On Tuesday, October 24, the polo community bid farewell to Ovila Leodore “Peter” Bibeau of Wurtsboro, New York. Peter passed away at the Garnet Health Medical Center in Middletown, New York, at the age of 92.

The son of the late Leodore Bibeau and Melvina Yandow Bibeau, Peter was born May 2, 1931, in Colchester, Vermont. Peter was a veteran of the United States Army and served in Germany during the Korean War. He was a graduate of the University of Vermont (Burlington, Vermont) and Farleigh Dickinson University (Madison, New Jersey). Peter was self-employed as a civil engineer and owned Bibeau Construction Company in Nanuet, New York, which he ran for 55 years. He was also a member of the Construction Industry Council of Westchester & Hudson Valley, Inc.

Known as an avid polo player and horseman, Peter owned horse farms in Pine Plains, New York and Aiken, South Carolina. His polo career spanned nearly 35 years, playing at the 4- to 12-goal level until the age of 75, then at the 8-goal level before retiring from polo at 85. Throughout his lifetime, Peter played in tournaments and countries around the world including Argentina, Barbados and Egypt.

An avid polo player and horseman, Bibeau's polo career spanned nearly 35 years supporting various clubs along the East Coast.

An avid polo player and horseman, Bibeau’s polo career spanned nearly 35 years supporting various clubs along the East Coast.

Supporting various clubs along the East Coast, Peter regularly played in the President’s Cup and Eddie Moore Memorial tournaments. In 2005, Peter won the Regional President’s Cup with Buckleigh at Saratoga Polo Club (Saratoga Springs, New York) and again in 2009 at Tinicum Park Polo Club (Erwinna, Pennsylvania). He competed frequently at clubs throughout the Northeast such as Village Farms Polo Club Inc. (Gilbertsville, New York) (now defunct) as well as clubs across Florida including Vero Beach Polo (Vero Beach, Florida) and The Villages Polo Club (The Villages, Florida). Peter was known by many for his willingness to take his team a great distance to participate in charity benefit matches.

Peter is survived by his two daughters: Julie Mennella (Giovanni) of Wurtsboro, New York, and Lynn Ritchel (Gary) of Evansville, Indiana; and two grandchildren: Peter Luke Williams (Joanne) and Lynn Maslatzides (Alexandros). He is also survived by ten great grandchildren and four great great grandchildren. He was predeceased by his grandson: Donald E. Williams III; and two brothers: David and Robert Bibeau.

Photos courtesy of Lynn Ritchel.

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