Aug 16, 2021 4:38 PM

Lynn Thompson.

Written by Danny Scheraga

On Tuesday, July 27, 2021, polo lost a dear friend, Lynn Thompson, who passed away in an assisted living center in Chico, California. I first met Lynn at the 1989 Western Intercollegiate Regional Tournament held at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center in Burbank, California. Lynn had recently retired as a proofreader at Stanford University and had become an avid polo player. She got her start in polo attending a Rege Ludwig clinic at the University of Virginia (Charlottesville, Virginia) and joined the Menlo Polo Club (Atherton, California) and the Horse Park Polo Club (Woodside, California) where she quickly became a huge supporter of the Stanford Polo Club (Stanford, California).

She traveled to the Western Regionals with a friend, mainly to support the Stanford polo team. Dan Colhoun, who was Chairman of the USPA Intercollegiate Committee, and I, then Director of Intercollegiate/Interscholastic (I/I) polo got to know her that weekend, and it wasn’t long before Lynn extended her support of college and high school players nationally. Lynn was soon attending nearly all regional and national tournaments. Lovingly referred to as “the grandma” of I/I polo she was the official score keeper at the events for over twenty years. She also kept score at her home clubs of Menlo Polo Club and Horse Park Polo Club, and often could be seen with her scoresheets on the sidelines of South Bay Club (Gilroy, California) and many others.

Lynn soon became involved in the organization of polo from the club to the national level. A list of her service commitments to the Polo Training Foundation (PTF) and the USPA, and subsequent and deserved recognition, can be found below.

1990-2014 – USPA Intercollegiate/Interscholastic (I/I) Committee

1992-2019 – USPA Delegate of Horse Park Polo Club

1994-2020 – Polo Training Foundation Board of Directors

2000-2020 – Chair Intercollegiate/Interscholastic (I/I) PTF Award Selection Committee

2001 – Volunteer of the Year Award Recipient. Established in the year 2000, the Volunteer of the Year Award is given to the individual who through dedication and service has made a major contribution to the activities of the Polo Training Foundation.

2001-2003 – USPA Intercollegiate/Interscholastic (I/I) Committee Co-Chair

2005-2012 – USPA Equine Welfare Committee

2009 – Pacific Coast Circuit Sportsmanship Award Recipient

2013-2021 – USPA Women’s Committee

It was impossible not to love Lynn, she always made people feel like she was their biggest fan. She loved to stay with friends and she was easy to have as a guest. She traveled light, usually with a backpack and in the early years a camera bag. While visiting she never passed by a thrift store without stopping and would usually buy the clothes she needed for that trip. If she liked what she bought she usually boxed the new purchase up and mailed them back home so she wouldn’t need a suitcase. Traveling to the snowy Northeast, Lynn would leave winter clothing where she stayed and was able to skip the thrift store on her next trip.

Lynn was often referred to as referred to as “the grandma” of I/I polo and official score keeper at events for over twenty years.
Lynn was often referred to as “the grandma” of I/I polo and official score keeper at events for over twenty years.

Over the years I knew Lynn, I watched her go from a rented house in Portola Valley to building a gorgeous modern house along a creek in Menlo Park and I last visited her at her assisted living center in Chico in the fall of 2019. Everyone loved Lynn and she loved everyone. There are three people in particular who held a very special place in her heart and were her confidantes, friends and advisors. Dr. Bruce Wells who was I/I Committee co-chair with Lynn for three years had a great working relationship and friendship with her as they navigated the I/I program. Lynn was really impressed with the Work to Ride program, and she and Lezlie Hiner became life-long friends. When Cissie Jones took over Brushy Creek Polo Ranch, she and Lynn quickly became fast friends and would share their ups and downs regularly.

The PTF Board of Directors voted to honor Lynn by naming the PTF Interscholastic Female Player of the Year Award the Lynn Thompson Interscholastic Player of the Year Award. As a tribute to Lynn, a Zoom call is planned for the near future where everyone can share favorite memories of her. Please email Danny Scheraga at dannypolo@aol.com if you would like to join this call.

If you wish to send condolences, please send a note and all donations to the Polo Training Foundation (852 E Road, Loxahatchee Groves, Florida 33470). A memorial is being set up to honor her years of dedication to young polo players and the PTF.

There will also be a celebration for Lynn during the Founder’s Cup tournament hosted by Horse Park Polo Club on Wednesday, September 25.