The Polo Training Foundation Intercollegiate/Interscholastic Players of the Year awards were presented Friday during the USPA Fall Board Of Governors and Annual Meeting at the Hyatt Regency.
The honorees included:
Shariah Harris, Cowtown/Work To Ride Polo Club, Interscholastic Player of the Year.
Tom Huber, Westshore Polo Club, Russell A. Sheldon, Jr. Interscholastic Player of the Year.
Anna Winslow, Cornell Polo Club, Daniel J. Wallace, Jr. Intercollegiate Player of the Year.
Daniel “Cacho” Galindo, Texas A&M Polo Club, Intercollegiate Player of the Year.
The winners were selected through their participation in the I/I programs of the USPA.
The criteria was based on Playing Ability (horsemanship, mallet skill, team work and comprehension of the game); Contribution to the Sport (leadership, commitment, assistance to new players); and Sportsmanship (conduct in and out of the playing arena; knowledge of the rules and their enforcement; and positive attitude).
Harris, a freshman at Cornell University, learned to play polo at age 12 and was captain of her Interscholastic team during her high school career. She has worked as a counselor teaching young children about the care of horses and riding. She is the first African-American female to be honored.
Huber, a freshman at University of Kentucky, has competed for the West Shore Polo Club for his entire interscholastic career. In 2015 he played a key role in an undefeated season and national championship. The third-generation polo player is a Team USPA member.
“The I/I program has been much more to me than just a sport,” Huber said. “I have met my closest friends and learned what it truly means to be a part of a team.”
Winslow, a member of Team USPA, competed in the national finals all four years of her college career at Cornell, winning the title in 2015. While attending Garrison Forest School she started playing polo at age 12. She won the girls’ Interscholastic title in 2011.
“If it wasn’t for the I/I program I wouldn’t have gotten a chance to do everything in polo I have done so far, it’s been an incredible journey,” Winslow said.
Galindo played for Texas A&M for three seasons where he competed in regionals and nationals. He started playing polo the same time he learned how to walk on his family’s ranch in Thermal, Calif. In sixth grade he joined the Eldorado Interscholastic team and was the 2012 Interscholastic Player of the Year.
“I am blessed and honored to receive this award and want to thank the Polo Training Foundation especially after learning all the past winners of this award,” Galindo said.
The Polo Training Foundation is attracting record number of juniors and events through the tireless efforts of Executive Director Danny Scheraga and Assistant Executive Director Jennifer McLeavy along with Chairman Richard Riemenschneider; President Tony Coppola; Vice President Gillian Johnston and Secretary Melissa Ganzi.
The Polo Training Foundation has been instrumental in the growth of junior and youth polo players by encouraging the sport’s development with training programs, lessons and tournaments for boys and girls.
It was created in 1967 to teach the game of polo to youth by promoting youth clinics, interscholastic and intercollegiate competition, good sportsmanship and good will through friendly competition.
Ganzi, USPA Florida Circuit Governor, is a longtime supporter of grass roots polo and PTF. She has played a key role in developing young and collegiate players and has hosted several PTF tournaments at Grand Champions.
The USPA meetings are being held in conjunction with the USPA East Coast Open which winds up this weekend at Greenwich Polo Club.
GRAND CHAMPIONS POLO CLUB
WHERE: 13444 Southfields Road, on the corner of South Shore Boulevard and Lake Worth Road, Wellington, 33414.
2016 FALL SCHEDULE: Sept. 27-Oct. 2, Tackeria Invitational; Oct. 4-9, US Trust Cup; Oct. 11-16, USPA Fall Classic; Oct. 11-29, USPA North American Cup; Oct. 18-23, USPA Eastern Challenge; Oct. 25-30, Pedro Morrison Memorial; Nov. 1-6, USPA Fall Plates; Nov. 8-13, Polo Gear Challenge; Nov. 12-20, USPA National 20-Goal; Nov. 26, Carlos Gracida Memorial Legends of Polo and International Cup.
INFORMATION: For spectators, there are great field side views for tournament action and also the Grand Champions Polo Club Boutique. The club is home base for pro teams Audi and Flexjet. Everyone is welcome to watch every level of polo in a relaxed atmosphere that includes a complimentary Argentine asado by Cilantro’s during the featured games of the winter, spring and fall tournament seasons and other special events. Admission is free except for some special events.