The mission of the USPA Certified Polo Instructor (CPI) Program is to identify and educate equine professionals by requiring industry standards for teaching and managing the sport of polo. Special emphasis is on developing programming that will equip polo instructors to coach the next generation of polo students with an emphasis on sportsmanship and safety, to facilitate a lifelong love of the sport. This is accomplished by providing guidelines for riding instruction and horsemanship as well as for introducing students to the sport in a safe, sequential manner, in addition to offering certified instructors extensive managerial education. Tools used to accomplish this goal include instructive videos from leading experts, the USPA Certified Polo Instructor Manual, interactive teaching symposiums and clinics, written exams, and continued education courses in order to raise the level of polo instruction for the continued sustainability of the sport of polo. The USPA would like to congratulate the 12 new CPIs on their achievements. Photos and bios of the new additions to the program below:

Bob Ceperano

Instructor: Robert C. Ceparano
USPA Certified Polo Instructor, Level 1
Location: Medford, New York

Phone: 631-345-9585
200 Bellport Avenue, Medford, NY 11763

Bob has been a member of the USPA for 28 years and earned his USPA Certification in 2016. He began his polo career when he attended a clinic with Red Armor at Meadowbrook Polo Club in 1987. He purchased Country Farms in Medford, NY in 1996. He started a riding lesson program in late 1997 then introduced polo to his facility in 1998 when he started his youth program. He currently teaches at Country Farms from mid-October through mid-May. He then moves to Old Westbury, NY, which is 30 miles from midtown Manhattan, and teaches there from mid-May through the end of September. Bob has continued his youth program and has had several teams go to Open Interscholastic Nationals. In addition to running a very successful polo program, Bob has held a BB rating in the Umpire Program for many years and is currently on the Arena Tournament Committee. In Bob’s more recent accomplishments, he received the 2016 Russ Sheldon Award for Outstanding Contribution to Arena Polo.
What has been one of your favorite teaching memories?

“When you’ve been teaching a student something that’s difficult for them to grasp and the dime finally drops down.”

Contact Bob Ceparano today to learn more about polo lessons in New York!

Tony Condo

Instructor: Anthony Condo
USPA Certified Polo Instructor, Level 1
Location: Ithaca, New York

Phone: 607-342-6701
Email: amc88@cornell.edu

Anthony has been a member of the USPA for 13 years and earned his USPA Certification in 2016. Anthony’s polo career began during the winter of 2003 at an adult beginner’s clinic hosted over the intersession break at Cornell.  This was after riding at Cornell’s Oxley Equestrian Center over the previous summer and seeing arena polo played on rainy days in the area. After showing a keen interest in the sport, David Eldredge asked him to be more involved in helping the program, being as he was a local and could consistently help the team over the years in whatever manner he could provide.  That started with accompanying the kids to away games, umpiring chukkers and games, teaching students of all-levels, all the while striving to become a better player himself. He has been teaching and coaching with Cornell Polo since 2004, making this year his 13th season with the program.  He teaches first-year, junior varsity, and varsity players of all riding and playing levels year-after-year.  Since 2015, he has been the acting coach/organizer of the Cornell Interscholastic Polo Program, and has coached their Open division team during their season for the past two years and counting. Additionally, Anthony has been a USPA certified umpire since 2007 and has actively umpired at the pre-Regional, Regional, and National levels.

What has been one of your favorite teaching memories?

“I love to see the joy on my kids’ faces when they win their tournament games at any level they participate.  This is particularly true since at the Interscholastic level, our kids have all come in knowing nothing about the sport and in some cases, very little about riding.  So, to see them learn from us and translate that knowledge into wins on the field is really special to me.”

Contact Anthony Condo today to learn more about polo lessons in New York!

Ken C.

Instructor: Ken Cresswell
USPA Certified Polo Instructor, Level 1
Location: Medford, New York

Phone: 631-457-9630
Email: Ken@flatoutfarmpolo.com
www.flatoutfarmpolo.com

Ken earned his USPA Certification in 2016, and has been a member of the USPA for 29 years. He grew up at West Hills Stables in New York, and learned about horse care and polo from his mother, Maret, and Hall of Fame member Joe Rizzo. He played in his first real polo game at the age of 10, and had first polo job with Paul Rizzo. Ken then worked for others, including former USPA president Bill Sinclair and Dave Rizzo, and began teaching polo in 1992 while running the Diamond Ranch in South Hampton, New York. Ken was a member of the 1992 FIP team, and introduced polo to Turks and Caicos in 2016 where he ran their first polo clinic.  Ken currently teaches with Country Farms and Meadowbrook Polo Club in New York, and has been teaching there for 6 years.

What has been one of your favorite teaching memories?

“I love when a student successfully learns a new play on the field or a new skill. Instant positive feedback for them.”

Contact Ken Cresswell today to learn more about polo lessons in New York!

Hehsam E.

Instructor: Hesham Elezaby
USPA Certified Polo Instructor, Level 1
Location: Erwinna, Pennsylvania

Phone: 908-996-3321
Email: heshame@earthlink.net

Hesham received his USPA Certification in 2016 and started playing polo in Egypt at the age of 11 in 1968. He reached a 3 goal handicap in Egypt and the United States. Hesham began teaching polo in 1993 when he started his own polo club, Tinicum Park Polo in Erwinna, PA. He is currently the instructor and manager of Tinicum Park Polo, teaches at Bairfield Polo Club and is the Princeton University polo coach. In addition to coaching and managing a polo club, Hesham is a Certified Umpire.

What has been one of your favorite teaching memories?

“To start with student who did not have polo or riding experience and they became a good polo player.”

Contact Hesham Elezaby today to learn more about polo lessons in Pennsylvania and New Jersey!

Ethan G.

Instructor: Ethan Galis
USPA Certified Polo Instructor, Level 1
Location: Austin, Texas

Ethan has been a member of the USPA for 5 years and received his USPA Certification in 2016. Ethan initially became involved in polo in college through the University of Texas Polo Club. He had ridden in various three-day-eventing competitions in Area V successfully competing through the 1-star level since age 9. After joining the polo club at college and falling in love with the being taught the specifics of the sport by his coaches at the time, Jason Atkins and Cuatro Tolson, he got heavily involved at the UT club. He was so involved that he was Vice President and finally President of the UT polo club his last year in school. He initially began teaching polo at the UT polo in his junior year, and was accepted into the USPA-RPC Internship Program after graduating. He was offered mentorships with various Polo School Managers/instructors such as Tom Goodspeed and Mark Prinsloo. He took over the Big Horn Polo Academy shortly after completing these mentorships. Ethan currently teaches a small group of up-and-comers at the Central Texas Polo Association in Austin, TX. In addition to instructing, Ethan is involved in the USPA Contract Clinician program performing mainly arena clinics at clubs around the nation and is certified Level 3 Instructor with the Certified Horseman’s Association. One of Ethan’s most recent accomplishments was receiving the RPC Internship Grant from the USPA in November of 2015.

What has been one of your favorite teaching memories?

“This summer, when one of the students I had the pleasure of teaching at the Big Horn Polo Academy, Harry Caldwell, was selected for the Zone 2 team at the National NYTS Championship tournament at Myopia Polo Club.  It was fantastic to see how far he’s come, playing tournament polo with kids of his age.”

Savannah K.

Instructor: Savannah Kranich
USPA Certified Polo Instructor, Level 1
Location: Culver, Indiana

Phone: 219-765-8570
Email: Savannah.Kranich@culver.org
1300 Academy Rd, Culver, IN 46511

Savannah has been a USPA member since 2005 and received her USPA Certification in 2016. She made the switch from showing hunters and equitation to polo her first year in high school at the Culver Academies. Polo was a new aspect of horses for her, and she wanted to give it a try. Fast forward to today, and Savannah is the Assistant Director of Admissions at Culver Academies and the coach for the Girl’s Interscholastic team. Savannah originally coached the JV IEA team at Culver but could not stay away from polo! She switched to coaching polo in the fall of 2012 after four years of coaching the IEA team. Savannah also coaches the Equestriennes, a girl’s mounted drill team honor organization at Culver. In her time coaching the Culver girls, the Girls’ Varsity teams have been Girls’ Interscholastic Central Regional Champions in 2013 and 2016. In 2016, her team advanced to the Girls’ Interscholastic National Tournament.

What has been one of your favorite teaching memories?

“One of my favorite teaching memories will have to be from the 2016 Girls’ Interscholastic Tournament. The girls were asked to speak about themselves and give a unique fact about their team. Their unique fact was that they call me Mom. As their coach, they are not just students on the team I coach, but I truly think of them as my children. It is an honor to be called Mom, and it makes me work harder every day to be the best the coach for the girls that I can be.”

Contact Savannah Kranich today to learn more about polo lessons in Culver, IN!

Ed Little

Instructor: Edgar M Little III
USPA Certified Polo Instructor, Level 1
Location: Culver, Indiana

Phone: 574-842-8355
Email: ed.little@culver.org
1300 Academy Rd, Culver, IN 46511

Edgar has been a member of the USPA since 1972 and received his USPA Certification in 2016. His polo career began when he was invited to play at the Midland Polo Club in Midland Texas in 1967. He began teaching polo ten years later in 1977 when he worked at the Midland Polo Club. He taught lessons to help bring in new membership that facilitated horse sales. He started his career at Culver Academies in 1991 when he took the position as Polo Coach and Equitation Instructor. He received the Regional Umpire award that same year. He took over the Director of Horsemanship position in 1995 and continued coaching polo until 2007. Edgar has hosted many player, umpire and coaching clinics at Culver Academies. He is currently the mentor to the CMA and CGA coaches, assisting them with practices and often umpiring matches as a Certified Umpire with the USPA. He is certified with the Certified Horsemanship Association as a Director of Horsemanship, the Culver Academies Stable, and all Instructors. He is also an Instructor for the Culver Leadership Academy; a program using horses to teach basics in leadership.

What has been one of your favorite teaching memories?

“Novice polo is my favorite; getting the students hooked on the game. Working with my son at 9 years old whom developed into a collegiate National Champion.”

Contact Edgar Little today to learn more about polo lessons in Culver, IN!

peter poor

Instructor: Peter Poor
USPA Certified Polo Instructor, Level 1
Location: Newbury, Massachusetts

Phone: (561) 281-0182
Email: stagehillpolo@verizon.net
42 Low Street, Newbury MA 01951

Peter has been a member of the USPA for 49 years and earned his USPA Certification in 2015. He comes from a polo playing family with his grandfather, uncles, and father all involved in the sport; he first began playing at the age of 6 and was taught primarily by his father. In 1983 he began teaching polo as a way to keep active in the sport and build a business that would take him into retirement. Currently Peter teaches at his farm in Newbury, at the Stage Hill Polo School, and at Myopia Polo Club, as well as other venues. Peter’s involvement in the USPA has been extensive through the years. He was the Governor of the Northeast Circuit for 12 years, and is currently serving as a Governor at Large. He was Chairman of the USPA Tournament Committee for 12 years, and is still currently an active member of the committee. Additionally he sits on the Equine Welfare Committee at Myopia Polo Club and is a Massachusetts Certified Equine Instructor.

What has been one of your favorite teaching memories?

“My proudest accomplishment has been my 3 daughters’ involvement in the sport of polo. Each was taught riding and playing skills as well as horsemanship and good conduct as a competitive player. Each of my daughters is now actively involved in the sport in her own way, carrying on the family tradition in polo.”

Contact Peter today to learn more about polo lessons in Massachusetts!

Frank s.

Instructor: Frank M. Stubblefield III
USPA Certified Polo Instructor, Level 1
Location: Culver, Indiana

Culver Academy #128, 1300 Academy Rd, Culver, IN 46511

Frank took his fist polo lesson in June of 1972 at Culver Military Academy Summer School and has now earned his USPA Certification in 2016. His mother signed him up for polo on a whim, as she had just found out that Prince Charles was also taking lesson that summer so her son should also! He has continued to play polo since then and was hired by Culver Academy in 2011 as a member of the Horsemanship Staff as the Polo Coach, Rough Riding Coach and Horsemanship Instructor. Frank teaches at Culver Academy year round. He is the Interscholastic Coach for Culver Open team, in addition to coaching their Novice and Junior Varsity polo teams. His girls team took home the I/I Central Regional Champions title in 2012 and his players from his program have moved on to play Intercollegiate Polo at Colorado State, University of Connecticut, Texas A &M, and University of Kentucky. He received an Arena Umpire C rating through the Polo Training Foundation. Frank is also a certified CHA instructor.

What has been one of your favorite teaching memories?

“The look on a student’s face after their first goal in a game.”

Contact Frank Stubblefield today to learn more about polo lessons in Culver, IN!

Branden Van Loon

Instructor: Branden Van Loon
USPA Certified Polo Instructor, Level 1
Location: Bethany, Connecticut

Phone: 607-592-5360
Email: branden.vanloon@yale.edu
79 Rainbow Rd. Bethany CT, 06524

Branden earned his USPA Certification in 2016 and has been a member of the USPA for 15 yers. He initially learned to play polo in the Cornell Interscholastic program with David Eldredge. He played through college at Cornell where he was the captain of his team his junior and senior years. His team made it to Intercollegiate Nationals all four years he played there and he was selected for Team USPA in 2014. His career as a polo instructor began when he started teaching on a consistent basis at Great Meadow Polo Club. They had a large number of players that started out with minimal polo experience. Through lessons and coaching his students were able to advance into tournament competition at various levels of play. Branden currently teaches at the Yale Polo and Equestrian Center in Bethany, CT. He coaches Yale’s Interscholastic and Intercollegiate teams. He is a certified umpire on the grass as well as in the arena.

What has been one of your favorite teaching memories?

“My favorite teaching memory has to be having the opportunity to watch polo give one of my teenage players such a sense of self confidence both on and off of the field. This sport provides players with tools and connections that they will benefit from for the rest of their lives.”

Contact Branden Van Loon today to learn more about polo lessons in Connecticut!

Josie Vidic

Instructor: Josie Vidic
USPA Certified Polo Instructor, Level 1
Location: Weatherford, Texas

Phone: 303-506-6749
Email: jcvidic@hotmail.com

Josie has been a member of the USPA for 13 years and earned her CPI Certification in 2016. She grew up riding on her family’s farm and participating in local riding club, which featured Polocrosse. Josie’s first polo job was working for D Bar T Polo Team under Dennis Trescott, Simon Martineau, and Santiago Wulff. From there, she began helping Simon with group lessons in exchange for private lessons. This segued into working in Argentina seasonally from 2003-2005 where she worked for Federico Teves of El Relincho Polo. Josie had the opportunity to do everything from breaking horses to training young strings and playing. After Argentina, Josie played with a Reserve National Championship Team at Colorado State University and was named a Regional All Star and a National All Star. Her teaching career started in 2004, teaching youth and adults at her home club Willow Creek Polo Club in Elizabeth, Colorado, which she would later own and operate her school from. Today Josie works as a contract instructor for the USPA Free Clinic Program, is a NYTS Tournament manager, and teaches private lessons out of her home base in Weatherford, Texas. Josie has won many USPA Tournaments, Best Play Pony Awards, and is a Level III English Instructor through the Certified Horsemanship Association.

What has been one of your favorite teaching memories?

“Some of my favorite memories include teaching new college players while helping them prepare for Varsity Intercollegiate polo try outs. Each of these individuals succeeded in making the Varsity polo team. I’ve also enjoyed teaching youth and seeing their progression as they move into NYTS tournament play. Overall, I love watching people smile when they learn something new. I enjoy sharing my passion for the sport with others, just as others have shared their passion with me.  I also have fun teaching horses the sport and helping them progress into their careers as polo ponies.”

Contact Josie today to learn more about polo lessons in Texas!

Jennifer Williams

Instructor: Jennifer Williams
USPA Certified Polo Instructor, Level 1
Location: Farmington, Connecticut

Phone: 561-846-1661
Email: jwilliams@farmingtonpolo.com
152 Town Farm Road, Farmington, CT 06032

Jennifer has been a member of the USPA for 28 years and received her USPA Certification in 2016. She was first introduced to polo when she attended Tulane University in New Orleans, LA. She had some riding experience and had played many stick sports at high levels such as lacrosse and ice hockey. She began teaching polo when she was an assistant manager for Rege Ludwig at his Charlottesville, VA clinics during the summers while in college. She would teach friends and family how to play polo on the weekends just for fun. Approximately 2 years ago, she decided to leave her finance career and dive into polo full time at Gulfstream Polo Club in Wellington, FL. She currently teaches at Farmington Polo Club in Farmington, CT. She was hired in May 2016 to resurrect the club by improving membership development through a curriculum and polo school while also attracting current players to their facility. Jennifer is on the USPA Arena Committee and has been involved in NYTS through horse rental. She also holds an EAGALA (Equine Assisted Growth and Learning) Certification as an equine specialist.

What has been one of your favorite teaching memories?

“I have always enjoyed watching confidence grow in each student I instruct. One in particular had a lot of trouble in school, often being bullied by his class mates. Polo was his comfort zone and gave him an outlet where he could grow and thrive on his own. He built up enough confidence and had guidance for other adult students to stand up for himself and have higher self-esteem. He loved the sport but it went deeper than that for him and that it made his whole life brighter.”

Contact Jennifer today to learn more about polo lessons in Connecticut!