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Road Trip to St. Louis Pays Off for Memphis Polo


By Tommy Brannon

The August heat is brutal for many outdoor horse sports in the mid-south, including fast paced polo. Thus, the Memphis Polo Club does not schedule any polo matches on its home turf in Rossville, Tenn. during August. This does not mean, however, that the team has to give up its sport for a whole month.  Alfredo Guerreño, Manger of the Memphis team, loaded up 28 horses with the help of the team members and staff and hauled north to St. Louis, Missouri for a two-day Round Robin match on August 17-18, 2019.

A Round Robin polo match is played by three teams. There are a total of nine chukkers in which each team plays a total of six chukkers, but not necessarily in order. At the beginning of the match, two teams play three chukkers, while one team sits “down.” The losing team of the first three chukkers plays three chukkers with the first round’s “down” team. The winner of that round plays three chukkers with the winner of the first round.

Handicaps are involved in the scoring, so those teams with high performance players do not have an advantage. The Memphis team was considered the underdog going into the match, so they were given a one-goal handicap advantage.

But underdogs they were not! Memphis beat both of the St. Louis teams in the Saturday and Sunday tournaments, taking home the USPCA Amateur Cup.  

Saturday’s match took place at the historical Orthwein polo field, home of the late Stephen Orthwein, who was one of the best polo players in the United States.  Sunday’s tournament was played at the home and polo field of Justin Baisch, who is with the Southern Springs Polo Club in St. Louis.

The players on the Memphis team were Casimir Van Der Byl #1, Jocelyn Atkinson #2, Midge Ellison #3, and Alfredo Guerreño #4.  Alfredo, who is Captain of the Memphis team, heaped praises on the Memphis players for their riding and playing skills, as well as their positive attitude and willingness to pitch in and help with any needed task.

Memphis Polo Club will be playing polo throughout September and October at their polo grounds on Stinson Road in Rossville, Tennessee. Matches are open to the public. Two important scheduled matches are The Dr. Atkinson Memorial Tournament on September 28-29 and the Junior League of Memphis Benefit Tournament on October 6-7. Contact the club manager Alfredo Guerreño at 901-651-4344 for each week’s polo match dates. And plan a trip to the polo grounds this fall!

Find more information about Memphis Polo Club at www.memphispoloclub.comand on facebook.

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