UK polo team wants more to saddle up

By Bryan Kennedy

The days of polo only being played by high-rollers in country clubs around America are changing.

Tannis Marley and the rest of her team can be some of the ones to thank for that.

After taking off strong last year, the UK polo team is back for another year and is looking to add to their numbers.

“Last year we were one of the fastest growing club sports, this year we are looking for even more members,” said Marley, an agricultural economics sophomore and the team’s captain.

Experience is not required to join the team.

“Arena polo is basically hockey on horseback,” Marley said. “You don’t need much experience to participate.”

The team plays its matches at both Bryan Station Farm and the Kentucky Horse Park.

Being in a state like Kentucky, home of the Kentucky Derby, and a city like Lexington, the self-proclaimed horse capital of the world, polo seems like it would be more popular, but the sport has struggled around the region.

“Polo is very strong on the east coast,” Marley said. “In a state like Kentucky you would think it would be bigger, but it’s not.”

The team will be entering its second year, and is a non-profit club. The team gets everything donated from the Lexington Polo Club, and competes in its own designated league and region.

The polo team travels around the country to play different teams. This year the team will compete in the Mid-State Region, playing schools such as Louisville, Purdue and Michigan.

Because polo struggles in Kentucky, the team has to travel where the sport is more prominent on college campuses.

“Polo in general is growing a lot; there are places all over to travel to and compete,” Marley said. “This year we are going to play our regional tournament in Texas, and we will return back home to Kentucky for nationals.”

The UK polo team doesn’t start matches until October, so participants will have time to join. The club has a men’s and women’s team.

“We are still open for more people to join, both men and women are encouraged to come out,” said Faith Hubbard, sophomore and UK polo player.

Anyone interested in joining the polo teams can contact Marley by e-mail at [email protected].