Ladies’ Polo Grows.
Polo is one of a small number of sports that can field mixed teams of players. Due to the handicapping system a mixed or all female team can compete with an all male team of the same handicap and not be disadvantaged. That said, Ladies’ Polo (teams of women only), as in other sports such as football and rugby, has become its own division of the sport. It has an increasing number of tournaments and growing sponsorship.
This month over 70 women gathered at the Houston Polo Club in Texas, to play in what has become the largest women’s tournament in the USA. The tournament showcased some of the best women’s polo talent in the world.
HPC offered four levels of women’s tournament polo including the Bayou Cup (0-2 Goal), Farish Invitational Cup (4-6 Goal), U.S. Open Women’s Handicap and U.S. Open Women’s Polo Championship. The competitive week of polo culminated in the battle for the title of the U.S. Open Women’s Polo Championship on Sunday 13 November, between Rocking P Lockton and San Saba which resulted in a decisive 9-2 victory for Rocking P Lockton.
Comments from Sunny Hale, playing for San Saba, sum up the importance of this tournament to ladies’ polo. “With the Women’s Championship Tournament and this tournament there were a total 20 teams, that makes it the largest women’s tournament (in the world)… The reason this tournament is back in competition is due to the efforts of Luis Echezarreta, Martin Muñoz and Scott Wood. They wanted to have a Women’s Open, went to the USPA, petitioned and got it back, and also to the club for bringing in so many great players. It’s fun for the young players to see other women that are coming from overseas and gives them something to aspire to”.
Ladies’ Polo also has fixtures at an international level. The England Ladies’ Team are heading to Buenos Aires this week to take on Argentina at the Cathedral of Polo, Palermo. The match will be played on 26 November and follows on from the King’s Head International played at Cirencester Park Polo Club in July, which saw England triumph over a tough Argentine ladies’ team.
With a 28 goal handicap level, this historic women’s match will be one of the highest handicapped International women’s matches ever to be played. Whilst Argentina are yet to fully confirm their team, it is thought that Lia Salvo and Mia Cambiaso will feature on the side. Meanwhile, the England Team has been confirmed as Captain Hazel Jackson (7), Tamara Fox (7), Sarah Wiseman (7) & Claire Brougham (6).
Photograph: England triumphed in the King’s Head International in July.