The great legacy of polo continues in Aiken. There are about 40 professional polo fields speckled around Aiken county, making the Aiken polo experience exceptional. Thanks to the many professional polo players that claim Aiken as their home base, bringing along many “green” horses, polo is played year round. Spring and Fall polo boast some of the best tournaments and facilities on the East coast.
Billy Raab is the polo manager for both Wagener Polo Club and Aiken Polo Club. Billy and Haley Bryan, (manager of New Bridge Polo) coordinate polo among all 3 clubs, cultivating a stronger community within the sport and still retain the heritage of each club.
Although some may perceive 12-Goal polo as mediocre; spectators (the majority being educated equestrians in Aiken), are thrilled to have the opportunity to watch some of the best veteran players in the industry bring along their horses in 4-6-8 and 12 Goal tournaments.
Visiting teams have a great opportunity to play at many levels with a variety of professionals. With a little cooperation and re-organization, players (both pros and amateurs) have the ability to play as many tournaments as possible, giving spectators’ ample opportunities to enjoy this sport. Simply call the hotline, (important to get the last minute schedule changes due to weather and other conflicts), drive to the tournament of your choice, park on the sidelines, and cheer on your favorite team or player. If you are looking for an announced match to better understand the game, every Sunday during season, Whitney Field hosts a match at 3:00pm with many options for the spectators, including tailgating spots, pavilion seating with catered food and bar. (www.aikenpolo.org for more information) New Bridge Polo and Country Club Club hosts Sunday afternoon polo at field #1, with tailgating and club house viewing. (www.newbridgepolo.com)
According to uspolo.org, there are 9 registered polo clubs in Aiken County, the most recent being Firestar Polo Club that hosts arena polo.
Aiken Polo Hotline: (803) 643-3611
Newbridge Polo Club: (803) 644-7706
Aiken’s polo community is a tight international group that is extremely supportive of each other and family oriented. This has created a perfect platform for some of the top young riders in the nation, with many active junior and youth polo programs. There are many polo playing families in Aiken. USPA’s NYTS (National Youth Tournament Series) started in 2013, offering two levels of competition. Aiken’s NYTS tournament includes a 3rd level for the youngest players.
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