The USPA is pleased to announce the newest Member Club, FireStar Polo Club, in Aiken, South Carolina. FireStar Polo Club is owned by Dennis Freeland and operated and managed by Ken Cresswell, a USPA Certified Polo Instructor. This new Member Club is one of six to offer arena polo in the Southeastern Circuit. Freeland built the arena four years ago, initially simply to enjoy the game and have a place to practice. Then, in the spring of 2017, Freeland teamed up with Cresswell and began offering practice chukkers. “I grew up playing arena polo, and I wanted to share the sport with others,” explained Ken. “I met Dennis, who was eager to have players use his facility and shared a passion for expanding the game of arena polo in Aiken. We began offering practice chukkers, and with strong support from the local polo community, as well as traveling players, grew our schedule and hosted our first match game in March 2017.” Cresswell also offers private and group lessons, as well as polo clinics at the club.
FireStar Polo Club’s lighted arena allows for scheduling flexibility, permitting the club to play chukkers at convenient times, including summer evenings. “What’s particularly great about the arena is our ability to schedule games when you might not be able to play on grass,” said Cresswell. “Since we are fully lighted facility, we can offer evening practices and games.” Last year, FireStar Polo Club hosted several Intercollegiate/Interscholastic matches and tournaments. The club hosted one USPA tournament, and plans to offer more in 2018. FireStar Polo Club also hosted Polo Under Stars which raised money for the local Aiken charity, Friends of the Animal Shelter (FOTAS), sponsored by Dennis and Janice Freeland. “It was a great event, we had a lot of fun, and raised over $8,000 for FOTAS,” said Dennis Freeland.
In 2018, the club will continue to offer practice chukkers on Sunday mornings and Wednesday and Friday afternoons/evenings. Additionally, the club is working with the local community to attract the public to attend games and practices. “We want to share the exciting sport of polo with the general public. Arena polo is a great spectator sport, and we have a first-class facility that makes it an accessible game to watch,” explained Cresswell. For more information, follow FireStar Polo Club on Facebook @Firestarpoloclub or contact Ken Cresswell at 631-457-9630.