January 18, 2012 (Lexington, KY) – The United States Pony Clubs has announced that the sport of Polo will be officially recognized as a Pony Club discipline during the 2012 USPC Annual Meeting and Equine Symposium next week in New Orleans. The U.S. Polo Association (USPA), polo’s national governing body, has been a resource activity for Pony Club since 1980. Polo has built a strong foundation to support the new collaboration and its long-term objective to develop horsemanship interest in youth.
The joint venture between USPA and Pony Club has been years in the making and the Lexington-based entities will work closely together in a cross-promotional effort to attract young riders to both organizations. Pony Club and The USPA are excited about this unique collaboration and the opportunities it presents for young equine enthusiasts to play polo and take advantage of everything America’s first team sport has to offer.
“We have a solid infrastructure in place and feel polo can offer an overall great experience for the U.S. Pony Club and its members to help develop their horsemanship skills,” said USPA Executive Director Peter Rizzo. “We are grateful to the U.S. Pony Club for helping us make polo more accessible to young riders everywhere as our sport grows and continues to expand in popularity.”
“We are thrilled to officially include polo as one of Pony Club’s equestrian disciplines,” said Pony Club CEO Kevin Price. “As with all riding competitions and activities supported though Pony Club, the sport of polo provides members with an opportunity to demonstrate their horsemanship and sportsmanship in a structured competitive environment.”
In celebration of this special partnership, the USPA plans to offer a free introductory membership to Pony Club members and is currently working with its member clubs and other polo entities to offer educational clinics this year for local Pony Clubs located around the country including the Lexington area. Pony Club has a great track record of success in teaching riding, safety, and horsemanship skills – all important building blocks for learning to play polo.
About U. S. Polo Association – The U.S. Polo Association was organized and exists for the purposes of promoting the game of polo, coordinating the activities of its Member Clubs and Registered Players, arranging and supervising polo tournaments, competitions, and games, and providing rules, handicaps, and conditions for those tournaments, competitions, and games including the safety and welfare of participants and mounts. For more information, please visit, www.uspolo.org.
About Pony Club – The United States Pony Clubs, Inc. (USPC) was founded in 1954 as a nonprofit national youth organization to teach riding and horsemanship through a formal educational program. Many of the nation’s top equestrians, including many of our Olympic team members and many business professionals, government leaders and career military officers, have roots in Pony Club. Youth members range in age from as young as 4 through age 25, and include adult members of the Horsemasters Program. There are approximately 10,000 members in 600 clubs and riding centers in 43 regions throughout the country www.ponyclub.org.