THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WALB) – Polo Classic— a sport that is traditionally male-dominated— is honoring the legacy of “Pansy” Po.
Pansy Po was the first woman to earn a handicap rating from the polo association.
Many riders at the Women’s Polo Classic in Thomasville said that participation in the sport has doubled in the last 10 years, resulting in more women wanting to play.
“Pansy Poe was one of my heroes, she was the pioneer in polo when ladies weren’t even allowed to play. She had to hide her hair under the helmet, and pretend to be a man to get out there,” said Kim Von Stade, Women’s Polo Player Classic.
Pebble Hill hopes to continue Pansy’s legacy by ensuring that some of the younger riders are exposed to the sport’s rich history.
“There are just many clubs and the pony club was involved with us today, and so those are the younger riders coming up. We wanted to make sure we introduce them to the game of Polo because they will be the ones taking it forward in the long run,” said Sue Lukashevich, Polo Organizer Instructor Umpire.
“We are a representation of a 20th-century sporting estate. And these are pretty common in Southwest Georgia even today they are hunting in sporting estates,” said Whitney White, Executive Director of Pebble Hill Foundation.
The addition of the Elisabeth Poe Gallery also attracts people to Thomasville— a town known for preservation.
“Over the years, just this last year we recorded over 31 different countries from around the world, and 48 different states represented. So we feel Pebble Hill brings a lot to this community historically and again it’s a wonderful place to visit and share some of Thomasville’s history,” said Lori Curtis, Curator of Elisabeth Po Gallery.
The purpose of the Women’s Polo Classic is to preserve the legacy of Pebble Hill Plantation and “Pansy’s” influence on the sport.
The next classic is on March 9, 2024.