The Polo Season Review & Preview.
After a successful summer of travel and competitive play, the Harvard Polo Club returns home to begin its fall intercollegiate season. One of the highlights of this past summer is the annual intercollegiate Intervarsity Polo Tournament held at the Metropolitan Polo Club of Tianjin, China. The Harvard team enjoyed the generous hospitality of the club for a week in July while having the opportunity to play in games against teams from the Universities of Stanford, Yale, Oxford, Cambridge, and London. The Harvard team consisted of such famed athletes as Thomas Waite’17, Aemilia Phillips’16, J. Paul Meyer’18, and Marion Dierickx who fought tirelessly to honor their school and country. Harvard won fourth place – beating out the other American teams but falling behind the English teams of London, Oxford and Cambridge who received first, second, and third places respectively. The Metropolitan Intervarsity Tournament is one the Harvard Polo Club has participated in for three years now and looks forward to continuing to do so for years to come.
Another annual pilgrimage the team makes in the summer months is their training week spent in San Saba, Texas. Under the unforgiving August sun the team toiled tirelessly hour after hour to improve their skills and communication. Then, like a well-oiled machine, the men and women’s teams were ready to return to the Harvard Polo and Equestrian Center in Hamilton, MA and churn out victory after victory. Kelsey O’Connor, a sophomore on the team, knows the boot camp is pivotal for the team play. She states, “San Saba boot camp was essentially immersion training. Eating, sleeping, and breathing polo not only helped our individual polo skills, but also brought us together as a team. The trip threw us back into the game mentality and made us excited for the upcoming season. I can’t wait to see our new strategies in action!”
Well, the wait is over. Both the men’s women’s teams will begin their intercollegiate season officially this weekend in a highly anticipated match against University of Connecticut. The men will have their chance against the Huskies on Saturday at noon with the women following Sunday at 3pm. In light of last year’s loss to UConn, the Harvard team will have to stay quick and play intelligently. There will be many competitive matches to come as well with scheduled games against Skidmore, Yale, Stanford, and University of Massachusetts.
It is a tradition of the club to host an international game every fall as well. Last year’s event consisted of an alumni arena game and an outdoor game against the Genghis Kahn Polo Club. This year, Harvard and Myopia Polo Club held a one-day event pitting the Harvard players against a mixed international team on September 20th. The teams were well matched and finished the four chukkers in a tie. New and returning members of the clubs enjoyed sideline tailgates, the halftime divot stomping, and all the beautiful horses that played their hearts out as well. The Harvard team appreciated the international players and their sportsmanship as well as the support of families and friends who came out to cheer them on.
We look forward to more matches such as this one and an exciting fall season. With eyes on Regionals, Harvard enters this weekend determined to triumph.
Caroline Cronin ’18 (firstname.lastname@example.org) wishes the team the best of luck!