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A VIBRANT VISION FOR NEW BRIDGE POLO & COUNTRY CLUB – AN ARTICLE BY CLICKPOLOUSA

Jun 24, 2022 7:08 PM

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Andrew Scott competing for Field One in the 2022 Regional President's Cup at New Bridge Polo & Country Club in Aiken, South Carolina. ©Katie Roth
Andrew Scott competing for Field One in the 2022 Regional President's Cup at New Bridge Polo & Country Club in Aiken, South Carolina. ©Katie Roth

Russ McCall purchased land in Aiken, South Carolina, over twenty years ago not intending to build a polo club and a community — he bought it as a place to turn out his polo ponies. The entire track was wooded, mostly with pine trees. Russ and his teammate and partner, Matias Magrini, used a grant from the South Carolina Land Bank to timber some of the trees and build Fields 1, 2 and 3. “I wanted these fields to be everything I had ever dreamed of; consistent footing across every inch, wide open spaces on the sides and end zones, the best turf to play on, and the most beautiful fields anyone had seen,” said Russ.

When Russ and Matias traveled to Argentina, Russ noticed the differences between American clubs and those in Argentina. The polo clubs are gated for security and residents live fieldside, experiencing the polo lifestyle daily, including post-match asados. It was different from anything he had seen in the United States. This was when the concept for New Bridge Polo & Country Club was born. He wanted to emulate the camaraderie, the organic, holistic environment, the lifestyle, love of sport and the privacy and security he felt while he was there.

Russ McCall had a vision to emulate the camaraderie, the holistic environment, the lifestyle, love of sport and the privacy similar to polo communities in Argentina. ©Katie Roth
Russ McCall had a vision to emulate the camaraderie, the holistic environment, the lifestyle, love of sport and the privacy similar to polo communities in Argentina. ©Katie Roth

Like the clubs in Argentina, New Bridge is also protected, for the privacy and security of its residents. Four-board fencing along New Bridge Road along with entrance gates provides security and controlled access to the development. Shaw’s Creek borders the back of the property, and Joyce Branch and Clearwater Branch provide natural borders along the other two sides.

Today, the lifestyle that Russ experienced in Argentina exists at New Bridge, just minutes from vibrant downtown Aiken, a renowned equestrian destination. The residents that have chosen to live in this community enjoy the sport of polo, the fellowship of other equestrians, the beauty of the land, wide open spaces and spectacular sunsets.

New Bridge Polo & Country Club has experienced steady growth over the past 20 years. The polo club has a strong reputation for being one of the best in the Southeast. The evolution has been a gradual maturation. Much like fine wine, New Bridge continues to get better and better with age.

The newly-renovated interior is the perfect place for cocktails and dinner with friends and is also available as a special event venue for private parties and weddings. ©Shelly Marshall Schmidt
The newly-renovated interior is the perfect place for cocktails and dinner with friends and is also available as a special event venue for private parties and weddings. ©Shelly Marshall Schmidt

Polo at New Bridge

New Bridge Polo hosts medium-goal tournaments on five championship polo fields. The regulation sized polo arena is the site of interscholastic and intercollegiate action and home to Aiken Youth Polo and the University of South Carolina Aiken men’s and women’s teams.

New Bridge hosts spring and fall tournament polo seasons. Spring season just finished with three 8-goal tournaments, the Regional President’s Cup (USPA national tournament), The Pete Bostwick Memorial and the Tommy Hitchcock Memorial. The club also held an 18-goal all-pro game fundraiser for Ruben and Anna Coscia, called “Polo for Bear,” to help with their son Bear’s medical expenses after he suffered a ruptured appendix, which led to further medical complications.

Fall season begins in September with plenty of competitive 8, 12 and 14-goal polo, including the Bronze Trophy®, the Association Cup, the National Copper Cup®, the National Arena Chairman’s Cup, the National President’s Cup and the Northrup Knox Cup®.

More about the club

Members enjoy five state-of-the-art, championship polo fields. Stick-and-ball fields, practice areas and an exercise track make for the perfect place to prepare for tournament action.

The stable is a 24-stall, full care boarding facility with experienced staff, a rider’s lounge, a temperature-controlled tack room with individual storage and laundry, spacious stalls, individual turnout, daily stall care, feeding, blanketing and night check for the horses.

Members can school in the regulation jump arena and dressage arena with GGT all-weather footing.

The centerpiece of New Bridge is the rustic, colonial-style clubhouse. Built from century-old wood that was shipped from Argentina and assembled onsite, the clubhouse brings the history and atmosphere of the Argentine way of life to South Carolina. The newly-renovated interior is the perfect place for cocktails and dinner with friends. It is also available as a special event venue for private parties and weddings.

The centerpiece of New Bridge is the rustic, colonial-style clubhouse built from century-old wood that was shipped from Argentina and assembled onsite to bring the history and atmosphere of the Argentine way to life in South Carolina. ©Shelly Marshall Schmidt
The centerpiece of New Bridge is the rustic, colonial-style clubhouse built from century-old wood that was shipped from Argentina and assembled onsite to bring the history and atmosphere of the Argentine way of life to South Carolina. ©Shelly Marshall Schmidt

Future Goals

New Bridge will continue to offer quality polo at a competitive level, while encouraging new players to take up the sport. There are very few places in North America where you can totally immerse yourself in polo and the polo lifestyle by living and playing at the same club. New Bridge is one of those special, unique clubs where you can live, play and enjoy the polo lifestyle in a family friendly, safe environment.

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