On the morning of Friday, August 7, 2020, the polo community lost long-time contributor and polo pony advocate, Clint Nangle, who passed away quietly at his home in Aiken, South Carolina. Born in 1930 to Jane and John Nangle in Marblehead, Massachusetts, Clint had just recently celebrated his ninetieth birthday on the Fourth of July.
Though born left-handed, Clint learned to play the sport with his right hand and went on to win tournaments at Myopia Polo Club (South Hamilton, Massachusetts), Royal Palm Polo Club (Boca Raton, Florida) and Ocala Polo Club (Ocala, Florida). His interest in the sport of polo began while he was attending Harvard University (Class of 1952) and grew while beginning to play at the Myopia Polo Club in the 1960s. Upon graduation, Clint was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps, followed by employment at the National Security Agency (NSA), ABC, Procter & Gamble, as well as forming his own investment company. He also helped to develop the New England Polo League, fostering growth of club competition throughout the Northeast, mentored Harvard and Radcliff players for a number of years, and later at Royal Palm Polo was a leader in encouraging young players and lending polo ponies.
“I was very saddened to hear of Clint Nangle’s passing,” Dr. Mike Manno, DVM, shared. “For myself and every member of the Equine Welfare Committee, past and present, I just hope he knew how important his contributions were to the well-being of the polo horse and we all owe him a debt of gratitude. Clint is the sole reason I became involved in the committee when he asked me to join almost 15 years ago. I can’t think of a more deserving or fitting tribute than to have the USPA present the Clint Nangle Equine Welfare Award in his name each year.”
Clint became a member of the United States Polo Association (USPA) in 1965 and was affiliated with the Myopia Polo Club for almost twenty years. While working for Kenyon & Eckhardt, a national advertising agency, Clint bought a small farm in South Hamilton located next to the polo barns. His first polo pony came from Doc Roberts, a veterinarian at Cornell University’s veterinary school. Taking an opportunity which relocated him to Florida, he began playing at the Royal Palm Polo Club. It was there that the Oxley family encouraged him to become involved with the USPA.
In 1990, he became Co-Chairman of the Club Polo Committee and began to serve on other USPA Committees. In 1992, when Florida and the Caribbean separated from the Southeastern Circuit, Clint became the first Circuit Governor. He held the role of Florida Circuit Governor for a total of twelve years, taking an early retirement to do the job full time. After serving as Circuit Governor, he served as a Governor-At-Large for another nine years. In a special issue of Polo Magazine, Clint was called “one of the USPA’s outstanding polo contributors of the Twentieth Century.”
In 1995, Clint founded the USPA Veterinary Committee, which is now the USPA Equine Welfare Committee. He served as the Committee Chair for twenty years and was crucial in developing a number of programs to increase the welfare of horses in the sport. During that period he created the Unwanted Polo Pony program and a Polo Pony Care and Welfare handbook. Over the years, he served as a member of numerous committees including the Nominating, Constitution, Marketing, Tournament and Women’s Committees. Additionally he served as a Director of the Museum of Polo and Hall of Fame and on the Board from 1997 to 2015.
In 2013, Clint was the recipient of the Hugo Dalmar Trophy, which is presented by the USPA Chairman to the player who best exemplifies the sportsmanship characteristics inherent to the sport of polo. Clint was also the first recipient of an award created in his honor, the Clint Nangle Equine Welfare Award, in 2014.
In 2007, after relocating to Wagener, South Carolina, Clint founded the Overbrook Polo Club (Wagener, South Carolina), a small local club focused on easy, relaxed polo for both beginners and seasoned players. He continued to teach polo there for the last thirteen years.
Clint was an avid reader and art collector. He played the piano and loved jazz and big band music. A little-known fact about Clint is that he is a published author. His first book, “Some Things Harvard Never Taught Me” was published in 1993, and “Love Songs at Harvard Sq.,” a book of poems and lyrics was published in 2009.
Clint is survived by his daughter Dana Nangle Scott (husband John) of Simsbury, Connecticut, sons Gene and Rod (wife Elizabeth), three grandsons, and longtime companion Barbara Parker of South Carolina. He was predeceased by his first wife Ann Edmiston Nangle and son John Nangle.
A Memorial Mass and Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.