Pebble Hill to host Annual Polo Classic March 9th

THOMASVILLE- Pebble Hill Plantation is bringing the “Sport of Kings” to the region, with the Annual Pebble Hill Polo Classic, honoring the memory of Mrs. Elisabeth “Pansy” Ireland Poe and her contributions as a trailblazer for women in the sport. The event is Saturday, March 9, 2024.

The late Elisabeth “Pansy” Ireland Poe, last mistress of Pebble Hill Plantation, was the first woman in the United States to earn a handicap rating with the United States Polo Association (USPA), more than 50 years before women were allowed membership in that organization.

The young Elisabeth Ireland (later Poe), registered with the USPA using only her first initial and last name. She played on men’s teams and was a powerful player, earning a handicap rating of “1,” before it was discovered that she was a woman. She was then stripped of her USPA membership and her rating. Women were not allowed membership in the USPA until 1972. Poe died in 1978. She has since been nominated for membership in the Polo Hall of Fame.

In deference to Poe, all of the players in the Pebble Hill Polo Classic will be women from throughout the southeastern United States.

“We believe this is the perfect way to honor Mrs. Poe’s contributions to the sport of polo and the women who came after her,” said Pebble Hill Plantation’s Museum Curator, Lori Curtis. “She was a trailblazer for the sport for other women and she deserves to be recognized for her contributions to the sport.”

In addition to exciting polo action, the Pebble Hill Polo Classic will feature live music from Blue Burden, pony rides, a special children’s area with activities and art projects, food trucks, fun halftime games, silent auction, equestrian art exhibition, and the time-honored tradition of stomping of the divots. The Live Oak Hounds will lead off the festivities with a parading of their beautiful pack of foxhounds.

“This is truly a family event, with something for everyone,” said Lori Everett, Pebble Hill Plantation’s Development Director. “Proceeds will all benefit the Pebble Hill Preservation Fund, which helps maintain our 3,000 acres of wildlife habitat and more than 60 historic structures. We appreciate the support of our community and our sponsors.”

There are VIP passes available for the event and these passes include access to a sponsor-only area with reserved seating and complimentary food and beverage. General admission tickets are also available. There is limited bleacher seating for general admission attendees, but folding chairs and picnic blankets are welcome. There is an extra fee for bringing your own cooler (glass containers are prohibited).

Gates open at 10 a.m. and activities begin at 11 a.m. The event will end at 4 p.m. Tickets are available by visiting The Pebble Hill Polo Classic is presented by the Parker Poe Charitable Trust. More information may be obtained by calling (229) 226-2344.

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