Story courtesy of ©CLICKPOLOUSA.
Having built a reputable legacy, Texas Tech Polo Club (Texas Tech) in Lubbock, Texas, struggled in 2016 after the loss of their beloved coach, Clyde Waddell. It wasn’t until Denny Yates, a parent of a Texas Tech University student, purchased the property that things started to look up. “Clyde was a great man who spent a lot of time and money making his family farm into the Texas Tech Polo Club. When he passed, we were unsure of the future of the club,” Ashley Owens, daughter of Texas Tech’s new owner Denny Yates, told CLICKPOLOUSA.
“We are a student-led organization within our school,” stated Jair De la Peña, Texas Tech Polo Club’s Student President. “All of our members are undergraduate or graduate students that attend Texas Tech University. With 43 members strong, we all work to maintain our barn and our horses. We do everything from feedings in the morning and night to the general upkeep of the facility, in addition to exercising the horses and practicing polo,” De la Peña continued.
Stephanie Massey Colburn carries it to goal at Texas Tech Polo Club. ©David Murrell
With the outbreak of COVID-19, the school took a series of measures to stop the spread of the virus, including shutting the school down and moving classes online. “With many of our members returning home, as they could not stay in Lubbock, Texas, the workload for those who were able to remain increased. Riding and exercising are limited, as we do not have many members who live in the area go out. While our horses are definitely enjoying the long break from constant activities, our members are eager to hop back in the saddle and start working,” said Jair De la Peña.
With thanks to the school organization and the members of the Texas Tech Polo Alumni Association, the future of Texas Tech Polo Club is bright. The club has an arena, a hitting cage, a five stall-barn, an exercise track and plenty of paddock space. “When my dad purchased the property at the beginning of April 2020, it was to keep the Texas Tech Polo Club alive and strong for generations to come.” Ashley added, “there are so many kids who will now have the opportunity to attend Texas Tech and allow the club to make the same impact that it had on our lives.”