Cowboy boots, Stetsons and . . . polo ponies? Deep in the heart of Texas, Houston Polo Club is a shining beacon of polo in the Lone Star State. With five-star facilities that attract some of polo’s rising stars to play in their spring and fall seasons, Houston Polo Club is the United States’ largest member club. Here’s what the players have to say.
For me, this is home. This is where our farm is, so I get to be here and not have to travel and pack up the trailer and go anywhere. In the spring and fall, in my personal opinion, this is the best-caliber polo. We have really good fields that promote fast, running polo, and the quality of horses is bar none.
Everybody’s on their best horses. I’m playing the 12-goal now on my 20-goal string. Even playing the 8-goal and 12-goal, you can get away with younger stuff, but it’s fast, hard-nosed polo, and you have to be mounted to have a chance to be competitive. Tommy Biddle’s here, Matt Coppola, Steve Krueger, who’s playing the 20-goal this spring, and they’re all on top-quality horses. ERG is always a competitive organization. You have to be mounted well on good flesh to do well.
Not only is there great polo on great horses on great fields, but there are also fantastic green horse operations and green horse training here, so you can play a 12-goal practice in the morning and go balls to the wall, and that afternoon there can be a green horse practice where you can play some of your young ones. There are all aspects from green-horse polo to medium-goal and the professional levels.
There’s also a lot of young talent here, and it’s fun to see them play in the interscholastics, and then the 4-goal and the 8-goal, and now some of them are filling in for sponsors in the 12-goal. It’s fun to see that, and it’s only going to get stronger as kids get older.
I love the fall season because there are a lot of county fairs and rodeos and concerts that everyone loves to go to. I went to Texas A&M, so I love football season in the fall. The coast is only an hour-and-a-half away, so some of the guys like to go deep sea fishing. Austin’s an hour-and-a-half away depending on where you are. San Antonio’s two-and-a half-hours away. There are places where you can go away for a night. The other thing that’s fun in the springtime is you can go to New Braunfels and float the river. Houston’s a very big food city. There are tons of great restaurants. There are a lot of different things for different people.
Scott Wood’s ERG Polo Complex is one of the best facilities I’ve ever been at. The barn and the ranch are amazing. I just want to be there all the time enjoying the beautiful facilities that we have. The fields are amazing, and the polo is very competitive. The fields were under water at the beginning of the season and then all of a sudden, the water was gone. You would think polo would be cancelled, but a week after the flooding we were back playing.
The fields are impeccable. They’re some of the best fields in the United States. Also, the people that are there are unbelievable. For me, it’s the best group of people in polo, and that’s why I love it.
In all levels of polo, the horseflesh that’s there is outstanding. Some of the best sponsors in polo are there, so when the best sponsors are there they hire players with the best horses. I’ve been able to work on a lot of younger horses to get ready to bring up for the upcoming Florida season.
Photos by Kaylee Wroe