Thursday, April 2, 2009

Into the Arena: Arena Polo Tournaments

Arena polo at the Polo America Arena in the Steeplechase Equestrian Community got its official inauguration on Sunday, March 22, with an exhibition match. The arena, which will be the site of the Ford Trucks U.S. Open Arena Polo Championships at the end of April, features several terraced spectator areas, including a main patio with a fireplace at one end. When the tournament comes to town, those who come to watch the important matches will be able to enjoy a catered dinner while taking in all the action.

The Ford Trucks U.S. Open Arena Polo Championships is a 16-goal tournament that is being put on by Randy Russell, president of Polo America. To date, there are several confirmed teams, including one that will showcase the talents of the ultra-talented Snow brothers, Adam and Nick. Adam, as most polo enthusiasts know, is an Aiken resident and one of the top players in America. Rated 8 goals on the grass (outdoors) and 9 goals in the arena (indoors), he is sure to be one of the stars of the show. Nick, who is a Senior at Harvard this year and captain of the polo club there, is rated 4 goals both indoors and out. There are rumors that the New Bridge Polo Club might field a team featuring 9-goaler Matias Magrini. Other top players who will be on the roster include Tommy Biddle at 8 goals. It may just end up being a clash of the Titans, and there aren’t just bragging rights at stake. The winning team will receive various prizes including first class tickets on American Airlines that will take them to a four-night, five-day polo vacation in Costa Careyes, Mexico.

A team from Hawaii is also on the way to Aiken, eager to take the top arena prize. This team isn’t bringing any horses, and is still looking for a few to fill out their chukker lists. They are offering anyone who is willing to supply them with mounts a week’s accommodations in Hawaii, as well as horses to ride and polo matches to play.

Aiken players were enthusiastic enough about the prospect of an arena tournament that Randy decided to add a low goal contest to the schedule. The Ford Trucks Classic will be played at the 3 goal level on the “off” days of the Open. Players in the low goal are guaranteed three games and will get tickets to the Open finals. Teams and individuals who are interested in playing in the Ford Truck Classic should contact Randy Russell at or call him at 760.238.7168.

Those who would like to watch the matches can select from various types of ticket packages. Tickets will be available at Aiken Saddlery, Boots, Bridles & Britches and any Aiken-Augusta area Ford truck dealership. A significant portion of the proceeds from ticket sales will go to the military families at Fort Gordon. For more information:

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