Palm City Polo Club welcomed Harvard Polo Women’s Captain Aemilia Phillips for lessons and practice chukkers in preparation for her upcoming Metropolitan Intervarsity Tournament in Tianjin, China.
The tournament at the Tianjin Goldin Metropolitan Polo Club will feature six polo teams from the top universities in the U.S. and U.K. Harvard, Stanford, and Yale will compete with Cambridge, Oxford and the University of London for this year’s trophy. Matches begins July 19 and end with the final July 26.
Phillips is spending the summer before her senior year at Harvard as a seasonal writer for Phelps Media Group. She will be writing a blog for PSpolo.com about her experiences playing polo in China.
Palm City Polo Club owner Joey Casey hosted Phillips this month at his new state-of-the-art facility in Boynton Beach, just outside Wellington. The recently constructed hitting cage, regulation-size polo field and highly experienced staff made the club the perfect place for the young player to prepare for the prestigious, highly competitive international tournament.
Mike Harris, chief instructor at the club, worked extensively with Phillips in the hitting cage, making adjustments to her form and mallet technique before she mounted. A United States Polo Association A-rated umpire, Harris has officiated at major tournaments and has coached top polo players.
“Mike made strategic changes to my swing that made a huge difference,” Phillips said. “He’s a great instructor, and after working with him for half an hour I was already hitting the ball a lot better.”
After warming up in the hitting cage, Phillips mounted for a stick and ball session with Casey. He first instructed her from the ground, focusing on her horsemanship and positioning. Then Casey mounted one of his younger horses, and the two practiced moving the ball up and down the field.
“Joey focused a lot on my foundation and my base of support while riding and hitting,” Phillips said. “He knows horses and he knows the game, and it’s been an amazing opportunity to learn from him. I can’t think of a better way to make sure I’m on top of my game for the tournament.”
Follow “Chukkers in China,” a new blog on PSpolo.com for updates on Phillips’ travels, tournament results, and the life of an intercollegiate polo player competing in China.