Women’s Polo Soaring to New Heights at USPA U.S. Open Women’s Polo Championship


Houston Polo Club Hosting Tournament Featuring Many of the World’s Best Female Players

HOUSTON, (Houston Polo Club) – Some of the most accomplished and dynamic women in the sport of polo will meet in Houston, Texas, this November to compete in the nation’s top tournament, the U.S. Open Women’s Polo Championship®. The 6-goal handicap tournament is sanctioned by the U.S. Polo Association (USPA), polo’s national governing body, and will take place in conjunction with three additional leagues featuring over 50 talented players competing from the 2-goal to 0-goal level.  Fans and players from all over will travel to participate and experience some of the best polo in the world in this one-of-a-kind event. Lucchese Boot Co., the iconic Western boot maker, has been selected as the tournament’s presenting sponsor, and joins Range Rover, St. Regis Hotels, Hendrick’s Gin, and several other corporate sponsors in supporting the week-long event.

Many of polo’s most admired teams will be competing in the Women’s U.S. Open including San Saba, Goose Creek, ERG, and BTA all attempting to take home the 2012 title. The game’s top female players including Sunny Hale, Caroline Anier, Mumy Bellande, Lesley Masterton Fong-Yee, Lia Salvo, Kristy Outhier and others will lead teams during the event, which will culminate on Sunday, November 11, with the tournament championship. The winners’ names will be engraved on the USPA U.S. Open Women’s Polo Championship® perpetual trophy, which was created by the Houston Polo Club last year.

“We are excited to return to Houston to play in the Open for the second time and hope to capitalize on our experience and success in last year’s event,” said Maureen Brennan, whose Goose Creek team defeated BTA in the 2011 Women’s U.S. Open Finals.  “One look at the team rosters tells me the bar has been raised and that this event will showcase some of the best female polo players in the world.”

Last year’s tournament marked the event’s resurrection after a 21-year hiatus, symbolizing the continued growth of women’s polo worldwide. The revival has been spearheaded by the Women’s Championship Tournament (WCT) series, which was founded in 2005 to consolidate women’s polo and promote high-quality competition worldwide. In addition, a Women’s Tournament Committee was created to encourage and increase the participation of women in the USPA to improve the standard of women’s polo throughout the country. Both the USPA U.S. Open Women’s Polo Championship® and the Women’s U.S. Handicap, which will host eight teams at the 2-goal level during the same week, are qualifier events for the 2013 WCT Championship Finals, to be held in Wellington, Fla., in April.

The USPA U.S. Open Women’s Polo Championship® will also mark the historic starting point of American Polo Horse Association’s (APHA) efforts to formally recognize the use of American Quarter Horses in polo through an awards program. APHA will be presenting two Special Recognition awards to registered American Quarter Horses competing in the upper flights. APHA’s initiative to recognize Quarter Horses at this particular tournament will serve as the kickoff to APHA’s new awards program at polo clubs across the country.

“The American Quarter Horse is used all over the nation in the sport of polo and this new program presents an incredible opportunity to recognize a breed whose talent has been proven at all levels, but until now was never identified,” said Sunny Hale, founder of the American Polo Horse Association. “I am really excited for the first awards to be presented at the Women’s U.S. Open.”

The event’s host club, the Houston Polo Club (HPC), was founded in 1928 and has become one of the largest USPA clubs in the nation. The club hosts 0 through 14-goal polo tournaments during the fall and spring seasons. HPC is also a recognized USPA Regional Polo Center (RPC) and provides a full-service polo school, junior polo events, and year-round boarding and riding lessons. The USPA established the RPC program as a network of the most prominent polo centers around the country that train polo players, umpires, managers and others. They also support other clubs nearby and provide resources in an effort to enhance USPA membership.

TEAM  LIST – USPA U.S. Open Women’s Polo Championship® Division (6 Goal)

GOOSE CREEK

Sunny Hale
3
Carin Middleton
0.5
Maureen Brennan
0.5
Kristy Outhier
2
Goal Rating
6.0

BTA

Chrys Beal
0
K.C. Beal
1.5
Sheila Lequirica
1
Lia Salvo
2
Goal Rating
4.5

ERG

Crystal Cassidy
0
Ina Lalor
2
Cecelia Cochran
1
Mumy Bellanda
2
Goal Rating
5.0

SAN SABA

Caroline Anier
2
Dawn Jones
1
Clarissa Echazaretta
1
Lesley Masterton Fong-Yee
2
Goal Rating
6

A-F PONY FARM

Karen Reese
1.5
Tiffany Busch
1.5
Abby Riggs
1.5
Dayelle Fargey
1.0
Goal Rating
5.5

For more information about the upcoming USPA U.S. Open Women’s Polo Championship or about the Houston Polo Club, visit www.thehoustonpoloclub.com, or contact the following:

Polo Lessons and Learning Opportunities:
Fill out the online form at http://www.playpoloinhouston.com/ and a Houston Polo Club representative will contact you with more details.

Tickets and Sponsorship Opportunities:
Allee Messina – Houston Polo Club Director of Business Development
allee@thehoustonpoloclub.com

Tournament Information and Team Entries:
Pam Mudra – Houston Polo Club Executive Director
polomanager@thehoustonpoloclub.com

About the U. S. Polo Association
The U.S. Polo Association was organized and exists for the purposes of promoting the game of polo, coordinating the activities of its Member Clubs and Registered Players, arranging and supervising polo tournaments, competitions, and games, and providing rules, handicaps, and conditions for those tournaments, competitions, and games, including the safety and welfare of participants and mounts. For more information, please visit www.uspolo.org.