Sheila and Troy Everett have spent years teaching this equestrian sport
FRAZEYSBURG – Okay, here’s a bit of a quiz: What sport was first played in America in 1876 on a 10-acre field approximately equivalent to 9 football fields? Answer: Polo. And if you want to learn, the Alpine Polo School is right in Frazeysburg.
“We started APS in 2009,” said co-owner Sheila Everett (along with husband Troy), “at the request of the United States Polo Association’s director of polo development. The USPA was focusing on growing players and encouraged a more formal teaching method. We had been helping new players learn polo for several years before that, but we made it more structured in 2009. I became the very first USPA certified polo instructor in 2015.”
Sheila (Kanuckel) Everett grew up on farms in both Licking and Knox Counties. She attended Licking Valley High School through her freshman year and then transferred and graduated from East Knox in 1982. She also graduated from the Ohio State in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in animal science, then attended Ohio University Zanesville. She is, on top of everything else, a registered nurse.
“I’m a registered nurse but have always owned horses,” she explained. “My childhood always revolved around horses. I pretty much ate, drank and dreamt horses and was fortunate to have had my own ponies and horses growing up. My grandfather played polo and introduced me to it at a very young age. I didn’t think of teaching polo as a youngster as polo schools weren’t popular then.
“My interest came from my grandfather as he had his polo ponies at our farm in Newark,” she continued. “My brothers and I would always help him. I wanted to learn polo from him, but he died on my last day of second grade. I started playing polo while in college and met my husband on the polo field. We’ve made our life around polo ever since.”
Troy Everett grew up on “multiple livestock farms” throughout Muskingum County. He graduated from Maysville High School in 1970, then attended the University of Cincinnati.
“I was always surrounded by animals living on a farm,” he recalled. “I always dreamed of being a farmer and being outside. We always spent a lot of time at the Zanesville community livestock sales barn that my family managed. My grandmother was well known for her pies at the sales restaurant.
“I grew up watching and later playing with my grandfather and father,” he added. “I never thought I would be teaching polo, but always wanted to continue our family tradition of playing polo. Polo was a family affair for us with all of the family assisting on game days.”
Troy has focused on their current farm and the polo school since 2010. Prior to that, he was a heavy equipment operator “in the coal mines for several years” before starting his own power-washing and water-hauling business.
“I teach so others can experience polo,” he said. “It’s always a work in progress and I’m happy when they want to spend more time learning as much as they’re capable of.”
“I teach polo,” his wife added, “because I love to see people enjoying the outdoors with the horses and gaining confidence in themselves and being active. Playing polo is more fun than time in the gym.
“Polo is for all ages, helps us keep our minds sharp and allows us to connect with nature and horses,” she summed.Get the News Alerts newsletter in your inbox.
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Alpine Polo School is located at 11725 Alpine Highway in Frazeysburg. For more information, call 740-819-3161 or log on www.alpinepoloschool.com.
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