The Chicago Polo Association (Chicago Polo) announced it will support the advancement of polo by organizing and promoting the sport through activities in and around the metropolitan Chicagoland area. Chicago Polo is comprised of six USPA recognized polo clubs, twelve polo facilities and over one-hundred thirty registered USPA playing members. Together, the group runs two polo schools, fifteen grass polo fields and seven indoor/outdoor polo arenas- five of which are year-round arenas.
“Chicago Polo will build on the success of existing member clubs by consolidating resources and leveraging advertising, marketing and outreach to drive participation in polo schools, tournaments, leagues and youth polo through one central organization” explained Pam Mudra, Executive Director of Chicago Polo.
Chicago Polo member facilities are located in the north, west and south suburbs of Chicago making it convenient and accessible for anyone to watch, play and learn the sport of polo. “We are currently running polo schools in Bolingbrook and Barrington Hills,” added Mudra. “No experience is necessary and beginners or experienced riders are also welcome.” Club members of Chicago Polo include Arranmore Farm and Polo Club, Barrington Hills Polo Club, Blackberry Polo Club, Chicago International Polo Club, Due West Polo, Morgan Creek Polo and Oak Brook Polo Club.
“Through the support of the USPA Polo Development LLC, we have been able to bring these clubs and facilities together with a single calendar of schools, practices and tournaments to offer all levels of polo to Chicagoans and suburbanites,” said Bob McMurtry, Central Circuit Governor of the USPA. “We are very excited to have Pam Mudra at the helm as our Executive Director. She has years of experience developing and growing polo in communities such as Houston, Texas.”
Chicago’s polo history dates back to 1879, when the first recorded match was played in Lincoln Park in Downtown Chicago. Over the next 140 years, the sport of kings prospered in and around Chicagoland with as many as fifty polo clubs hosting competitive professional and amateur polo. Several well-known Chicago families were avid polo players and helped bring attention to the sport, including the Wrigleys, McCormicks, Armours and Butlers.
Chicago was also home to a number of notable and historic polo events, including the East vs. West match that drew over 40,000 spectators to the Onwenstsia Club in 1933, 24 U.S. Open Polo Championships from 1954 to 1979 at the Oak Brook Polo Club and first all-women’s polo club in the United States, the Naperville Women’s Polo Club in the 1980’s.
Chicago Polo kicks off its inaugural month with open enrollment at two polo schools: Barrington Hills Polo Club and GoPolo. The focus is to host as many as thirty 0- to 12-goal grass and arena polo tournaments and matches from May through September, including multiple USPA sanctioned events, women’s tournaments and National Youth Tournament Series Qualifiers. The season will conclude with the USPA Board of Governors and Annual Member Meeting September 19–22 in Oak Brook. Students, players and team sponsors interested in the sport of polo in Chicago may contact Pam Mudra at 979-270-2860 or email@example.com. For additional information on Chicago Polo, please visit www.chicago-polo.com