May 22, 2023 4:02 PM
Mashomack Polo Club (Pine Plains, New York) prepares to kick off its 2023 season with a remarkable lineup of tournaments and top-notch facilities, that promises to be an unforgettable experience for all involved. Situated on a sprawling 2,000-acre preserve just 90 minutes away from the bustling metropolis of New York City, Mashomack Polo Club has become a premier destination for polo players.
Starting the last week of May and lasting until the last week of September, Mashomack will be a whirlwind of excitement. Polo enthusiasts can mark their calendars as tournaments will take place every week, including five prestigious USPA-sanctioned and circuit events. Among these competitive tournaments are the Northeastern Circuit Officers Cup, Eduardo Moore Memorial, Northeastern Circuit Centennial Cup, Northeastern Circuit Constitution Cup and Tracey MacTaggart Memorial. As a significant highlight, the return of 12-goal tournaments (Southeastern Circuit Centennial Cup, Northeastern Circuit Constitutional Cup) between the last week of July through August, promises to be a thrilling spectacle for players and spectators alike.
“There is no other sport that allows you to play with the sport's leading athletes. To be on the field with these amazing players is the ultimate privilege and an unbeatable adrenaline high.” – Craig Callen - Mashomack Polo Club Treasurer
One of the remarkable aspects of the Mashomack Polo Club is its polo school, which was introduced last year and has been a resounding success. Managed by the experienced and talented Julio Ezcurra, the polo school offers excellent coaching and training for aspiring polo players of all levels. Whether you are a beginner looking to learn the fundamentals or an experienced player aiming to refine your skills, the Polo School at the Mashomack Polo Club is the perfect place to nurture your passion for this exhilarating sport.
When it comes to facilities, Mashomack Polo Club has spared no expense in creating a world-class environment for polo enthusiasts. Over the years, the club has undertaken an extensive multi-year capital improvement program, developing five tournament-class fields, one practice field, stick-and-ball acres, and a regulation outdoor polo arena.
The stables and barns are always in high demand, showcasing the club's popularity among players and their equine companions. Stabling is available on a first-come, first-served basis, with turnkey boarding options for players with smaller strings.
The Mashomack Polo Club offers an impressive range of polo options to cater to players of different skill levels. From the competitive league polo, ranging from 4- to 12-goals, to prestigious tournaments, there is something for everyone. From June through September, players can immerse themselves in the exhilaration of polo while spectators are encouraged to attend matches and partake in the lively tailgating tradition.
“At Mashomack, you can learn the game and play super-competitive polo in a beautiful country setting with a friendly family vibe. It’s my favorite place in the world.” – John Klopp - Mashomack Polo Club President
Beyond just polo, Mashomack Polo Club also takes great pride in its commitment to preserving the historical significance of its grounds. Over the course of a 48-month period, extensive renovations were undertaken to protect and update the iconic barns scattered throughout the Mashomack Polo grounds. The barns, which were built during the nineteenth century to support a massive dairy operation, have been repurposed over the years to accommodate various agricultural endeavors. Recognizing the need to maintain these architectural treasures, members of Mashomack Polo Club rallied together to raise the necessary funds for the restoration project. Today, these beautifully restored barns stand as a testament to the club's dedication to preserving its rich heritage and providing a picturesque backdrop for thrilling polo matches.
CLICKPOLOUSA delves into the stories of two key figures at the Mashomack Polo Club - John Klopp, the club's esteemed President, and Craig Callen, the dedicated Treasurer. During this interview, they shared their personal journeys, reflected on Mashomack's success, and spoke on the profound significance of polo in their lives.
John Klopp's polo adventure began in 1991 when a close friend and Mashomack member organized a clinic to lure in new members. Little did John know that a single swing of the mallet would ignite an insatiable passion within him. From humble beginnings, he quickly found himself playing alongside seasoned professionals in 8-goal matches. Despite the inevitable tumbles and the occasional earful from his teammates, Klopp was hooked. Today, he stands proudly as Mashomack's President, having witnessed the club's transformation from the brink of obscurity to one of the nation's premier polo destinations.
What’s your story with polo?
“In 1991 my great friend and long-time Mashomack member Bruce Colley organized a clinic to hook ‘new victims.’ I had ridden a bit, [once] I hit the ball [I] said, ‘I have to do this.’ The next year I was playing 8-goal with Bruce, Michel Dorignac and Matias Guerrand-Hermes. I fell off a lot and they yelled at me all the time, but I was hooked.”
How did you become Mashomack’s President?
“I stepped in as el presidente after Bruce had resurrected the club from near death and then Duke Buchan had established the foundations to make Mashomack Polo one of the best clubs in the country. Actually, I think I stood still when everyone else stepped back. But we wouldn’t be here without Craig Callen and Juan Olivera. We are a team.”
What is the key behind Mashomack’s success?
“Our formula has been best fields, best umpires, best manager and good vibes.”
What does polo mean to you?
“For me, the priorities in life are 1. family, 2. work, and 3. polo (almost always in that order). Polo means great friends, great adventures, and playing with my three kids.”
What does Mashomack mean to you?
“At Mashomack, you can learn the game and play super-competitive polo in a beautiful country setting with a friendly family vibe. It’s my favorite place in the world.”
Craig Callen's polo journey took root through his foxhunting friends, with John Klopp being the primary accomplice in his foray into the sport. Surrounded by supportive professionals and a circle of riding enthusiasts, Callen found himself captivated by the multifaceted allure of polo with the sport's profound impact on his life remaining undeniable. As Mashomack's Treasurer, Callen plays a pivotal role in the club's success.
What’s your story with polo?
“My polo history was an outgrowth of my foxhunting friendships. John Klopp was the primary friend to blame, but most of my riding friends were already hooked on polo. It also helped that the professionals were incredibly supportive. However, the spirit of allowing me to score has long since passed.”
What is the key to Mashomack’s success?
“The key is teamwork, and the team has been led by Juan Olivera. The support of our members in allowing Juan, John, and me to make decisions and commitments on behalf of the club has also been critical. Our team is rounded out with the USPA and USPA Umpires, LLC who have been instrumental in professionalizing our club and our tournaments. We seem to have found the right balance between delivering a great member experience and cost.”
What does polo mean to you?
“As I am sure all readers agree, polo is life changing and all consuming. Each component of the sport; competition, ponies, friendships, and rivalries combine to create a life too few are able to experience.”
What does Mashomack mean to you?
“I have been involved with Mashomack Preserve for decades, in addition to Mashomack Polo. The combination of conservation, outdoor sports, and setting create an environment unmatched. It is also the origin of some of my greatest friendships and my favorite memories. There is no other sport that allows you to play with the sport's leading athletes. To be on the field with these amazing players is the ultimate privilege and an unbeatable adrenaline high.”
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