The voting has been concluded for the much-awaited Hall of Fame Inductions for the coming year. The chairman of the nominating committee for the National Museum of Polo and Hall of Fame, Dr. Horace Laffaye, is pleased to announce the approval of the following individuals to be inducted into the Hall of Fame in February 2016; Hector Galindo, William “Billy” Post, Richard Riemenschneider, Russ Sheldon and the polo ponies Toy Moon and Califa.
Hector Galindo was at his pinnacle as a 9 goal player and has hoisted the winning trophies of numerous major American tournaments that include the 30-Goal World Cup, the Silver Cup four times, 26-goal Hall of Fame Cup, C. V. Whitney and was a winner of the Polo Excellence Award in 1999. Although aggressive and fast on the field his good nature and consummate sportsmanship have endeared him to his fellow players and fans. Part of a large polo playing family, Hector in a 2008 interview credits his father and brothers as his mentors and said that they taught him to “train hard, play the game fairly and take good care of my horses.”
Posthumous Hall of Fame inductee, William “Billy” Post, was born into a polo family for whom breeding ponies was its principal business, so it is little wonder that as an 8-goal polo star Post made his mark as a stellar horseman and formidable hitter. For his talents he was lauded as one of the greats, engaged in battle with the other American heroes of the golden age of polo in the 1930s, part of a “band of brothers” along with the likes of Hitchcock and Milburn. He ably notched wins in the most important contests of the era both in the U.S. and abroad, but with his career cut short with the onset of WWII, he continued his interest in horses and became a successful breeder and trainer of race horses.
Iglehart Award winner Richard Riemenschneider is being honored for his dedication to the sport since 1949. An early champion of polo in Virginia, “Remo” continued his service to polo as a driving force within the F.I.P and by serving with the USPA as a Governor, Treasurer, Executive V.P., President and eventually as its Chairman and most recently as a supporter of and is currently serving as the Chairman of the Polo Training Foundation.
Russ Sheldon is being honored posthumously with the Iglehart Award. For over 25 years Russ dedicated countless hours to the sport. He has been recognized with numerous awards that are a testament to his contagious passion and excitement for polo, a love that he eagerly passed on to his children, grandchildren and countless others. He started Poway Polo Club and was a champion of “grass roots polo” in California, a passionate promoter of Arena Polo and a devout mentor and supporter of youth polo programs. His contribution to the USPA Intercollegiate-Interscholastic program and the initiatives that he put in place will continue to benefit the sport for decades to come.
The remarkable polo mare, Toy Moon will be honored as one of the Horses to Remember. Bred in Hawaii (circa 1931) by noted breeder Walter Dillingham, she made her way to the mainland and into the string of Hall of Famer Elbridge “Ebby” T. Gerry and was played with distinction winning the coveted Prince Friarstown Cup two years in succession, 1940 and 1941. This was awarded to the best playing mare suitable to produce polo ponies, the judges basing their decisions based on her play in both the U.S. Open and Monty Waterbury cups. For this and her long career of excellent and exceptional performances in which she was described as playing “top flight polo,” she was recognized by the experts of the day as one of the great polo ponies of her era.
Califa, a bay gelding foaled in 1996 is the durable war horse played by Mariano Aguerre in many memorable contests. Gathering a number of best playing pony awards along the way, he ultimately earned the Hartman Award for BPP for his gritty and intense play for two chukkers under Aguerre in the 2004 U.S. Open. Aguerre called on Califa again for the 2005 high-goal season and the gutsy gelding didn’t disappoint as they fought together through numerous crucial games helping the team take all three 26-goal tournament victories. He was recognized as Horse of the Year in 2006.
The induction ceremony, a gala event, will be held at the Museum of polo on February 12th, 2016. It is the most important fundraising event for the Museum each year, so we hope you will help support your Museum – a 501 (c) 3, not-for-profit organization. If you would like to join in the celebration to welcome the new inductees into the Polo Hall of Fame, you may purchase seats for the dinner up to a week in advance. Reservations are $200.00 each (tax deductible portion $100.00).