Below is our recent interview with Robin Sanchez, the Chairman at US Arena Polo:
Q: Could you provide our readers with a brief introduction to your company?
A: US Arena Polo is a promotional arm for arena polo (on horseback). We cover regional arena leagues – such as Texas Arena League and Pacific Coast Arena League, United States Polo Association (USPA) arena tournaments, arena polo clubs, arena polo schools, college and high school polo (which is exclusively played in arena) and international arena polo competition – such as the upcoming Arena Polo World Cup in Argentina the first week of May. You can follow arena polo events and news on Arena Polo Facebook page and Instagram @usarenapolo.
Q: Any highlights on your recent announcement?
A: Pacific Coast Arena League (PCAL) will be played in San Diego and Orange Counties in California May-June. This will be the 12th season for PCAL with competition May 5-7 at Lakeside Polo Club (Lakeside, California), May 19-21 at Orange County (OC) Polo Club (Silverado, California)
June 23-25 at Poway Polo Club (Poway, California).
For 2023 PCAL has partnered with both U.S. Polo Assn. apparel brand and Patton Legacy Sports. PCAL will be playing United States Polo Association (USPA) General Patton Cups during the League. To qualify, each team must have a player that has either personal service in the armed forces or a family member who has served.
U.S. Polo Assn. is the official brand of the United States Polo Association (USPA), the nonprofit governing body for the sport of polo in the United States. With worldwide distribution through over 1,030 mono-branded stores, boutiques, department stores and e-commerce, U.S. Polo Assn. offers apparel for the whole family as well as accessories, footwear, travel and home goods in more than 160 countries. U.S. Polo Assn. is an authentic, sport-inspired brand which is one of the most meaningful differentiators in the retail and fashion marketplace.
Patton Legacy Sports and Patton Polo honors General George S. Patton, Jr.’s lifelong athleticism, self-discipline, and historical leadership by preserving his legacy as Olympian and polo player using charitable and educational means to support athletes, competitions and organizations who peacefully interact across borders and political platforms, fostering camaraderie, mutual respect and for the men and women who serve, remembrance and appreciation, nurturing better understanding of their sacrifice.
Q: What can we expect from your company in next 6 months? What are your plans?
A: In addition to the regional arena leagues, US Arena Polo will be starting up a National Arena Polo League. Test matches will be played in 2023 in Nashville, TN, Lexington, KY, San Diego County, CA and Dallas, TX. This League will be expanding to cities around the US similar to other sports leagues. Arena polo is very spectator friendly. Polo arena sizes vary but 300 ft x 150 ft is typical. An arena polo game is 4 periods or chukkers and played three vs three with horses changes each chukkers. The ball is similar to a mini soccer ball and the object is to get the ball into the goal mouth while keeping the opponent from scoring. Arena polo is sometimes referred to as “hockey on horseback” with players working angles off the walls and using their mounts to move an opponent off the ball. Reaction times are quick and horses are an integral part of the team with tournament awards going to not only the MVP but also to the Best Playing Pony. Horses that excel in arena polo are highly trained, agile, bold and mentally tough.US Arena Polo also supports and promotes USPA National arena tournaments. 2023 National arena tournaments and their host locations are:
- National Arena Challenge at OC Polo Club, Silverado, CA – April 21-23
- Allied Forces Cup at Texas Military Polo Club, Poteet, TX – June 1-4
- National Arena Bronze Cup at Brandywine Polo Club, Toughkenamon, PA – August 17-20
- United States Arena Handicap at Twilight Polo Club, The Plains, VA – August 21-27
- National Arena Chairman’s Cup at Commonwealth Polo Club, Paris, KY – September 1-3
- USPA Women’s Arena Open at OC Polo Club, Silverado, CA – September 28 – October 1
- National Commander in Chief Cup at Army Polo Club, The Plains, VA – October 6-8
- National Sherman Memorial at Roseland Polo Club, Crozet, VA – October 13-15
- National Arena Amateur Cup at Legends Polo Club, Kaufman, TX – November 2-5
- U.S. Open Arena Polo Championship at California Polo Club, Los Angeles, CA – December 1-10
Q: What is the best thing about your company that people might not know about?
A: Most people have seen grass polo portrayed in movies, TV and advertising. It is thought of as an out-of-reach sport. Arena polo is a different both in game flow and accessibility. A good comparison is tennis and racquetball – both involve a ball and a racquet but the game and the flow are very different. Arena polo is very accessible both as a spectator and as an amateur or new player. Most arena clubs have polo schools that welcome first-time riders. High school and collegiate polo competition in the United States is played in the arena with over 33 colleges and universities having polo teams. Arena polo is unique by allowing men and women and all ages able to compete in the same tournaments (with a few exceptions of seniors, women’s, youth and collegiate specific tournaments). There are pros and amateurs on the same teams as well. Only skill levels separate flights within arena polo events. With over 160 polo arenas in the United States, there is probably an arena polo club near you.