Calgary Polo Magazine 2017

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EST 1890


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CONTENTS PRODUCED BY: Western Performance Publishing Inc.

ART DIRECTOR: Kendra Roberts


CONTRIBUTORS: Angelo Cayanan Photography Sue Bird Kaylee Scherbinski Richard Coté Jennie Evamy Hill Megan Kozminski Jaqui Akerley Photography Lacey Winterton Photography Victoria McFadyen McKenzie Fotos Jenn Webster


14 Polo cheat sheet

Once you get a taste, you’ll be hooked.

Tips to boost your know-how.

Why the Calgary Polo Club should be on your destination list this summer.

8 polo participation All levels of polo enthusiasm are invited!

Fashion to inspire your polo lifestyle.

Here’s how you can get involved.

the equalizer 11

The equine is integral to more than just


the speed and energy of the game.

on the cover Photo by Filipek Photography.

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MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT As Canada celebrates its 150th birthday, the Calgary Polo Club (CPC) can proudly

welcome to the


proclaim its role in 127 of those years as preserving this country’s rich western heritage. Dating back to 1890, the club in Calgary is conceivably the oldest in North America, thanks to the passion of pioneer ranchers, oil tycoons and military personnel who were compelled by the sport. Beyond the speed, control and athletic thrills that polo represents, centre to the game is the equine. The special bond and unique blending of skills between horse and rider helped polo evolve into “The Sport of Kings.” It’s the inspirational relationship between equines and humans created specifically by this beautiful sport, that draws the rest of us in. We promise you that once the fascination of polo grips you with a taste, you’ll be hard-pressed to deny it. Now in 2017, the CPC is once again proud to welcome all its new and returning members, social members, visitors and spectators. The CPC also warmly opens its arms to anyone interested in learning more about the sport – either from the sidelines, or astride the back of a gallant polo pony. All disciplines and all levels of enthusiasm are cordially invited with a range of schooling options offered at the Calgary Polo & Riding Academy, fronted by pro-player and instructor Kyle Fargey. Nestled along the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains, the CPC’s sprawling 300 acres with eight full-sized fields and pristine beauty contributes a majestic, picture book quality to your experience. If it’s your first time here, note that while one side of the vast playing fields are lined with majestic polo ponies, the other will be dotted with cars and canopies, allowing you to take part in your own entertainment venue that is as integral to polo culture as the alluring horses and riders – tailgating! And like so many things in Alberta, equestrian pursuits have a victorious history at the CPC since it has a strong heritage of producing superb polo and some of the country’s best competitors. Keep an eye out, you just might catch a glimpse of one of Canada’s superstars! Whether you’re searching for your new equestrian passion, or simply want a free, Sunday family outing - you’ll find a gem of a getaway at the CPC. ~ Richard Coté President, Calgaryfollow Polo @calgarypoloclub Club 5

2017 July


Ranch House Events

Tournaments & Social Events

1 1

1 - 9 JB Cross 14 - 23 J.C. Palmer Memorial 20 - 22 Gilgit Cup

4 Goal 4 Goal 0 Goal

28 - 30 Hull Cup

4 Goal

4 - 13 Roenisch Memorial Cup 4 Goal 10 - 12 Big Rock Cup 0 Goal

18 - 27 Calgary Cup

4 Goal

23 - 26 Rocky Mountain Cup

0 Goal

July 7 RBC Stampede Dinner July 21 Lobster Dinner August 11 After Eight Interiors Italian Dinner August 25 President’s Ball

Canada Day Match Games Fish Creek Junior Polo Tournament

Tournament and event dates are subject to change, please visit for daily tournament scheduling




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POLO PARTICIPATION Want more polo action? There are a variety of ways to get involved at the Calgary Polo Club.

FREE Sunday Polo 12:00 PM & 2:00 PM. Bring your own picnic! Throughout July and August, everyone is invited to Sunday Polo. Bring the family for a spectacular display of horsepower, speed and competition.

Social Membership No need to set a foot in the stirrups to take part at the Calgary Polo Club, if exclusive access to polo events all summer long is what you’re craving. For only $250 a year, social members can take in all the field-side exhilaration and are invited to exclusive members-only events. Plus have the option to reserve a White Tent and 10 white folding chairs at no charge for Sunday Polo.

POLO in the STIRRUPS Calgary Polo & Riding Academy

Coaching League

After as few as five lessons you can progress to the coaching league: a slow, controlled polo game whereby new players test their skills under game conditions. Whites required! Jerseys provided.

Stick and Ball Membership

The basic playing membership - includes use of the Stick and Ball field, track, arena, one practice per week and member rates for stabling.

Club Chukker League

Designed for those members who wish to play fun, recreational polo and are looking to advance from the Polo Academy into a competitive league. Teams are formed on a weekly basis, with two coaching umpires on the field. Games on Thursday evenings and Saturday afternoons.

White VIP Tents Reserve your priority sideline viewing, complete with two VIP Tents, designer white leather furniture, 20 white folding chairs, a 6’ table, and use of our 6’ commercial BBQ to entertain your guests. Bring your charcuterie board and some refreshing beverages to make it a Sunday Funday like no other! 8

Gain professional instruction in the game of polo from 3-goal player, Kyle Fargey. Whether you are a seasoned player or a determined athlete looking for an exciting new sport, the Calgary Polo & Riding Academy can teach you the skills, rules, mechanics and strategies of the game. Bring your own horses or learn aboard the comfort a school pony. All lessons are customized to your riding experience, level of play and comfort level.

An Instant Following No filter required. Get social @CalgaryPoloClub.

4 Goal League

This league is designed for members wishing to play more competitive polo. These teams may consist of one or more professional players, and at least one sponsoring player. Games on Friday evenings and Sunday afternoons.

POLO for KIDS only


he Junior Polo Program is open to players 5-18 years of age – NO experience required! (Horses provided). Young players receive one-on-one instruction, group instruction, and game practice. They learn the fundamentals of horsemanship and the basic rules of polo in a fun and safe environment!

Junior instruction is divided into levels depending on the age and experience of the players. The levels include:

Walk/Trot Group Junior players ages 5-9 years, or new riders/players. Until they are able to control the pony independently, players are escorted by an adult and the pony is directed by lead line.

Intermediate Group Junior players ages 9+, or those capable of controlling their pony at a trot and slow canter.

Advanced Group Players ages 14+, who are capable of playing at a canter.

Junior Polo Camp July 25 – 28, 2017 - Open to riders 8 to 16 years of age, who have at least 1 year of riding experience. Over this four-day camp kids will practice hitting cage and foot mallet polo, polo drills, group scrimmages and end with a Windup tournament. Includes prizes and more! Tuesday – Thursday 10:00 am – 3:30 pm and Friday windup tournament and awards 10:00 am – 1:30pm.

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EST 1890




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the EQUALIZER The sport of kings is dependent on the grace of equines. Men, women and children can all enjoy the game of polo, because the horse is an extraordinary equalizer. Polo Pro Kyle Fargey gives us more details about the ultimate polo pony. By Jenn Webster Photos By Victoria McFadyen


o most observers of the polo world, Kyle Fargey represents a gifted player with an even more exceptional gift of being an educator. He divides his time between Calgary and California, schooling players in all levels of polo and maintains his own 3-goal professional status. Fargey has spent his life mastering his skills and as such, has become a life-long observer of the polo pony. “Polo ponies can come in all shapes, sizes and colours,” he says. “Generally speaking, most of the polo horses locally are Thoroughbreds due to the speed and endurance required. You will see some Quarter Horses and Appendix-types as well, and some bigger operations are breeding specifically for polo.” However, Fargey is quick to revert back to the fact that the majority of polo horses are coming from the racetrack. In fact, in many parts of North America, polo is represented as a marquee discipline for off-the-track Thoroughbreds. Sizes typically range from 15-15.3 hands high, with mounts ideally being short-coupled (the length of its back is comparatively short to its leg length), in order to assist with the need to stop and turn quickly. “Polo horses also need to be very level-headed in order to handle all of the stresses of playing polo,” he states. “The horses that excel genuinely enjoy playing the game and embrace the competition, contact, speed and fast pace of the sport.” It can take upwards of five years of training for a young horse that started at two or three-years-old, to start playing to its full potential. Initially, a lot of effort is spent doing ground work to make the horse calm, trusting and confident. Time is then spent perfecting the nuances of neck reining and leg yields. After that, the horse is slowly introduced to the mallet and ball. “The horse should never feel threatened by either. Once the horse is comfortable stick and balling and hitting all of the different shots, it is then ready to start playing ‘keep


- Kyle Fargey

now coming of age and playing at the top levels of international polo,” Fargey tells. “Most recently, the best playing polo pony at the 2017 US Open in Florida (one of the top tournaments in the world), was a clone from Argentina. Cloning is still quite rare and mostly limited to Argentina. The price to clone is still in the six figures and this serves to limit its exposure, and restricts the practice to the highest level of polo with teams with large budgets.” For 2017, Fargey is eager to see more people coming out to experience polo and the world-class facilities of the Calgary Polo Club. As he helps operate the Calgary Polo & Riding Academy, Fargey says they are always looking for more people to come out and try polo. The Academy has 10 quiet, calm and forgiving polo horses that do not require any previous riding experience for anyone wanting to come out for a lesson. “There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding the sport as people tend to consider polo as being elitist, prohibitively expensive and nonwelcoming to new members. The Calgary Polo Club could not be more different as it is a great group of players who love the sport, their horses and are always looking to share their passion with others.”

Lacey Winterton Photography

away’ with other horses and playing in practice chukkas,” Fargey explains. “As the horse improves, more and more can be asked of it as it progresses into faster and better polo.” A tremendous amount of time is spent on repetitions of various manoeuvres and shots with green horses, to get the animal feeling comfortable and confident at all times while on the playing field. On the topic of polo ponies naturally bred for the sport and their superiority for the game, Fargey is unabashedly steadfast in his opinion: “I believe there is a combination of nature vs. nurture with respect to buying and training high quality polo horses. A horse with great polo breeding – but poor training – will not succeed.” Conversely, he states that a poorlybred horse with quality training will ultimately be limited by its genetics. Ultimately the best combination is to have a well-bred horse with an excellent training program that helps the horse develop to its fullest potential. As cloned horses have also forayed onto the international polo scene, one may wonder when and if they will make their mark in Canada. “I personally do not have any experience with cloned polo ponies. However, some of the earlier clones are

There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding the sport as people tend to consider polo as being elitist, prohibitively expensive and non-welcoming to new members. The Calgary Polo Club could not be more different as it is a great group of players who love the sport, their horses and are always looking to share their passion with others.

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CHEAT SHEET Tips to boost your polo know-how and feed your passion for the sport. By Jenn Webster




he combination of speed, control and horsepower in polo is intoxicating. If you’re looking for some great family Sunday fun on the sidelines, or longing to renew your passion for equestrian sport, the Calgary Polo Club is the perfect place for all levels of enthusiasm. It’s interesting to note that some of Alberta’s best polo players originally came from the disciplines of team penning. People from a medley of other events find themselves enamoured with the sport the first time they crush the ball down the field. Wondering how it’s played? Like hockey on horseback, the object of polo is for your team to score the most goals. This is accomplished by hitting the ball between the goal posts, no matter how high in the air. Each time a team scores a goal, the teams change direction to account for fairness in wind and environmental conditions. A game consists of four or six time periods called “chukkers,” based on the tournament level. Each chukker is comprised of seven-anda-half minutes of play with a four minute break in between. Half time is 10 minutes, allowing the crowd a chance to participate in a genuine “divot-stomping” experience. This is not merely for entertaining the crowd – divot stomping actually serves a very important purpose as it restores the field for horses and players. A rider must hold the mallet with his or her right hand. This is one of the basic rules of the game, and was stipulated for safety reasons. Both left and right-handed players must abide to this rule – including the normally lefthanded Prince William. Polo is enjoyed by a variety of people around the world and is one of the few sports that pits men against women in open competition. There’s truly nothing else like it. Where else can you be a gladiator galloping on the back of a powerful equine, while engaging in competitive team sport? Horses and players come together in an astounding feat of athleticism in polo, which is difficult to find anywhere else.




players per team

#1 The most offence-oriented position on the field. This position generally covers the opposing team’s #4.


mounted umpires and a midfield referee keep the game under control. • Each player is rated based on their skill level from - 2 to 10. Based on player’s ratings, different levels of polo games are played. • Each player will use up to 6 horses for a four chukker game. • Regulation polo fields are 300 yards in length and 160 yards in width: the equivalent of 9 American football fields. • Balls can travel up to 110 miles per hour.

#2 This player has an important role in offence, either running through and scoring themselves, or passing to #1 and getting in behind them. Defensively, #2 will cover the opposing team’s #3, generally the other team’s best player. Given the difficulty of this position, it is not uncommon for the best player on the team to play #2 so long as another strong player is available to play #3. #3 The quarterback and tactical leader. This player must be a long powerful hitter to feed balls to #2 and #1 as well as maintaining a solid defence. The best player on the team is usually the #3 player, usually wielding the highest handicap.

#4 The primary defence player. They can move anywhere on the field, but they usually try to prevent scoring. The emphasis on defence by the #4 allows the #3 to attempt more offensive plays, since they know they will be covered if they lose the ball.

2 White pants worn by riders 1 Horses in play have their

tails braided and manes shaved to avoid the hazard of becoming entangled in a players’ mallets and/or reins.

is a tradition that can be traced back to the 19th century in Britain and India, where the game was played by royalty only and in very hot temperatures. Hence, the preference for fabrics that were light in colour and weight.

3 The shaft of a polo mallet

is akin to the soul of a good horse; strong, resilient and adaptable. Polo mallets have magnificent flexibility and strength.

Dr. Candice Crosby, DVM Dr. Dan French, DVM, DACVS Dr. Suzon Schaal, DVM Dr. Sarah Pedersen, DVM Dr. Jordan Koivu, DVM

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DIRECTIVES & JARGON The rules of the game are based on the right of way of players and the “line of the ball,” created each time the ball is hit. Once the ball is struck by a player an imaginary line is formed, creating the right of way for that player. No other player may cross the line in front, as doing so results in dangerous play. Crossing the line in front of speeding horses at right angles, is the most common foul in polo.

RIDE OFF: Involves safely pushing one’s horse into the side of the opponent’s mount to take him or her off the line. Contact must be made at a 45-degree angle or less and only between the horse’s hips and shoulders.

HOOKING: This is the action of blocking another player’s shot by hooking or blocking his or her mallet. THROW IN: Umpires start the game by throwing the ball between the two teams that are lined up on different sides.

KNOCK IN: The defending team is allowed a free ‘knock-in’ from the place where the ball crossed the goal line if the ball goes wide of the goal, thus getting ball back into play.

OFF-SIDE: The right side of the horse. NEAR-SIDE: The left side of the horse.

Fields•fans•FuN Angelo Cayanan Photography

• Polo culture involves tailgate picnics. Bring some chairs, a basket of delicatessens, a charcuterie board and cold beverages. • When you arrive at the Calgary Polo Club, the Ranch House features two elevated 30-foot berms lined with benches to allow for an unprecedented and unobstructed perspective of a match. 18

• Games not held at the Ranch House fields encourage spectators to back their vehicles up to field, all the while maintaining a safe, 20-foot distance from the sideboards. At times, players may send their horses over the boards in pursuit of the ball – and you don’t want to be in their way. • All dogs must be on a leash.


Garrison Forest School Varsity Polo on winning the 2017 Girls’ National Interscholastic Championship.




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Field Side

FABULOUS The latest fashions reflect a sense of avant-garde with an assortment of influences from up-town ranch, to field side chic. By Jenn Webster

McKenzie Fotos



McKenzie Fotos

The graphic women’s hoody from Hurlingham Polo features front pouch pockets and the company’s signature logo on the left sleeve. Perfect for curling up in on cool, summer evenings. $85.

McKenzie Fotos

2 McKenzie Fotos


McKenzie Fotos



Get the right mix for your wrists with a selection of bracelets from Classic Rodeo in Nanton, AB. Mad Cow, longhorn copper with sterling and turquoise bracelet $199.99. Turquoise by Treska $51.99. Sterling silver Navajo cuff, $719.99. Agate bracelet, $59.99.


The Beier Stainless Steel Cup Set from WIlliam Evans is the perfect compliment to your field side picnic basket. $199.00


ON HER - Sally hat by Paige 1912 with Smithbilt, Cleo dress $69.99, Nevada Red Ol Gringo boots $569.99, Braided leather choker $60. ON HIM Smithbilt hat $50, Acorn navy shirt $127.59.



The full zip-up women’s hoody from Hurlingham Polo features a ribbed hem and cuffs and a metal zip with 1875 branded zip puller. This luxurious sweater offers comfortable sophistication and is perfect for field side tailgates, $90. follow @calgarypoloclub








EST 1890


EXPERIENCE SUNDAY POLO! July & August, Sundays at 12 pm & 2 pm

Spend Sunday afternoons at the Calgary Polo Club this July and August enjoying fast-paced, world-class polo matches! Admission is free – bring your family and friends for an afternoon of inspiring athleticism and horsemanship. Everyone is welcome!

For more information on tournaments and events at the Calgary Polo Club visit




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