Thoroughbreds Polo Team Rides to Victory
Skidmore vs Yale, Sunday, September 27, 2015. Photo by Jacob Reiskin
Skidmore’s men’s and women’s Polo teams are two of the best in the region. This year, the men have been invited to tournaments in Toronto and at Cornell University (taking place in mid-November). The women’s team has won both of its first two matches against Brown and Yale, and they have also been invited to the Bill Fields Invitational at Cornell in November. Although it is not a College funded trip, some players have also been offered the opportunity to travel to Argentina to study alongside professional polo player Mariano Darritchon.
For those who may not know, arena polo is played with three players on either team, all of whom ride on horseback and carry long mallets with which to hit the ball. A typical polo game is comprised of four periods, called chukkers, which last seven and a half minutes. There are four-minute breaks in between each chukker and one ten-minute halftime period.
Team practices are comprised of drills and scrimmages, like most other teams on campus. The team also occasionally plays chukkers with the Saratoga Springs community, allowing the Thoroughbreds to compete in semi-formal competition.
The teams are largely backed by the Student Government Association, but they also receive funds from the United States Polo Association (USPA), player dues, and private contributions. Team horses are available for lease during the summer months, which provides the team with additional financial support. The Thoroughbreds also received a donation of ponies from the family of a new player, Santiago Avendaῆo. These ponies are healthy, well-trained, and have prior experience in polo matches.
This fall, the women’s team will play four more home games and the men’s team will play one. Team captains Ula Green ’16 (women’s) and Charlie Bullis ’16 (men’s) hope to lead their team to further success. The upcoming schedule is as follows:
Women vs UConn, Sat 24th, 2pm
Women vs Alfred, Sun 25th, 1pm
Men vs Cornell, Sun Nov 8th, 2pm
Women vs Brown, Fri Nov 6th, 5pm
Women vs Cornell, Fri Nov 13th, 5pm
**information on rules from https://uspolo.org/uploaded/pdf/Rules/2015-Arena-Rules.pdf