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USPA VISUAL GUIDELINES / LOGO AND SIGNATURE STRIPE

OFFICIAL USPA SEAL

1 in. high

MINIMUM SIZE (PRINT) To ensure legibility in the following marketing materials a minimum height of 1 inch

has been established for the USPA Seal.

SIGNATURE STRIPE

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33.3% Red Stripe 0.25” height for general use

53% Blue Stripe

The Signature Stripe incorporates our red, white and blue color scheme. With the unique proportions, as outlined above, the design is a brand defining statement.

United States Polo Association®

The stripe is a supporting element on our templates for business collateral and can be used

9011 Lake Worth Road as a Worth, designFlorida feature on marketing materials. Lake 33467 (800) 232-USPA ∙ uspolo.org 3

33.3% White Stripe

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ANNUAL REPORT

OF THE UNITED STATES POLO ASSOCIATION

2018


Florida Region’s Conrad Kissling hits a neckshot across field as Western Region’s Bayne Bossom rides in to defend during the 2018 National Youth Tournament Series Championship Semifinals at Columbine Polo & Equestrian Center, LLC in Littleton, Colorado.

ANNUAL REPORT

OF THE UNITED STATES POLO ASSOCIATION

2018


Table of Contents

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3

Chairman’s Letter

4

Services Division

6

Arena Committee

8

Armed Forces Committee

10

Audit Committee

14

Board & Staff Development Committee

16

Club & Membership Administration Committee

18

Constitution Committee

20

Equine Welfare Committee

22

Finance Committee

24

High-Goal Committee

26

International Committee

28

National Handicap Committee

30

Rules Committee

32

Safety Committee

34

Strategic Planning Committee

36

Tournament Committee

38

Women’s Committee

40

Communications & Marketing

46

Polo Development LLC

58

Umpires LLC

60

USPA Global Licensing Inc.

64

Board of Governors

65

Divisions, Committees & LLCs

72

USPA Staff

73

CEO Letter

74

USPA Numbers


Chairman’s Letter As I shared in last year’s Annual Report, it’s important to me for the general membership to fully understand and appreciate the scope and size of the USPA. The Association encompasses four wholly-owned subsidiaries, each with their own board, and in excess of 22 different committees with their own subcommittees. Committee volunteers estimated about 200 strong and there are approximately 60 employees between the sport and USPA Global Licensing Inc. Annual consolidated expenditures approximate $24 million. All of this is in place to accomplish our mission statement, with the predominant goal to improve the overall polo experience for our USPA membership. There are many good and positive things happening within the USPA. I recently was asked to elaborate on the current status of the USPA for Hurlingham Polo Magazine. I reflected on the Association’s progress and challenges, while also sharing plans for the future. I am proud of our personnel and organizational restructuring and feel that the Association is now operating more efficiently than before. We made a significant accomplishment in passing a fixed dollar annual subsidy which will encourage financial discipline, and we have elevated and expanded competition for American players. As I also highlighted in last year’s annual report, in successive years these annual reports should demonstrate marked improvement in all facets and groups within the Association. We are on our way and made great strides in 2018! Should any members have questions, please feel free to contact a staff member or reach out to your Circuit Governor or myself.

On behalf of the USPA Board of Governors and its Chairman, the United States Polo Association is proud to present the 2018 Annual Report.

As we all move forward together, let us individually strive to improve our own polo experience by investing in and upgrading our clubs, quality of horses and competition level. If we as members focus on these basic enhancements, then polo as a whole in the United States will also improve and the USPA will succeed in achieving its mission.

Sincerely,

Edward R. “Chip” Campbell III CHAIRMAN - USPA

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Services Division

Jenna Tarshis and Cory Williams celebrate their National Youth Tournament Series Girls All-Star Challenge win.

The USPA Services Division serves as the central hub for administrative and operational tasks within the Association. Staff members in the Services Department have numerous responsibilities that act to keep the Association functioning, while providing lines of open communication between the Board, Governors, committees, Club Delegates, members and employees. The continued effort to strengthen and improve relationships both inside and outside the Association can be seen in the USPA’s positive impact on the sport through dedicated leadership, tournament and handicap support, and communication and committee relations.

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Robert Puetz’s promotion to Chief Executive Officer in September of 2017 created a vacancy in his former position as Executive Director of Services. Following a search for a suitable candidate, Carlucho Arellano was hired in February 2018. Arellano’s experience contracting and managing employees, combined with his extensive knowledge of the polo industry were key factors leading to his addition on the executive team. Arellano oversees the responsibilities and staff of the Services Department in order to best serve clubs and members of the Association through oversight of handicaps, tournaments, club approvals, board meetings, and communications and committee objectives. Arellano’s focus is to facilitate improved external communication to members and clubs, as well as assist with internal communication between the Board, committees and staff.


Supported by the CEO and Executive Director of Services, the Services Department staff aided the Association in planning several notable events in 2018. In July, a Circuit Governor Election was held and three new Circuit Governors were instated and 10 Circuit Governors were reelected. The spring and fall USPA Board of Governors Meetings proved a success in their ability to bring the Board, committees, Club Delegates, staff and members together to make decisions about the future of the Association. Staff also aided in the planning and execution of sending both a junior and adult American team to England to compete in the Westchester Cup in July 2018.

for the network with five games livestreamed from three different states in three different time zones. The Communications team in partnership with ChukkerTV worked diligently over the past year to elevate the fan experience on the USPA Polo Network through increased graphics, statistics, interviews, horse information, tournament and club history and much more.

Additionally, the Communications Department improved the online club map which helps members and fans of the sport find Active Member Clubs. In a continued effort to promote Member Clubs, Club Profiles were created in 2018 to be hosted on uspolo.org, providing a platform for thousands The second year of partnership with of daily website visitors to learn ChukkerTV has produced positive more about Member Clubs across results in the Communications the nation. Department. The USPA Polo Network finished out 2018 with 135 livestreamed games. Sunday, September 2, was a historic day

As recommended by the Constitution Committee, the Proposed Amended and Restated Constitution was approved in an effort to run the Association more efficiently and for the benefit of all members. Also, as recommended by the Constitution Committee, the Restated and Amended By-laws, as well as the Code of Conduct, Disciplinary, Broadcast Rights and Title Sponsorship policies were approved by the Board. The changes are intended to streamline the USPA’s governing documents for improved understanding and compliance; eliminate inconsistencies and ambiguities within the existing documents; and incorporate certain substantive changes that were discussed and approved by both the Constitution Committee and Board of Governors.

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U.S. Open Arena Polo Championship® Winners: Aliano Realty -  Pedro Gutierrez, Nick Aliano, Esteban Scott. ©Debra Napp

Arena Committee The Arena Committee experienced a successful 2018 and continued to expand upon the progress and initiatives developed in previous years. In 2015, the Committee created the perpetual Russ Sheldon Award presented annually to a member for outstanding contributions to arena polo. 2018 recipient Thomas Goodspeed spent four decades dedicated and immersed in the sport of arena polo. The current coach at Southern Methodist University and the Arena Handicap Chairman, he joined a legendary group of arena players who have won the award thus far.

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One of the major accomplishments of the Arena Committee in 2018 included the creation of an outline to offer reimbursement for annual arena umpire events. The Committee successfully proposed to combine funding for four fall umpire and Intercollegiate/ Interscholastic (I/I) clinics and expand them into broader USPA events involving all arena players, arena umpires, equine safety and player safety. The initiative was very successful throughout the course of 2018. Another 2018 development was the National Arena Amateur League concept. The league will utilize a point system allowing individual players to participate in arena tournaments around the country in order to accumulate points to qualify for a national final. The concept will come to fruition in 2019. National arena tournaments continued to be a sensation around the country. Virginia Polo Center held another successful USPA Women’s Arena Open and Handicap. Two 20-goal women’s arena teams faced off for the Women’s Arena Open trophy. Marlan Farm earned the 2018 title over the 2017 champion, Ace Sportswear. In the Women’s Arena Handicap, four teams entered the tournament seeking to come out on top. In the end, the Grant sisters (Maddie, Abbie, Sophie) of Drumcliffe were victorious in securing their second consecutive USPA Women’s Arena Handicap title. Five teams contested for the National Sherman Memorial at Westchester Polo Club in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. From among the five highlyskilled arena teams, Boston Polo

Arena polo continues to prosper across the country and the Arena Committee is in constant pursuit of new ways to help improve and enhance the sport. was crowned the champion. On the other side of the country, Orange County Polo Club in Silverado, California, unveiled a new arena in late summer. The National Arena Amateur Cup was held in November and featured three teams, Goal Diggers emerging victorious with 12 goals on the day in a fun and competitive roundrobin tournament. Aspen Valley Polo Club hosted the United States Arena Handicap for the second year in a row. Nestled in the mountains of Carbondale, Colorado, the unique arena set a spectacular stage for the competition. The Flexjet team ultimately defended their 2017 title

through strategic and commanding play. The pinnacle arena tournament of the year, the U.S. Open Arena Polo Championship®, was once again hosted by Country Farms Polo Club in Medford, New York. Two teams were assembled to vie for the top arena trophy in the country, with newcomers Aliano Realty capturing the title. Arena polo continues to prosper across the country and the Arena Committee is in constant pursuit of new ways to help improve and enhance the sport. Hundreds of spectators and players are drawn to the fast-paced and competitive game each year. The future of arena polo is bright as the sport continues to thrive.

University of Virginia’s Sadie Bryant reaches for the hook on Maddie Grant of Drumcliffe during USPA Women’s Arena Handicap play. ©Mike Ryan 7


Sgt. Paul Knapp defended by Sgt. Chris Jones during the inaugural USPA National Arena Commander-in-Chief Cup ©David Murrell

Armed Forces Committee The U.S. Military has played a significant and important role in the history and development of polo in the United States. In 1896, the U.S. Army based at Fort Riley, Kansas, took up the game. In addition to improving the riding skills of cavalrymen, polo taught leadership, teamwork and strategy. West Point next introduced polo in 1901. By 1914 there were 17 Army posts playing polo. In 1928, the U.S. Army team made it to the final of the U.S. Open Polo Championship®. Army polo continued to spread, expanding across the U.S., Panama and the Philippines. The other military branches, Air Force, Marines and Navy soon followed suit, and today there are inter-service matches held all over the country, and international matches amongst the military branches contested worldwide.

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The Armed Forces Committee has been working over the past few years to increase USPA military tournaments and USPA membership. In 2016, changes to the USPA By-Laws offered free membership to active duty military players and free membership is still offered to date. Only seven circuit military tournaments were held in 2016, the first year the events were available, making growth a focus for the Committee in 2017 and 2018. The Committee’s hard work and dedication to the cause raised that number to 23 circuit events in 2017 and 25 in 2018. In 2017 the USPA approved two national military tournaments (one arena and one outdoor) and both were played in the Southwestern Circuit in 2018.


The Committee continues to contribute financially to the marketing efforts of two circuit military and national events each year. The Armed Forces Committee has continued to support numerous additional military events in Washington D.C., Hawaii, Virginia and Texas. The USPA National Arena Commander-in-Chief Cup was hosted by the Central Texas Polo Association and four teams representing the Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force competed at the 8-goal level with Army defeating Marine Corps in a hard-fought match. The USPA

National Commander-in-Chief Cup was held at Midland Polo Club (Midland, Texas) and played at the 6-goal level. The sixth annual USPA Teddy Roosevelt tournament was co-hosted by the Central Texas Polo Association and Texas Military Polo Club in Lockhart and Manor, Texas, in November with six teams total, including Army (Black), Army (Tan), Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard. In 2018 the Armed Forces Committee participated in two international events in Nigeria and Germany. At the Nigerian event, the U.S. military team

played the host Nigerian team and teams from Pakistan, Morocco and India. Looking ahead to 2019, the Committee is considering sending teams to Germany and India and hosting a team as part of the 2019 John R. Townsend International Challenge Cup. The USPA selected Lt. Colonel Steve Walsh, USMC (Ret), for the 2018 General George S. Patton Jr. Award in appreciation for his work that has gone above and beyond the call of duty, creating opportunities for military members and their families to become involved in the sport of polo.

Navy team all smiles after the USPA National Arena Commander-in-Chief Cup. ŠDavid Murrell

2018 USPA National Arena Commander-in-Chief Cup Champions: Army - (L to R) Sgt. Joe England, CPL Zach Grob, Sgt. Paul Knapp. ŠDavid Murrell 9


Goose Creek polo pony waiting to play. ©David Lominska.

Audit Committee The Audit Committee reports directly to the USPA Board of Governors and assists the Board in fulfilling its oversight responsibilities regarding the integrity of the USPA’s financial reporting, compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, independent auditors’ qualifications and performance, and the effectiveness of the internal audit function. This responsibility is particularly important as it relates to accounting matters and actual, potential and perceived conflicts of interest.

The Audit Committee identifies areas of potential financial risk and leads ad-hoc inquiries into finance-related questions as presented by USPA members, employees and other valid sources. The Audit Committee maintains the confidentiality of all individuals who reach out. Inquiries can be submitted electronically via an independent website for this purpose, accessible only by the Committee. Inquiries can also be submitted by phone, email or in writing to any member of the Audit Committee. To submit electronically, the Association offers a link directly to the Audit Committee’s independent site on uspolo.org The Audit Committee is comprised of Chairman Steven Rudolph and Committee Members Eugene Burk and Charles Stanislawski, MBT, CPA.

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U.S. Polo Assn. teammates Alejandro Novillo Astrada, Juan Bollini and Grant Ganzi celebrate their win to qualify for the 2018 U.S. Open Polo ChampionshipŽ Semifinals. ŠDavid Lominska

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Caption La Indiana’s Jeff Hall races to defend as Stevie Orthwein of Prestige Worldwide explodes on a breakaway during Carlos Gracida Cup play. ŠDavid Lominska

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Iconica’s Maureen Brennan races past the packed stadium at Greenwich Polo Club (Greenwich, Connecticut) during the opening match of the 2018 East Coast Open. ŠMarcelo Bianchi

Board & Staff Development Committee To begin the governing year, the Board & Staff Development Committee (BASDC) established and onboarded a small and varied group of individuals with ties to many USPA Committees that were approved by the Board. The Committee reviewed and recommended changes to the USPA Employee Handbook and forwarded those recommendations to the Executive Committee for review and approval. The Committee also completed and obtained Board approval for the executive level hiring process.

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The BASDC pursued year-long reviews and presentations to the Board of Governors on USPA organizational diversity emphasis. Discussions on the challenges and benefits of diversity within the organization were held at the USPA Staff Meeting, USPA Board of Governors and Annual Member Meeting and with the Board of Governors by using the governance consultant budget to cover the costs of the diversity training. The Committee created a proposed draft of a USPA Equal Employment Opportunity/ Diversity/Inclusion Policy and forwarded this to the CEO and Board Chairman for review and approval by the Executive Committee and Board of Governors. A subcommittee began review of the USPA Mission Statement in collaboration with the Strategic Planning Committee. This review was deferred to the Strategic Planning Committee. The BASDC reviewed USPA compensation and metrics to provide guidance and best

practices for the standards and accountabilities of the processes. Part of this process was the review of USPA officer and staff job designs and descriptions. The officer and staff job designs and descriptions were then Board-approved in April 2018. The Committee created job designs for Circuit Governors, Lieutenant Governors and Governors-at-Large and is in the process of reviewing newly-enacted governance changes to ensure job design relevance. The BASDC reviewed the concept of a Volunteer Chairman of USPA Services and presented a proposed job design and recommendation to fill the position to the Executive Committee and Board of Governors. The position was filled by Tony Coppola for 2018. The Committee reviewed several policies including The Board of Governors’ Oath and Code of Conduct, and recommendations were forwarded to the Board of Governors for approval. The USPA Censure Policy was reviewed which will remain

intact after Board feedback. The Committee also reviewed the USPA Communications Policy which was Board approved in April 2018. The BASDC is reviewing a proposed draft of a USPA Whistleblower Policy and will forward a draft to the USPA CEO and Board Chairman for review and approval by the Board. The BASDC evaluated and resolved the Board Meeting Minutes distribution process through recommendations to the Board. The Committee reviewed methods to improve internal Board member communications and the promotion of activities to USPA Members. The Committee is reviewing and will make recommendations for a revised and updated USPA Recognition of Service Award process.

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Players parade in front of the spectator pavilion at Sarasota Polo Club in Sarasota, Florida. ŠJulio Aguilar

Club & Membership Administration Committee The Club and Membership Administration Committee began the year by reviewing all existing clubs to ensure their compliance before the April USPA Board of Governors Meeting. In order to be considered compliant for 2018, all clubs were required to submit a Certificate of Liability Insurance for their club in addition to having club dues paid, Club Delegate dues paid and a total of three or more members. A total of 287 clubs were presented to the USPA Board of Governors for their review and all were approved.

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As the year progressed, a number of new clubs applied for Association membership, and several clubs that had not made the deadline for compliance came back into compliance. At the 2018 USPA Board of Governors and Annual Member Meeting in Oak Brook, Illinois, the Committee recommended that four of the Provisional Active Clubs be moved to full Active Member status. By the end of the year there were 180 Active Member Clubs, 22 Provisional Active Clubs, 15 Affiliate Member Clubs, 44 School/College Clubs and six Inactive Clubs. Committee Chair, Steven Armour, who is also a member of the Constitution Committee, was

involved in the review and revision of the club requirement and membership category changes for the USPA Constitution and ByLaws. Active Member Clubs will now be required to have at least six Registered Player Members 18 years or over in order to be considered for Association membership. The College, University, Secondary School or Youth Program Club Category was removed. Interscholastic and Intercollegiate teams will now play at an Active or Affiliate Member Club. The update also removed the category of Student Members, meaning that members will now be Registered Player Members (U.S. Citizen), Affiliate Player Member (Non-U.S. Citizen), Social

Non-Playing Member or Lifetime Member (Registered or Affliate). Based on the above changes to the Constitution and By-Laws, the Committee hopes to see an increase in the size and quality of all of the Association’s Member Clubs. A full club compliance review will take place at the beginning of 2019, and the Club and Membership Administration Committee and staff will work with clubs to meet the new requirements.

La Herradura’s Santi Torres walking onto the field at Empire Polo Club (Indio, California) during Champions Cup competition.

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Audi’s Polito Pieres on the ball, Colorado’s Diego Cavanagh reaching for the hook during a USPA Gold Cup® featured Sunday match at International Polo Club Palm Beach (Wellington, Florida). ©David Lominska

Constitution Committee Throughout the course of 2018, the Constitution Committee met regularly to strategically redraft the USPA Constitution and By-Laws. These changes were made in an effort to streamline the USPA’s governing documents for ease of understanding, eliminate inconsistencies and ambiguities within the existing documents, and incorporate certain substantive changes that were discussed and approved by both the Constitution Committee and the Board of Governors. The Constitution and By-Laws have been condensed so that the Constitution is strictly related to all of the duties and responsibilities, as related to the membership, and the By-Laws are ordered related to duties and responsibilities, as related to the Board of Governors. In conjunction with the changes to the governing documents, the Constitution Committee separated some of the other topics that were previously tied into the governing documents into independent policies. 18


PROPOSED SUBSTANTIVE CHANGES TO THE CONSTITUTION: The USPA Mission Statement has been updated to reflect the changes proposed by the Strategic Planning Committee, as edited by Bob Bernstein (USPA tax counsel). (Article I, Section 2) Nominating Committee: The overall structure and appointment process for the Nominating Committee has been changed. (Article III, Section 3) 18 and up: In order to vote on any USPA matter, an individual must be 18 or over. Likewise, Delegates and Governors must be 18 or over. (Article IV, Sections 2 and 4; Article V, Section 3; Article VI, Section 2) Circuit Governor terms: Beginning as of the fall 2018 USPA Board of Governors and Annual Member Meeting, each Circuit Governor will be elected for a three-year term, for a maximum of three consecutive three-year terms. (Article V, Section 2) Governor-At-Large terms: Beginning as of the 2019 USPA Board of Governors and Annual Member Meeting, each Governorat-Large will be elected for a three-year term, for a maximum of three consecutive three-year terms. (Article V, Section 2) Weighted Delegate voting on constitutional amendments: Consistent with the approach for Circuit Governor elections, when voting on proposed amendments to the Constitution, Delegates will have a number of votes based upon the number of Registered Player Members in the Active Member Clubs represented by the Delegate. (Article VIII)

PROPOSED SUBSTANTIVE CHANGES TO THE BY-LAWS: New home for Resolution 4.1: The authority of the Executive Committee remains largely the same. Resolution 4.1 has been incorporated into the By-Laws. (Article IV, Section 4) Officer terms: Officers elected at the 2018 USPA Board of Governors and Annual Member Meeting will serve for a one-year term. Beginning in the fall 2019 USPA Board of Governors and Annual Member Meeting, Officers will be elected to serve a three-year term, for a maximum of two consecutive threeyear terms. (Article V, Section 2) Membership classification changes: • Active Member Clubs must have, among other things, (a) effective as of January 1, 2019, at least six Registered Player Members, each of whom are 18 or over, and (b) ownership of or control by lease of a suitable field or arena. (Article VI, Section 3(a)(1)) • There are no longer Inactive Member Clubs; a Club must be either Active or Provisional to be a Member. • The Student Member classification has been eliminated. • Non-U.S. Members who are registered through an Active Member Club or Affiliate Member Club and who are not under suspension by the Hurlingham Polo Association, the Argentine Polo Association, or the Federation of International Polo have all the individual rights of membership except that they shall not be eligible to be selected as a Delegate or a Governor, and shall not be eligible to vote.

NEW AND REWRITTEN POLICIES The handicap provisions, Disciplinary Procedures, the Code of Conduct, and Broadcast and Title Sponsorship Rights are no longer housed in the By-Laws and will function as independent policies. • The new proposed Handicap Policy is replacing the handicap procedures in the previous By-Laws (By-Law 6), the National Handicap Policy and other USPA Handicap Guidelines. The new proposed Handicap Policy is a compilation of the existing handicap policies and will address the processes and procedures for awarding outdoor, arena and women’s handicaps with greater clarity. • The new proposed Disciplinary Policy clarifies and addresses all of the procedures outlined in By-Law 11 (Member Violations and Disciplinary Procedures), By-Law 12 (Protest Procedure) and By-Law 16 (Disciplinary Procedure for Violations of the Equine Drugs and Medications Rules). • The proposed Code of Conduct Policy is substantially the same as it was in the current By-Laws with greater clarity. • The Broadcast Rights, Title Sponsorships and Trademark Policy have been condensed into one document and provide new terms or title sponsorship for clubs.

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Equine Welfare Committee The Equine Welfare Committee continually looks for ideas to improve the safety and welfare of the horses that are a crucial part of the sport. The Committee met a number of times throughout the year to discuss topics related to the well-being of the equine athletes in the sport of polo. At the beginning of the year a decision was made to not renew the contract with the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) for the Association’s Equine Drug and Medication Testing Program. It was decided that the Association would conduct the program internally by contracting an independent laboratory and hiring outside veterinarians to conduct testing. Testing took place successfully at two tournaments late in the year using the new Drug Testing Procedure that was created in late 2017. At both events, players were very receptive to the new process and the testing went smoothly. A formal process was created and approved by the USPA Board of Governors for the Equine Disaster Relief Program. This policy includes three options for requesting funding: catastrophic, neglect and disaster relief. Each scenario requires an approval process for the funds to be utilized. In catastrophic and neglect cases, money will be sent directly to vendors to pay for necessary costs. For disaster relief, there is a reimbursement process for funds related to rescuing, relocating or transporting horses. These requests will be approved by the Committee, USPA Board or the USPA Executive Committee. The Committee continued to discuss the push for members to report equine abuse and neglect cases. An anonymous tip line was created for members to call and leave information. The USPA Equine Welfare Committee encouraged anyone making a report to first reach out to their local animal control to report the issue. Those wishing to make a report to the USPA are asked to leave as much detail as possible in their message. This should include the city and state, as well as the name of the person being reported, how many horses are involved and any other pertinent information. The tip line also encouraged those making reports to leave their own name and phone number, which will be kept confidential. When reports are received, the Committee conducts an official investigation and a plan of action is created to resolve the issue.

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Polo ponies waiting patiently at the trailer for game time. ŠDavid Lominska

The use of microchips for equine identification was discussed by the Committee on multiple occasions throughout the year. This technology has existed for several years and is used to provide an electronic identification to horses. The process for microchipping a horse begins by implanting a small microchip under the skin in the upper region of the neck halfway between the head and the withers. This procedure is usually done by a veterinarian, and is relatively easy and pain free. Many other equine organizations have adopted this process such as the Jockey Club, which is now requiring all Thoroughbred foals to be microchipped prior to registration. The microchips have an electronic ID number and owner information can be sent to the manufacturer’s registry. The USPA Equine Welfare Committee would like to encourage all USPA members to look into the possibility of microchipping their horses. Microchipping horses would be a benefit to the Equine Drugs and Medications Testing Program as a way to identify horses selected for testing. 21


Upatoi Green’s Jake Flournoy on a breakaway during National Copper Cup® play at New Bridge Polo & Country Club in Aiken, South Carolina. ©Katie Roth

Finance Committee The USPA investment program’s foundation is supported by four pillars. The first pillar consists of adherence to the USPA’s Board-approved Investment Policy. Advice from Meketa Investment Group, the USPA’s independent fiduciary investment consultant, makes up the second pillar. The third is comprised of custody of the investment portfolio at Wells Fargo bank, and the final pillar consists of management between the annual USPA operating subsidy and additions to the investment portfolio.

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Each year as part of the budget process, the Finance Committee evaluates the USPA’s adherence to the Association’s Boardmandated goal of attaining an investment balance capable of selffunding USPA operating subsidies. During 2018, $10,100,000 was added to the USPA’s investment portfolio, $8,100,000 using a Dollar-Cost Averaging (DCA) program of $675,000 monthly plus $2,000,000 in available funds transferred in the fourth quarter. DCA funding is derived from the differential between royalty income and dividends received from USPA Global Licensing and the amount required to subsidize USPA program operations. At the 2018 USPA Board of Governors and Annual Member Meeting in September, the Finance Committee recommended USPA Board approval of the Proposed 2019 USPA Budget at

a subsidy cap of $11,000,000. The recommendation was well-received and approved by the USPA Board. With this approval, the Association took a big step forward in stabilizing spending increases, balancing the allocation to both the endowment goal and current USPA programs and maintaining the fully-funded endowment projected date in the 2025 or 2026 timeframe. As in past years, the Finance Committee continued enhancement of the USPA’s investment program by adding active management strategies planned to provide downside protection and potential for an enhanced return over the portfolio’s market indices. Although 2018 performance resulted in a negative year, the long-term performance continues to be on track. The Association’s active DCA program is a vital

component of enhancing returns and reaching the endowment goal in the timeframe estimated. During the 2018 USPA Board of Governors and Annual Member Meeting in September, the Board approved a Large Purchases Policy, culminating a project first tasked to the Finance Committee in 2016. This policy provides guidelines for large capital expenditures, including twothirds approval (supermajority vote) by the full Board. The Large Purchases Policy was another step forward for the USPA by creating a process for consideration of a large investment which is outside of the approved investment policy and establishing a very high hurdle for protection of the organization’s endowment. In addition, the alignment of the goals of both the USPA and USPA Global Licensing were strengthened with establishing the Gauntlet of Polo™, funding of this initiative and a plan for the future. The Finance Committee also endorsed the Strategic Planning Committee’s four goals of fiscal management for improved polo, utilization of clubs to improve tournaments and providing entry-level programs for polo. The Committee is currently working on a three- to five-year plan to organize and fund USPA international polo which will further enhance the quality of these tournaments for both American players and international counterparts. Finance Committee meetings are always open and interested members are encouraged to attend.

Coca-Cola’s Steve Krueger leans out of the saddle to catch the hook on Tonkawa’s Sterling Giannico during the Joe Barry Cup at International Polo Club Palm Beach (Wellington, Florida). ©David Lominska

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Coca-Cola (Sugar Erskine, Gillian Johnston, Julio Arellano, Steve Krueger) walk off the field in unison after defeating Pilot by one goal in a Joe Barry Cup match. ŠDavid Lominska

High-Goal Committee The USPA High-Goal Committee met consistently throughout the year. The Committee is structured with representation from all entities that influence high-goal polo. At the end of 2017, the HighGoal Committee Policy was revised to increase the volunteer base with an additional team owner and professional player; the Committee now consists of three elected team owners and three elected professional players. Two professional players and two team owners were already serving terms, therefore the High-Goal Committee held an election to fill the available positions; Gillian Johnston was elected by fellow team owners and Jeff Hall was elected to represent professional players. In addition to the volunteer player categories, a representative from USPA Umpires, LLC, USPA Marketing, LLC, and the Rules Committee are appointed by the High-Goal Committee Chairman to serve as Committee members. 24


The Committee addressed various issues arising throughout the year that impacted highgoal polo. Many rule changes were discussed in depth and the Committee made recommendations on how to improve and better the sport. The main rules obstacle tackled by the Committee involved speeding up the pace of the game. Instant Replay challenges were discussed, as well as best practices to expedite calls and the amount of time taken for an injury timeout. The final chukker 30-second rule was also reviewed and it was recommended that the Rules Committee return to the former rule which allowed players the opportunity to play out the 30-seconds regardless of the score. The Committee assessed the success of the blocking variance for 2018 and supported the rule change for 2019. Additionally, the Committee reviewed and provided input on the High-Level Handicap Disclosure Policy and the new Handicap Policy. The Committee recognized the importance of handicaps in equalizing the playing field of the sport and

Audi’s Chris Brant on the ball, Iconica’s Matias Magrini hustles to defend during the East Coast Open at Greenwich Polo Club (Greenwich, Connecticut). ©Marcelo Bianchi

made the recommendation that the Association consider hiring professional handicappers in the future. This suggestion would ensure fair and unbiased handicap recommendations. The Committee formed a Tournament Format Subcommittee to analyze various tournament structures and assemble information for Member Club managers to best determine the fairest way to conduct a tournament. The Subcommittee met throughout the Florida High-Goal Season to discuss various time span scenarios and varying team

numbers in order to recommend the best formats. Once all was reviewed, a packet was assembled with each option, including pros and cons to each format. The Subcommittee was also utilized by the International Polo Club Palm Beach Host Tournament Committee to make recommendations for some of their tournaments. A continuous objective of the Committee is looking at a way to encourage more people to become involved in high-goal polo. The Committee has assessed various methods to help develop additional team owners for highgoal polo and this effort will continue in 2019. The High-Goal Committee will see a change in elected volunteers in 2019, but looks forward to continuing the strong work that was established in 2018.

Pacific Coast Open collision of mallets between Sol de Agosto’s Adam Snow and Jeff Hall of Lucchese at Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club (Carpinteria, California). ©David Lominska

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USA (Tenzin Tognini, Lucas Escobar, Bayne Bossom, Hope Arellano, Johnny Kirton) conquered the home team to capture the Junior Westchester Cup title and lift the John Cowdray Trophy, pictured with Coach Joel Baker. ŠMark Beaumont

International Committee 2018 international polo kicked off with the Bryan Morrison Trophy, a biennial high-goal arena international test match between the USA and England. The match took place in early March at the Westcroft Park Polo Club in Chobham, England, and severe weather conditions set a challenging stage for play. The U.S. team made up of Pelon Escapite, Shane Rice and Tommy Collingwood faced an English team of Eden Ormerod, Sebastian Dawnay and Chris Hyde. Both teams were determined and focused throughout the intense four-chukker match. In the end, England was crowned the victor in a 14-10 win over USA. The arena rivalry will continue on American soil in 2019, with the John R. Townsend International Challenge Cup, companion tournament to the Bryan Morrison Trophy. 26


The USPA sent a team of five young Americans to compete in the Junior Westchester Cup in England as an accompanying tournament to the Westchester Cup. USA’s Hope Arellano, Bayne Bossom, Lucas Escobar, Tenzin Tognini and alternate Johnny Kirton were led by Coach Joel Baker who was assisted by Team USPA Member Jared Zenni. The young team worked and trained in California prior to venturing over the pond and were able to play two practices in England before the pinnacle Junior Westchester Cup. The comradery and teamwork paid off as the USA challenged a well-mounted English team. The score was close throughout the match and came down to the wire. Moments before the end of the game, the score tied, USA received a Penalty 4 which Lucas Escobar opted to execute. A determined Escobar sent the ball through the goal securing the Junior Westchester Cup title for the USA. After a five-year hiatus, the coveted Westchester Cup challenge between the United States and England took place at the Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club in Windsor, Berkshire, England, on July 28. The Association sent top American players Julio Arellano (8-goals), Nic Roldan (8-goals), Jeff Hall (7-goals) and Peke Gonzalez (5-goals) to represent the country and challenge the English. The team had two practices the week prior to the event to prepare and strategize. Meanwhile, the English team was made up of James Beim, Ollie Cudmore, James Harper and Tommy Beresford;

three of which were fresh off a Gold Cup victory at Cowdray Park Polo Club in England. The cohesion between the English team was apparent from the start. The U.S. team continued to fight throughout the game, but fell short to the English despite their best efforts. The Hurlingham Polo Association accepted the USPA’s challenge to play the Westchester Cup on American soil in 2019; an exciting rematch is anticipated. Throughout the course of the year, the International Committee also took the opportunity to help fund several smaller initiatives. The Committee assisted in sending Team USPA’s Zenni and Jesse Bray to Argentina to play in the Copa de las Naciones. In addition, the Committee worked with the American International Polo Foundation to send a men’s team to play in the annual Manipur Polo International Invitational.

Westchester Cup USA team member Jeff Hall. ©Helen Cruden

During Bryan Morrison Trophy competition England’s Sebastian Dawney and USA’s Pelon Escapite jostle for possession. ©Tony Ramirez 27


Texas A&M University students celebrate their clean sweep of both the women’s and men’s National Intercollegiate Championships at Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club (Carpinteria, California)

National Handicap Committee The National Handicap Committee spent time over the summer of 2018 conducting a thorough review of the USPA Handicap Policy. Changes to the policy were submitted to the USPA Board of Governors at the USPA Board of Governors and Annual Member Meeting in September. This resulted in the formation of three separate handicap commitees: the Outdoor Handicap Committee, the Arena Handicap Committee and the Women’s Handicap Committee. The new policy clarified a number of items and provided one single policy for all three committees to follow. All three committees consist of a Committee Chair, thirteen Circuit Handicap Chairs and at-large members. Circuit Handicap Chairs have also been asked to designate the members of each Circuit Handicap Committee. The Committee also decided to revert handicaps below 1-goal to numeric values instead of letters (e.g. 0 instead of A, -1 instead of B). 28


The Outdoor Handicap Committee also created a High Level Player Disclosure Policy. This policy ensures that all players planning to participate in polo above 15 goals are properly observed. When a player discloses their intent to play, their handicap will be reviewed and all foreign handicaps assessed. If a player does not disclose an intent to play and participate in a high level tournament, their handicap may be subject to change after their first game. All three committees held successful meetings throughout the year. The Outdoor Committee

met in April to review players from the winter season and again in September for the Annual Outdoor Handicap Meeting. The Women’s Handicap Committee also met twice, once in April to review winter players and again in November to evaluate summer and fall women’s polo. The Arena Handicap Committee met once for their annual meeting in October to review all arena handicaps. With the new and improved USPA Handicap Policy in place and some new faces on all three committees, we are confident the handicapping process will continue to improve.

Judith Baker a staple of the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club (Carpinteria, California) has had an extensive career in polo. At age 75 she still actively competes at the seaside club. ©David Lominska

Valiente’s Tommy Beresford catches the hook on Mariano Obregon of Daily Racing Form in the opening match of the C.V. Whitney Cup at International Polo Club Palm Beach (Wellington, Florida). ©David Lominska 29


Horses cool down on their return to the club barns post-game at Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club (Carpinteria, California). ŠDavid Lominska

Rules Committee Through representatives on the International Rules Subcommittee, the Rules Committee continued to collaborate with the Hurlingham Polo Association (HPA) and the Argentine Association of Polo (AAP) in 2018, in a cooperative effort to improve and standardize the rules of international polo. This was done while bearing in mind that the USPA’s main focus is and should be on polo in America, that American polo has its own unique history and traditions, and that the vast majority of USPA members will continue to play and compete exclusively in the United States under the USPA Outdoor and Arena Rules.

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The Committee was active throughout the year on rules-related issues through teleconference and email, and discussed and voted on numerous matters that arose. A group composed of members and staff met during the summer in Wellington, Florida, for the Committee’s annual workshop. Proposed revisions to the USPA Outdoor, International and Arena Rules, as well as proposed revisions to the USPA Tournament Conditions were discussed. All of the proposed revisions were adopted for 2019 by the Board of Governors at the USPA Board of Governors and Annual Member Meeting in Oak Brook, Illinois. One of the more significant revisions adopted for 2019 revises the manner in which the final period ends in outdoor polo. The Arena Rules Subcommittee was busy throughout the year refining and revising the Arena Rules and Optional Tournament Conditions. The Subcommittee met regularly to review club and member feedback concerning the Optional Tournament Conditions for Arena Polo. Originally enacted in 2017, the conditions were designed in part to make arena polo safer for both horses and players while also speeding up the game, thus making it more appealing to both competitors and spectators. In 2019, the Subcommittee intends to make recommendations to the Board to incorporate the Optional Tournament Conditions into the Arena Rules.

Juan Martin Nero of U.S. Polo Assn. at full speed during a U.S. Open Polo Championship® preliminary match. ©David Lominska

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Spareholder and pony watch the game from the sidelines.

Safety Committee The Safety Committee continues to review and research rules, regulations, equipment and injuries in relation to the sport of polo. As a high speed, full contact sport played on horseback, the Committee helps to advise the Association on ways to protect the players. The Committee voted to cover the cost of certification from the Safety Equipment Institute (SEI) for the first four helmet manufacturers to produce a helmet that passes the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) Polo Standard. The Committee hopes to encourage multiple manufacturers to have a NOCSAE helmet on the market prior to the helmet mandate which begins on June 1, 2020. This funding will be in addition to the original helmet grants that have been offered to manufacturers.

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The Committee commissioned Dr. Stefan Duma, from Virginia Tech, to analyze current equestrian helmet standards, including NOCSAE, to ensure the Association is utilizing the best standard available. The Committee also plans to work with both the Hurlingham Polo Association and the Argentine Polo Association to move towards requiring the same standard universally. USPA Chairman, Chip Campbell, tasked the committee to reach out to other high-profile organizations such as the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA), Professional Bull Riders (PBR), and United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) to inquire into their helmet requirements and enforceability. The Committee will report back to the Board at the 2019 April Board of Governors Meeting with their findings. Additionally, the Committee drafted a statement to all USPA Members encouraging to use of a helmet for any mounted activity. The statement reads:

Jeff Hall donning a helmet with a three-point harness during Westchester Cup competition. ŠHelen Cruden

The Association encourages the use of helmets at all times when participating in polo or engaging in any equestrian activities, whether playing, practicing, schooling, or exercising. Please wear a helmet. Ride smart. Practice safe. Play polo.

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Cory Williams and Lila Bennett embrace after winning the inaugural Girls All-Star Challenge at Columbine Polo & Equestrian Center, LLC (Littleton, Colorado).

Strategic Planning Committee A newly established Strategic Planning Committee hit the ground running with many goals and initiatives. The first objective that the Committee tackled was revision of the USPA Mission Statement. The Committee considered feedback from all Committee members and legal council to develop a new mission statement. The statement was approved by the Board of Governors at the USPA Board of Governors and Annual Member Meeting along with changes to the Constitution.

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Cooling off after a Pacific Coast Open game. ŠDavid Lominska.

The Committee was also tasked with determining top goals for the Association. Four preeminent goals were voted on and approved by the Board of Governors. The first goal involved the application of fiscal management at all levels while creating and preserving an endowment to ensure financial stability for the long term. The Committee seeks to improve polo through better administration of

rules, tournaments and handicaps. Similarly, the Committee would like to better utilize the USPA network of clubs to improve tournaments, in collaboration with USPA Global Licensing, in order to increase spectator interest in the sport while attracting potential new playing members and new customers for the U.S. Polo Assn. brand. Finally, the Committee aims to provide programs that will facilitate entry

into the sport for the uninitiated, enhance the skills of young professionals and ultimately produce the best high-goal professional polo players in the world. The Committee will continue to work through plans to help execute these goals to establish a secure strategy for the future of the Association.

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2018 Central Region Champions (Cipriano Echezarreta, Grayson Price, Vaughn Miller Jr., Will Walton with Coach Mason Wroe) hoisting the Cecil Smith Cup at the NYTS National Championship at Columbine Polo & Equestrian Center, LLC (Littleton, Colorado).

Tournament Committee The Tournament Committee met in April of 2018 to carefully deliberate on the awarding of 2019 national tournaments. USPA national tournaments are the most prestigious tournaments in the United States, and in order for clubs to be considered as a host site, they must apply a year in advance. In 2018, many national tournaments were highly sought after by numerous clubs throughout the country. After hearing presentations from Member Clubs, the Tournament Committee made location recommendations to the Board of Governors to award 2019 national tournaments. Two of the most heavily discussed tournaments were the Silver CupÂŽ and the U.S. Open Arena Polo ChampionshipÂŽ. The Silver Cup is one of the oldest USPA tournaments and has a rich history within the Association, therefore the coveted title creates great value to any club. The tournament was hosted at Greenwich Polo Club (Greenwich, Connecticut) for three years which allowed new opportunities for rising high-goal teams. Greenwich Polo Club and Aspen Valley Polo Club (Carbondale, Colorado) each made presentations showcasing the unique opportunities they could offer. After a close vote, it was determined to award the tournament to Aspen Valley Polo Club for 2019.

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The National Twenty Goal® trophy on display in the Museum of Polo and Hall of Fame library located in Lake Worth, Florida.

The U.S. Open Arena Polo Championship® has been hosted at Country Farms Polo Club in Medford, New York, since 2012. This historic arena championship is the highest-level national arena tournament played in the nation. Country Farms Polo Club applied to continue to host the event as the tournament is the pinnacle of their season. The International Polo Club Palm Beach (IPC) also decided to throw their hat in the ring as the host venue for 2019. Boasting a newly-built arena and hoping to utilize the success of Gladiator Polo™, IPC brought forward new

ideas for the tournament. The Tournament Committee ultimately recommended the tournament stay at Country Farms Polo Club for 2019. One other major move was the decision to host the U.S. Open Women’s Polo Championship™ in Florida. The preliminary games of the tournament will be hosted by Port Mayaca Polo Club in Okeechobee, Florida, with the final played at IPC. Concluding the discussion, the Committee began to consider the concept of awarding national tournaments for multiple years. The Committee also began to investigate the best method to analyze

tournament success at a given location. The new system will gather data regarding number of teams, tournament format, and spectator base, among other criteria in order to determine the overall prosperity of the tournament. The Tournament Committee is looking forward to a great year in 2019. The Committee will continue to review the placement of national tournaments and find the best fit for each year in order to continue to preserve the legacy that has been built.

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2018 U.S. Open Women’s Polo Championship™ Winners Rocking P (Lottie Lamacraft, Courtney Price, Hazel Jackson, Tiva Gross, Bridget Price) celebrate after the final at Houston Polo Club (Houston, Texas). ©Kaylee Wroe

Women’s Committee The Women’s Committee experienced an increase in the number of women’s tournaments held in the United States throughout the year, as well as an increase in the number of female members of the USPA. Association membership recorded its highest percentage of women to date with nearly 40% female members.

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A number of new high-profile women’s tournaments were created and played in 2018. An all-female division of the National Youth Tournament Series Championship, the Girls All-Star Challenge, took place in conjunction with the coed championship in Denver, Colorado, in July. The inaugural East Coast Open Women’s Polo Championship and East Coast Handicap Women’s Polo Championship were held at Westchester Polo Club in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, and Myopia Polo Club in South Hamilton, Massachusetts, over the summer. Subsequently, the Pacific

Coast Circuit has proposed a Pacific Coast Women’s Open to be hosted in the summer of 2019. The Denver Polo Club (Littleton, Colorado) also hosted a test match for the Federation of International Polo (FIP) Women’s Invitational which consisted of teams representing Argentina and the United States competing at the 18-goal level. The 2018 U.S. Open Women’s Polo Championship™ took place for the eighth consecutive year at the Houston Polo Club in Houston, Texas, in November. The tournament will be moving to the International Polo Club Palm Beach in Wellington, Florida, for 2019 with preliminary

games taking place at Port Mayaca Polo Club in Okeechobee, Florida. The Florida Circuit will host a number of women’s tournaments leading up to this event to provide an entire season of tournaments for women players. A new platform for female polo players launched in December. The Women’s International Polo Network (WIPN), supported by the Women’s Committee was created for female polo players around the world to create a profile, find teammates, view an international women’s polo calendar and more.

Midland’s Molly Musselman having a great time in the U.S. Open Women’s Polo Championship™ Semifinals at The Houston Polo Club (Houston, Texas). ©Kaylee Wroe

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Ricardo “Zorrino” Force has devoted his life to the sport as a top level groom, shown here holding Gonzalito Pieres’ horse fieldside. ©David Lominska

Communications & Marketing The Communications Department focuses on highlighting and promoting USPA tournaments, livestreaming polo to the masses and executing digital media strategy through uspolo.org, social media, email and print platforms. During the course of 2018, uspolo.org was visited by approximately 970,000 from 230 countries and functioned as a center of information to members and polo enthusiasts with 426 articles created in the year. The Association continued to emphasize the importance of Member Clubs, players and horses, and the tireless workers behind the scenes, to those involved in the sport and potential fans and players around the world. Through digital and print media the Association produced club videos and educational commercials, spectator guides and club brochures, online club profiles, tournament coverage and special interest stories. The department’s strong relationship with players and clubs led to an emphasis on competitors, horses, and industry leaders via the livestream broadcast, social media, short films and online articles. These assets served to inspire and educate those interested in learning more about the lifestyle within the sport.

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USPA POLO NETWORK The USPA Polo Network livestreamed 20 tournaments and 135 games. Livestreaming on Twitter was added to the lineup of uspolo.org, Facebook and YouTube, pushing the total unique viewership to 852,400 with an average of 6,051 live unique views per game. The network reached peak live unique viewership of 21,136 for the U.S. Open Polo Championship® Final in April. On Sunday, September 2, history was made when five games were livestreamed from three different states in three different time zones. Polo fans watched the East Coast Open (Greenwich, Connecticut), National Youth Tournament Series Championship Final (Columbine, Colorado), and Pacific Coast Open Final (Carpinteria, California). The Communications team and partners ChukkerTV worked diligently on each livestreamed game to creatively showcase player graphics, club videos, short films, statistics, interviews, horse information and tournament and club history to elevate the fan experience on the USPA Polo Network. CLUB VIDEOS The club video program continued in 2018, and with the financial aid of the USPA, Seattle Polo Club (Enumclaw, Washington), Port Mayaca Polo Club (Okeechobee, Florida), and New Bridge Polo & Country Club (Aiken, Polo Club) created club commercials. The USPA offers Member Clubs a 50% match up to $6,000 to create a three-minute video highlighting the unique facets of each club in an engaging and eye-catching

Gloria D’Angelo is a high-goal groom smashing stereotypes. She is considered one of the key contributors to what makes the Valiente polo team and Adolfo Cambiaso leaders in the sport.

format. This resource allowed clubs to shine a professional light on their best assets and were used multiple times on the USPA Polo Network throughout the year, reaching tens of thousands of viewers. SHORT FILMS In addition to club videos, the USPA in partnership with Horseplay Productions has produced two “Learn to Play” commercials, a short film on the National

Intercollegiate Championships to highlight the intercollegiate program, Western Polo and a very popular Polo 101 video. These videos serve to supplement livestreamed matches as well as provide video content for the Association’s social media platforms and website. CLUB MAP Improvements were made to the existing club map on the Association’s website during 2018. The updated club 41


map aids potential players and fans of the sport to find Active Member Clubs. CLUB PROFILES The newest feature of the USPA website, Club Profiles was launched in late August, in order to provide detailed information about our member clubs. Each profile is customized with a unique image header, club logo, contact information, social media accounts, short club bio, 12-15 individual club categories, Certified Polo Instructors, USPA tournaments, past USPA tournament results, recent news articles and more. Club Profiles are housed in the Association section of uspolo.org and users are able to quickly view clubs in their surrounding area as well as conduct a search of all Member Clubs. GAUNTLET OF POLO™ The USPA Communications Department under the direction and guidance of the USPA Board, CEO Bob Puetz and Executive Director of Services Carlucho Arellano teamed up over the course of 2018 with the International Polo Club

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Audi’s Chris Brant celebrates his East Coast Open win with a champagne shower at Greenwich Polo Club (Greenwich, Connecticut). ©Marcelo Bianchi

Palm Beach (IPC) and USPA Global Licensing (USPAGL) to create and host the GAUNTLET OF POLO™. A newly-established tournament series beginning in 2019, the GAUNTLET OF POLO™ will offer a first-ever prize money component with a potential payout of $1,000,000. The highlyanticipated season will offer a robust 20-goal and 22-goal level schedule that concludes with the three most prestigious USPA national tournaments: C.V. Whitney Cup, USPA Gold Cup® and the U.S. Open Polo Championship® under one umbrella. Finalized in 2018, 2019 will mark the first time that the USPA, IPC and USPAGL have come together in a three-way partnership to create a pinnacle series of high-

goal polo that will elevate both the player and spectator experience. TOURNAMENT COVERAGE AND PRESS RELEASES During 2018, the Communications Department covered 152 tournaments. Coverage ranged from a final recap article with quotes and photos coordinated with the club and published in “This Week in Polo,” to on-site reporting of top-tier national tournaments. A powerful addition, social media coverage in person and in real time via Instagram stories included strong visual photography, video and game clips, as well as supplemental featured articles specific to the region and have been applauded across the board. Instagram stories provided a unique opportunity to educate followers with behind-the-scenes coverage that allows members and fans to feel even more connected to the tournament and has elevated the overall social media experience. Following the semifinals and finals of each top-tier tournament, game coverage and captioned photos are supplied to polo media outlets for republishing. Global coverage has dramatically increased as the USPA continues to assert its role as a leader and trendsetter in the industry with engaging and


timely coverage. USPA-written articles are consistently shared internationally as far as India, Argentina and England. FEATURED ARTICLES AND POLO PONY HIGHLIGHTS The Communications Department brought awareness to topics surrounding USPA national tournaments through in-depth feature articles aimed at providing an intimate look into the lives of notable people and horses in the industry. The articles highlighted top horses, trainers, grooms, veterinarians, photographers, artists, player training regimens and more. A special feature was added to high-goal horse articles in the form of highlight videos. Produced by the USPA’s livestreaming partner ChukkerTV, the videos showcased the individual polo pony, providing fans the opportunity to admire their incredible athleticism. The videos were published on social media and aired on the USPA Polo Network during the games in which the horses were competing, connecting viewers to the game and enabling them to recognize top equine athletes on the field. The positive feedback from players, members and fans was astounding and the department will continue to highlight similar stories in other top tournaments around the country in 2019. SPECTATOR GUIDES AND CLUB BROCHURES The USPA continued the initiative set forth in 2017 to create customized spectator guides for Member Clubs. The guides, which include a Polo 101 for both arena Nic Roldan’s beautiful red bay polo pony Tres Jotas was bred as a racehorse with speed in mind. ©David Lominska

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Tonkawa stretching before a game. ©Hillary Oswald

and grass polo as well as a club brochure, were made available to all Member Clubs free of charge in the form of easily printable PDF files. In 2018, club brochures were made for 14 clubs at the USPA Club Summit (formerly Instructor and Managers Forum) as well as 15 other clubs throughout the year. SOCIAL MEDIA The USPA made a creative social media push in 2018 to educate, inform, and inspire followers through original engaging content posted across four social platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Special interest stories were the top performing posts across all platforms in 2018 centered around top horses in the sport as well as industry leaders. The Association’s YouTube channel 44

served as the USPA Polo Network’s main platform for housing video content and the channel saw 157% growth in 2018. The United States Polo Association Facebook Page made strides in engaging followers through livestreamed games allowing viewers to interact with each other and the USPA during livestreamed screenings. The USPA Twitter account made 1,641,798 impressions in 2018 as new information was shared with followers several times a week. The USPA increased interest around top tournaments and horses on the Association’s Instagram account through behind-the-scenes curated stories and influencers. In 2018 the Communications Department searched for new and innovative ways to connect with untapped demographics. Social

media influencers, primarily on Instagram, are increasingly more prevalent in online marketing as a large-scale version of peer recommendations and a more organic way to reach a new following. The USPA partnered with Jennifer Sims (@StyledEquestrian), an equestrian fashion blogger and hunter-jumper now learning to play polo, for the Pacific Coast Open (PCO) at Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club. A truly authentic relationship, with over 45,000 followers, she has a strong voice, she is a mother, a wife and a former model for 10 years. The feedback and influence she received has been exponential. The combined Instagram reach between Jennifer and the USPA was over 65,000. An event rider who won a box seat to the PCO final in a giveaway offered on Sims’ Instagram account


also had a following of 30,000. Additionally, she organically promoted her experience which pushed the total audience reach to over 95,000. Following the success of partnering with Sims, the USPA enlisted the help of Sydney Jordan (@barrelchick10) to promote the U.S. Open Women’s Polo Championship™ in Houston, Texas. Jordan comes from a polo playing family and trains ranch, barrel and polo prospects in Texas. Jordan was able to reach a younger demographic that is primarily involved in Western riding and already own horses. Jordan enlightened her followers about the sport of polo through her experience at the U.S. Open Women’s Polo Championship™. Jordan has a loyal following of over 35,000, she received 1,667 likes on her preview post about covering the event and consistently reached 4,000 people with each Instagram story item over three days of posting. A millennial, Jordan utilized two new features of Instagram conducting a Q&A in real time behind the scenes at the U.S. Open Women’s Handicap as well as conducting a poll with her followers – 75% of which were interested in trying the sport. The goal is to form a lasting relationship with these Instagram influencers and continue to promote their polo journeys. The Communications Department is in the process of finding more influencers surrounding national tournaments to further stimulate the spectator turnout at key events and encourage new fans to find a club near them and “Learn to Play.”

EMAIL MARKETING The USPA continues to send out a weekly email titled “This Week in

39.5% 35.5% OP E N RAT E

C L I C K R AT E

Polo” each Tuesday that serves as the main form of communication and information sent to USPA members. Each email consists of eight or more articles ranging in topics from Committee and LLC news, tournament coverage, job postings and special interest features. Committees, clubs and members are encouraged to submit material for inclusion in the weekly email, and the popularity of the articles included each week was evident, as many articles were republished and shared in various media outlets. The email’s average open rate in 2018 was 39.5% and the click rates were 35.5%. USPA DOCUMENTARY The documentary “The Perfect Match” was finished and screened on Thursday, September 20, to an audience consisting of the USPA Board, members, staff and committees. The response was very positive and exciting for the future of the documentary. Marketing LLC and USPA Global Licensing are exploring different options for sale and distribution of the film and are looking forward to the release in 2019.

United States. Branding is vital to the USPA as the Association works to grow and sustain the sport nationally and internationally. It is crucial to continue to push the boundaries and find new initiatives in order to reach untapped demographics. Many of the platforms and projects created in 2018 have never been implemented for the sport anywhere in the world. The USPA leads all polo associations in regard to livestreaming tournaments, tournament coverage, player branding, statistics, club marketing, photography, videography, website capabilities, interest articles, social media and graphic design. The department is excited to unveil new additions in 2019 and raise the bar even higher.

152 TOURNAMENTS COVERED ON USPOLO.ORG

USPA BRANDING All facets of the USPA’s digital and print assets have been enhanced over the past year, as highlighted above. The USPA Communications Department worked diligently to elevate the U.S. Polo Assn. brand as well as the sport of polo in the

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Team USPA alumni Mason Wroe coaching the Central region during the National Youth Tournament Series Championship for the Cecil Smith Cup at Equestrian Center, LLC and Denver Polo Club (Littleton, Colorado).

Polo Development LLC USPA Polo Development, LLC focuses on the sustainability of the sport of polo through programs which support clubs and polo instructors as well as developing the next generation of polo players ranging from youth grass and arena players to women and young Americans. Polo Development is broken down into three divisions: Club Development, Intercollegiate/Interscholastic (I/I) and Player Development.

In 2018, Polo Development saw success in many established programs and implemented strategic changes to specific programs to better support the polo community. The popular Polo Development Initiative (PDI) Program once again financially supported over 100 polo clubs at the grassroots level. A highlight of club support was the addition of a second regional polo association in Chicago, the Chicago Polo Association, supported through the PDI program. In addition to the PDI program and regional associations, the Club Development Department provided guidance, support, and the dissemination of best practices to clubs throughout the 13 circuits of the USPA. The I/I Program remains a driving force in cultivating young polo players across the country. The I/I Department hosted three successful championship weekends: the National Intercollegiate Championships (NIC) at Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club in Carpinteria,

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California, the Girls’ National Interscholastic Championship (GNIS) at Virginia Polo Center in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the Open National Interscholastic Championship (ONIS) at Cornell University’s Oxley Equestrian Center in Ithaca, New York. In addition to tournaments, I/I polo offers several other programs to promote the sport of polo including the Intercollegiate Scholarship Program and Interscholastic Varsity Letter Program. A key focus of I/I has been bridging the chasm between club polo and I/I alumni. The fifth installment of the Feldman Cup, an alumni-specific tournament, took place at Bloomfield Polo Club in Saratoga Springs, New York. In addition to the Feldman Cup, in 2018, the I/I Department developed a series of circuit alumni events available to all USPA Member Clubs. In the Player Development Department, the National Youth Tournament Series (NYTS) witnessed a record year in qualifiers and number of unique players participating in the program. The NYTS Championships were hosted by

Denver Polo Club and Valiente/J5 Equestrian’s Columbine Polo and Equestrian Center, LLC in Littleton, Colorado over Labor Day Weekend. This world-class facility provided an outstanding venue for four zonequalified teams to compete for the Cecil Smith Cup. New in 2018 was a change to the East versus West Challenge which was launched in 2017. The 2018 edition featured two all-female teams in the renamed Girls All-Star Challenge Final which provided both fierce competition and additional opportunities to showcase the talent of young American players. Many of the Polo Development LLC programs are constantly evolving and changing to fit the needs of the USPA members and clubs. There is an old adage which states, “it takes a village to raise a child,” and this proverb holds true for polo. The Polo Development team works in harmony with the polo community and Umpires LLC, Services, Marketing LLC, and USPA Global Licensing to highlight the development of the sport at the grassroots level and promote foundational principles key to the sustainability of polo: horsemanship, sportsmanship and cooperation.

Bayne Bossom representing the Western region during the National Youth Tournament Series Championship for the Cecil Smith Cup at Columbine Polo & Equestrian Center, LLC (Littleton, Colorado).

USPA II vs SUPA in 2018 International Intercollegiate Challenge Cup. 47


Abercrombie & Kent’s Del Walton at the U.S. Open Polo Championship® Alumni Match at Oak Brook Polo Club (Oak Brook, Illinois) ©Karl Knapp

Club Development The Club Development Department of USPA Polo Development, LLC is committed to USPA Member Clubs, and individuals, who are dedicated to growing polo at the grassroots level and beyond, by identifying and sharing “best practices,” sustainable solutions and networking opportunities. In 2018, the Polo Development Initiative (PDI) Program overseen by the PDI Subcommittee of the Club and Membership Development Committee, chaired by Denny Geiler, awarded over 100 awards totaling $660,000 in support. Highlights of the 2018 PDI award process were two regional associations in Central Texas and Chicago, bringing together polo clubs through cooperative efforts to grow and promote the sport of polo. In 2018, 59% of Registered Players were registered with the USPA through 2018 PDI clubs, and 61% of new USPA members (joined within the last three years) joined through 2018 PDI clubs. This reflected an increase of 8% and 11% from 2017 and 2016 comparisons, respectively.

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The Polo Development Intern Program is aimed at identifying young, talented individuals looking to pursue a career in polo, and providing them with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to succeed. In 2017, the Club and Membership Development Committee established the Intern Subcommittee, chaired by David Ragland. Twelve young aspiring polo professionals participated in the Intern Program, many of which were undergraduates of the Intercollegiate/Interscholastic (I/I) Program. A focus of the Club Polo 101 Program for 2018 was guidance and support of the formation of the Chicago Polo Association (CPA), which has had a whirlwind of activity in 2018. The CPA, a collective cooperative effort of six USPA Member Clubs, 14 fields/facilities, and two highly successful polo schools, had over 100 unique participants partake in various levels from the polo


Player and groom exchange smiles as they prepare for the next chukker at Sarasota Polo Club (Sarasota, Florida). ©Julio Aguilar

school to 12-goal match games at the historic Oak Brook Polo Club in Oak Brook, Illinois. Highlights included a successful weekend of National Youth Tournament Series qualifiers, the Chicago Women’s Tournament, and the annual Seniors Tournament. Two metrics that showcase the activity of the CPA in establishing it as a hub for polo in the Midwest include “out of town” participation (20% of CPA participants are registered with non-CPA Central Circuit clubs

and an additional 21% of CPA participants are registered with non-Central Circuit USPA clubs) and the development of new players (73% of participants have joined the USPA since 2001; 28% joining between 2001-2010 and 45% between 2011-2018). CPA participants who have joined the USPA in the last three years make up 23% of the total number of participants.

launch of the association and look to develop two key components of their program: youth polo and arena polo with the goal of forming a strong I/I presence in Chicago and developing a regional arena series similar to the Pacific Coast Arena League and the Texas Arena League; both of which have been successful at developing polo through regional efforts.

Moving into 2019, the CPA will focus on continuing to build on the momentum established from the

49


A historic moment in intercollegiate competition, both the women’s and the men’s Texas A&M University teams brought home the title. ©Jim Bremner

Intercollegiate & Interscholastic The 2018 Intercollegiate/Interscholastic (I/I) tournament season saw a resurgance of teams with a total of 107 competing across four divisions, up from 97 in 2017. The USPA crowned national champions Maryland Polo Club in both the Girls’ National Interscholastic Championship and Open National Interscholastic Championship; and Texas A&M men and women took home a clean sweep of the National Intercollegiate Championships (NIC). In the fall, the USPA Middle School League, now in its fifth year, offered 13 tournaments across the country for players from fifth through eigth grade. The USPA I/I program traveled overseas to Rugby Polo Club in Dunchurch, England, to compete in the annual International Intercollegiate Challenge Cup. 2018 marked the sixth annual event, and the USA squad was victorious in a nail biting, buzzer beater finish, bringing the win record 4-2 against Schools & Universities Polo Association Britain (SUPA) over the lifetime of the tournament. Representing the USA in 2018 were Devan Groves from Oklahoma State University, Ben Lynch from the University of Kentucky, JT Shiverick from Southern Methodist University and Aaron Schneider from Skidmore College. 50

The fifth annual National I/I Alumni Tournament, the Feldman Cup, was hosted by the Bloomfield Polo Club in Saratoga Springs, New York. Three teams of alumni from various collegiate programs were represented with the home team of Bloomfield hoisting the trophy. Also on the alumni front, 2018 saw the introduction of two new circuit level I/I events. Both an alumni level tournament and a Junior Varsity/ Club level tournament were added to the list of circuit level events available to all USPA Member Clubs and circuits. College Polo 101 continued to gain strength in its ninth year, hosting collegiate student representatives from eleven intercollegiate programs from across the country. The event consisted of a threeday intensive workshop with local professionals, guest speakers and staff. 2018 also saw the continuation


of the College Polo 101 – On the Road series, which involved onsite visits from staff and contracted clinicians to collegiate programs. In 2018, College Polo 101 – On the Road and the Intercollegiate Player Clinic program were combined in order to maximize resources at each visit. Emphasizing the focus on education and training, 2018 saw the third annual I/I Tournament Manager’s Summit. This year, oneon-one training was incorporated at several of the fall invitational tournaments for a weekend of intensive training. Topics throughout the weekend included a review of new I/I Tournament Conditions, procedures and equine welfare. Background checks, concussion training and SafeSport education will continue to be required for all managers before each tournament season. 97 interscholastic students earned their Varsity Letter in polo through the USPA’s Interscholastic Varsity Letter Program. Student athletes work towards earning their Varsity Letter by logging 100 hours of riding and stick and balling, regular season game play and tournament participation. Students earn a varsity patch, pin, and bars for each eligible year and are recognized at their schools as well as on USPA social media platforms. The USPA Intercollegiate Polo Scholarship experienced a strong fourth year. The USPA awarded 10 new collegiate scholarships to student athletes in 2018, based on academics, participation and excellence in I/I polo, totaling 22 for the 2017-2018 academic school year. 2018 recipients included: Charlie Caldwell (University of South Carolina Aiken), Brennan Wells (University

of Virginia), Jack McLean (University of Virginia), Annie Ebersold (Roger Williams University), Abi McVaney (Texas State University), Joe Post (University of Kentucky), Sydney Weise (California Polytechnic State University), Frieda Witmer (Skidmore College), Ben Lynch (University of Kentucky), Tess Sabatini (Oklahoma State University), Cory Williams (University of Southern California). The award is auto-renewable for four years,

2018 USPA Aiken Middle School Tournament participant Maddie Godard pictured with Best Playing Pony Pata.

provided the students meet the eligibility requirements.

print and online which showcases each of the 40 USPA intercollegiate college programs. Equine Welfare remained at the forefront of the I/I program. All horses appearing in I/I sanctioned events must have proof of negative coggins, current health papers, as well as documentation of any host site health requirements (such as specific vaccines required), submitted to the USPA before the start of the tournament. Horses were also subject to a Pre-Tournament Horse Inspection that was performed by an on-site licensed veterinarian. The horses were checked for soundness and for an appropriate Body Condition Score. Coaches Education continued to be emphasized in 2018. The I/I program worked with Certified Polo Instructors (CPI) to create I/I Fast Track Clinics in order to provide a local opportunity for I/I coaches to begin the process of certification without the hassle of travel. During the summer of 2018, I/I hosted its first ever Collegiate Coaches Think Tank which brought in 2018 NIC coaches to a round table discussion specifically on the topic of horse usage at the National Intercollegiate Championships. The group elected to begin utilizing a six, five-minute chukker format at the 2019 NIC tournament in order to keep with the traditional split string format of I/I and also lessen the number of minutes each horse plays.

The I/I Start Up & Enhancement Program which offers funding and fundraising assistance, and umpire reimbursement, continued to be a popular program among newlyformed I/I programs. 2018 saw the third edition of the Intercollegiate Club Catalog, a resource available in 51


Certified Polo Instructor Program In the second half of the year the Certified Polo Instructor program began a strategic planning process for the future of the program and its impact on the polo community. A need for a recertification process, continuing education opportunities, and continued development of instructional resources has emerged as the certification program has matured. The goals for 2019 are to create value in the program for instructors and continually improve the quality of instruction with respect to safety, skill development, and horsemanship.

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Certified Polo Instructor (CPI) Tiger Kneece and Team USPA alumnus Mason Wroe work with youth player at Eldorado Polo Club (Indio California). ©Kaylee Wroe 53


In the biggest upset of the highgoal season, Daily Racing Form derailed tournament favorite Valiente 10-9 to claim the U.S. Open Polo Championship® title. Jared Zenni celebrates fieldside with his father. ©David Lominska

Player Development Player Development supports training and playing opportunities for developing players through Team USPA, the National Youth Tournament Series (NYTS) and the Young Player Opportunity Grant (YPO). The NYTS program showed continued growth across the country. The Central Region team won the NYTS National Championship Cecil Smith Cup for the first time in the program’s history. In response to 43% female participation at NYTS qualifier tournaments, the NYTS Subcommittee made the decision to add an all-girls division to the NYTS Championships. American youth players participated in international competition and mentored under legendary American players with the support of the YPO Grant. The Team USPA program piloted a training program in Argentina, with hopes of continuing to provide access to the highest levels of training.

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TEAM USPA The Team USPA program supports a dynamic group of young American players through mentorships, guidance from respected members of the polo community and highlevel training and playing opportunities. By providing mentorship opportunities with top American professionals, Team USPA members learn from the success of their predecessors. NEW MEMBERS One of the first introductions Team USPA players had to the coaching support available was at the tryout weekend clinic. In 2018, the program moved the tryout clinic to Aiken, South Carolina, to provide a more intimate environment for new members to get acquainted and interact with program leaders on a more personal level. The nine incoming players spent three days immersed in polo and training related activities on Langdon Road, home to Adam Snow’s New Haven Farm and Owen Rinehart’s Isinya Farm. Over the course of the weekend, players had the opportunity to play in two fast, open practices with a special “twohit” rule implemented to open up the game as well as participate in off-the-field training with polo fitness trainer, Alejandro Moraes. A tour of the Isinya breeding farm facilities, a lecture on veterinary care with Dr. Shelley Onderdonk and media training with the USPA communications team staff rounded out the tryouts weekend. Team USPA welcomed Molly Agee, Lucas Arellano, Lauren Biddle, Mia Bray, Tony Calle, Justin Daniels, Grant Ganzi, Jake Klentner and Sloan Stefanankis to the program.

Team USPA partnered with Alfonso Pieres in Argentina to elevate fall training. Team USPA (Nico Escobar, Jesse Bray, Remy Muller, Julia Smith) after their first match in the Copa de Amigos tournament, pictured with Alfonso Pieres. ©ClickPolo

ARGENTINA TRAINING Jesse Bray, Geronimo Obregon, Remy du Celliee Muller and Julia Smith traveled south to the mecca of polo for a two-month training program created by Alfonso Pieres and Adam Snow at the Don Urbano farm in Pilar, Argentina. Team USPA partnered with Pieres to create an entry point for the four players to break into the Argentine scene while focusing heavily on improving their individual play. As part of the program, each of the four players played six to eight chukkers several times per week in both practices and tournament games against a myriad of professionals in the area. Being centrally located in Pilar allowed for a total immersion in the vibrant polo community and culture.

TEAM USPA EXCELS AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL Jared Zenni made his mark qualifying for the Triple Crown of Polo in Argentina with La Cañada Daily Racing Form shortly after winning the U.S. Open Polo Championship® with Daily Racing Form. New Team USPA member Jake Klentner won the Pacific Coast Open (PCO) alongside fellow Team USPA members Remy du Celliee Muller and Jesse Bray. Additionally, 22 active Team USPA members regularly competed in tournament polo 12-goals and above throughout the year.

Team USPA welcomed nine new members in 2018. Shown here at tryouts held in Aiken, South Carolina.

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NATIONAL YOUTH TOURNAMENT SERIES PROGRAM The National Youth Tournament Series (NYTS) program provides outdoor clubs with a framework for hosting a USPA-sanctioned tournament designed specifically for youth players. Playing with and against peers fosters a fun and competitive environment for junior players to grow and improve their skill set. All-Stars are selected by an appointed committee at each qualifier and are then eligible to be selected for one of the four open zone teams or two female All-Star teams to compete in the NYTS Championship tournaments. The NYTS program has continuously grown since its inception in 2013. In 2018, 197 All-Stars were selected from 40 qualifiers played across the country. Since NYTS is a selfmounted program, junior players and their parents are committing significant resources in order to participate. Approximately 35% of the participants competed in multiple NYTS qualifier tournaments.

281 UNIQUE NYTS PLAYERS

40 QUALIFIERS

NYTS CHAMPIONSHIP The National Youth Tournament Series (NYTS) Qualifier season culminated in an action-packed NYTS Championship weekend. Jointly hosted in Littleton, Colorado, by Valiente/J5 Equestrian’s Columbine Polo and Equestrian Center, LLC and Denver Polo Club, the two clubs provided a world-class venue for the event. The Central Region won the Cecil Smith Cup for the first time in the program’s history. Team USPA alumni, Mason Wroe, coached Cipriano Echezarreta, Grayson Price, Vaughn Miller Jr. and Will Walton to victory in an exciting final against the Western Region. In addition to the Cecil Smith Cup, the NYTS program hosted its first ever all-female division at the national level. The Girls All-Star Challenge was created in response to growing female participation at NYTS qualifier

98

PLAYERS PLAYED IN MULTIPLE NYTS TOURNAMENTS

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tournaments across the country. Introducing a female division at NYTS Championships, eight of the country’s most promising young female players exhibited their talent and dedication to the sport on a national stage. The eight female players who represented a variety of clubs across the United States and Canada were divided into two teams based on their women’s handicaps and paired with a coach, TUSPA member Jim Wright leading Black and Team USPA alumni Steve Krueger on White. Providing a high-quality coaching experience has been

136 UNIQUE ALL-STARS

the foundation of the NYTS Championship weekend since its inception. Aside from time spent playing tournament matches and practice, the coaches organized team meetings, video reviews and practiced hitting penalties together.


Florida’s Benji Daniels at full speed, Western’s Jake Klentner hustling to defend during the National Youth Tournament Series (NYTS) Championship Semifinals.

YOUNG PLAYER OPPORTUNITY GRANT The Young Player Opportunity (YPO) Grant was established as a reimbursement program to provide funding support for youth players seeking a unique training or playing experience. The purpose of the program is to enhance the level of polo that is regularly available to the individual and encourage a thoughtful and creative plan toward helping a player improve their playing and horsemanship abilities. In its first year, YPO supported two players competing in the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina, as well as a mentorship with Owen Rinehart. Three players participating in training clinics outside of their local club were also awarded grants.

American youth players Grace Mudra, Winston Painter, Grayson Price and Grant Palmer traveled to Buenos Aires, Argentina, to play on Palermo’s Field 1 during the Youth Olympic Games. ©Argentine Polo Association 57


USPA Umpires, LLC partnered with the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) to bring the surviving family of a fallen hero to the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club (Carpinteria, California). ŠDavid Lominska

Umpires, LLC The demand from USPA Member Clubs and players for professional umpiring has significantly risen over the past five years. USPA Umpires, LLC, is constantly recruiting, training and retaining the very finest professional and certified umpires. Quality officiating leads to a more enjoyable experience for the participants and ultimately to the overall improvement of the game nationwide. Umpires LLC continually seeks out innovative solutions to grow and succeed, and is determined to have the very best umpires and training program in the world. PUMP/8 PUMP/8 is one of the most successful club programs that Umpires LLC has created and implemented. PUMP/8 was introduced to provide smaller clubs the opportunity to have a professional umpire officiate at their club. Through the program, clubs hosting USPA Circuit or National events 8 goals and under, can request an umpire. Clubs then pay a $500 fee, and a professional umpire is sent to their club to officiate the tournament and conduct a Rules Review for the players. The umpire’s salary, airfare, accommodations and car rental are covered. Clubs are limited to three PUMP/8 events per year, are required to have a 58

minimum of four teams participating and must complete the tournament within 10 consecutive days. In 2018, over 110 tournaments have been professionally umpired through PUMP/8. Positive feedback from clubs grows each year and Umpires LLC looks forward to the program continuing to develop and grow. TRAGEDY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM FOR SURVIVORS The mission of Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) is to provide ongoing emotional help, hope and healing to all who are grieving the death of a loved one in military service to America. Umpires LLC teams up each year with TAPS to bring a military family to a polo game. Hosted by the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club in Carpinteria, California, and Umpires, LLC, a local military family was treated to a full day of polo in August of 2018. The honored TAPS guests had lunch with several polo players, watched the match, and then spent time with the officials after the game.


“I would like to thank Umpires LLC and the PUMP/8 program. Central Texas Polo Association had the great pleasure of hosting the USPA Southwestern Circuit Governor’s Cup Qualifier for the Central Region. The professional umpiring provided by Robin Sanchez was superb! She is a true professional and a number of players went out of their way to approach me and comment on her positive attitude and umpiring. I am a true supporter of the professional umpires and the PUMP/8 Program and this was yet another example of why.” Karl Hilberg

INTERCOLLEGIATE INTERSCHOLASTIC PROGRAM Umpires LLC again joined forces with the Intercollegiate/ Interscholastic (I/I) Program in 2018 and assigned umpires for 129 games during the 2017-2018 I/I season. Umpire coverage included all preliminary, regional and national games. In the fall, four umpire clinics were held around the U.S. to fine-tune all I/I umpires officiating the 2018-2019 season. UMPIRE PROGRAM There were 25 professional umpires in 2018, and Umpires LLC plans to sign on two more umpires for 2019. Umpires LLC sent officials to over 100 clubs and cumulatively over 2,020 games were umpired. Several umpire clinics were held around the country to hone the skills of certified umpires as well as members that were interested in becoming an umpire. Members interested in becoming a certified umpire must take and pass an online test annually for either an outdoor and/or arena umpire rating. As of 2018, there were 208 certified outdoor umpires and 111 certified arena umpires. Last January, Umpires LLC

hosted a boot camp at the Eldorado and Empire Polo Clubs in Indio, California, for certified umpires interesting in taking their officiating skills to the next level. Participants refereed alongside professional umpires or watched the games from the sidelines while listening to the radio communication. Classroom time was compulsory, with catchtapes of fouls, plays and rule reviews.

the Umpire Reimbursement Program (UMP). The umpire’s salary, housing and transportation are all eligible for reimbursement. Each USPA circuit is allocated UMP funds based on the number of Member Clubs, registered players and affiliate members within their circuit; $78,000 was budgeted for reimbursement to the 13 circuits of the USPA for 2018.

TECHNOLOGY Each year, Umpires LLC remains on the cutting edge by using technology to improve officiating on and off the field. Continued training and education for professional umpires is aided with drone footage, GoPros, and the use of Dartfish, a video business that provides breakdown of calls, non-calls and plays. At all games, officials are able to communicate with each other via radios. Teams playing high-goal polo may request the use of Instant Replay. An additional umpire is designated as the Instant Replay Official (IRO), who makes the final call on a play that has gone back to the replay booth.

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF SPORTS OFFICIALS All professional umpires are members of the National Association of Sports Officials (NASO). The NASO’s primary focus is to dispel unfair and malicious portrayals of referees and umpires. This is accomplished by shining a light on the strong character and positive accomplishments of the men and women who officiate sports. This organization represents officiating at all levels and from all sports. Each year Umpires LLC staff attend NASO’s annual summit, and in 2018 Umpires LLC was asked to present a polo video to NASO’s “You Make the Call” segment.

UMPIRE REIMBURSEMENT PROGRAM All USPA Member Clubs that have hired certified umpires can apply for partial reimbursement through 59


Empire Polo Club – Coachella Valley

Chairman: W. David Cummings

President/CEO: J. Michael Prince

Secretary/Treasurer: Robert Donahey

Directors: Gerry Aschinger, Thomas Biddle, Sr., George Dill, Jack L. Shelton, Charles E. Weaver

USPA Global Licensing Inc. RECORD YEAR AND GLOBAL MOMENTUM

USPA Global Licensing Inc. (USPAGL) delivered another record year in 2018 achieving many milestones along the way. U.S. Polo Assn. grew 15% to $1.7B in sales globally as the brand expanded into 166 countries worldwide, has over 1,075 monobrand retail stores and was recognized as the 42nd largest global licensor in the world based on the top 150 rankings. USPAGL also drove significant awareness of U.S. Polo Assn. and the sport of polo around the world through global broadcasts, social media and digital advertising. The company’s global broadcasting efforts exposed over six million sports fans and consumers to high-profile polo events, including the 2018 U.S. Open Polo Championship®. U.S. Polo Assn.’s social media following also increased to over four million followers globally while continuing the “Live Authentically” campaign and working with many strategic digital media and content partners such as the New York Times, Amazon Advertising, Women’s Wear Daily, PPE, and Delta SKY Magazine. 60

USPA President: Anthony Coppola

USPA CEO (Ex Officio): Robert Puetz

GLOBAL RETAIL AND INTERNATIONAL EXPANSION USPAGL reached major milestones in 2018 and surpassed 1,075 monobrand retail stores worldwide and expanded into 166 countries globally. The growth in stores happened across all regions of the world and included new store openings in high-profile areas such as Boston’s iconic Faneuil Hall, Mall of the Emirates in Dubai, Tocuman International Airport in Panama City, Xianyang Kaihuang Plaza in China and 1000 Foot Road in Bangalore, India. U.S. Polo Assn. added roughly 100 retail stores in 2018 alone, and has an aggressive target to exceed 1,300 stores globally over the next several years. Key regions such as India, China, Turkey, the Middle East and Eastern Europe will drive a significant portion of this growth while more mature markets


such as North America, Western Europe and Latin America will continue to add doors as well. While many brands have been closing stores, or even going out of business, U.S. Polo Assn. has undergone an aggressive expansion. In addition, U.S. Polo Assn. expanded into several more markets in 2018 including Scandinavia and South Africa. BROADCASTS AND EVENTS USPAGL aired three major broadcasts and sponsored a robust range of global events this year. The 2018 U.S. Open Polo Championship® was broadcast on CBS Sports and ESPN South America, reaching some two million viewers and resulting in a 70% increase over last year. Other broadcasts on Eurosport and Dsport included the Westchester Cup between the United States and England as well as the Federation of International Polo (FIP) European Championship, which, combined, were viewed by roughly three-and-a-half million viewers across Europe, Asia and India. Outfitting all the events, U.S. Polo Assn. provided performance jerseys for the players as well as apparel for the teams, umpires and event staff. The company also collaborated with its global licensing partners around the world on several high-profile polo events where U.S. Polo Assn. served as the official apparel sponsor. Some of the events in the United States included the National Intercollegiate Championship (NIC), Women’s Committee Tournament (WCT), National Youth Tournament Series (NYTS) and St. Regis Aspen World Snow Polo Championship. International events included the China Open

Polo Tournament, Monte Carlo Beach Polo, Sentebale Cup and the Buenos Aires Youth Olympic games which featured several USPA players. These events along with the global broadcasts have generated significant brand awareness for U.S. Polo Assn. by creating hundreds of millions of media impressions. THE GAUNTLET OF POLO™ USPAGL along with the USPA and International Polo Club Palm Beach (IPC) have partnered to create the GAUNTLET OF POLO™ tournament series which will launch during the 2019 highgoal season. The GAUNTLET will include the C.V. Whitney Cup, USPA Gold Cup® and the U.S. Open Polo Championship. Also, for the first time ever, the event will feature prize money with the potential to win $1 million dollars if a team can “run the gauntlet” and win all three tournaments. The participation of 16 teams registering to play has been significant and the event is expected to drive record attendance. As part of this unprecedented three-year

Gauntlet Trophy

partnership between USPAGL, USPA and IPC, USPAGL has committed to naming Field 1 “Home of U.S. Polo Assn.” Team owners have also been given an incentive to wear the double horsemen mark on their jerseys during the GAUNTLET OF POLO. The GAUNTLET hosted a national media day on January 16, 2019 to bring more awareness for the program. DIGITAL, SOCIAL MEDIA AND GLOBAL BRAND AMBASSADORS The combination of social media content creation and influencer partnerships has played a major role in driving awareness and consumer advocacy for U.S. Polo Assn. The brand has partnered with influencers in key countries around the world to promote the brand and engage consumers with the sport. These efforts have resulted in over four million global social media followers and website visits have passed the one million mark. The brand also has executed several digital initiatives in 2018 ranging from targeting over two million viewers on Amazon Fire TV to running social media campaigns targeting millennials globally. U.S. Polo Assn.’s global brand ambassadors, Ashley Busch and Juan Bollini, are also a critical component for illustrating the authentic connection between the brand and the sport. Busch and Bollini have continuously demonstrated their support of the sport and the brand by playing in polo games, posting social media content and participating in global photoshoots, which all highlight the brand and further showcase the fun, passion and camaraderie of the sport of polo. In late 2018, U.S. Polo Assn. also announced Jared Zenni as a new addition to 61


Juan Bollini & Ashley Busch - Global Ambassadors

the global brand ambassador roster. Recognized as one of the top up-and-coming polo players in the sport and the defending champion of the 2018 U.S. Open Polo Championship, Zenni will be instrumental in promoting the sport and U.S. Polo Assn. around the world. All three global brand ambassadors along with lifestyle and fashion influencers will continue to serve as integral parts of the brand’s global marketing and advertising efforts. TELEVISION SHOW & DOCUMENTARY As broadcasting and media become a stronger focus, U.S. Polo Assn. partnered with the Palm Beach County Tourist Development Council to create a 30-minute television show, “The Polo Life – The Palm Beaches,” immersing viewers in the sport, fashion, lifestyle and philanthropic aspects of polo. The show aired in September across several media platforms and in hotels and resorts across Palm Beach County reaching more than 60 million households. USPA Global Licensing Inc. also collaborated with the USPA to finalize the USPA documentary, a 90-minute film that takes viewers behind the scenes and provides the history of the sport in the United States, and highlights the birth of U.S. Polo Assn.

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MEDIA A new and exciting print initiative was executed this year in partnership with renowned global fashion trade publication, Women’s Wear Daily (WWD). U.S. Polo Assn. partnered with the industry news source to create a custom narrative highlighting the brand’s global expansion, authentic connection to the sport of polo, and tremendous retail growth approaching $2 billion in sales. For the first time ever, the brand also included multiple ads with prime positioning in The New York Times and The Times of London, offering exposure to over twoand-a-half million readers daily. The ads featured the broadcast tune-in details and global brand ambassadors for the 2018 U.S. Open Polo Championship and the Westchester Cup, respectively. GLOBAL PHOTOSHOOTS U.S. Polo Assn. has developed a new program for global photoshoots that are taking place in inspirational and aspirational destinations that also have a strong connection to the sport of polo. The Fall/Winter 2018 photoshoot was done in Aspen at the Aspen Valley Polo Club and featured beautiful polo fields and a breathtaking nature reserve covered in snow. The Spring/Summer 2019 photoshoot took place in Coachella Valley at Empire Polo Club which also featured amazing polo fields,

hot air balloons, bright colors and sunny weather. GLOBAL SUMMIT This May, U.S. Polo Assn. invited a roster of global licensees to an official global summit titled “Whitespace 2025 – Roadmap to $2 billion,” held in the Palm Beaches. It was an extremely successful event with representation from major global licensees around the world. The brand had many industryleading professionals speak on topics that ranged from “What Great Brands Do,” to “Social Influencers,” “Dynamics of Amazon” and “Maximizing Digital Platforms.” The two-day summit enabled USPAGL to share the strategic direction behind the brand’s roadmap to $2 billion in sales, which laid the groundwork for the future growth of the business. In addition to the meetings, the licensees had the opportunity to tour Santa Rita Polo Farm where they engaged with polo players and horses, and later enjoyed a reception at IPC. NANTUCKET WHALER USPAGL continues to make great progress with Nantucket Whaler, which is a unique American story dating back to 1837 and steeped in the heritage of Nantucket island. The brand will offer both apparel and accessories that are welldesigned, high quality and infused with durability, comfort and a hint of the nautical spirit that captures both function and fashion.

For Summer 2019, Nantucket Whaler will launch a new digital site and retail store on Nantucket island while looking at opportunities to expand globally with new partners. Nantucket Whaler is also a purpose driven brand that is focused on giving back with an intense respect for our seas and the creatures in them. Nantucket Whaler is a proud sponsor and supporter of the international charity “Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC),” which is dedicated to the conservation of whales, dolphins and our seas. THE FUTURE USPAGL is extremely excited about the future of U.S. Polo Assn. and our sport. The brand has several amazing initiatives in the coming year including the launch of a new U.S. Polo Assn. “high-goal” energy store concept that will open in several countries globally. This new concept will showcase amazing products while engaging consumers in the sport of polo in a new and more meaningful way. In 2019, U.S. Polo Assn. will also activate the “Women’s Initiative,” which will be a marketing campaign featuring the impact women around the world have had on the sport and the brand. Those exciting measures, along with the debut of the new tournament series the GAUNTLET OF POLO will continue the brand’s push toward a more digitally and technology focused brand. Simply put, the future of U.S. Polo Assn. has never been brighter!

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Board of Governors

C

P

S

T

Chip Campbell III

Anthony Coppola

Stewart Armstrong

Samuel Ramirez, Jr.

CHAIRMAN

PRESIDENT

S E C R E TA RY

TREASURER

CG

CG

Tony Yahyai

Robert McMurtry

BORDER

CENTRAL

CG

CG

CG

Joseph Muldoon Stephen Orthwein, Jr. EASTERN

CG

FLORIDA

CG

CG

David Ragland

Bill Kirton

Trey Schott

G R E AT P L A I N S

HAWAIIAN ISLANDS

M I D - STAT E S

CG

CG

CG

CG

Leighton Jordan

Daniel Walker

Sheryl Sick

Erica Gandomcar-Sachs

Billy Raab

Paul Jornayvaz

NORTHEASTERN

PAC I F I C C OA ST

PAC I F I C NORTHWEST

R O C K Y M O U N TA I N

SOUTHEASTERN

SOUTHWESTERN

GAL

GAL

GAL

GAL

GAL

GAL

Julio Arellano

Steven Armour

Chrys Beal

Maureen Brennan

Michael Carney

Dennis L. Geiler

GAL

GAL

GAL

GAL

GAL

Thomas Gose

Peter Poor

Peter Rizzo

Charles Smith

Scott Walker

OFFICER

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CG

CG

CIRCUIT GOVERNOR

GAL

GOVERNOR AT LARGE


Divisions, Divisions, Committees Committees & & LLCs LLCs USPA MISSION STATEMENT:

The Association has been organized and exists for the purposes of promoting the game of polo with an overarching goal of improving the sport, coordinating the activities of its Member Clubs and Registered Players (as defined below), arranging, allocating, and supervising polo tournaments, competitions, and games and providing rules, handicaps, and conditions for those tournaments, competitions, and games, including the safety and welfare of participants and mounts. Jenna Tarshis prepares to take the field for the inaugural Girls All-Star Challenge.

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USPA Services ARENA COMMITTEE Mission Statement: The Arena Committee is the successor of the Indoor Polo Association. Its mission is to manage arena polo within the USPA as well as organize, promote and develop arena polo with member clubs and players. The committee seeks to differentiate arena polo as an exciting, competitive and alternative version of the sport polo, as well as an invaluable teaching polo format. The committee’s initiatives and responsibilities include arena rules, arena handicaps, high-goal arena polo, arena tournaments, international arena polo, I/I and women’s arena polo.

ARMED FORCES COMMITTEE Mission Statement: The mission of the USPA Armed Forces Polo Committee, in recognition of the great history and connection between the sport of polo and our Armed Forces, seeks to create opportunities to support and perpetuate the tie between the armed forces and the polo communities through the promotion of events supporting the military community and, “The development of partnerships to increase military participation in the sport of polo.”

Chairman:

Executive Staff:

Daniel Coleman

Vice Chairmen: Ed Armstrong, Robin Sanchez

Executive Staff: Carlucho Arellano

Co-Chairmen: Karl Hilberg and Jake Flournoy

Vice-Chairman: Mark Gillespie

AUDIT COMMITTEE Mission Statement: The purpose and primary function of the USPA Audit Committee shall be to assist the Board of Governors of the USPA (the “Board”) in fulfilling its oversight responsibilities for (a) the integrity of the USPA’s financial statements, (b) the USPA’s compliance with any legal and regulatory requirements, (c) the independent auditors qualifications and independence, and (d) the performance of the USPA’s internal audit function and that of the independent auditors. (From the Audit Committee Charter) Committee Chair: Steve Rudolph

Executive Staff: Susan Present, CPA, CGMA, CFE

Committee Members: Eugene Burk, Charles Stanislawski, MBT, CPA

Carlucho Arellano

Committee Members: Dan Colhoun, Dean Daggett, Barbara Donahue, Allen Hoe, Pat Nesbitt, Rob Phipps, Parker Scott, Marisa Tanner, Steve Walsh, Tony Yahyai, Mike

Staff:

Yermakov, Elena Wicker, Joe Meyer,

Lindsey Ebersbach

George Dill, Peter Rizzo.

Arena Handicap Chairman: Tom Goodspeed

Committee Members: Aimee Waters, Chris Green, Daniel Scheraga, David Eldredge, Dennis Geiler, James DeAngelis, Jennifer Williams, Jillian Bowman, Jorge Vasquez, Karl Hilberg, Lisa Nousek, Louis Lopez Jr., Mark Bellisimo, Mark Gillespie, Megan Judge, Raymond Noh, Robert Ceparano, Robert Lyn-Kee-Chow, Rodney Fragodt, Sarah Coleman, Tom Goodspeed, Tommy Biddle, Tony Yahyai

66

Florida Region’s Conrad Kissling receiving encouraging advice from Team USPA member Jared Zenni during the National Youth Tournament Series Championship.


BOARD AND STAFF DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE Mission Statement: The mission of the USPA Board and Staff Development Committee is to, on an ongoing basis, study and offer recommendations on the establishment and continuous improvement of an efficient, staff-driven organizational structure. The Committee shall provide advice and support to the Association’s Chief Executive Officer in USPA personnel matters and offer advice and support to the Association’s Chairman in all matters relating to USPA Board of Governors and USPA Limited Liability Companies development. The Committee shall study USPA mission statement objectives and make recommendations to achieve stated goals, correct deficiencies, and ensure consistency, continuity and clarity in all areas of the Association. The Committee’s responsibility (concerning the USPA and subsidiary Limited Liability Companies), includes, but not limited to: human resources, information technology, staff oversight, staff compensation, staff development and succession, strategic planning, Board development and succession planning, and Board and staff evaluation and interaction. Co-Chairmen: Leighton Jordan, Peter Rizzo

Executive Staff: Susan Present

Staff: Bev Basist

Committee Members: Liz Brayboy, Sheryl Sick, Daniel Walker

2018 USPA Board of Governors and Annual Member Meeting in Oak Brook, Illinois.

CLUB AND MEMBER ADMINISTRATION COMMITTEE Mission Statement: The mission of the Club and Member Administration Committee is to review and evaluate all new club applications to ensure that the applying club complies with the current standards set forth in the Constitution and the policies approved by the Board of Governors. That these clubs are strong enough, have the growth potential and longevity to support the sport of polo and strengthen the Association by its membership and deserve the rights and privileges afforded to member clubs. It is also the committee’s duty to review and evaluate all existing clubs on an annual basis, to confirm their compliance with the existing rules and policies, in order to make recommendations to the Board of Governors on the status of member clubs in the Association. Chairman:

CONSTITUTION COMMITTEE Mission Statement: The mission of the Constitution Committee is to advise the USPA Chairman, Executive Committee, Board of Governors, Delegates and staff about all aspects of the USPA Constitution, By-Laws, Strategic Planning and Governance. The Committee shall prepare appropriate language to affect changes to the USPA Constitution and By-Laws as directed by the Board of Governors, other Committees, or on its own initiative. The Committee shall prepare other resolutions, opinions, and documentation as required to affect efficient and stable Governance. Chairman: Paul Jornayvaz

Executive Staff: Carlucho Arellano

Staff: Lindsey Ebersbach

Steven Armour

Legal Advisor:

Executive Staff: Carlucho Arellano

Jodi Pellettiere Patt

Staff:

Joe Muldoon, Steve Armour, Avery

Lindsay Dolan

Chapman, Charles Smith, Bill Kirton

Committee Members:

Committee Members: Edward Armstrong, David Brooks, Avery Chapman, Sheila Everett, George Dill, Denny Geiler 67


EQUINE WELFARE COMMITTEE Mission Statement: The Equine Welfare Committee recognizes the value of the polo pony to the sport and advises the Association and its Membership on all aspects of the care and well-being of polo ponies. The Committee develops policies and procedures and executes programs to ensure that polo ponies are treated in accordance with humane guidelines and the highest standards of care. Chairman: Mike Manno, DVM

Executive Staff: Carlucho Arellano

Staff:

FINANCE COMMITTEE Mission Statement: The mission of the Finance Committee is to provide the USPA Chairman and Board of Governors direction for the fiscal responsibility of the USPA. This is achieved by a regular review of the organization’s financial statements along with the approval of the annual budget with submission to the full Board of Governors for approval, ensuring all are consistent with the strategic objectives and mission of the USPA. The Finance Committee also seeks to prudently manage organizational investments consistent with the duties outlined by the USPA’s Investor Policy and Guidelines.

Bradley Biddle, Ali Davidge, Gates Gridley, Ronnie Hayes, Dale Schwetz, Toby Wayman

OUTDOOR HANDICAP COMMITTEE Chairman: Stephen Orthwein Jr., Chris Stratemann

Executive Staff: Carlucho Arellano

Staff: Lindsay Dolan

Circuit Outdoor Handicap Chairs: Chuck Rogers (B), Peter Alworth (C), Charles Muldoon (E), Mike Carney (GP), Mark Becker (HI), TBA (MS), Nicholas Barry (NE), Graham Bray (PC), George Dill (PNW), Mark Wates (RM), Horacio

Lindsay Dolan

Chairman:

Subcommittee:

Samuel Ramirez, Jr.

Equine Awards:

Staff:

Mary Muldoon

At-Large Outdoor Handicappers:

Susan Present

Committee Members:

Julio Arellano, Tommy Biddle, Jeff Blake,

Equine Welfare Publications: Aimee Waters

Chip Campbell III, Avery Chapman, James

Distress Fund: Dawn Weber

Neil Agate, Avery S. Chapman, Keller Henderson, Sue Lukashevich, Kirsten

Onetto (SE), Kelly Beal (SW)

Joey Casey, Joe Henderson, Steve Lane, Owen Rinehart, Adam Snow

DeAngelis, Jake Flournoy, Dennis Geiler, Bill Kirton, Robert McMurtry, Joseph Muldoon, James Parr, Hutch Radcliff

Committee Members:

HANDICAP COMMITTEES

Ludwig, Bill Mackey, Mary Muldoon,

WOMEN’S HANDICAP COMMITTEE Chairman: Maureen Brennan

Executive Staff: Carlucho Arellano

Sanchez, Mark Sedacca, Cissie Snow,

ARENA HANDICAP COMMITTEE Chairman:

Lydia Sudick, Kathleen Timmons,

Tom Goodspeed

Lindsay Dolan

Aimee Waters, Dawn Weber

Executive Staff:

Circuit Women’s Handicap Chairs:

Carlucho Arellano

Natalie Camacho (B), Robbin Figge (C),

Clinton Nangle, Gwen Rizzo, Robin

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Chairman:

Staff:

Staff:

Kelly Wells (E), Courtney Asdourian (FL), Susie Koehler (GP), Jesse Cole (HI),

Chip Campbell

Lindsay Dolan

Executive Staff:

Circuit Arena Handicap Chairs:

Megan Judge (PC), Sheryl Sick (PNW),

Robert Puetz

George Estrada (B), John Ryan (C), John Gobin (E), Peter Rizzo (FL), Mike Carney (GP), Mark Becker (HI), Mark Powers (MS), Tommy Biddle (NE), Megan Judge (PC), Brandon Alcott (PNW), Erica Gandomcar (RM), Willie Hartnett (SE), Robin Sanchez (SW)

Erica Gandomcar (RM), Jolie Liston (SE),

Staff: Lindsey Ebersbach

Committee Members: Anthony Coppola, Sam Ramirez, Jr., Stewart Armstrong, Paul Jornayvaz, Daniel Walker, Stephen Orthwein, Jr., Maureen Brennan, Tom Gose 68

At-Large Arena Handicappers:

Sarah Knapp (MS), Liz Brayboy (NE),

KC Krueger (SW)

At-Large Women’s Handicappers: Caroline Anier, Cecelia Cochran, Dayelle Fargey, Pam Flanagan, Robert Lyn Kee Chow, Julia Smith, Jennifer Williams


HIGH-GOAL COMMITTEE Mission Statement: To advise the Chairman and BOG and committee chairs on all aspects of high goal polo in the US. To be the communication channel between the USPA and High Goal community including club managers, High Goal sponsors, and High Goal Professionals. To grow and promote the sport of polo at its highest level around the US.

Olympic Committee and all other interested qualified groups or individuals in achieving its goals.

Chairman:

Chairman:

Tom Gose

Joseph Meyer

Executive Staff:

Executive Staff:

Charles Muldoon, Robert Puetz, Carlucho

Chairman:

Leary, Stephen Orthwein, Jr., Samuel

Maureen Brennan

Ramirez Jr., Wesley Ru, Dr. Richard

Executive Staff: Carlucho Arellano Staff:

Caleel, Doreen Ladin, Mark Gillespie,

Lindsey Ebersbach

Carlucho Arellano

Staff: Lindsey Ebersbach Committee Members: Ed Armstrong, Paige Beard, Bruce Colley, Melissa Ganzi, Glen Holden Sr., Robert

Patrick Nesbitt, Tony Yahyai, Chris Dawson, Joel Baker

Carlucho Arellano

NOMINATING COMMITTEE Mission Statement: The Nominating Committee shall consist of seven Registered Players, five of who shall be members of the Board of Governors and four of who shall be Circuit Governors. This committee will meet annually to consider and nominate a slate of Officers. This slate of Officers is to be conveyed to the Secretary of the Association at least two weeks in advance of the Board of Governors meeting prior to the Annual Meeting.

Staff:

Chairman:

Justin Powers

Joseph Meyer

Committee Members: Marc Ganzi, Jeff Hildebrand, Chris Stratemann, Roberto Zedda, James Newman, Thomas Gose, Scott Devon, Britt Baker, Gillian Johnston, Jeff Hall

HORSE REGISTRY COMMITTEE Mission Statement: TBA Chairman: TBA

Executive Staff:

INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE Mission Statement: The mission of the International Committee is to build and improve USPA membership by facilitating and promoting international polo events, including tournaments, umpire and player clinics to foster international fellowship and sportsmanship. The committee will co-operate with National Polo Associations, The Federation of International Polo, The PanAmerican International Polo Foundation, The United States

Executive Staff: Robert Puetz

Staff: Lindsey Ebersbach

Committee Members: Jake Flournoy, Mark Sedacca, Chrys Beal, Robert McMurtry, Erica Gandomcar-Sachs, Craig Duke

Chris Green

Vice Chairman:

Arellano

Staff: Lindsey Ebersbach, Steve Lane

Committee Members: Mark Sedacca, Melanja Jones, Mike Carney, Stewart Armstrong, Toby Wayman, Jeffrey Scheraga, Billy Mudra, Nic Roldan

ARENA RULES SUBCOMMITTEE: Committee: Mark Sedacca, Melanja Jones, Mike Carney, Stewart Armstrong, Toby Wayman, Jeffry Scheraga, Billy Mudra, Nic Roldan

Ex-Officio Members: Tom Gose, David Wenning, Steve Lane, David Offen, Robin Sanchez, David Eldredge

SAFETY COMMITTEE Mission Statement: The mission of the Safety Committee is to advise the USPA Chairman and Board of Governors of all safety aspects of polo through injury research, injury prevention and testing of protective gear. As well as communicate safety information and safety recommendations to polo players and polo officials. Chairman: Dr. Thor Norregaard

Executive Staff: Carlucho Arellano

Staff: Lindsay Dolan

RULES/RULES INTERPRETATION COMMI TTEE Mission Statement: The mission of the Rules Committee is to advise the USPA Chairman and Board of Governors about all aspects of the USPA Rules and Rules Interpretations.

Committee Members: Chrys Beal, Tony Coppola, Avery Chapman, Robert Donahey, Robin Sanchez, Sherry Sheldon Gibson, Peter Rizzo

69


STRATEGIC PLANNING COMMITTEE Mission Statement: TBA Chairman: Stewart Armstrong

Manager:

Anthony Coppola, Charles Smith, Peter

Robert Puetz (CEO)

Poor, Daniel Walker, Edward Armstrong,

Chairman:

James A. Newman, Jessica Bailey, Jennifer McLeavy, Maureen Brennan, Stephen Orthwein, Jr., Steve Armour,

Staff:

Graham Bray, Toby Wayman, Stewart

Lindsey Ebersbach

Armstrong, Melanja Jones

Committee Members: Bob Puetz, Mike Carney, Britt Baker, Stevie Orthwein, Jr., David Cummings, Maureen Brennan, Marc Ganzi, Thomas Gose, Julio Arellano, Liz Brayboy

TOURNAMENT COMMITTEE Mission Statement: To promote the sport of polo in the United States through responsible consideration and recommendation for the approval of tournament matches and events. It is the Tournament Committee’s responsibility to preserve the history and tradition of the sport of polo; encourage interest in the sport of polo; elevate the standards of play; promote involvement and the overall vitality of the game; and stimulate the growth of tournament play at all levels by hosting USPA Sanctioned, Circuit, and National tournaments at USPA member clubs. The Tournament Committee promotes an emphasis on sportsmanship, fairness and safety, while expanding the opportunities for professionals, amateurs, umpires, clubs, sponsors and spectators. Chairman: Mike Carney

Executive Staff: Carlucho Arellano Staff: Lindsey Ebersbach

70

Committee Members:

Scott Walker

Executive Staff: Carlucho Arellano

USPA Staff: Matt Baran

WOMEN’S POLO COMMITTEE Mission Statement: To encourage and increase the participation of women in all aspects of polo, to improve the standard of women’s polo throughout the USA and to facilitate the communication and networking of women in polo all over the world. We will encourage all polo players to never compromise their integrity or dignity on or off the field. Chairman: Erica Gandomcar-Sachs

Executive Staff: Carlucho Arellano Staff: Lindsay Dolan

Committee Members: Chrys D. Beal, Maureen C. Brennan, Cecelia Cochran, Lesley Ann Fong-Yee, Monica Ganley, Meghan Gracida, Stormie Hale, Clint Nangle, Arshia Rios, Joanne M. Smicklas, Lynn Thompson, Gillian Young

USPA MARKETING, LLC Mission Statement: The USPA Marketing, LLC will provide and coordinate marketing and public relations services to the USPA; it will evaluate, and when appropriate, will develop and capitalize on income derived from USPA sport and brand sponsorships; and, it will market and promote the sport and brand of the United States Polo Association through any and all means possible, to include television and internet broadcasting opportunities.

USPAGL Staff: Shannon Stilson, Marianne Johnson

Advisory Board Members: Leighton Jordon, Erica GandomcarSachs, Scott Devon, Rosemary Wayman, Melissa Ganzi, Chris Green

USPA POLO DEVELOPMENT, LLC Mission Statement: Develop, institute and manage USPA programs that grow polo through education, development and assistance, thereby fortifying clubs and membership. This includes the training and development of players of all ages and the training, educating and certification of instructors as well as the administration and evaluation of the PDI assistance to clubs. These programs will be the positive face of the USPA to clubs across the country. Manager: Robert Puetz (CEO)

Chairman: Stephen Orthwein Jr.

Advisory Board Members: Julio Arellano, Tommy Wayman, Robert McMurtry, Annabelle Gundlach, Liz Brayboy

CLUB AND MEMBERSHIP DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE Mission Statement: The mission of the Club and Membership Committee is to promote the sport of polo in the United States through conceiving and developing programs and strategies to increase


membership, improve the quality of the polo experience by its membership and to retain clubs and membership. This will be done by creating programs such as Polo Development Initiative and other strategic club and membership programs. Once developed these programs and strategies are disseminated to the membership through our network of clubs.

NHTC Members: David Wenning, Dr. Philip Abel, Robert Lyn Kee Chow, Miranda Luna, Liz Brayboy, Mike VanDerWerken, Stan Feldman, Tom Weishart, Stephanie Massey, Annette Evans, Lezlie Hiner, Megan Judge, Daniel Sheraga, Lynn Steve Armour, Melanja Jones, Parker

Amanda Snow, Hayley Heatley

Scott, Posey Obrecht, Yaz Grotnik

Committee Members:

I/I EC Board:

Owen Rinehart, Steve Armour, Charlie

Miranda Luna, Tom Wisehart, Stan Feldman, David Wenning, Melanja Jones,

Staff:

Sheryl Sick

Justin Powers

Steve Armour, Ed Armstrong, James Huber, MEgan Judge, Erik Wright, Robert McMurtry, Melanja Jones, Mark Sedacca, Tom Gose, Mike Carney, Paul Jornayvaz, David Ragland

INTERCOLLEGIATE/ INTERSCHOLASTIC COMMITTEE Mission Statement: The mission of the Intercollegiate/Interscholastic (I/I) Committee of the United States Polo Association (USPA) is to promote and grow the sport of polo by providing maximum exposure to the sport; recruiting collegiate and scholastic institutions; coordinating activities of member schools and players; providing for organized competition including sponsoring and administering regional and national tournaments with an emphasis on sportsmanship, fairness and safety; and by effectively utilizing funding for the benefit of I/I activities. Committee Chair: David Wenning

Staff: Amy Fraser, Ali Davidge, Emily Dewey

Jimmy Newman and Adam Snow

Staff:

Dennis Geiler

Dennis Geiler, Chrys Beal, Tony Yahyai,

Committee Co-Chairs:

Thompson, Robin Sanchez, Mellisa Ganzi,

Committee Chair:

Committee Members:

and playing opportunities leading to a pool of higher rated amateur and pro players and the resultant giveback to the sport of polo.

JUNIOR POLO COMMITTEE Mission Statement: To cultivate and promote junior polo throughout the United States by providing the organizational structure to support junior polo training opportunities, tournaments, and international competition. The program will utilize USPA Certified Polo Instructors, experienced Team USPA members, and other qualified mentors and opportunities. Committee Chair: Chrys Beal

Staff: Amanda Snow, Hayley Heatley

Committee Members:

Muldoon, Chrys Beal, Tommy Wayman, Tom Gose, Gillian Johnston, Mason Wroe, Charles Smith, Jesse Weaver, Dan Walker, Red Armour, Joe Muldoon

USPA UMPIRES, LLC Mission Statement: The mission of the USPA Umpires, LLC, is to support all aspects of the umpire services and programs within the United States Polo Association. This includes training and certification, support of the USPA professional umpires, the club and circuit umpire expense reimbursement program, along with the umpire exchange program. Manager: Robert Puetz (CEO)

Chairman: Britt Baker

Tiger Kneece, Bill Kirton, Carolyn

Executive Staff:

Stimmel, Brandon Alcott, Haley Bryan,

Charles Muldoon

Nick Snow, Sarah Coleman, Kelly Price, Margie Paur

NYTS Subcommittee: Bill Kirton, Carolyn Stimmel, Haley Bryan, Nick Snow, Kelly Price, Tiger Kneece

TEAM USPA COMMITTEE: Mission Statement: The mission of the Team USPA Committee is to enhance and grow the sport of polo in the United States by identifying young, talented American players and providing mentored training

Staff: Steve Lane (Head Umpire Instructor), Maggie Mitchell (Manager), Bradley Biddle (Roving Umpire, I/I Head Umpire), Deb Ferro (Assistant)

Advisory Board Members: Britt Baker, Stewart Armstrong, Thomas Biddle, Sr., Graham Bray, Thomas Gose

71


USPA Staff Robert Puetz – Chief Executive Officer

SERVICES Carlucho Arellano – Executive Director Lindsey Ebersbach – Senior Executive Administrator Matthew Baran – Director of Communications Lindsay Dolan – Membership and Handicap Director Cristina Fernandez – Club Marketing Coordinator Jewel Connelly – Website Administrator Kaila Dowd – Membership Administrator TBD – Tournament Manager TBD – Communications Coordinator

CORPORATE-FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION Susan Present, CPA, CGMA, CFE – Chief Financial Officer Kelly Vanderwerff, CPA – Controller Deanna Sullivan – Accounting Coordinator Beverly Basist, SHRM-CP – HR Director/IT Liliana Gopalakrishna – Staff Accountant Barb Dostal – Administrative Assistant

POLO DEVELOPMENT LLC Justin Powers – Director of Polo Development Amanda Snow – Director of Player Development Hayley Heatley – Player Development Program Manager Amy Fraser – Director of Intercollegiate/Interscholastic Polo Ali Davidge – Intercollegiate/Interscholastic Program Coordinator Emily Dewey – Intercollegiate/Interscholastic Tournament Manager

UMPIRES LLC Charles Muldoon – Executive Director Steve Lane – Head Umpire Instructor Bradley Biddle – Head I/I Umpire Instructor Maggie Mitchell – Umpire Manager Deb Ferro – Administrative Assistant Jennifer Furlow – Umpires Administrator

USPA GLOBAL LICENSING INC. David Cummings – Chairman J. Michael Prince – President and Chief Executive Officer Shannon Stilson – Senior Director Marketing Marianne De La Torre – Senior Coordinator Global Broadcast & Events Allison Annear – Senior Event Marketing Manager

72


Dear Members, Players and Delegates, It has been an honor to serve as the Association’s Chief Executive Officer in 2018. Together with devoted members, clubs, players, volunteers and our professional staff, we have achieved many goals, and continually strive to improve the sport through elevating safety conditions and fair competition for the players and the horses, while also improving the fan experience. I am proud to be a part of this great organization and its ongoing accomplishments. I would like to reflect on some highlights from the past year.

CEO Letter

Together with our partners at USPA Global Licensing we have redefined the way we market and promote the sport of polo and U.S. Polo Assn. We are reaching new heights while increasing consistency and value for our audiences in social media, livestreaming and domestic and global broadcasting of USPA polo events.

Young Americans represented their country well in 2018 in events ranging from the Junior Westchester Cup victory in England to the Buenos Aires Youth Olympic Games. Last fall, the USPA sent six talented young American members to train and play for two months in Argentina. This program was aimed at expanding their experience as young professionals in the sport and preparing them for bigger opportunities. The program was so successful that we are planning to create similar opportunities this year. We made significant changes to the organization’s structure by amending the Constitution, By-Laws, policies and our subsidiaries operating agreements to provide better clarity and efficiency to the Association’s operations.

I’m proud to say that through many challenges and changes, we are seeing more interest in polo at every level and we hope you are too.

Our decision to change the goal level of C.V. Whitney, USPA Gold Cup® and the U.S. Open Polo Championship® established the platform to introduce the Gauntlet of Polo™ which has now attracted 16 teams who will vie for an unprecedented $1,000,000 in prize money. Out of the 64 players in the competition, 29 are American, an incredible success for the sport in the U.S. We also introduced a new prize money matching program for USPA tournaments that are 12 goals and below to further assist our clubs to stimulate participation in outdoor, arena, women’s and junior tournaments throughout the United States.

I’m proud to say that through many challenges and changes, we are seeing more interest in polo at every level and we hope you are too. If you should have any recommendations or questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I look forward to working with you, and for you, in the coming year. Sincerely,

Robert Puetz CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER – USPA 73


The Numbers

2018

Social Media

THIS WEEK IN POLO (WEEKLY EMAIL BLAST)

39.5%

35.5%

OPEN RATE

CLICK RATE

TOTAL FOLLOWERS PER PLATFORM

 38,831  10,742  23,270 2,324

+12%

Broadcast USPA POLO NETWORK

+6%

20 LIVESTREAMED TOURNAMENTS

+32%

135 LIVESTREAMED GAMES

+157%

852,400 TOTAL UNIQUE VIEWS

+100.1%

924,865 TOTAL ENGAGEMENTS

12,181 TOTAL NEW FOLLOWERS

CBS/EUROSPORT

2,000,000 US OPEN POLO CHAMPIONSHIP ON CBS SPORTS AND ESPN SOUTH AMERICA

3,500,000 WESTCHESTER CUP AND FIP EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP ON EUROSPORT AND DSPORT

Tournament Coverage

143 134 USPA TOURNAMENTS COVERED

74

18

NON-USPA TOURNAMENTS COVERED

426 TOTAL ARTICLES CREATED ON USPOLO.ORG


Polo Development Initiative

Tournaments

373

112

101

261

ARENA

OUTDOOR

PDI AWARDS TOTALING:

662,000

$

Intercollegiate/Interscholastic

107

31

97

23

TEAMS

TOURNAMENTS

INTERSCHOLASTIC VARSITY LETTERS

2018/2019 INTERCOLLEGIATE SCHOLARSHIPS

Player Development

Umpires LLC

TEAM USPA HIGHLIGHTS:

118

281

15

PUMP/8 TOURNAMENTS

UNIQUE NYTS PLAYERS

PLAYERS RATED 4 GOALS AND ABOVE

CERTIFIED OUTDOOR UMPIRES

QUALIFIERS

11

136

321

TEAM USPA PLAYERS PLAYED IN ARGENTINA DURING THE FALL

CERTIFIED ARENA UMPIRES

NYTS HIGHLIGHTS:

40 UNIQUE ALL-STARS

98 PLAYERS PLAYED IN MULTIPLE NYTS TOURNAMENTS

1

st

TIME TEAM USPA MEMBER PLAYED IN ARGENTINE OPEN U.S. OPEN AND PACIFIC COAST OPEN WON BY TEAM USPA PLAYERS

347

27 PROFESSIONAL UMPIRES

2330 PROFESSIONALLY UMPIRED GAMES

75


Members Population By Circuit Northeastern

766 37 CLUBS

Pacific Northwest

Central

338

305

27 CLUBS

18 CLU BS Midstates Rocky Mtn.

148 7 CLUBS

Great Plains

Eastern

395

558

22 CLUBS

29 CLUBS

106 8 CLUBS

Pacific Coast

Border

810

137 14 C L U B S

26 CLUBS

Southeastern

411 Southwestern

23 CLUBS

573

Florida

27 CLUBS

566 24 C LU BS

Hawaiian Islands

No Affiliation

156 5 CLUBS

76

31

*NUMBERS SPECIFY USPA MEMBERS PER CIRCUIT

5332

267

TOTAL USPA MEMBERS

TOTAL USPA CLUBS


Membership Population By Age NO DOB

10 233

71+



567

61-70

871

51-60

5,332

827

41-50

TOTAL MEMBERS

730

31-40

962

21-30

1089

11-20 0-10

43

Male vs. Female Membership 3500 3000 2500 2000 1500 1000 500 0 2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

1063

1502

1759

1605

1847

1829

1936

2050

2077

2092

MEN 2626

2473

2622

2752

2765

3020

3159

3331

3401

3323

3240

TOTAL 3774

3536

4124

4511

4370

4867

4988

5267

5451

5400

5332

WOMEN 1148

77


Handicap Rating Breakdown

US MALE AFF MALE

10

OUT ARENA

AFF FEMALE

OUT ARENA OUT ARENA W. OUT W. ARENA

OUT ARENA W. OUT W. ARENA

1 0

5 0

0 0 0

0

0 0

1

2

10T

0 0

0 0

0 0 0

0

0 0

0

0

9

0

6

0

9T

0 0

2

3

0

0

1

0

0

1

0

0 5

0 0 0

0

0 0

0

0

8

1

6

9

5

0

0

0

8

0

0

2

3

8T

1

2

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

7

2

7

12

5

0

0

2

10

0

0

1

3

7T

0

6

1

4

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

6

11 14

21

20

0

0

6

47

0

0

7

7

6T

0

4

7

0

0

0

2

0

0

0

0

5

15 30

31

22

0

0

17

65

0

0

4

5

6

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

5T 4 4T 3 3T 2 2T 1.5 1.5T

1

1

2

9

44 119 6

10

56 136 6

13

133 286 11

19

52 n/a 4

n/a

232 368

37 53 4

6

59 49

0

2

48

225

0

1

8

17

0

0

1

6

0

1

0

0

0

23

83

76

1

1

9

4

11

12

0

1

0

0

0

2

0

0

95

49

1

107

191

322

4

6

18

13

24

8

0

2

12

11

2

3

3

0

10

n/a

6

n/a n/a

n/a

2 n/a

n/a

n/a

2

n/a

0

n/a

n/a

0

n/a

n/a

n/a

85

47

26

53

8

17

11

4

0

2

3

0

0

n/a n/a

n/a

5

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

0

n/a

n/a

n/a

401

16

15

88

62

0

8

0

0

1

1T

18 26

20

4

1

A.5

115 n/a

16

n/a

45

3

n/a

0

A.5T A

1

n/a

n/a

223 202 9

3

n/a

516 304

90

31

AT

43 25

22

5

B.5

63 n/a

13

n/a

80 n/a n/a

n/a

12 n/a

n/a

n/a

B

571 196

89

29

745 336 n/a

n/a

59 29

n/a

n/a

C

53 36

4

4

NR SNP

365 705 89

89

*AFF (AFFILIATE) = NON-U.S. CITIZEN

78

US FEMALE

228 350 747 10

12

10

108 52 n/a n/a

125 434 565 698 492 25

25

68

68

68

587 68

6

3

82 126 2

2

n/a n/a 54

85

2

2


2018 USPA Spending: Operations/Investments 10,100,000

$

INVESTMENT ADDITIONS

51%

49%

10,387,000

$

OPERATING REQUIREMENTS

20,487,000

$

TOTAL

2018 Operating Requirements Per Entity $2,823,000

20%

SERVICES

27%

$2,275,000 UMPIRES LLC

$3,251,000 POLO DEVELOPMENT LLC

$2,038,000

31% 22%

CORPORATE

$10,387,000 TOTAL

NOTE: THESE NUMBERS ARE PROJECTIONS FOR THE 2018 YEAR.

79


Team USPA member and 2018 U.S. Open Polo ChampionshipŽ winner Jared Zenni prepares for a powerful neckshot during the final at International Polo Club Palm Beach (Wellington, Florida). ŠDavid Lominska

80


USPA VISUAL GUIDELINES / LOGO AND SIGNATURE STRIPE

OFFICIAL USPA SEAL

1 in. high

MINIMUM SIZE (PRINT) To ensure legibility in the following marketing materials a minimum height of 1 inch

has been established for the USPA Seal.

SIGNATURE STRIPE

SECONDARY STRIPE

18% Red Stripe 29% White Stripe

33.3% Red Stripe 0.25” height for general use

53% Blue Stripe

The Signature Stripe incorporates our red, white and blue color scheme. With the unique proportions, as outlined above, the design is a brand defining statement.

United States Polo Association®

The stripe is a supporting element on our templates for business collateral and can be used

9011 Lake Worth Road as a Worth, designFlorida feature on marketing materials. Lake 33467 (800) 232-USPA ∙ uspolo.org 3

33.3% White Stripe

0.10” height for general use

33.3% Blue Stripe

The secondary version of the Signature Stripe is to be used only when the application requires a finer stripe.

ANNUAL REPORT

OF THE UNITED STATES POLO ASSOCIATION

2018

Profile for United States Polo Association

2018 USPA Annual Report  

2018 USPA Annual Report