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Friday, 22 July 2016 10:09

It’s Always Sunny at Polo!

By | Sports
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Polo is one of the few sports where men and women play on the same field, and in fact, Saratoga Springs has a proud legacy of featuring some of the best players in the world, like Sunny Hale, the highest rated women’s player in history. Sunny returns for her triumphant fourth year to Whitney Field, where she has wowed the crowds in the past, playing in an all women’s tournament– but this year, in a twist, she will be leading an all-star women’s team against an equally impressive all men’s team that Cuko Escapite has put together for the Veuve Clicquot Challenge Tournament on Sunday, July 24. For fans of Saratoga Polo, the Veuve Clicquot Challenge matches have become the must-see matches of the whole summer, and this year the stakes are even greater, but Sunny has always shown her prowess to lead the way in what typically was just a man’s sport. In 2000, she was on the winning team in the US Open Polo Championships, becoming the first woman to do so. At the time of the 2000 championship, she outranked 96 percent of players in the world, including men. While the progress of equality on the polo field for men and women has moved forward exponentially, one only need go back one generation to witness circumstances where Sunny’s mother, Sue Sally Hale, was only allowed to compete as a polo player in the 1950s and ‘60s disguised as a man. Sunny Hale is now an acclaimed author, debuting the book “Let’s Talk Polo” to her already storied career. Besides being the founder of the American Polo Horse Association, she is currently the highest rated woman polo player in America at 3 Goals, the first woman in history to win the US Open Polo Championship (the most prestigious and highest level polo tournament played in the United States), attained the highest rating ever given to a woman (in the history of the sport) of 5 Goals, after winning the US Open Polo Championship with Outback Steakhouse Polo Team in 2000. If you want some perspective, these ratings are the equivalent of a woman playing as a professional on the winning team in the NFL, the World Series or NBA Championships. Jim Rossi, Managing Partner of Saratoga Polo, looks at this opportunity with excitement and satisfaction. “Saratoga Polo was one of the first polo clubs to spotlight women in major tournaments. With the help of sponsors like Veuve Clicquot, we are proud to bring this fastest growing part of the sport to the Saratoga Springs destination.” As a salute to the tradition started during the Napoleonic Wars by Madame Clicquot, guests at the Clubhouse will get a chance to sabre a bottle of champagne with a sword guided by our sabrage experts. The Veuve Clicquot Challenge public matches will be on Sunday, July 24th at Saratoga Polo Association’s Whitney Field at 5:30 p.m., with the gates opening at 4 p.m. To purchase tickets, or for more information, visit Saratogapolo.com, or call 518-584-8108.
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