Polo in the United States

A History


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About the Book

Though polo is commonly associated with Britain and South America, the sport also enjoys a strong following in the United States. This comprehensive history describes the evolution of polo in the U.S., from its beginnings in a New York City riding academy in 1876 to the 2010 Open Championship held in Florida. The principal early players and the first polo clubs are covered, as is American participation in the Olympics, polo at universities and colleges, women’s polo, indoor polo, and polo in the military. Additionally, chapters also examine polo in the arts and in literature.

About the Author(s)

A polo player and surgeon, Horace A. Laffaye is on the board of directors of the Museum of Polo and is chairman of the Polo Hall of Fame Nominating Committee. His writings on the game include several books and many articles in magazines in North America, Argentina and England. He divides his time between Connecticut and Florida.

Bibliographic Details

Horace A. Laffaye
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 416
Bibliographic Info: 95 photos (32 in color), appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2016 [2011]
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6790-4
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8007-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      ix

Foreword by Dennis J. Amato      1

Introduction      3

Part I. The Herbert Era, 1876–1921

1. The Beginnings of All Things Polo in America      7

2. The First International Games      20

3. Polo Across the Land      24

4. The Founding Clubs and the Organization of the Polo Association      40

5. Individual Handicaps and the Major Polo Tournaments      51

6. The Westchester Cup: The Pre- War Years      60

7. American Polo Players in the Olympic Games      71

Part II. Full Blossom: The Age of Hitchcock, 1922–1939

8. The Roaring Twenties at Home: West of the Mississippi      79

9. The Roaring Twenties at Home: East of the Mississippi      93

10. The Open Championship After World War I      112

11. The Golden Era of the International Matches      118

12. Polo During the Depression      137

13. The Open Championship until the War      152

14. The Game at the Universities      163

15. Polo in the Military      173

Between pages 180 and 181 are 8 color plates containing 22 photographs

Part III. The Road to Recovery, 1946–1975

16. The Home Front, 1946–1960      183

17. International Contests After the War      197

18. Women’s Polo in America      211

19. Indoor Polo      225

20. Polo at Home, 1961–1975      231

Part IV. American Contemporary Polo

21. The International Panorama      249

22. Polo in America in the Late Twentieth Century      264

23. The Literature of Polo in the United States      291

24. American Polo in Art      300

25. American Polo in the Twenty- First Century      310

26. Current Polo Issues in the United States      323

Appendix 1. Rules of the California Polo Club, 1876      337

Appendix 2. Clubs Affiliated to the Polo Association, 1890–1900      338

Appendix 3. Henry L. Herbert’s Handicap List, 1888      340

Appendix 4. Players’ Handicaps in 1888, 1890 and 1891      341

Appendix 5. Winners of Major Championships, 1890–1921      342

Appendix 6. Winners of the U.S. Open Championship      344

Appendix 7. Winners of the U.S. Women’s Polo Association Open Championship      348

Chapter Notes      349

Bibliography      361

Index      365

Book Reviews & Awards

“This book will likely become the standard work on polo…valuable. Recommended”—Choice.