The Chicago Polo Association (Chicago Polo) announces today it will support the advancement of polo by organizing and promoting the sport through activities in and around the metropolitan Chicagolandarea.
Chicago Polo is comprised of six USPA recognized polo clubs, twelve polo facilities and over one-hundred thirty registered USPA playing members…and still growing. Together, the group runs twopolo schools, fifteen grass polo fields and seven indoor/outdoor polo arenas -five of which are year-round arenas.
“Chicago Polo will build on the success of existing member clubs by consolidating resources and leveraging advertising, marketing and outreach to drive participation in polo schools, tournaments,leagues and youth polo through one central organization” explains Pam Mudra, Executive Director of Chicago Polo.
Chicago Polo member facilities are located in the north, west and south suburbs of Chicago making it convenient and accessible for anyone to watch, play and learn the sport of polo.
“We are currently running polo schools in Bolingbrook and Barrington Hills,” adds Mudra. “No experience is necessary and beginners or experienced riders are also welcome.” Club members of ChicagoPolo include Arranmore Farm + Polo Club, Barrington Hills Polo Club, Blackberry Polo Club, Chicago International Polo Club, Due West Polo, Morgan Creek Polo and Oak Brook Polo Club.
“Through the support of the USPA Polo Development LLC, we have been able to bring these clubs and facilities together with a single calendar of schools, practices and tournaments to offer alllevels of polo to Chicagoans and suburbanites,” adds Bob McMurtry, Central Circuit Governor of the USPA. “We are very excited to have Pam Mudra at the helm as our Executive Director. She has years of experience developing and growing polo in communitiessuch as Houston, Texas.”
Chicago’s polo history dates back to 1879, when the first recorded match was played in Lincoln Park in Downtown Chicago. Over the next 140 years, the sport of kings prospered in and around Chicagolandwith as many as fifty polo clubs hosting competitive professional and amateur polo. Various well-known Chicago families were avid polo players and helped bring attention to the sport, including the Wrigleys, McCormicks, Armours and Butlers.
Chicago was also home to a number of notable and historic polo events, including the East vs. West match that drew over 40,000 spectators to the Onwenstsia Club in 1933, 24 U.S. Open Polo Championshipsfrom 1954 to 1979 at the Oak Brook Polo Club and first all-women’s polo club in the United States, the Naperville Women’s Polo Club in the 1980’s.