Sep 19, 2023 4:27 PM
On Saturday, September 9, the Harriman Cup returned from a three-year hiatus to host its 36th annual charity polo match at MB Polo Club in New York. Known as the oldest alumni polo match in the country, the annual charity event features alumni from Yale University and the University of Virginia (UVA), with proceeds supporting the undergraduate polo programs at both colleges. After an eventful matchup between the two teams, Yale took home the win with a score of 7-3.
The Harriman Cup was founded in 1984 by Tom Shuman, Zene Colt, Dick Cawley, Mike McGhee, Mike Schram, Molly Baldrige, Bill Ylvisaker, Lou Lopez, Steve Orthwein, Sandy Carden and John Harris Jr. Originally established to commemorate the life of W. Averell Harriman, a 1913 Yale graduate, polo player, and former New York Governor, the non-profit organization promotes the sport of polo and supports the collegiate polo programs at both Yale and UVA. Since its inception, the event has raised over $1 million for the schools’ polo programs.
Established in 1903, Yale Polo is one of the oldest collegiate polo programs in the United States and is the school’s oldest team sport. Today, Yale Polo is an independent 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization and a vibrant club hosting interscholastic, intercollegiate and community club polo leagues at its new facility, Yale Polo and Equestrian Center, in Bethany, Connecticut.
Established in 1953, Virginia Polo is a student run organization welcoming polo players of all backgrounds and skill levels. Team members participate in co-ed scrimmages, tournaments and intercollegiate polo competitions throughout the academic year, hosting both men’s and women’s varsity teams. Virginia Polo operates out of the Virginia Polo Center, a 75-acre polo training facility located in Charlottesville, Virginia, approximately five miles from the university campus.
To date, Yale has won 16 games in the series to Virginia’s 18. The only tie was in 1992 when both teams scored 21 goals each. The match is sponsored by the U.S. Polo Assn., the official apparel partner of the Harriman Cup, who provides team jerseys and support for both collegiate programs.
Representing UVA in white and orange was Joevy Beh, Kylie Sheehan*, Tariq Dag Khan, Adam Klopp and Connor Finemore. Playing in blue for Yale was former 10-goaler and Hall of Famer Adam Snow, Chelsea Messinger, Peter Elser, Sam Clemens and Leila Chang.
Captaining for Yale, Snow scored a goal early in the first chukker. Virginia got on the board shortly after with a successful penalty conversion by their captain, Beh. Thanks to some critical assists from his teammates, Snow put in another three unanswered field goals for Yale, with Clemens adding his first goal to the tally on a Penalty 2 conversion.
By halftime, Yale was up 5-1. Virginia came back ready to answer in the second half, with Sheehan substituting for Khan to put some much needed pressure on Snow. Beh put another point on the board for Virginia with a Penalty 4 conversion, but Snow could not be stopped, putting two more field goals in for the bulldog alumni, to bring the score to 7-2 moving into the final chukker. Playing hard until the last second, Sheehan broke free on a run to score Virginia’s first field goal of the game just seconds before the final bell. The game concluded with a final score of 7-3 in favor of Yale.
At the awards ceremony, Beh received a plaque from the Harriman Cup Board of Directors honoring his late brother, Chevy Beh, who played in previous Harriman Cup tournaments for Virginia. In memory of his brother, Beh made a monetary donation to the Harriman Cup that will be commemorated each year with the Chevy Beh Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award. Snow, a 1987 Yale graduate, was named this year’s MVP. His prize, a Dos Banderas Polo saddle, was generously donated to the Yale Polo collegiate program.
Snow was also honored as the 2023 Harriman Cup Award recipient. Each year, the award is presented to individuals who have made significant contributions to the world of polo and embody the leadership, public service and advocacy for equestrian sports that were characteristics of the cup’s namesake.
Best Playing Pony went to Yara, owned by Chetan Krishna and played by Sheehan in the last chukker. Prizes were also presented for Best Tailgate (Kat Thomsen and Patty Grayzalia), Best Hat (Genevieve Chase), Best Dressed (Claire Lukas, Christopher Leake), and Best Dog (Winnie the Corgi).
*Kylie Sheehan is Team USPA alumna. Team USPA is a USPA program designed to enhance and grow the sport of polo in the United States by identifying young, talented American players and providing mentored training and playing opportunities leading to a pool of higher rated amateur and pro players and the resultant giveback to the sport of polo.
Effective Date: Saturday, May 16, 2020
The suspension of USPA Tournaments and Events will be lifted for USPA Member Clubs in locales where hosting polo matches and tournaments is permitted under applicable state and local laws, executive orders and similar decrees. The USPA Member Clubs in these locales are encouraged to follow all such requirements of their state and local authorities with respect to polo operations. In addition, we also encourage all USPA Member Clubs to take the precautions recommended by the CDC. We are preparing a detailed list of best practices for USPA Member Clubs as they return to hosting USPA Tournaments and Events and plan to circulate these guidelines within the next week. We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation closely and will notify you if we determine a different course of action is necessary.Read More