Houston is home to the world’s largest polo club per playing member and the majority of those players are women over 45. I was shocked to learn that on a recent visit to the Houston Polo Club in the heart of Houston. I have visited the Polo Club for some of their late fall and early spring games and enjoyed the spectacle, the champagne and of course replacing the divots at half time, but I never considered I could actually play.
Thankfully for those who are curious, the Houston Polo Club is offering two-hour clinics Sunday, September 9 and Tuesday, September 11. For only $200 the club will set you up with a polo pony, riding gear, mallet, helmet and pro instructor. All you have to do is bring yourself or your girls, a spirit of adventure, jeans, a weather appropriate shirt and boots with a low heel. I asked Tammy Beeson, Houston Polo Club business director and avid player, why women over 40 seem to dominate the sport there.
“I think women have a special relationship with horses and the spirit of polo is to allow the horses to run the way they naturally do, in a herd. Polo is a very social sport and that attracts women as well. We tell our students at the clinic that no riding experience is necessary because our instructors are so good at making everyone feel comfortable in the saddle and teaching each step of the game slowly so people can learn without stress. We understand first and foremost, polo should be fun and women love it because when you are on that horse, nothing else enters your mind, you are present in that moment. No multi-tasking is possible, and that is very relaxing.”
Players that find a kinship with the sport after trying out the clinic are encouraged to sign up for the 8-week polo school that begins in September as well. The school participants meet Tuesday nights from 6-8 and Saturday mornings from 9-11. The cost for the course is $3,500 and that includes the horse rental, tuition, tack and use of a helmet. The best part? Once you finish the classes you get to join the Margarita League, a group of players that meet regularly to ride, play and yes, let their hair down at the tailgate party afterwards.
“You can elevate to as competitive a league as you want, we have eight leagues, or just have fun and relax with your friends in the Margarita Learning League. There is absolutely no pressure here,” says Tammy. “We find the women who participate in the league make new friends with common interests who love to get together regularly. Playing polo is a great way to make new friends and bond with friends you play with.”
I found the Houston Polo Club to be as down-to-earth, non-pretentious and comfortable as most who have never visited probably believe it is snobby. Even if you don’t want to learn to play the sport of Queens- do plan getting your girls together and attending some of their games in the spring and fall. Purchase tickets at all price points for the fall season here.
Posted by Miranda Sevcik