Story by Stacey Kovalsky | Photos ©Global Polo Entertainment
U.S. Polo Assn., the official brand of the United States Polo Association and primary sponsor of the Gauntlet of Polo tournament series, is making generous donations to multiple polo charities as part of the exciting tournament series currently underway at the International Polo Club Palm Beach in Wellington.
Recipients will be selected by the first and second place teams of each of the Gauntlet’s tournament finals. The Gauntlet of Polo is one of the pinnacle tournament series globally in high-goal polo competition. This highly competitive event features the most skilled athletes and finest horses in the world.
“The sport of polo is at the heart and soul of our brand, so we wanted to ensure that these worthy, polo-based charities were a component of this high-profile polo event,” said J. Michael Prince, president and CEO of USPA Global Licensing, which manages the global U.S. Polo Assn. brand. “As a cause-based brand that supports philanthropic events around the world, U.S. Polo Assn. is extremely honored to partner with these amazing teams and charities during these challenging economic times.”
Because of the important causes these charities represent, U.S. Polo Assn. will also make donations to any charity not represented by a team. In total, more than $50,000 will be donated. The USPA is grateful to all the teams participating in the Gauntlet and to U.S. Polo Assn. for not only being the top sponsor of the series, but also for generously donating to these notable polo charities.
These donations will continue to bring awareness and support to the polo community.
The participating charities include: Homes for Horses, Polo for Life, the Museum of Polo and Hall of Fame, Polo Pony Rescue, the Polo Players Support Group, the Polo Training Foundation, Replay Polo, the Retired Racehorse Project and Work to Ride.
Homes for Horses is a national coalition dedicated to increasing collaboration, professionalism and growth in the equine rescue and protection community. Members are committed to ending horse slaughter and all other forms of equine abuse. The coalition is an initiative of the Animal Welfare Institute and currently includes more than 520 members representing horse rescue and sanctuaries throughout the U.S. and beyond.
Polo for Life is dedicated to helping families facing the challenge of surviving childhood cancers. The nonprofit organization focuses on direct impact initiatives by partnering with local organizations to ensure the needs of patients and their families are met and their financial hardships resulting from a cancer diagnosis are minimized. Polo for Life is the driving force behind Polo for a Purpose, which has raised nearly $2 million for the benefit of local organizations.
The Museum of Polo and Hall of Fame is a not-for-profit educational organization dedicated to fostering an appreciation of the sport, its history, development and traditions by acquiring, preserving, exhibiting and interpreting collections, as well as honoring those who have made outstanding contributions to the sport. The museum is a rich repository of documents and physical treasures, which include works of art, historic trophies, artifacts, books, statistics, periodicals, films, videos, recordings and memorabilia.
Polo Pony Rescue rescues equines, primarily former polo ponies that have been neglected, abused, seized by law enforcement or are at risk of slaughter; provides any needed veterinary care, rehabilitation or retraining; and finds them new, loving homes. They also offer permanent retirement to horses who have physical or mental conditions rendering them no longer able to be ridden.
The Polo Players Support Group provides financial assistance to seriously injured or ill players and grooms. PPSG created the annual 40-Goal Polo Challenge in partnership with U.S. Polo Assn. to raise funds to help members of the polo community in financial crisis caused by physical injury or illness.
The Polo Training Foundation is dedicated to cultivating the future of polo while making it accessible and fun for everyone. PTF supports polo training at all levels, including beginner clinics, intercollegiate/interscholastic tournaments and clinics, and international player exchanges. PTF also seeks to encourage the highest standards of sportsmanship and promotes international good will through polo competition.
Replay Polo’s mission statement is “Save Polo Ponies. Transform People.” The organization devotes itself to repurposing retired polo ponies that are far from the end of their usefulness, having the experience and character to be “repurposed” for continued usefulness in important new capacities.
The Retired Racehorse Project exists to facilitate placement of thoroughbred ex-racehorses in second careers by increasing demand for them in equestrian sports and serving the farms, trainers and organizations that transition them. Since its 2010 founding, RRP has put a spotlight on these horses with social media efforts and events, and it has inspired thousands to choose an “off-the-track” thoroughbred.
Work to Ride is a nonprofit, community-based prevention program that aids disadvantaged urban youth through constructive activities centered on horsemanship, equine sports and education. The program is housed at Chamounix Stables located in Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park. Work to Ride programs and activities are designed to explore new ways of engaging youth in significant educational, social and cultural experiences that are otherwise unavailable.
To learn more about this initiative, visit www.uspoloassnglobal.com.