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MEET NYC POLO CLUB

Aug 10, 2021 2:19 PM

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Ideal for summer stabling and built on a historic cattle farm, NYC Polo Club at Haviland Hollow Farm in Patterson, New York, has made polo a year-round reality for those in the Northeastern Circuit. Conveniently located one hour north of New York City, the club’s central location is optimal for city commuters and a reasonable distance from nearby Greenwich (Connecticut) and Mashomack Polo Clubs (New York).

Named after the Haviland Hollow Brook, one of two rivers which flow on the west boundary, the expansive property is a pastoral oasis bordered by a green forest. Focusing on adult leagues both outdoor and in the arena, NYC Polo Club is a true player’s club, introducing new players to the sport and developing those who want to advance. Offering the advantage of consistency in the saddle, NYC Polo Club enables its members to play eight months of the year rain or shine.

NYC Polo Club owner Sam Ramirez Jr. takes to the field during the Haviland Hollow Charity Cup. ©Sarah Corbin
NYC Polo Club owner Sam Ramirez Jr. ©Sarah Corbin

Taking his first polo lesson at 30 with no previous riding experience, NYC Polo Club owner Sam Ramirez Jr. wanted to create a facility for those looking for a sport to play into their later years. Working for his family’s firm in the heart of Manhattan, Ramirez’s top priority in a polo property was that it be within an hour from the city. “It took me about seven years to find this place, but in 2006 I finally found it and was able to purchase a total of 250 acres,” Ramirez said. Functioning from the 1920s to 1970s as the premier Patterson's cattle farm, the spacious property featured an original barn and milk house which Ramirez restored, installing an observation and viewing deck overlooking the main polo field.

After three years of extensive renovations during which Ramirez built two polo fields (designed by Argentine field specialist Alejandro Battro), and an indoor and outdoor arena, NYC Polo Club opened its doors as a USPA Member Club in 2009. Operating as both a polo club and an equestrian facility for the past 13 years, Haviland Hollow Farm boasts over 100 stalls for boarders, two exercise tracks and riding trails with views of the Hudson Valley countryside.

NYC Polo Club features year-round arena polo with a platform for viewing and polo education. ©Karen Dymersky
NYC Polo Club features year-round arena polo with a platform for viewing and polo education. ©Karen Dymersky

Playing throughout the coldest months of the year when other clubs are forced to take months off from the game, NYC Polo Club is one of the few clubs in the Northeast where weather doesn’t have as great an impact. Playing 8-goal outdoor polo May through the end of September and arena polo November through March, NYC Polo Club members have the best of both worlds with a 20,000 square foot indoor arena impervious to rain and snow. “I have been playing at NYC Polo Club for 10 years," said 9-goal arena player Tommy Biddle, "with the indoor arena we are still able to get polo in even when the weather doesn’t cooperate.” Situated just half an hour from Greenwich and an hour south of Mashomack, NYC Polo Club often attracts players from other clubs to compete in the arena during the fall and winter months.

Spectators enjoying polo and sunshine at NYC Polo Club. ©Sarah Corbin
Spectators enjoying polo and sunshine at NYC Polo Club. ©Sarah Corbin

Helping many new players interested in learning the game get their start, NYC Polo Club specializes in taking beginners and dedicated players to the next level by concentrating on horsemanship and training. “What we do best is take people who really want to improve their game and help them reach another level,” Ramirez said. “We’re known for the quality of our instruction for juniors and adults and having good horses in our polo school.”

Although Ramirez still teaches lessons around his busy work schedule, NYC Polo School’s active lesson program is run by head instructor Paul Kuhn, who has over three decades of experience teaching, coaching and playing polo across the United States, Zimbabwe, Australia and New Zealand. Together with his son David Kuhn, the father-son duo run the lesson program year-round with an emphasis on safety, and allow their students to build confidence in the arena before progressing to instructional chukkers and the coaching league. “We love starting beginners in the arena because it's a safe, controlled environment where we can teach them the basics of hitting and riding,” Ramirez said. “Then everyone's really excited to play on the grass when summer comes.”

Ramirez has made it a priority to consistently give back to the sport, donating over a half a million dollars to local equestrian non-profits since the inception of the Haviland Hollow Charity Cup. ©Karen Dymersky
Ramirez has made it a priority to consistently give back to the sport, donating over a half a million dollars to local equestrian non-profits since the inception of the Haviland Hollow Charity Cup. ©Karen Dymersky

Although NYC Polo Club remains active throughout the year, the summer season is particularly robust featuring two annual USPA tournaments, the Northeastern Circuit Officers Cup and Northeastern Circuit Masters Cup, and two club leagues. “We have six teams competing in our 8-goal tournaments and we also have a 0- to 4-goal league for beginners which is held every week,” Ramirez said. “These games attract a lot of spectators who want to watch competitive polo.”

Formerly the Treasurer of the USPA, Ramirez has made it a priority to consistently give back to the sport, donating over a half a million dollars to local equestrian non-profits since the inception of the Haviland Hollow Charity Cup. “The eleventh annual event will be held on Saturday, September 18, to benefit Pegasus Therapeutic Riding Center who has been working a lot with the police, first responders and military service members throughout the COVID-19 crisis,” Ramirez said. “They have been the recipient for the past seven years.” In addition to polo, the event will feature a gourmet luncheon, silent auction, live DJ and dancing.

NYC Polo Club's Main Clubhouse set to host an event. ©Karen Dymersky
The historic and renovated Patterson's cattle barn now serves as NYC Polo Club's main clubhouse. ©Karen Dymersky

Offering a variety of polo in a picturesque and family-friendly atmosphere, NYC Polo Club’s state of the art facilities can be enjoyed by the rising amateur, the professional and the casual spectator alike. Attracting many high-goal arena players such as Biddle and Kris Kampsen, NYC Polo Club has established itself as a popular destination especially within the arena community.

Winning the U.S. Open Arena Polo Championship® twice consecutively (2016 and 2017) at Country Farm Polo Club (Medford, New York), Ramirez aspires to renovate the outdoor area and host the prestigious national tournament for the first time at his club in the future. Just a short commute from multiple cities, NYC Polo Club is prepared to help both brand new and existing players reach their full potential in the sport. “For anyone who is interested in learning, NYC Polo Club is one of the best clubs to be introduced to the sport,” Ramirez said. “If you’re already playing and want to rise to the next level, come play with us.”

NYC Polo Clubs' pastoral oasis showcases brilliant sunsets. ©Karen Dymersky
Gorgeous sunset over the NYC Polo Club field. ©Karen Dymersky

For more information on NYC Polo Club please visit their website at www.nycpolo.com. “Like” NYC Polo Club on Facebook and follow them at @nycpoloclub on Twitter and @NYCPoloClub on Instagram.

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