers contact Megan Flynn at 414-651-8091 or


DIVOT STOMP Gather round young and old; stomp the divots and smooth the field over for the players and their ponies for another thrilling second half! Following the famous tradition in polo, spectators head out onto the field at half-time, turn over and stomp down the divots. This age-old custom not only helps smooth out our fields but also allows us and our four-legged friends to stretch our legs and meet our tailgating neighbors!


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FOURTH OF JULY FIREWORKS There’s no better place to be on the 4th of July than at the Big Horn Equestrian Center. 2018 will mark the 30th Annual Fireworks at Big Horn.

While there is no admission fee to attend, we do encourage a donation of $10 per car (or more if you desire) to the Big Horn Lions Club. All of the donations fund the Big Horn Lions Club scholarship fund.

This great event draws spectators from across the region. We thank local Wyoming Senator Bruce Burns, who is both the financial and professional backing for this fantastic Independence Day Celebration. Bruce is a long time pyrotechnician and a lifetime member of the Pyrotechnical Guild International (PGI, the nation’s largest association involved with the manufacturing, marketing, and displaying of fireworks in America). Enjoy live music sponsored by Sheridan Media, tasty treats from local vendors and refreshments in the clubhouse. The brilliant fireworks display at 10 PM is sure to impress all. The display consists of a series of 5 individual segments that are designed and choreographed by 5 different pyrotechnicians who have gathered from around the country. The 6 minute segments align to create a spectacular display of color and noise. The entire show is choreographed to music that is broadcast on 94.9 FM by Sheridan Media for spectators’ listening enjoyment. 48

We would like to extend a special thanks to Senator Bruce Burns and his group of pyrotechnitions, the Big Horn Lion’s Club, Kim Love & Sheridan Media and the many volunteers and donors for supporting this event. A special thanks goes to the Normative Services Inc. for their hard work in cleaning up the grounds on July 5th.




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WINTER BALL The Winter Ball has been a time honored tradition since 1985 when the Big Horn Equestrian Center began.

The Winter Ball was originally organized to help raise funds to pay off the $80,000 note that was written to level the ground, plant the grass, and move the old school house to the site of the new Big Horn Equestrian Center. Over the years the note was paid off but the ball continues to be a major source of funding for the BHEC thanks to volunteers, members, friends, and patrons. More importantly it brings friends together on the first Saturday in December for one last celebration before year’s end. JOIN US THIS YEAR ON DECEMBER 1, 2018 for the Winter Ball. In black tie or elegant western, we guarantee a wonderful dinner, drinks and a blast with all of your friends. This year we will have Tris Munsick & The Innocents as our live band. Welcome in the winter with us and support the Big Horn Equestrian Center by attending the Ball! Live entertainment this year at the Winter Ball will be Tris Munsick & The Innocents. 52

WEDDINGS The Equestrian Center is located at the base of the scenic Bighorn Mountains making it the perfect setting for your special day.

Whether you are hosting a small formal ceremony for close friends and family or a large celebration for several hundred, the Big Horn Equestrian Center can accommodate your wedding. The field-side location next to the mountains offers incomparable views in a gorgeous setting. With picture windows, and a large deck facing the mountains, the clubhouse makes a great setting for a wedding party. Contact us to schedule your event! 307-673-0454.

Chris and Katie George Tom Doolin Photography


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The Helmet and its padded lining is used to prevent trauma by absorbing a shock to the head resulting from hitting the ground or from the impact of a ball or mallet.


Players usually wear a riding glove on their mallet hand. Some wear gloves on both hands for better grip and protection on the reins and mallet.


The polo bridle is typically made up of two sets of reins (draws and straight), brow band, nose band, drop nose band, standing martingale and bit. All these components allow the rider to communicate direction and speed to the horse.


Knee guards provide protection to the knees of the rider during play.


Riding boots not only protect the legs from wayward balls, bumps and potential bruises but come high enough up the leg to prevent the leathers of the saddle from pinching the leg of the rider. The boot has a distinct heel to prevent the foot from sliding through the stirrup.


Splint or tendon boots protect and support the horse’s tendons/legs from impact from the mallet or another horse’s legs. They are usually fitted to the leg over the wraps.


With a diameter of 3 to 3½ inches and a weight of 3½ to 4½ ounces, the polo ball is made of solid, hard, high-impact plastic.




The cane of the mallet is made from Manau cane, a thorny member of the palm family. The head is cut from the Tipa tree, a durable, close grained wood. The ball is hit with the side of the mallet. Players generally have their initials stamped on the heads of their mallets. The whip and spurs are used to propel the horse in a forward motion and further aide the rider in guiding the horse. The polo saddle is a supportive structure for the rider. It characteristically has a relatively flat seat and saddle flaps are long and fairly straight. There is very little or no padding on a polo saddle allowing the rider to have maximum freedom of movement.



DON KING DAYS 30th Annual DON KING DAYS Sunday & Monday of Labor Day Weekend 2018



Labor Day Weekend, 2018 will be the 30th year for Don King Days which is considered to be the grand finale of equestrian events in the area. It all started back in 1989 when a group of ranchers, ropers and friends of Don King organized the event and named it in honor the worldrenowned saddle maker and King’s Saddlery founder who contributed so much to the western culture. Their intent was to celebrate the classic equestrian events unique to the Sheridan -- polo, steer roping and bronc riding.


Although there are bigger, more prestigious celebrations out west, few can rival Don King Days. This event truly recaptures the spirit and traditions of the west, and the open-air, unconfined and unhurried atmosphere of rodeos past.


POLO --The largest polo tournament of the Big Horn Polo Club’s season is played over this weekend, culminating with the Don King Days Cup on Monday.

-- building the best horseshoes and placing them on the horses’ feet in a timely manner. The action begins on Saturday, Sept. 1st.

MUSIC -- Sunday and Monday after the field action winds down, STEER ROPING -- Steer roping is a sport that developed out of necessity on the open range in the late 1800's and continues to be a common method of doctoring cattle. The Wyoming Steer Ropers have selected Don King Days as the scene for their season finals.

BRONC RIDING -- The invitational matched bronc riding at Don King Days is truly unique. The bronc is saddled and blindfolded, then snubbed up to a pick-up man’s horse. The cowboy, riding double behind the other pick-up man, eases himself onto the waiting bronc. As soon as the cowboy is “set”, the blindfold is taken off the bronc and the excitement begins! Since there are no fences, the action can get real close, putting the crowd right in the action! AND MORE -- The World Championship Blacksmiths Horseshoeing Contest has been hosted by Don King Days since 2013. It’s a 3-day event where hot-iron craftsmen from all over the world go head-to-head showcasing their abilities

head on over to the Club House to listen to Nashville recording artist Paul Bogart and his band. Paul makes Don King Days a regular stop on his late summer tour each year. An avid horseman himself, Paul writes his own songs about the cowboy lifestyle. Bring the whole family for old-time western excitement that you won’t forget. Round up your lawn chairs and be ready to spend your weekend watching the action and visiting with old friends out on the grass. Some folks pack a picnic and load a cooler on their tailgate while others visit the food vendors and stop by the Club House for spirits of the liquid kind.

All events are Sunday and Monday, except for the blacksmith competition which runs Saturday-Monday. Look for updates on Don King Days on Facebook.




Big Horn Equestrian Center, Big Horn, Wyoming






e Gates open

1 9:00AM Events start

1 11:00AM



FAUX FOX HUNT Join us on September 16th at the Connell Ranch in Big Horn, Wyoming for the 3rd Annual Faux Fox Hunt. A fundraiser for the Big Horn Equestrian Center. This fun event is a nice ride for any experience level. Follow “The Hunt” all over the JC Ranch at the base of the Bighorn Mountains as we lay a faux fox scent and follow the hounds. There is a hay wagon ride for those that do not want to ride in the hunt. We will tailgate in the morning and then “hunt” until we end up at the hay wagon for libation and lunch. For more information call Jill Davis 307-673-0454 or email


STEER ROPING ON THE GRASS Have you ever wondered why there are certain rodeo sports? The sport of Steer Roping originates from the situation a cowboy faces when checking on cattle out on the range, completely alone except for his horse and a rope. He must be able to rope the steer and “trip� him (knock him off his feet) without hurting him, but long enough that so he can get down from his horse and immobilize the steer by tying up three legs. Once this is accomplished the cowboy can administer medicine or do whatever is required before turning the steer loose. This is no easy task and so it's only natural that it would develop into a sport with cattlemen eager to display their skills. The modern sport of steer roping takes great precautions to ensure the health of the cattle used in the sport. They wear protective horn wraps. The rules of Steer Roping are very specific about legal and illegal head catches and the way in which a steer can be tripped. This sport was taken from an everyday activity that saved many a cow's life and it is in that spirit that the sport continues today. They Wyoming Steer Ropers Association was formed in 1959 and has grown every year. Steer Roping on the BHEC field proves especially challenging by virtue of its sheer size. The event on the grass more realistically creates a scenario as it would naturally occur than what occurs in an arena. There are no fences so the steer can more easily outsmart the competitor.

The Wyoming Finals are held each year during Don King Days! You won't want to miss it! 63

WYOROOFING.COM 307-673-4469 Registered drug free with the state of Wyoming


Wyoming Roofing gives away 2 free roofs through Nominate your Neighbor and 1 roof to a deserving military family through the Owens Corning Roof Deployment Project. 64


ROBERT BECKMAN 307-752-7171 LOOMIX LIQUID SUPPLEMENTS FOR CATTLE BEEF What's peace of mind worth these days? It comes free with every delivery of Loomix® supplements to your cattle herd.

FEEDLOT WEANING From weaning/arrival Loomix® has successfully products, to simple started over 25 million blends, to specialty head of cattle. Our unique ingredients, Loomix® starter products provide the has what you need to right level of trace minerals, fulfill the needs of protein, and vitamins to your feedlot help get a calf's rumen into operation. optimum digesting shape.


MEMORIALS THE BIG HORN EQUESTRIAN CENTER thrives because of the generosity of its patrons and friends. Over the years we have lost many notable friends of the Equestrian Center. We are honored to have had the pleasure of knowing these wonderful individuals and we will remember their contributions.

1: 2: 3: 4: 5: 6: 7: 8: 9: 10:


Henrietta Horton, HF, 1991 Dean Thomas, HF, 1991 Boots Blatt, Stu Perkins, 2002 Lynda Gaskell, 1989 Frank Greenough, 1991 Archie MacCarty, 1992 Billy T. Wayman, 2001 Henry Burgess, 1995 Bud Tyler, 1999 Ken Schiffer, 1990

11: Mike Long, 1990 12: Dennis Duncan, 2008 13: Burton Brewster, 1991 14: Jan Drake, 1996 15: Clint Hoagland, 2008 16: Don King, 2007 17: Shirley Taylor, 2007 18: David Masters, 1990 19: John King, 2003 20: Robert King, 2003

21: Bill Alderson, 1990 22: Skeeter Patio 23: Kelly Howie BBQ 24: Glen Hart, 2015 25: Shane Winkler, 2015 26: Jean King, 2015 29: Moncreiffes and Wallop Family, 2015 33: Lyle Tyler, 2015 35: Robert Connell, DVM, 2015




25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36


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Red Velvet Bakery is under the same roof and offers lunch and breakfast, along with fresh baked pastries, cookies, cakes, cupcakes, cold brew coffee and much more. twistedhear tswyoming .com TWISTED HEARTS 35 N Main St Sheridan, Wyoming (307) 763-4145


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THE BHEC BOARD CECILE PATTISON, Vice President Having worked on Don King Days for over 20 years, I consider the Equestrian Center to be a huge community resource. This stunning setting is the perfect venue to celebrate many of the equestrian events unique to our part of the country. But it goes far beyond that. Not many communities have a place like this -- a beautiful setting where everyone is welcome to use the grounds to play soccer, watch and participate in equestrian events, view hot air balloons, enjoy fireworks, congregate for special events and generally appreciate the great outdoors. Our Equestrian Center has evolved into something many covet.

JOHN CHASE, Treasurer There is only one- The Big Horn Equestrian Center. Across the West, you’d be hard pressed to find another facility so user friendly and beautiful. The Big Horn Equestrian Center is a special place to the community as it is to my family and me. My sister had her wedding rehearsal dinner here in 1995. I played polo here and coached my kids’ soccer teams at numerous Snickers Cups and State Cups for years. It uniquely captures everything we love about the “Sheridan Lifestyle”.

ROSEY WAYMAN It has been a rewarding experience to be a board member of the Big Horn Equestrian Center. The BHEC is a vital part of our beautiful community where so many wonderful events have taken place. Countless weddings and parties, the acres filled with kids and families and friends while playing soccer tournaments and polo games, the annual Fourth of July fireworks extravaganza, with the Big Horn mountains as the backdrop makes it a special place. Countless wonderful memories have been made here with many more unique and exciting events planned for the future. Please enjoy this gorgeous expanse of open space and spread the word. 70

JAY STENDER The BHEC is a key part of our community. First is a legacy issue, Polo has been part of Bighorn since the late 1880's and was a key social and cultural factor among the landowners that settled the Little Goose Valley. As an amenity for quality of life, the polo, the club house and the environment is a post card of just how "good" it is in Sheridan County. Now, via the BHEC leadership we are using the grounds for more public events that bring people from around the world to enjoy. There are few places like it. KIM CANNON When Malcolm Wallop’s Polo Ranch and the old Moncrieffe Field was sold in 1984, the Big Horn Polo Club needed to find another place to play polo. Shirley Taylor encouraged the formation of a small group consisting of her son Watty Taylor, Bill King and myself to look at all the available property in the Sheridan County for such a place. I spent a day traveling with Bruce Burns all over the Meade Creek Ranch. I was struck by the opportunities presented by the 80 acres immediately south of the Bird Farm. We entered into a twenty year lease and with the help of many people, the Big Horn Equestrian Center was born. ORRIN CONNELL DeeDee and I had just moved back to the area when the Equestrian Center was formed. My father and the original Board members were making the rounds at the Kiwanis, Rotary and Lion’s clubs explaining the unique nature of the proposed facility. When the fields were planted and the sideroll sprinklers needed to be moved every 3 hours, DeeDee handled the job. From the start, our family’s main focus has been keeping the grass green and making sure that people understand that the facility is there to be used by the community and for what ever purpose people can come up with.

BOB ROLSTON There is no better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than watching Polo at the Big Horn Equestrian Center. Green grass, blue skies, fantastic Big Horn Mountain views and spectacular Polo Ponies charging after the ball up and down the field. Try it, you'll like it!


The BHEC Board continued TODD SWANSON I have grown up with the Big Horn Equestrian Center and have been running around this club since I was a boy. The Equestrian Center is part of my history it means a great deal to me to see it succeed. I look forward to honoring its old traditions and being a part of its future.

JOE STEGER The Big Horn Equestrian Center maintains Sheridan County’s horse culture bringing unique attributes that no other town in the west has. From Polo to Don King Days, The BHEC is a vital community asset that everyone can enjoy. I am excited to bring my experience in club management to the Big Horn Equestrian Center.

PAUL SCHWARTZ I serve as the BHEC Home Owners representative on the Board. It is a pleasure and an honor to serve on the Board of the premier outdoor facility in Sheridan County that brings fun and happiness to everyone who visits.

BRENDAN WHITTLE Big Horn Polo Club President This is my first year on the Equestrian Center Board. I look forward to serving on the board as the Big Horn Polo Club’s representative. 72

KRISTINE DALTON, Big Horn Polo Club Manager This will be my 6th year as the manager of the Big Horn Polo Club . The relationship between the Big Horn Polo Club and Big Horn Equestrian Center is extremely unique and virtually unparalleled anywhere in the country.


PATRONAGE & PLANNED GIVING The Big Horn Equestrian Center is committed to providing a facility for the use and benefit of the surrounding community. The historic clubhouse sets on 70 acres of manicured grass with panoramic views of the beautiful Big Horn Mountains. The tremendous task of maintaining this facility is done through fees, donations, and legacy to the BHEC. To ensure the continuance of the Big Horn Equestrian Center the board of directors thanks you for the gifts that you may give through either cash donations, in kind donations, or you may want to consider legacy planning in your estate to the Big Horn Equestrian Center. The Big Horn Equestrian Center is a 501(c) 3, nonprofit organization and all patronage/donations are tax deductible. The board is happy to visit with you about planned giving.


NOT ONE SINGLE PENNY of your tax dollars has been spent here! MISSION To provide a facility for multi-purpose community and equestrian events. METHODS OF FINANCING • Event Income • Charitable Donations • Annual Patronage The Equestrian Center needs your continued financial support and involvement for successful growth. Please use the form on the opposite page for donations.

BIG HORN EQUESTRIAN CENTER PATRON APPLICATION Enclosed is my/our contribution in the amount of ____ $5000 ____ $1000 ____ $500 ____ $250 ____ $150 ____ The B.H.E.C. is classified as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with Federal Tax I.D. #74-2401981. Under the IRS guidelines, your donation is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. All levels of patronage confer admission for your family to all events affiliated with the BHEC, the patron’s appreciation function, and riding privileges (subject to weather and field conditions.) Riders must complete a release form prior to using the field. Please visit our website at, or call us at (307) 673-0454






_______Please check here if you would be interested in volunteering for the B.H.E.C. _______Please check here if the above is a new address that needs to be corrected. 75


letter from the director

The Big Horn Equestrian Center is a 501(C)3 Not For Profit corporation. It was formed in 1982 with the intent to provide a venue for primarily Ag and Equestrian themed events. It began with a few people, some big ideas and 80 acres of not so flat land. Currently, the BHEC has 70 acres of some of the best polo playing fields in the US. We can host 26 soccer matches concurrently, hence the annual success of the Snicker's Soccer Tournament every Mother's Day weekend.

Jill Davis, Executive Director

I grew up in Sheridan and galloped polo ponies as a summer job in the early 80's. When I returned to Sheridan a few years ago, I immediately recognized how the BHEC had evolved and grown to be a major community asset. The 4th of July Fireworks Extravaganza is now a regional destination event. Don King Days continues to draw record crowds over Labor Day Weekend. We're now in our 2nd year of growing the Hot Air Balloon Festival by providing a venue and working with the Balloon the Big Horns group with the goal of growing it into a destination event in what is traditionally a shoulder season for tourism. And then there is Polo! The Polo matches provide Sunday tailgating opportunities all summer long. There is no better place than a field-side blanket to sip champagne, let your kids run free and listen to pounding hoof beats. The Clubhouse provides an unparalleled setting for reunions, weddings, corporate events and private BBQ's. It's open to the public every Sunday after polo! The BHEC generates significant revenue for the local economy. Proudly, no tax dollars are spent on the BHEC. The budget is typically around $235,000.00. Fields like ours and the equipment necessary to maintain them are not cheap, so we work diligently to earn the income to cover our annual expenses. There isn't typically much left at the end of the year, and what there is gets reinvested in the facility. I feel honored to help shape the future of this vibrant and incredibly unique place. To see how you can participate in the evolution and growth of the BHEC, please go to our Patron's page. Sign up to become a Patron! And after you do be sure and mark the Patron's Party on your calendar for August 3rd!


THANK YOU! We would like to thank all our supporters for helping us create another summer to remember! Big Horn Polo Club Tournament Sponsors, Long-Time Supporters of Don King Days & Big Horn Equestrian Center Patrons & Friends

A special thank you to Bruce Burns for approaching us with the idea of a multi-use facility & to the crew that keeps it green! 77


Practice games every Wednesday and Friday at 3 and 5 p.m. and Sunday at 10:00 a.m.

July 15

Eaton’s Cup WYO Rodeo Cup

1 p.m. 3 p.m.

July 20

Friday Night Lites Match Game

5 p.m.

July 22

Chaps Benefit Day Cloud Peak Bowl Bank of the West Cup

1 p.m. 3 p.m. 5 p.m.

June 3

Blue Jeans Practice (With Prizes!)

1 p.m.

June 10

White Pants Practice (More Prizes!)

1 p.m.

June 17

Big Horn Smokehouse Kickoff

1 p.m.

July 27

Friday Night Lites Match

June 24

K-3 Bucky King Memorial Sage Brush Open

1 p.m.

July 29

July 1

Malcolm Wallop Trophy

1 p.m.

Dog and Cat Shelter Benefit D.A. Davidson Cup 1 p.m. Paul Nicholson Memorial-Jrs. Game 3 p.m.

July 6

Friday Night Lites Match Game

5 p.m.

Aug. 3

Friday Night Lites Match

5 p.m.

July 8

BHPC Ranch Day Connell Cup/JC Ranch Montaylor Ranch Trophy

1 p.m. 3 p.m.

Aug 5

Grinnell Street Dental Drilling Kurt Luplow Memorial – Women’s Fremont Motors Cup

1 p.m. 3 p.m.

Friday Night Lites Match Game

5 p.m.

Aug 10

Friday Night Lites Match

5 p.m.

July 13 78

Aug 12

Sheridan Second Chance Cat Rescue Powder Horn Cup 1 p.m. Kennon Products/Wildcat Trucking 3 p.m.

Aug 19

Shane Winkler Day/Pig Sticking 1 p.m. C&K Equipment Rentals/ Cowboy State Bank Cup 3 p.m. Sheridan Physical Therapy Co-Sponsors

Aug 26

XL Tire/Tireama Blowout Big Horn Smokehouse Closeout

1 p.m. 3 p.m.

Sept 1-3

Don King Days


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2018 Big Horn Equestrian Center Magazine  

Events and Articles involving the Big Horn Equestrian Center and Big horn Polo Club

2018 Big Horn Equestrian Center Magazine  

Events and Articles involving the Big Horn Equestrian Center and Big horn Polo Club